How to Replace the Rear Disc Brakes on a Dodge Caravanby Jody L. CampbellUpdated November 07, 2017
Items you will need
Large channel locks
Brake clean spray
Silicone brake lubricant
Replacement brake pads
Replacement brake rotors
The Dodge Caravan features rear disc brakes primarily on the all-wheel-drive Grand Caravan. The rear pads are smaller than the front pads, providing about 25 percent of the minivan's braking capacity. While having to replace the rear brakes is inevitable, the front disc brakes will require more frequent service. The rear pads and rotors are widely available at aftermarket installation centers and auto parts stores at significant savings over the dealer price.
Park the Caravan on a relatively flat and paved surface. Do not apply the parking brake.
Place the Caravan in gear and then place a wheel chock in front of one or both of the front tires.
Crack the lug nuts to both rear wheels loose 1/4 turn, with the tire iron.
Raise one rear panel with the jack, and then support the Caravan with a jack stand safely and securely. Do not use the jack as a support for the minivan. Repeat this step for the opposite side.
Remove the loosened lug nuts, and then remove the wheels.
Locate the caliper on top of the rotor. Remove the two caliper guide pins, using a ratchet and socket.
Pull the caliper off of the rotor, caliper bridge and pad assembly. Rest the caliper on top of the suspension.
Remove the pads from the caliper bridge, and then remove the caliper bridge bolts only if you're replacing the rotors. If not, proceed to Step 12.
Remove the rotor. It may be stuck onto the hub or internal parking brake shoes. If so, use a dead-blow mallet to shock it free and then remove it carefully.
Clean the new replacement rotor with brake clean spray, wipe it dry with a shop rag and then place it on the hub assembly.
Replace the caliper bridge and bridge bolts. Tighten the bolts using an appropriately sized socket and the torque wrench, set to 90 to 100 foot-pounds.
Apply a coat of brake silicone to the caliper bridge contact points where the backing plates of the pads are seated.
Place the shims (supplied inside the pad set) onto the backing plates of the pads, if applicable. Some pad sets may have the shims already staked on with external rivets.
Place the pads into the caliper bridge.
Compress the caliper piston, using a large set of channel locks, until the piston is completely seated inside the bore. Replace the caliper and align the guide pin bolts through the caliper and into the knuckle. Tighten the bolts, using an appropriately sized socket and the torque wrench, set at 50-foot pounds.
Replace the wheel and lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts snugly with the tire iron while holding the tire.
Repeat the procedure for the opposite side.
Lower the Caravan, and then re-tighten the lug nuts using an appropriately sized socket, and the torque wrench, set at 100-foot pounds. Tighten them in a star pattern and not in a circular pattern.
Pump the foot brake pedal to return the caliper pistons to their original position. This will seat the pads against the brake rotors.
Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.