How to Replace Nissan Brakes

by Mark Robinson

Brakes are the only component of your Nissan that can effectively bring you to a safe stop. Therefore, it is paramount that your brakes are kept in working order. Replacing your brakes on a regular basis helps maintain vehicle safety. Learn how to replace both disc and drum brakes on an average Nissan vehicle. Many Nissan models come equipped with front disc and rear drum brakes.

Replacing Disc Brakes

Use a lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts on the front wheel. Do not remove the lug nuts, until the vehicle is raised off of the ground. Use a floor jack to raise the front of the vehicle. Support the front end with jack stands placed underneath the frame of the Nissan.

Remove the lug nuts from the wheel, and set them aside. Slide the wheel off the rotor, and set it aside. Remove the retaining bolts, holding the brake caliper in place, with a ratchet and socket. Pull the caliper away from the rotor, and suspend the caliper from the frame or suspension component with mechanic's wire.

Pry the brake pads away from the caliper housing. Remove the retaining clips from the brake pads. Place one of the old brake pads over the caliper piston, and push the piston back to its original position, using a large C-clamp.

Apply a small amount of anti-squeal grease to the back of the new brake pads. Attach the retaining clips to the new brake pads, and insert the pads into the caliper.

Place the caliper over the brake rotor, and reattach the retaining bolts with a ratchet and socket. Slide the wheel onto the rotor, and reattach the lug nuts with a lug wrench. Remove the jack stands, and lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts, using the lug wrench.

Replacing Drum Brakes

Loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheel with a lug wrench, without completely removing them. Raise the rear of the vehicle with a floor jack, and use jack stands to support the vehicle.

Remove the lug nuts from the wheel, and set them aside. Slide the rear wheel off the drum ,and set it aside. Locate the keeper screw, located near the center of the drum assembly, and remove it with a ratchet and socket. Pull the drum away from the brake assembly, and inspect both for debris and damage.

Unhook the retracting springs from the brake shoe, using a screwdriver or a brake tool. Turn the primary spring bolts counterclockwise, and slide the shoes out of the brake assembly.

Slide the new brake shoes onto the brake assembly. Turn the primary spring bolts clockwise, securing the shoes in place. Reattach the retracting springs to the brake shoe.

Slide the drum on the brake assembly, and tighten the keeper screw with a ratchet and socket. Slide the wheel onto the drum, and reattach the lug nuts. Remove the jack stands, and lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts with a lug wrench.

Tip

  • check Inspect all of the parts of the drum braking system when installing new drum brake shoes. Any components that require replacement should be taken care of during this time.

Warning

  • close Use caution when working around or underneath a raised vehicle. Working on an improperly supported vehicle can result in serious injury or death.

Items you will need

About the Author

Mark Robinson is a freelance graphic designer and writer. Since 2008 he has contributed to various online publications, specializing in topics concerning automotive repair, graphic design and computer technology. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science in graphic design from Alabama A&M University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Barry Willis/Photodisc/Getty Images