• How to Instructions for Truck Brake Repair

    Truck brake repair is an easy way for the general public to save money and still maintain a safe operating vehicle. As long as the steps outlined below for the 2 types of repairs are followed carefully, you will be able to complete the most common brake repairs that are completed by shops and save yourself a good deal of money.

    Tools and Supplies Needed:

    • A set of either wrenches or sockets and a ratchet
    • A jack and jack stands
    • A c-clamp, pad spreader or large channel lock style pliers
    • Wire cutters or special drum brake spring tool
    • Flat blade screwdriver or brake adjuster tool
    • Wire hanger
    • Wire brush
    • Lug wrench
    • White lithium grease

    Front Disc Brake Pad Replacement

    The following steps are required to change the pads on front disc brakes on light trucks:

    • Set parking brake firmly.
    • Jack up and use jack stands to support the vehicle.
    • Remove the wheels.
    • Using the correct size wrench or socket, remove the caliper. Use a wire or hanger to support it from the strut coil. Don’t let it hang from the hose!
    • Use a special tool or a c-clamp to collapse the caliper piston.
    • If within spec and necessary, resurface the rotors.
    • Use a wire brush to remove excess rust from the caliper.
    • Apply special brake pad adhesive to metal backing plate and install any shims, plates or springs.
    • Reinstall the rotor and slide the caliper with new pads over the rotor.
    • Reinstall and properly tighten the caliper bolts.
    • Reinstall wheels and lug nuts.
    • Lower truck and tighten wheels to specifications.
    • Start engine and hold pedal down firmly for 10 seconds to properly seat the new pads.

    Rear Brake Shoe Replacement

    The following steps are required to change the shoes on rear drum brakes:

    • Block a front wheel firmly front and back.
    • Place jack under rear housing and lift. Place jack stands under axles and lower the truck onto them.
    • Remove the wheels.
    • Pull both brake drums and take them to the parts store and have them resurfaced as you buy the new shoes. This is mandatory to obtain a proper braking action. Have the drums measured to make sure they are within specification first. Replace if out of specification.
    • Leave one side together for reference.
    • Use either a return spring tool or a pair of wire cutters to remove the large return springs going from shoes to center stud.
    • Remove retaining springs and pins.
    • Remove lower spring and adjuster. Twist adjuster to smallest size. Remember orientation of both.
    • Remove emergency brake spreader bar and spring.
    • Using wire cutters, remove emergency brake cable from rear shoe.
    • Spray backing plate with brake parts cleaner.
    • Lightly lubricate contact pads with white lithium grease.
    • Reassemble. Install emergency brake cable to rear shoe and place shoe on backing plate, pushing retaining pin through plate and shoe. Install lock spring and plate. Repeat on front shoe.
    • Use same orientation as when removed.
    • Insert emergency brake spreader and spring.
    • Install main return springs from shoes to center stud.
    • Replace drum.
    • Use a screwdriver or brake adjuster to ratchet the adjuster outwards until shoes just begin to make contact with drum.
    • Repeat on other side.
    • Readjustment may be necessary.

    As long as you carefully follow the steps listed above, you’ll be able to complete either brake repair in a matter of a couple of hours. Doing so will save you the cost of labor and the mark-up that most shops charge on parts.