Over the life of a Dodge, brake repair is something that will be periodically needed. Front disc brakes are not a difficult project. Rear drum brakes are more difficult and at times best left for a qualified mechanic.
After positioning the vehicle on a level, firm surface, use wheel blocks to secure the rear wheels from movement. Jack up the car and set it on jack stands. Next, loosen and remove the lug nuts and then remove the wheels.
Loosen and remove the caliper mounting bolts. With a wrench and steady pressure, these bolts should come loose. Inspect the bolt threads for any damage and replace if needed.
After the bolts are removed, take the caliper assembly off the rotor and secure with a plastic tie or safety wire to protect the brake line from damage. Now loosen the brake pads and secondary caliper mounting bolts.
As you remove the brake pads, look for anti-rattle hardware. Retain this hardware and reinstall with the new pads. After the secondary mountings are removed, the caliper mount will be loose enough for removal. Clean and lubricate the caliper slides and brake pad mounts.
Once the caliper mount is removed, remove the brake rotor. If stuck, tap with a hammer or mallet. Penetrating oil can also help. Clean and inspect the hub and wheel studs and replace if needed. Also inspect the ABS sensor.
The caliper piston needs to be depressed to install the new brake pads. Remove the brake master cylinder cover and place a rag over the top to absorb any fluid that might overflow. With the use of a C-clamp, gently tighten to fully retract the piston into the cylinder. Placing an old brake pad over the piston head will protect the piston surface.
Replace the new or resurfaced rotor. If new, remove any film coating the surface with brake cleaner. Next, reattach the front brake caliper mount and the new pads. Pads must be held firm and not loose.
Place the front brake caliper into position and attach the mounting bolts. Inspect to make sure that the caliper moves freely and does not bind. It there is any binding, reinsert installation and bolts are tightened properly.
After replacing the cap on the master cylinder, bleed the break lines per manufacturer’s model instructions to remove any air in the brake lines. Any air in the hydraulic lines can cause problems when braking.
Mount the wheels and tighten lug nuts to tightness. Raise car, remove jack stands and lower vehicle. Start engine and pump the brake pedal a few times to build pressure in the braking system. Test drive at slow speed at first to test the brakes. Then increase to moderate speeds.