1. #1
    TerryMason's Avatar
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    Jeep brake pad change

    Changing Wrangler Brake Pads

    Changing your brake pads is easier than most people believe, and given the price of a normal brake job, there's no reason not to do it yourself. In this how to, we'll be replacing the front brake pads on a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ. Disc brakes haven't changed much over the years, so this should apply to most Jeep vehicles.

    To start with, chock your tires and jack up your Jeep's front axle. Once your front end is in the air, remove the front tires. We're going to work on one side at a time (if this is your first time it's nice to have the other site to reference during reassembly).

    You'll see the following parts when you looks at your brakes – A rotor that spins around when the wheel turns, and a Caliper that holds your brake pads inside, and squeezes, or clamps down on the rotor when you press the brakes.

    Jeep brake pad change-1_wrangler_front_disc_brakes.jpg



    Looking from the back, you can see the various components of the brake caliper. The caliper bolts hold the caliper to your Jeep, and the bleeder valve (when loosened) will allow brake fluid out of the brake system.

    Jeep brake pad change-2_components_of_jeep_brakes.jpg



    So, to get started, you'll need to remove your caliper bolts:

    Jeep brake pad change-4_caliper_bolts_removed.jpg

    Jeep brake pad change-3_remove_caliper_bolts.jpg



    Now that the caliper bolts are out, you should be able to remove the caliper. Try to pull the caliper towards the rear of the Jeep. If the caliper doesn't come off, you can use a screwdriver to gently pry the caliper off (you shouldn't have to use much force though).

    Jeep brake pad change-5_remove-caliper.jpg



    The Caliper will come off, but remain connected to the brake hose. I usually sit the caliper on top of the rotor, but you could also sit it on a stool inside the wheel well. Once the caliper is off DO NOT step on the brake pedal while they are being serviced as the piston may completely pop out and damage the piston seal.

    Jeep brake pad change-6_caliper_is_off_the_jeep.jpg



    You can see below the two pads as well as the piston. When you press the brake pedal in your Jeep, the piston moves out, forcing the two brake pads to squeeze the rotor, stopping your Jeep.

    Jeep brake pad change-7_wrangler_caliper_parts.jpg



    To get on with our brake job, we'll need to remove the brake pads. The pad next to the piston is easy, it just pulls out of the piston. The pad on the outside of the vehicle is held on with clips, so you'll probably need a flat head screwdriver to pop them off

    Jeep brake pad change-8_remove_brake_pad.jpg



    You can see below that the old pads have scores and cracks in them. This commonly comes from overheating.

    Jeep brake pad change-9_brake_pad_cracks.jpg



    Now that are brake pads are out, we'll need to push the piston into the caliper slightly. You do this because the new brake pads will likely be larger than the old ones (the old ones had some of their material worn away. This is easily done with a large C clamp. Just position it like below and tighten down until the piston is flush with the caliper.

    Jeep brake pad change-10_compressing_the_piston.jpg

    Jeep brake pad change-11_brake_piston_compressed.jpg



    Now we're ready to install our new pads. This time around I decided to try some ceramic pads from Wagner (you can get them here - Wagner ThermoQuiet Ceramic Disc Brake Pads).

    Jeep brake pad change-12_new_wrangler_brake_pads.jpg



    Optional - I decided to use some disc brake quiet. Just spread it evenly on back of the pad before reassembling. It is supposed to quiet squeaks - I didn't have any squeaks after installing the pads, but who knows if that's because of the disc brake quiet or not.

    Jeep brake pad change-13_disc_brake_quiet.jpg



    Now you can put the brake pads back in your caliper. They install the same way they were removed.

    Jeep brake pad change-14_load_the_caliper.jpg



    Now you'll need to reinstall the caliper on the rotor. There are notches on the brake pads that fit on the caliper slides (part of the steering knuckles). Before putting the caliper back on, wire brush the caliper bracket slides to ensure a smooth and proper brake pad engagement. After that, fit the top of the caliper in first, then the bottom.

    Jeep brake pad change-15_seat_the_caliper.jpg



    Now you'll need to put the two caliper bolts back into the caliper. You'll probably have to wiggle the caliper around some until the bolts seat properly. Once they are seated, torque the bolts down to 11 ft lbs. That's it. You should now be able to do the other side, and reinstall your tires.

    Jeep brake pad change-16_finished_wrangler_brake_job.jpg

    Jeep brake pad change-17_jeep_brake_pads.jpg

    Jeep brake pad change-18_wrangler_brake_caliper.jpg
    Last edited by TerryMason; 09-07-2011 at 11:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Jeepergeo's Avatar
    Jeepergeo is offline Senior Member
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    Thumbs up Re: Jeep brake pad change

    Thanks for the instructions! That's definitely the best set of instructions I've seen, and far better than in the Jeep Shop Manual!

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    Re: Jeep brake pad change

    Excellent instructions and great pictures. Love the coloring you did to highlight the different parts. How about doing a follow up on bleeding the system!

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    TerryMason's Avatar
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    Re: Jeep brake pad change

    Quote Originally Posted by Spud View Post
    Excellent instructions and great pictures. Love the coloring you did to highlight the different parts. How about doing a follow up on bleeding the system!

    Thanks. I haven't done a full writeup on bleeding the brakes, but did cover it briefly here:
    http://www.jeepz.com/forum/brakes/30...tml#post233686 (Installing extended Jeep brake hoses)

    I switched over to speed bleeders though, so I don't really have to bleed my brakes in a traditional fashion.

  5. #5
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    Re: Jeep brake pad change

    Perfect timing, I need to replace the brakes on my2005 jeep rubicon. Your instructions suggest it will be easy, at least for the front. You do not mention having to bleed the brakes after installing the pads, so is it fair to assume there is no need to bleed the system if you don't disconnect the brake line? Did you do similar instructions to replace the rear brakes?

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    TerryMason's Avatar
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    Re: Jeep brake pad change

    Quote Originally Posted by Blueispy View Post
    Perfect timing, I need to replace the brakes on my2005 jeep rubicon. Your instructions suggest it will be easy, at least for the front. You do not mention having to bleed the brakes after installing the pads, so is it fair to assume there is no need to bleed the system if you don't disconnect the brake line? Did you do similar instructions to replace the rear brakes?
    As long as you don't open the bleeders, or disconnect any of the brake lines there's no need to bleed the brakes (since no air has gotten in).

    As to the rear brakes, I had drum brakes on the rear of my Jeep until I swapped in a Ford 8.8. Assuming you have disc brakes in the rear it should be exactly the same as the front.

  7. #7
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    lolrocks is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Jeep brake pad change

    Great how to. Just changed my way overdue pads and rotors out to some slotted rotors and semi-metallic pads. Great improved and this DIY helped a lot! Thanks!

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