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Old 08-08-2011, 11:34 PM
double0ram double0ram is offline
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Default How to change disk brakes

ok so the past week I attempted to do my brakes on my second gen, and failed due to some stubborn bolts. As of today the project has been completed and this is a complete write up/how to with pictures. If anything isnt completly explained or you have any questions please feel free to ask or pm me.

To start off, this is going to cover a complete rebuild of the disk brakes

Parts you will need:
New Rotors
Calipers (although you can use your existing ones)
Pads (your type you can choose)
2 quarts of DOT 3 brake fluid (if you plan on flushing)
1-2 foot section of clear tubing (most auto stores have a decent selection of sizes and are willing to help you select the right size)
Break cleaner
Penetration Fluid

Tools needed will include:
A good friend (i used my wife)
Impact gun (although not needed it may come in handy with some stuck bolts)
Breaker Bar (if your not using the impact)
Pry Bar
13 mm socket
13/16ths socket
1/2 socket
3/16ths socket
medium sized flathead screw dirver

I figure your brakes are the last line between yourself and the vehicle in front of you, so theres really no excuse for being chinsy on the quality of the parts you choose, but thats just me. I got premium parts. My rotors have more cooling fins inside to help with stability and strength. i stayed away from drilled and or slotted as i use my truck hard and i dont wanna crack anything. I bought everything at Napa that i needed, and a trip to a junk yard for a bolt...Ill explain that bit later.

First start putting the truck up on jack stands and or a lift. I lifted mine justs enough off the ground so taking my 35s off would be a bit easier. hopefully yours wont look as bad as this



next bust out your 13 mm socket and on the backside of the caliper there are two bolts (yes 13mm you guessed it) and remove them. in this pic its the shiny bolt with a rubber boot under it. its a pic of my new caliper... i forgot to snag one of the old. to remove the caliper, use a pry bar and stick it into one of the top holes and apply a bit of pressure... they come out easy with it. set it aside on your suspension or use a cloths hanger and hang it off it. NEVER let the caliper hang on the brake line.



at this point if your just replacing your pads, they will be hanging out on the caliper bracket, and with a flat head you can remove the old pads and install new ones.
Moving on...
To take off the caliper mounting bracket youll need a 13/16ths. These bolts have stumped me hard in the past and i almost rounded them off with a socket and a breaker bar. if possible apply penetration fluid the night before that way it can soak in. after my struggles, i cheated and busted out the impact gun an spin these off with minimal effort. highly recommended at this point because stripping the heads of these greatly hinders the ablility to remove the rotors. the red arrows show the caliper mounting bracket bolts. once removed the bracket will fall off easily. you may have to turn the wheel to the side to get to the top bolt with an impact.



ok so the caliper and the bracket are off. if you havent noticed yet, your rotor is loose and will slide off with no issues (hopefully... nothing happens the way you plan for it) heres a side veiw



so bust open the new rotors. new rotors come with a coating on them to prevent rust and other build-up. spray it off with the brake cleaner i said youll need. just the parts that the pads sit on is nessisary so dont worry about the areas with the lugs. just so people have an idea of what can happen when you get a used truck or neglect your brakes the way i did... take a look at this picture. you shouldnt be able to see the cooling fins on the inside...



ok so slide the new rotor on the lugs and to help keep it in place, hand spin 1 lug nut on a lug... helps on the rest of the install.



from here on if your any sorts of mechanically inclined, you can reverse the above for the install. not to insult anybodys intellegence, but this is a how to and img going to continue on so its all covered.

I bought a full replacement caliper, with all hardware, mounting braket, and the pads included, so my install was simply hand screwing the 13/16ths caliper mounting bracket screws to mount the whole assembly. if your have bought in peices, then first apply the mounting bracket with the 13/16ths bolts. Then the pads, one on each side with the retaining clips, and finally the caliper using the 13mm bolts. there are actual torque specs to all of this assembly, and I dont have them memorized cause thats useless to me, but i made sure the bracket was very tight, and the caliper also was tight. i did follow the specs on torque afterward using a haines manual specific for the second gen, and if anyone wants these specs i can provide them later on on a case by case basis.

This pic shows the 13/16th sockets on the caliper mounting bracket bolts. on my assembly, this was all i needed to do to intall the whole assembly. be advised tho, there is a caliper for the left and a different caliper for the right. When buying them, make sure you get a right and a left.



At this point your brakes should look simaler to this



OK now take that old caliper and you need to remove the brake line from it and connect it to your new caliper. its a 1/2 inch nut, and this can also get tricky if your not careful. This bolt is a hollow bolt, meaning its not as strong as most, and i did end up snaping my passenger side. be careful, and ill keep saying this as all of the shops, stores, and even the local Dodge dealer didnt have this bolt on hand. New calipers do not come with one. I had to make a half an hour trip to a local junk yard and pull it off a wreck. ( poor ram). These bolts can be stuck. On it there will be a brass or copper washer, this acts as a seal, one on the top and one on the bottom of the square part of the brake line.


