With your used Nissan, brake repair is one way to save quite a bit of money over having a shop perform the work. Most of the tools required can be borrowed (with a deposit) from your local retail parts chain, such as Autozone.
A floor jack and jack stands
Something to block the wheels from rolling when one end is in the air.
Lug wrench or star bar. The star bar looks like a big cross and is much easier to use than what came with the car.
A set of sockets or wrenches in metric sizes.
A roll of emory cloth. This is a type of sandpaper with a cloth backing for flexibility.
Something to collapse the caliper piston with. There are two types of tools specially made for this. Available for less than $10 usually.
Something to remove the retaining/return springs on the shoes and center stud. Again, a special tool is made and available for less than $10. There is also a rear brake tool kit available for less than $10 at some stores.
A wire brush to remove excess rust from the pad contact points on the caliper is recommended, but not required.
For drum brake adjustment, either a flat blade screwdriver or a brake adjustment tool.
Disc Brake Notes
When replacing pads on disc brakes, never allow the caliper to hang from the hose. Always suspend it from the strut coil with a wire or a hanger, leaving slack in the hose.
When replacing disc pads, use the emory cloth to remove sharp edges from the pads to keep them from singing or chattering.
Always have rotors measured to ensure they are within specifications. If too thin, replace.
If the rotors have either a mirror finish or are blued, they need either replacement or resurfacing. See above.
Some Nissans with ABS rear disc brakes have a special type of caliper. Check your owner’s manual or contact the dealer. This type of caliper uses a different kind of tool to retract the piston.
Always replace all pad shims and clips that were removed during disassembly exactly as they came out.
Always use the special anti-squeak adhesive that comes with new pads. Apply ONLY to the metal backing plate and both sides of any shims.
Drum Brake Notes
When replacing brake shoes, brake drums must always be resurfaced in order to ensure optimal roundness, as long as the drums are within specifications. If out of specification, they must be replaced. Drum failure can result if not.
Tear down one side at a time in case you need a reference point.
Carefully note alignment of brake adjuster and adjuster spring. Replacing these incorrectly can cause you to lose pedal pressure due to reverse adjustment action.
Always place the shoe with the longer friction material area to the rear.
Always lubricate backing plate contact points with white lithium grease.
As long as you carefully read and attend to the points raised in this guide, you will be able to perform successful disc or drum brake repair on your Nissan. One last point to keep in mind: Always wear safety glasses while working on cars.