Dodge Brake Repair: A How To Guide
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.
What You Need:
- Automotive Jack
- Jack Stands
- Tire Iron
- Wrenches or sockets set
- Large C-Clamp
Step 1 – Raise the Vehicle and Remove the Front Wheels
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.
Step 2 - Remove Brake Caliper to Replace Pads
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.
Step 3 - Remove Front Brake Caliper
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.
Step 4 – Remove Brake Pads, Caliper and Rotor
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.
Step 5 - Depressing the Brake Caliper
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.
Step 6 - Installing the Brake Rotor and New Brake Pads
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.
Step 7 - Reinstall Front Brake Caliper
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.
Step 8 – Bleed Brake Lines
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.
Step 9 – Remount Wheels and Road Test Vehicle
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.