How to Remove Brake Rotors From a Chevy Avalancheby Jody L. Campbell
Having to remove the brake rotors from a Chevy Avalanche is not as complicated as you might think, provided you own some tools and have some technical knowledge. Whether you're removing them to replace them or removing them to bring to a machine shop and have them turned on a lathe, you can do the job yourself and save some significant money on labor charges incurred at the local repair shops or the dealership.
Park the Avalanche on a level paved or concrete surface. Release the hood latch. Apply the parking brake. Place the wheel chock behind one rear tire.
Open the hood and remove at least half of the brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir using the turkey baster and discard. Replace the master cylinder cover securely.
Remove the center cap on the front tires and break the lug nuts loose with the breaking bar and a socket.
Lift the front axle of the Avalanche and place the jack stands under the front frame rail.
Remove the lug nuts and the wheels.
Compress the piston of the left front caliper inward using the small/medium pry bar wedged between the rotor and the porthole in front of the caliper. Press the piston in methodically and all the way until it bottoms out.
Remove the caliper bridge bolts located on the back of the knuckle using the ratchet and a socket.
Pry the caliper and bridge (together) and support to the frame with a bungee cord.
Remove the rotor. If you're replacing the rotor, you can knock it off with a ball peen hammer if it's stuck to the hub by rust. If you're saving the rotor to be reused, you'll need a heavy rubber mallet to remove if it is stuck to the hub with rust so you do not damage or warp the rotor.
Put everything back together when you're done by reversing the order. Don't forget to torque the lug nuts with the adjustable torque wrench set at 140 foot pounds and to pump the foot brake pedal to restore the hydraulic pressure back to the caliper pistons. Adjust the level of the brake fluid in the master cylinder using only new DOT-3 brake fluid.
- If you're replacing rear rotors and not the front, the procedure is the same except to place the wheel chock in front of one of the front tires instead and do not apply the parking brake.
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- 2 jack stands
- Wheel chock
- 1/2-inch drive breaking bar
- 1/2-inch drive socket set (up to 7/8-inch)
- 1/2-inch drive ratchet
- 1/2-inch drive adjustable torque wrench
- Turkey baster
- DOT-3 approved brake fluid
- Small/medium pry bar
- Bungee cord
- Ball peen hammer or heavy rubber mallet
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.