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How to Do a Brake Job on Vehicles

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The brake system on the Vehicles includes the brake pads, brake rotors and the brake calipers. Each of these brake components work together so that the Vehicles can come to a safe and secure stop. The brake caliper is the brake component that presses the inner and outer brake pads against the sides of the rotors. When the brake pads have been fully pressed to the sides of the moving rotors, the friction of the brake pads against the brake rotors is what stops the Vehicles.

Under The Hood:

 How to Do a Brake Job on 2000 Dodge Ram 1500

Park the 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 in a safe area that has a level surface.

Loosen the lug nuts from the front passenger side wheel with the tire tool.

Move to the driver-side front wheel and loosen the lug nuts with the tire tool.

Jack up the front of the 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 with a floor jack. Then, place the car stands underneath the proper jacking points. Lower the front of the Dodge Ram onto the car stands and leave the jack sitting in the upright position.

Unscrew the lug nuts from the front passenger-side wheel with the tire tool. Pull the wheel and place it flat down.

Move to the driver-side front wheel and unscrew the lug nuts from the wheel with the tire tool. Pull the wheel off and place it flat down.

Locate the opening on the top of the driver-side brake rotor. Slide the pry bar between the outer brake pad and the rotor. Pry the outer brake pad until the caliper becomes loose enough to pull off the brake rotor.

Loosen and remove the two caliper pin bolts on the back side of the brake caliper with a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and a 3/8-inch drive socket.

Pull the brake caliper off the brake rotor and secure it to the lower control arm behind the wheel hub assembly with the bungee strap.

Pull the inner brake pad out. Slide the C-clamp into the caliper facing the outer brake pad. The, turn the C-clamp clockwise and compress the outer brake pad to the caliper cylinder until the cylinder has fully retracted into the caliper.

Unscrew the C-clamp and pull it out of the caliper. Then, pull the outer brake pad out of the brake caliper. Install the replacement brake pads along with any other brake pad accessories.

Remove the bungee strap and hang the brake caliper back on the side of the rotor. Screw the two mounting bolts into the back side of the caliper. Tighten the bolts tight with the ratchet and socket. Then, pull the wheel and lug nuts back on. Tighten the lug nuts with the tire tool.

Follow the same steps as outlined above to replace the brake pads on the front passenger-side wheel. Replace the front wheels and lower the truck to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts

Move to the rear of the truck, lift it up and support it on jack stands. Replace the brake pads in the rear as you did the front. Replace the wheels, lower the truck and tighten the lug nuts.

Crank the 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 and pump the brake pedal a few times to seat the new brake pads. Turn the engine off.

Items you will need

  • Tire tool

  • Floor jack

  • Car stands

  • Pry bar

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • 3/8-inch drive sockets

  • Bungee strap

  • C-clamp

  • Replacement pads

 How to Do a Brake Job on a Pontiac Vibe

Loosen, but do not remove, the lug nuts on the front wheels with a lug wrench. Raise one side of the car with a jack. Position a jack stand underneath the frame rail behind the front tire and lower the jack. Raise the other side of the car and put another jack stand underneath the frame rail. Lower the car onto the jack stands with the jack. Place chocks behind the rear wheels of the car.

Remove the lug nuts from the front wheels then remove the wheels from the car. Remove the two bolts holding the brake cylinder assembly onto the brake disc. Be careful not to damage the brake fluid line attached to the brake cylinder. Slide the cylinder assembly off the disc. Use a piece of stiff wire to hang the brake line to prevent damage.

Pry the brake pads out of the cylinder assembly with a flat head screwdriver. Note the orientation of the brake pads, shims and squeal plate. Install the new brake pads in the same orientation as the old ones. Use a pair of pliers to push the brake pads apart far enough so that you can slide them over the brake disc.

Reinstall the mounting bolts to 79 foot-pounds of torque with a torque wrench. Repeat the above steps for the other front wheel. If you are unable to pry the brake pads apart far enough to slip them over the disc, you may need to bleed the brake line. Locate the bleeder plug on the back of the cylinder assembly. Loosen the plug and attach a vinyl tube to the bleeder plug and put the other end of the tube in a jar. Pry the pads apart until you can slip them over the disc. Tighten the bleeder plug to 74 foot-pounds of torque.

Remount the front wheels. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern. Start with the top nut then draw an imaginary star to the lower left and tighten that nut. Continue the star pattern to the upper right, upper left then lower right.

Raise one side of the car with the jack until you can remove the jack stand. Remove the jack stand and lower the jack. Raise the other side and remove the other jack stand then lower the car. Remove the wheel chocks. Tighten the lug nuts to 103 foot-pounds of torque, again using a star pattern.

Items you will need

  • Replacement brake pads

  • Brake fluid

  • Lug wrench

  • Car jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • Socket set

  • Pliers

  • Flat head screwdriver

  • Torque wrench

  • Plastic tubing

 How to Do a Brake Job for an MR2 Spyder

Open the MR2's engine cover in the rear of the vehicle. Remove the cap from the master cylinder, the plaster reservoir near the passenger's side of the firewall. Siphon out about one-third of the brake fluid from the master cylinder using a turkey baster, and transfer the fluid to an empty container.

Loosen the front lug nuts, but do not remove them, using a ratchet and socket. Jack up the front of the MR2. Place the jack stands beneath the Toyota and lower the car until it is sitting on the stands. Remove the MR2's lug nuts and pull the wheels off.

Look on the rear of the brake caliper and locate the caliper bolts. Notice the bolts screw into small sleeves. Hold the bottom sleeve with a combination wrench while you loosen and remove the caliper bolt with a ratchet and socket.

Repeat for the upper caliper bolt, but only loosen the bolt, do not remove it.

Swing the caliper up, using the upper bolt as an axis, exposing the brake pads. Notice there are two thin wires on the rear of the brake pads. These are called anti-squeal springs.

Grab the lower anti-squeal spring and pull it from the holes in the rear of the brake pad. Grab the upper ant-squeal spring and pull it from the holes in the brake pads.

Grab the inner and outer brake pads and pull them from the brake assembly. Take note of now the pads are positioned prior to removal, as the new ones must be installed the same way.

Place the 8-inch C-clamp over the caliper so the screw portion contacts the piston inside the caliper and the fixed portion contacts the rear of the caliper. Tighten the C-clamp and observe as the piston begins pressing into the caliper. Continue tightening until the piston stops moving. Loosen and remove the C-clamp.

Place the new brake pads on the brake assembly, just as the old ones were before removal. Insert the anti-squeal springs onto the rear of the new pads, just as they were on the old pads.

Swing the caliper over the new pads and tighten the caliper bolts to 25 foot-pounds, using the torque wrench and a socket while holding the sleeves with a combination wrench.

Place the wheels back on the MR2 and hand-tighten the lug nuts.

Raise the Toyota from the jack stands, with the floor jack, and pull the stands from under the MR2. Slowly lower the vehicle to the ground.

Tighten the MR2's lug nuts -- in a crossing-pattern -- to 80 foot-pounds, using the torque wrench and a socket.

Check the fluid level in the master cylinder, it must be between the "Min" and "Max" lines on the reservoir. Add fluid from the container if it is low. Close the MR2's engine cover and prepare for driving by pressing and releasing the brake pedal until it feels firm.

Items you will need

  • Turkey baster

  • Empty container

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Ratchet

  • Socket set

  • Combination wrench set

  • 8-inch C-clamp

  • Torque wrench

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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