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Hey guys, ChrisFix here and today i'm
going to show you how to replace your
brake pads and rotors on your car or
your truck. And we'll be replacing the
brake pads on my mustang which is
perfect, because the brake setup on this
car is going to be similar, if not
identical, to most other makes and models.
And this video is going to be a complete
guide so if you're a beginner and you've
never changed the brakes before, after
watching this video you'll know
everything you need to do to be able to
replace the brakes yourself. This is also
a good guide for a refresher if you've
done brakes before or if you're an
I'm gonna be including tips and tricks
to anyone watching could perform a
complete and thorough brake job. And the
last thing i want to say for everybody
who's doing this for the first time,
don't be afraid to change your own
breaks! I know the most nerve-racking
thing is the fear that if you do
something wrong you're not gonna have
brakes to stop your car, but let me tell
you. The brake systems on cars are
actually pretty simple and it's hard to
mess up, so give it a shot. You're going
to save a ton of money, you're going to
learn something new and you're going to
feel proud that you're able to fix your
own car. And before we begin I want to
thank Advanced Auto for helping out and
supplying the brake pads and rotors for
the video. Alright! So let's begin.
The tools I'll be using for this job are all
common hand tools. You need a simple
socket set, a breaker bar, a torque wrench,
a metal wire brush, and the only
specialized tool is this brake piston
compressor which is inexpensive and you
can pick this up when you pick up your
brake pads and rotors. And i also want to
include: have a large hammer like this
which will help knock the rotors off if
they're stuck. And also have a pry bar or
flat head screwdriver like this which
will help pry open the caliper. You're
also going to need to get your tires off
the ground, so i'll be using a jack and
jack stands. And those are all the tools
you're going to need. As for consumables
you're gonna need some copper anti-seize,
silicon paste, brake cleaner and thread
locker. And finally you'll need some
brake pads and rotors. I prefer getting
ceramic brake pads, they are a little
more expensive but they have less dust
and they tend to last longer compared to
the semi-metallic pads. And make sure
when you get your brake pads
it includes the brake hardware which is
important for doing the complete brake
job. And for rotors i like using a
regular blank rotor. While drilled and
slotted rotors are nice they will eat up
your brake pads a lot quicker so for the
street this is perfect. And that's all
you need, so let's begin!!
There are four simple steps to changing
your brake pads and rotors.
First you want to safely lift
the car off the ground and then remove
the wheel. Second remove the brake pads
unbolt the caliper and remove the rotor.
Third put the new rotor on, reattach the
caliper and install the new brake pads.
And then fourth, put the wheel on, lower
the car to the ground and go test those brakes.
So let's get started!
Since we're replacing the front brakes,
the first thing you're going to want to
do is lift the front end off the ground,
but before we do that, you're going to
want to grab your wheel chock, in this
case i'm using a piece of wood, and
chock off the rear wheel so your car
won't move. And before we left the tires
off the ground we want to crack all the
lug nuts so they're loose, because if
you're trying to do this with the tires
off the ground, the wheels just gonna
spin. If you're not sure where to jack up
your car from, go check out the owners
manual. In here they give you
instructions and show you exactly where
they recommend you jack the car up from.
Since you replace brake pads in pairs,
we're gonna be doing both front brake
pads, so I like jacking the car from the
middle so both tires raise up at the
same time. And the best way to lift up
both front tires is by jacking it up
from the front crossmember. This is a
thick piece of metal and supports the
whole front suspension. And with the car
in the air
slide your jack stand underneath the car
and I try to just stick my arms
underneath the car when i moved the jack
stand. Don't put your whole body under
the car. You don't want to be under the
car until the car is securely set onto
the jack stands. Now we're looking for a
place to put your jack stands.
This right here is the floorboard. If you
put it here, your jack will go right
through the floor into your car. What
you're looking for, is you want to find a
thick piece of metal frame just like
this right here and you can find the
same exact spot on the other side. And
after both jack stands are in place
slowly lower the car down so that the
jack stands securely support the car. And
just add some backup,
I like to set up the jack so there's
some light pressure on that cross member.
And the last thing I like to do is give
the car a good shake and make sure that
it's stable and doesn't move. And with
the car safely lifted off the ground we
could remove the lug nuts and remove the
wheel. And another thing I like to do for
extra safety is slide that wheel
underneath the frame. That way in
worst-case scenario you have something
solid there and the car won't drop all
the way down.
Alright! So now we have access to our
brakes so now we want to remove the old
brake pads and our old rotor and in
order to do that we need to get access
to the bolt behind the caliper here. But
we want to work with the car
and make the job that much easier. So get
in the car and turn the steering wheel
so the bolts to the caliper are more
accessible. And now it's that much easier
to get to the bolts. The first thing
we're going to do is we're going to
remove the brake pads and in order to do
that we're going to go and remove this
bolt right down here which is going to
allow our caliper to pivot upward like a
clamshell. Then we could pull the pads out.
