How to Remove Brake Rotors Off of a Dodge RAMby Jody L. Campbell
Considering what local auto repair shops and dealerships charge in labor fees, think of the money you could save removing the brake rotors off your Dodge Ram. Even if it takes you an hour or longer to remove the brake rotors, you'll still come out cheaper even if you have to buy the tools to do the job.
How to Remove Brake Rotors Off of a Dodge RAM
Park the Dodge Ram on a flat paved surface. Apply the parking brake and release the hood latch. Place a wheel chock behind one of the rear tires. Open the hood and remove half the brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir with a turkey baster and discard responsibly. Replace the master cylinder cap securely.
Break the lug nuts loose on both front tires using the breaking bar and a socket. Some lug nuts on Dodge Rams may take a 7/8-inch socket or a 22 mm can be used.
Lift the front of the Dodge Ram with the floor jack and place the jack stands under the axle for 4-wheel drive or under the control arms for 2-wheel drive. Remove the lug nuts and wheels.
Remove the caliper bolts, using the ratchet and a socket. Pry the caliper off with the flathead screwdriver and hang with the bungee cord to support it to the coil spring or frame. Remove the pads and compress the piston of the caliper inward using the C-clamp. Tighten the C-clamp slowly until it bottoms out.
Remove the caliper anchor bolts and the caliper anchor using the ratchet and a socket. The bolts will be tight.
Remove the rotor retainer rings (if present) on two of the lug studs. You can cut these off with a pair of dikes and not have to replace them for reinstallation.
Remove the rotor. If the rotor is rusted stubbornly to the hub, you're going to have to decide how to separate it. If you're replacing the rotor, you can be more successful knocking it off using a ball-peen hammer and striking it on the flat of the fins in an outward and inward motion with the hammer. If you're removing it to machine it or reusing the rotor, you're going to have to be much more delicate so you do not damage it. Strike it in the same fashion but use a heavy rubber mallet instead of a hammer. Your success is going to be lower and you're going to have to apply more tenacity and determination, but diligence will pay off.
Repeat Step 4 through Step 7 for the rotor on the other side, if so desired.
Put everything back together in order by reversing the steps. If you're replacing the rotors, be sure to spray them with a quality brake cleaner to wash off the sticky coating that comes on them. Torque the caliper anchor bolts with the adjustable wrench and a socket at 110 foot-pounds for a 1500 Ram or 230 foot-pounds for a 2500 Ram. Place the wheels and lug nuts back on when finished and tighten the lug nuts snug. Lower the Ram and torque the lug nuts 140 foot-pounds with the torque wrench and a socket.
Pump the foot brake pedal until it feels normal when you're finished. This helps to restore hydraulic pressure to the caliper pistons. After you've pumped the pedal, recheck and adjust the brake fluid in the master cylinder by only adding new DOT 3 brake fluid. Release the parking brake, remove the wheel chock and test drive.
- If you are replacing rear rotors instead of front ones, the procedure is the same but do not apply the parking brake. Place the wheel chock in front of one of the front tires instead.
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack
- Jack stands (2)
- 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
- Flathead screwdriver
- Bungee cord
- Turkey baster
- DOT 3 brake fluid
- 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.