SNAPPED!!!!


on the old caliper, the brass/copper fitting may have seated itself into the caliper and may not come out. my new caliper came with new brass fittings, but of course no new bolt...

To seat these brass/copper fittings apply a bit of force when tightening. DO IT BY HAND. DO NOT USE THE IMPACT. with your hand you have a better feel for when its tight enough. youll know later on if they didnt seal as it will leak from there during the bleeding process. the square part is the mount for your brake line (its dirty sorry)



at this point assemble the other side of your truck exactly the same.

Leave your wheels off. Its not necessary, but it makes it easier to help notice any leaks, and very easy to bleed, although it is possible to bleed brakes with your wheels on.

to bleed your brakes first start by checking the brake fluid reservoir and make sure its topped off. NEVER LET THE RESERVIOR GET TOO LOW, as it will allow air into the system. after one wheel is complete, top it off again. youll need a second set of hands. my wife served this position. having your helper sit inside the truck, pumping the brakes until they firm up. with new calipers, they will be very squishy and will take a good many pumps to fill up. at this point be smart and check your fittings and make sure they are not leaking. if they are, its possible you forgot a brass/copper fitting, or said fitting is too loose. if no leak... then proceed.

Once again, check the reservoir, it should be half full. top it off.

Start on the passenger side. the bleeder valve is a silver nipple with a 3/16ths nut as part of it. these are also hollow so be careful. on a older caliper, penetration fluid may be needed to help loosen it. youll need a box ended wrench so you dont round this. attach that clear hose to the nipple and in a plastic bottle with 2-3 inches of brake fluid, submerge the other end of the hose. as you bleed, youll first see air, and then air/fluid followed by a solid stream of fluid.



instruct your helper to press down with a firm but not too hard push on the brake pedal. while doing so, crack the bleeder valve a quarter turn



and then close it while instructing your helper to bring the pedal back up.
like i said, at first it will be just air coming out, then air/fluid mix followed by just fluid. keep repeating this process until you have that solid stream of fluid. the solid stream means the line is bleed.

with the pass side finished, top off your reservior again. It will be low. move onto your drivers side. same process. down and up.

once its complete, fill your fluid back up, and fire up your ram. pump the pedals and you should feel your brakes nice and firm.

Go ahead and put your wheels back on, and lower the ram down.



Now at this point youll need to test out your newly assembeled brakes. start by doing this in a safe area, such as a parking lot. no more than 5-10 mph braking. this tests your handi-work. if you followed my instructions then youll be fine, as this is exactly how i did mine and mine are AWESOME.

Within the first few miles of these newer pads you may smell your brakes a bit, but that is normal as there is a initial coating on new pads that will wear off in time.

I hope this helps! If anyone has questions feel free to ask or pm me. if theres anything youd like to add to this, go for it. this is meant to help someone who wants help, and i certainly asked ALOT of people myself.


Good luck and have some fun!
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:49 PM
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An excellent write-up and how to with pics. I also do my own brakes, always have alway will
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Old 08-09-2011, 12:04 AM
double0ram double0ram is offline
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thanks. i enjoyed this alot. snapped a few bolts, smashed a knuckle er two, and cursed at just about anything around me at times, but i enjoyed it.
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:38 AM
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Looks like you wore that rotor down to the cooling fins... luckily it didnt lock up on you.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:42 AM
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Holy in-need of rotor replacement, batman!

I have never seen one that wore down...lol
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:54 AM
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Very good HOW TO. You certainly needed the new rotors and I would say you are lucky to be around to replace them. Great Job!
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:57 AM
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Nice write up, glad you got it finished! Nice looking truck also

That's by far the worst rotor I've ever seen....hope you kept it and hung it on your garage wall....
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:42 PM
double0ram double0ram is offline
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yea i knew they were bad when i got the truck but this by far is 100 percent my fault for not taking care of it sooner. im not embaressed by it as it will serve as a reminder to anyone who reads this about proper maint. on your truck. My lesson learned will also help others. thanks for the comments

btw it was only my drivers side rotor that was like that... the pass side was just fine with clean sides
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:19 PM
rustypipes12 rustypipes12 is offline
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Wow! I've got a 2009 1500trx4 with 14000 miles on it and had to change my brakes due to a warped factory rotor. It took me 3 hours to get the passenger side parts off without rounding the bolts or breaking something. I can't imagine what it would have been like@ 100,000 miles! Good call putting all new parts on, All rotors are made in China so I don't know if Napas are any better than another brand.
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:24 PM
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The rotors I picked out from Napa were made in the USA, and that was one of the reasons I got em, and cause they were thicker, with more cooling fins, less stress. There's a lot of mountain driving in my area so that was my reasoning
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