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How to Change the Rear Brake Pads on a GMC Sierra

by ContributorUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Car jack

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Turkey baster

  • Heavy duty plastic container

  • Allen head, star head, or 6-point socket wrench

  • Penetrating oil

  • Small bungee cord or wire coat hanger

  • New brake pads

  • Red Loctite┬«272

  • Brake part cleaner

  • Brake fluid

How to Change the Rear Brake Pads on a GMC Sierra. Brake pads are the replaceable friction pads that pinch the brake disc or drum when the brakes are applied. They are an important part of your Ford F-Series' braking system. You should replace the brake pads before they wear beyond a 1/4 inch, or risk damaging your F-Series' brake discs.

Remove the Old Brake Pads

Park your car on a level surface. If you have a stick shift car, make sure the car is in gear. Place blocks in front of the front tires so the car does not move while you are working on it.

Open the hood of your car. Locate the master cylinder and brake fluid container. If necessary, remove brake fluid until the level in the container is less than half full. A turkey baster is a good tool for this. Put the brake fluid in the plastic container and dispose of it the way you dispose of motor oil.

Raise the rear end of your F-Series with your car jack. Remove the rear tire or wheel assembly.

Use the socket wrench to remove the caliper bolts from the back of the caliper. Slide the caliper off of the disc brake and suspend it near the disc brake with a small bungee cord or coat hanger. Suspend the caliper housing so that you do not damage the brake hose.

Remove the inner and outer brake pads from the caliper. Remove the caliper clips and throw them away.

Install the New Brake Pads

Insert the new brake pads into the caliper. Slide the new clips (that come with the brake pads) onto the caliper mounting bracket.

Attach the caliper mounting bracket to the backing plate assemble.

Place the caliper on the steering knuckle and tighten the bracket bolts to 148 foot pounds (200 Nm) for a 15 series vehicle; 122 foot pounds (165 Nm) for a 25 series vehicle. Use the socket wrench to attach the clipper bolts and tighten them to 80 foot pounds (108 Nm).

Replace the tire wheel assembly. Lower the car to the ground. Pump the brake pedal a few times to seat the brake pads.

Add fluid to the master cylinder container to replace any you removed before you removed the old brake pads.

Season the brake pads by making only gentle stops when you are driving for the first week after you install the new brake pads. Try not to do any hard stopping when you are seasoning the brakes.


The master cylinder is a metal cylinder located in front of the steering wheel on the metal "firewall" that separates the engine from the body of the car. On top of the cylinder there is a plastic container that holds brake fluid for the system. When you work on the brakes you adjust the level of fluid so that the container is less than half full. The caliper is the arc-shaped, cast iron piece attached to the brake rotor. It is usually on the upper-rear of the brake rotor. Caliper bolts are located on the back side of the caliper. The caliper piston is the large, round piston that presses on the inboard brake pad which is the pad closest to the inside of the car. If you have a 15 series vehicle, connect the caliper mounting bracket to the backing plate assembly. If you have a 25 series vehicle, remove any traces of adhesive, clean the bolt threads with brake part cleaner and apply red Loctite®272 to the bolt threads.


Be careful using brake fluid. It is an eye irritant and is hazardous if swallowed. Always wash your hands thoroughly after you have been handling brake fluid. If brake fluid does get in your eyes, immediately use clear, running water to flush your eyes for 15 minutes. If your eyes are still irritated after you rinse them or if you swallow any brake fluid, get medical assistance immediately. Be careful when you are handling used brake parts. The dust and dirt on the brake parts may contain asbestos fibers that can be hazardous to your health if they are inhaled. When you clean brake parts, always use a damp cloth, not compressed air, wire brushes, scouring pads or anything else that could move the dust and dirt particles around. Throw away any cleaning cloths that you use and swept up dirt and dust in a sealed, impermeable container. For more information, visit the library or go on-line to view the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines and procedures for handling or throwing away anything that might contain asbestos fibers.

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