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How to Replace the Front Disc Brakes on a Pontiac Montana

by Jody L. Campbell

The front-wheel drive Pontiac Montana was introduced in 1998 by General Motors. It was later introduced with an all-wheel drive option. Regardless of its drivetrain, replacing the front disc brakes employs the same procedure. Since the front brakes apply 75 percent of the braking capacity for the minivan, and because the front- or all-wheel drivetrain employs more torque than a rear-wheel drive, the front brakes will need to be serviced more often than the rear.

1

Remove 2/3 of the brake fluid from the master cylinder with a brake fluid siphon and then discard the fluid. Replace the cap securely onto the cylinder.

2

Lift and support the Montana with a jack and jack stands after applying the parking brake.

3

Remove the front wheels with a tire iron or suitable tool.

4

Place the C-clamp over the caliper so the drive of the clamp is seated on the plate of the outboard pad and the top of the clamp is on the inboard caliper housing. Tighten the clamp until the caliper piston is fully compressed.

5

Remove the two caliper bolts with a suitable hand wrench. Hang the caliper to the chassis with a caliper hook.

6

Remove the pads and pad clips from the caliper carriage. Remove the two caliper carriage bolts with a hand wrench. Remove the carriage.

7

Remove the rotor from the hub flange. Use a die grinder and a reconditioning disc to remove any rust or other corrosion from the hub flange face and edges.

8

Clean the entire surface of the new rotor, both sides, with brake cleaner spray and wipe it dry with a shop rag. Place the new rotor onto the hub flange and use a lug nut on one of the lug studs to hold the rotor in place.

9

Apply a light coat of brake silicone lubricant to the mating surface of the pad clips. Install the pad clips to the carriage and then apply another coat on top of the clips. Replace the carriage and bolts. Tighten the bolts to 120-foot pounds with the torque wrench and a suitable socket.

10

Install the new pads (and shims supplied with the pad set) into the caliper carriage and then remove the caliper from the hook and align it over the new pads and rotor. Replace the caliper bolts and tighten them to 25-foot pounds with the torque wrench and suitable socket.

11

Replace the tires and lug nuts and tighten the nuts to 100-foot pounds with the torque wrench and suitable socket.

12

Lower the Montana and pump the foot brake pedal several times until it feels firm. Add brake fluid to the master cylinder to the full mark and then replace the cap. Close the hood and then test drive the minivan for proper braking operation.

Items you will need

About the Author

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.

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