How to Replace Brake Pads on a 96 Chevy Truck

by Jule PamplinUpdated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Tire blocks

  • Towel

  • 21 mm socket and breaker bar

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • 3/8-inch Allen socket

  • Ratchet

  • Flat screwdriver

  • C-clamp

  • Brake pads

  • Siphon kit (or baster)

Chevy pickup trucks from the 1996 model year are equipped with anti-lock disc brakes on the front wheels of the trucks. The disc brakes employ a system that forces the brake pads against the rotors when the brake pedal is depressed. Brake pads that are worn will not have the brake pad material necessary to consistently stop the vehicle. The brake pads are equipped with wear indicators--small metal clips that make direct contact with the rotor when the pads are thin enough to warrant replacement. Listen for a squealing or grinding sound during braking for a sign that it is time to replace your Chevy truck's brake pads.

Park the Chevy truck on a flat stretch of road or driveway. Pull the hood release lever to open the hood and access the master cylinder. Place tire blocks behind the rear tires.

Remove the master cylinder cap and lay a towel over the container's opening. Keep debris and dirt from the reservoir while relieving the pressure to make depressing the caliper pistons easier.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front wheels of the Chevy truck with the 21 mm socket and breaker bar.

Place the lifting jack beneath the frame near the wheel well and lift the truck. Place a jack stand beneath the axle and lower the Chevy onto the stand, leaving the tires at least two inches off the ground.

Remove the two caliper slide bolts with a ratchet and 3/8-inch Allen socket.

Lift the caliper from the caliper bracket.

Slide the two brake pads from the caliper walls. Use a flat screwdriver to pry the spring clips on the backs of the pads if they will not easily slide from the caliper by hand.

Place the C-clamp over the piston and the back of the caliper. Screw the clamp's handle to force the piston into the side of the caliper. Remove the C-clamp when the piston ring is flush with the side of the caliper.

Slide the new brake pads onto the sides of the caliper and return the caliper to its position on the caliper bracket.

Screw in the caliper bolts and tighten them with the ratchet and socket.

Check the master cylinder. The level of fluid in the reservoir will have been raised by opening the caliper piston. Use a siphon kit (or turkey baster) to remove fluid from the container if you are in danger of overflowing the reservoir by opening the second caliper piston.

Repeat steps 5-10 for the brake pads on the other side of the Chevy.

Replace the wheels on the Chevy's wheel bolts and screw on the lug nuts. Lift the truck and remove the jack stands. Lower the Chevy's tires to the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts with the 21 mm socket and breaker bar.

Check the fluid level in the master cylinder. Place the cap onto the container and close the truck's hood.

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