Normally these bolts use a regular
socket but in this case we have a torx
bolt, so we're using a T50 torx. And I
start off with a breaker bar every time
just so you can break these bolts loose
easily. And then once you use your
breaker bar to break the bolt loose, you
can use a regular ratchet to loosen it
up the rest of the way and it'll come
right out. And you can see the blue
loctite on the thread so we'll be sure
to add some when we screw this in later on
Now we could pry open our caliper which
might take a little force, and then
remove our old brake pads and they'll
come right out just like that.
So for this brake caliper we just had to
remove that one bolt right down here, but
on other brake calipers there's also
another bolt right up here that you
could remove to take this whole
clamshell off. In this case all you have
to do is lift this up like that and the
caliper slides right out. And with the
caliper removed you don't want the
caliper to just dangle by the brake line
because that's how you damage your brake
line. So, instead, you want to try to find
a place to put your caliper where it's out
of the way and there's no pressure on
the brake line. If you don't have a nice
place to leave the brake caliper like that
you could also use a bungee cord or rope
or something to hang it up. All right!
Next, we want to remove this caliper
bracket so we could pull the old brake
rotor off, and to remove the caliper
bracket we want to go behind the knuckle
and you can see there's a bolt right up
here and a bolt right down here holding
this bracket in, that we need to remove,
In this case it's a 15mm bolt,
and again start off with your breaker
bar so you can easily break these loose.
These are going to be the tightest bolts,
so they're going to be the toughest to
break loose and again after we're done
cracking the bolts loose with our
breaker bar, we could loosen them the
rest of the way with are shorter ratchet.
And that's one and that will remove the
bottom with no bolts holding it in, the
caliper bracket slides right out.
Now we're going to remove the brake
rotor and you want to make sure that the
brake rotor isn't being held in by a
screw. In this case there's nothing
holding it in,
so you could try wiggling it off but
just as i figured it's rusted to the hub.
So to remove the rotor we're going to be
using a large hammer and you want to use
a pretty good amount of
force and hit the outside edge of the
rotor spinning the rotor as you go, until
it breaks loose.
Just like that. And if you take a look at the
back of the rotor you could see it's all
rusty in here, which just rust wields
itself right to the hub. Now with our old
rotor off we want this surface right
here to be smooth and relatively
rust-free. Doesn't have to be perfect but
we want a good flat surface, so grab your
metal wire brush or sandpaper and start
removing the rust from the hub surface.
It's also a good idea to use eye
protection and a dust mask while you're
doing this. You want to have a smooth
surface for your new brake rotor, so come
out flush against the hub. And after we
sand the whole surface we want to grab a
bucket, grab our brake cleaner and spray
it down. And since we're cleaning things
up, now's a good time to clean up our
caliper bracket. Awesome! With everything
sanded down we could add our new brakes.
But you guys know how I like to go over
the top with my cars, so I cleaned up the
suspension a little bit, so i just
removed all the grease,
i sanded it down, used a little bit of
primer and then used black spray paint to
get this looking real nice, and you guys
definitely don't have to spray paint
your whole suspension, but you want to
just make sure that your hub surface is
completely smooth, so that we could
install our new brake rotor. And before
you go and install your brake rotor, one
thing that they do with brake rotors is
they put this oily film on here so that
the brake rotors won't rust when they're
all packaged inside the box. So what you
do is you get a little bit of brake
clean and just spray down the entire
surface of the rotor and then wipe it
down with a paper towel. And you could
see all the oils that are getting
removed from that rotor surface. And
don't forget to do the other side as
well! Wipe it clean and again look at all
the oils removed. Good, now we can install
our rotor and you'll see that the rotor
tends to want to fall off, so a little
trick to hold it in place is to use a
lug nut and just thread it all the way
on, so it prevents the rotor from moving
while you install the rest of the brakes.
With the rotor securely in place, now we
can install our caliper bracket which is
held in with these two bolts, and we want
to add some medium strength thread locker
to prevent vibrations from loosening up
the bolts as we drive. Now we could take
a bolt and align our caliper bracket and
tighten the bolt by hand and we'll do
the same thing with the second bolt and
hand tighten that all the way down.
