How to Replace the Front Brake Pads on a Jeep Commanderby Jody L. Campbell
Introduced in 2006, the Jeep Commander SUV features both front and rear disc brakes. The front pads compensate for 70 percent braking capacity for the vehicle and will require more frequent servicing. When replacing brake pads on the Commander, be sure to thoroughly inspect the rotors once the pads have been removed. Any visual signs of damage on the plated surface of the rotors will compromise the longevity of the pads.
Apply the parking brake to the Commander on a flat, hard surface. Release the hood latch.
Open the hood and remove the master cylinder cover. Siphon out 1/3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder and discard the old fluid. Replace the cap tightly. This will prevent the master cylinder from overflowing when the caliper pistons are compressed.
Crack the front lug nuts loose with the lug nut wrench 1/8 of a turn and then lift one side of the Commander with the jack. Secure the front side of the Jeep onto a jack stand and then repeat this procedure for the other side so the front axle is safely suspended.
Finish removing the lug nuts and then remove the wheels.
Remove the upper and lower caliper pin bolts with a ratchet and appropriate socket.
Use a slotted screwdriver to pry the caliper off of the brake pads and rotor. Hang the caliper to the front chassis on a caliper hanger or hook so it will not damage the brake hose.
Remove one of the pads from the caliper bracket and set it against the caliper piston. Place the C-clamp drive on the pad and the top of the clamp on the caliper housing and tighten the clamp until the piston bottoms out inside the caliper piston bore.
Remove the remaining pad and then inspect both sides of the rotor.
Use a small wire brush to clean the surface of the caliper bracket where the pad tabs sit inside and then apply a small amount of silicone lubricant from the tube supplied in the replacement brake pad set box. Be sure to clean and lubricate the lower and upper seats on the caliper bracket.
Install the shims if applicable. Most quality pad sets will feature staked-on shims, but if they're stick-on shims, peel the protective paper and apply the shims to the backing plate of the pads.
Insert the pads into the caliper bracket and then remove the caliper from the hook and replace it over the pads and rotor. Apply a light coat of the pad lubricant to the non-threaded section of the caliper pin bolts and align them in through the caliper and onto the knuckle. Tighten the bolts to 45-foot pounds with the torque wrench and a suitable size socket.
Repeat Steps 5 through 11 for the other side and then replace the wheels and lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts as much as you can with the Commander suspended. Lower the SUV and then re-tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern with the torque wrench set at 100-foot pounds and a suitable size socket.
Pump the foot brake pedal several times to push the caliper pistons back out from the bores and seat the new pads against the rotors. Once the pedal feels firm, recheck the brake fluid in the master cylinder and top it off with new brake fluid if necessary. Test drive the Commander for proper braking operation.
Things You'll Need
- Vehicle jack
- Jack stands
- Lug nut wrench
- Torque wrench
- Ratchet and socket set
- 6-inch C-clamp
- Slotted screwdriver
- Small wire brush
- Brake fluid siphon
- Brake fluid
- Caliper hanger or hook
- Replacement brake pad set with shims and silicone lubricant
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.