Completing a Brake Job
Installing new rotors and brake pads are the key components of a brake job. To find out if there are issues with the brake system, check out Part 1 of the Brake Inspection series to check the brake fluid; Part 2 to determine if new brake pads are needed; and Part 3 to determine if your rotors need replacing. Once you’ve determined that your vehicle needs a complete brake job, check out this article to learn steps.
Step 1 – Select the Right Parts
Step 2 – Prepare Vehicle
If you’ve been following along with the Brake Inspection series, the tire, brake caliper, brake pads and brake rotor have all been removed from the vehicle so you’re all set to install the new rotor. However, if you’re just starting the repair, you’ll need to raise the vehicle. If you don’t have access to a lift, be sure to use secure points for the jack and jack stands. Then you’ll need to remove the tire, brake caliper, brake pads and rotor.
Step 3 – Wash Rotor
As Wagner E-Shield rotors come in a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor (VCI) bag, they only need to be washed with soap and water before installation. During the manufacturing process, tiny bits of metal become lodged in the surface of the rotor, and washing the rotor with a brush and soap and water gets these bits of metal out.
Don’t use brake cleaner to prepare the rotors. Brake cleaner doesn’t remove the metal which causes these bits to end up in the brake pad, which can lead to noise issues. Washing the rotor also gets rid of the light coat of oil that is put on the rotor to inhibit rusting before it is installed.
Step 4 – Clean Hub
Before installing the rotor, make sure the hub is free of rust. Rust on the hub can lead to runout which can give the driver brake pulsation. You can clean the hub surface using a brush attachment on your air tool.
Step 5 – Install Rotor
To install the new rotor, slide it over the wheel studs.
Step 6 – Install New Caliper Hardware
Install any new caliper hardware that comes with the new brake pads that are going to be installed. To avoid rust buildup, apply brake lubricant on the caliper, under where the clip hardware sits and on top of the hardware where the brake pad will rest.
Step 7 – Install New Brake Pads
Before putting the brake pads on, be sure to install the wear indicator on the inside brake pad by clipping it on. Now, it’s time to install both the inside and outside brake pads in the brake caliper bracket.
Step 8 – Install Caliper Assembly
Put the caliper bracket assembly on the vehicle by sliding it over the top of the rotor. Then start installing the bolts – one at the top and one at the bottom. Use a ratchet to tighten them down and torque to manufacturer recommended specifications with a torque wrench.
Step 9 – Push Brake Pads In
Push the brake pads all the way in against the rotor. Push the caliper piston in the housing before putting the caliper back on over the brake pad. Use a brake pad pressing tool to push the caliper piston back into the housing. Push until it bottoms out or stops.
Step 10 – Put Caliper Back On
Position the caliper over top of the brake pads and slide it down. Get the caliper bracket bolts started and torque to manufacturer specifications.
Step 11 – Replace Tire
Put the tire back on.
Step 12 – Break-In Procedure
To wrap up the brake job, you’ll want to perform a burnishing or break-in procedure. The burnish procedure fills in the peaks and valleys of the rotor surface with friction material transferred from the brake pads to give a solid surface. Use a 30-30-30 procedure – 30mph change of speed, 30 stops, and 30 seconds in between each stop.
The content contained in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of seeking professional advice from a certified technician or mechanic. We encourage you to consult with a certified technician or mechanic if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered herein. Under no circumstances will we be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any content.
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