Good! Now grab your
torque wrench and on this car the
caliper bracket bolts get torqued down
to 90 pound feet. That's one and that's
the other. With our caliper bracket in
place, now we want to grab our caliper
and we need to compress this piston all
the way back into the caliper, so our new
thick brake pads will fit in here. And a
quick tip is before you go and compress
this piston into the caliper, we want to
remove all the acidic brake dust and all
the dirt and grime here, because we don't
want that stuff to find its way into the
caliper and contaminate the brake fluid
and damage the seals. Now you don't want
to spray the brake clean directly onto
here because there's a rubber seal right
back here and brake clean will dry out
that seal. So instead just spray it onto a
towel and clean off that piston. and that
simple trick will prolong the life of
your caliper. Now we could compress the
piston and to compress the piston just
get one of the old brake pads, put it up
against the piston and then get your
brake piston compressor tool, slide it in
there and start turning it. And you can
watch the brake piston compress right
back into the caliper. This should feel
nice and smooth. It shouldn't be
difficult to do and once it starts
getting difficult to turn, that means you
bottomed out here so loosen it up and
remove the tool and break pad. now there
are some pistons that are solid and have
a cross in them, and these pistons need
to be turned to compress. And they make
an inexpensive tool for that. This is
most common on the rear brakes but i
just wanted to show you in case you
encounter this. So with our piston
compressed, now's a good time to add our
new brake hardware. For this caliper we
only have one break clip that goes right
there, so i'm just going to use a
screwdriver and pop this out. And the old
one was oriented like that, so we'll
install our new one in the exact same
orientation. Good! With the piston
compressed, our break clip in, and our
caliper bracket on, we're ready to
install our brake pads. But before we do
that, we need to lubricate the brake
system. And to do that we're going to be
using a copper-based anti-sieze. Not the
typical silver graphite based anti-sieze. So the
first area of lubrication is right here
at the brake caliper bracket. Right where
the brake padding guide meets up here
and down here we want to add some
anti-seize. So be careful, just add a
little bit right down here and right up
here. And it makes sense to have some
type of lubrication here so you don't
have metal-to-metal contact with no lubricant.
Because this does have to slide back and
forth as the brakes get used. And then on
the other side of the caliper you have the
identical spots where the brake pad sit
in that you also want to lubricate. It's
also important to lubricate the brake
hardware. So just get a little copper
anti-sieze and lubricate the top of the brake
hardware. And the last place to add a
thin layer of anti-seize is on the back
of the brake pad which helps prevent
squeaks. And that's everything you need
to lubricate. And right now your hands
are gonna be covered in anti-sieze so it's
important that you clean them off or get
new gloves, because you don't want to get
the anti-seize on the brake pad surface
or the rotor, which could cause your
brakes to fail.
Alright! So let's install our brake pads
and if you guys are wondering what these
stripes were on the brake pads, that's
actually burnishing compound to help
break the brake pads in. And it's really
this easy, the brake pads just slide
right in just like that. They won't fit
in properly if you put them in backwards
and that's what I mean before, when I was
saying it's really easy to install
brakes, it's really hard to mess this up.
Now the caliper slides on something
called caliper guide pins which is this
right here. You want this to be smooth,
rust-free and lubricated really well so
the caliper can move freely. So clean it
up with some brake clean. And now you're
gonna want to add some silicone paste
right to that caliper guide pin. Don't
use anti-sieze and don't use a petroleum
based lubricant, because those products
will degrade the rubber on the caliper.
Silicone is the proper lubricant to use
for the guide pins. And this is how one
set up for the guide pins looks. In other
cars, like this Honda, the guide pins are
built into the caliper which are just
like bolts that you slide out, clean off
lubricate, and then push back in. You want
to make sure that the guide pins move
freely. In this case the caliper slides
over the guide pin and then you close
the caliper over the brake pads like so.
And now we're going to install our bolt,
but if you remember we saw some blue
loctite on the end here, so i'm going to
add a little bit of blue loctite on the
end, and tighten our bolt up. Now this
bolt gets torque down to 25 pound feet
of torque. Then we can turn the steering
wheel straight so we can more easily put
the wheel back on, and don't forget to
remove that ;ug nut you had on there
to hold the rotor in place. Then you can
put the wheels on your car and hand
tighten all your lug nuts. And we are
almost done! Now go do your brakes on the
other side and then after you finish the
other side, remove the jack stands
and slowly lower the car so the tires
are just touching the ground, so they
won't spin when you go to torque them. Now
you want to torque down your lug nuts in a
star pattern so the wheel tightens evenly.
Most wheels are torqued between 80 and
100 pound feet and in this case I'm
torquing them to a 100. With the
wheels torqued, let the full weight of the
car on the wheels and remove the jack.
And that's all there is to replacing
your brake pads and rotors. There's one
more thing we need to do inside the car
and that's start up the car, then you want
to pump the brakes a few times.
Don't worry, you're not gonna have any
brake pressure the first few pumps but
then the pressure buildup and the pedal
should feel hard. And that's all there is to it.
So now after watching this, you'll be
able to change your own brakes, so go out
there and give it a try. And if you do
change your brakes after watching this
video, let me know in the comments below.
As always, hopefully the video was
helpful and if you're not a subscriber
consider subscribing for more how-to
videos just like this, and finally the
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How to Replace Brake Pads and Rotors (COMPLETE Guide)

411 Folder Collection
Kevinyu Lowrider published on January 14, 2019
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