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Jeep Front Brake Overhaul

Author: ThePhantum

***DISCLAIMER - Please note that this writeup reflects my experiences only and anyone using it for reference or as a guide, etc. does so at their own risk. You may link to this writeup, but you must obtain my permission to re-post it elsewhere.***
Synopsis
This writeup will cover a front brake overhaul, including: New brake pads, new rotors, remanufactured calipers and bleeding the brakes. Although this work was performed on a 97 Cherokee, the basics of a brake job are fairly common to most front disc vehicles.

Parts Acquired
All parts were purchased from AutoZone:
Duralast Gold brake pads - $31 for all 4 pads
2 - New Duralast Rotors - $40 per
2 - Remanufactured Calipers - $16 (+$20 core charge) per
Bottle of synthetic brake fluid - $5
Anti brake squeal - $2.50

Tools Used
Hydraulic floor jack
Stand jacks
Metric and Standard size sockets, box wrenches, etc.
6" C-clamp
Oil catch pans
Vacuum pump/Brake bleeder

Disassembly
Start by jacking up the front end of the Jeep, support it with stand jacks and remove the wheels. At this point, you'll be left with this:
Support the Jeep and remove the front tire

The first thing that needs to be done is an inspection. The rubber lines should be firm yet pliable and should have no obvious bulges, cracks, or leaks. Also check the hard lines as well as the junction of brake lines. Check for grooves in the rotor surfaces or any other evidence of uneven wear.

Next you'll need to compress the piston back into the caliper so after the new pads are installed, it will fit back over the rotor. While it can be done later (they even make a special tool for it), I do it first because helps the caliper come off easier plus it just gets it out of the way. Besides, why buy a special "caliper-piston-compressor" tool when 6" C-clamp does the job just as well...plus it has so many other uses.
Use a C-clamp to push the piston into the caliper

Just make sure that it doesn't crush anything (like the bleeder screw) and slowly close the clamp until the piston is all the way in the caliper. It should move smoothly and you'll end up with a good gap between the pads and the rotor when you're done Basically, from this:
Push the piston into the caliper

To this:
Push the piston into the caliper

Now you're ready to remove the caliper. The picture below shows the caliper from back. The 2 circles indicate the bolts that need to be removed. In some cases these can be allen heads or even torx heads.
Remove the bolts to release the caliper

Once the bolts are removed, tilt the top of the caliper away from the rotor to take it off. Be careful not to twist, yank or kink the attached brakeline.

Tilt the top of the caliper away from the rotor

Once the caliper is out of the way, the rotor should just slip right off the lugs...at least most of the time they slip right off. Depending on how long it's been on there, the type of conditions you drive under as well as the climate of where you live, It might have "grown attached" to the hub bearing and take a little muscle or other persuasion to remove it.
Pull the rotor off the wheel lugs

At this point (unless you're replacing them), you should take the rotors to a machine shop to have them turned. Basically, they put them on a lathe and machine the contact surfaces so that they are smooth and even. Not doing this can result in uneven braking, vibrations when the brakes are applied, etc. They will also measure the rotors to determine if they can be safely turned. If they are under the minimum thickness, have excessive lateral runout, etc....you'll need to buy new ones.

Now it's time to remove the brake pads from the calipers. Here's the starting point.
Remove the brake pads from the calipers

To remove the outboard pad pull up and slide the clips off of the caliper. Note the location lugs on the pad as well as on the caliper. The new outboard pads will have these as well to help ensure that the pad is in the correct position in the caliper:
Slide the clips off the caliper to remove the outboard pads

The inboard pad is held on the inside of the piston with clips. To remove it just pull away from the piston (towards the outboard side):
The inboard brake pad is held on the inside of the piston with clips

Now that I've disassembled the breaks, I will install new calipers and brake pads before bleeding the brake system.

***DISCLAIMER - Please note that this writeup reflects my experiences only and anyone using it for reference or as a guide, etc. does so at their own risk. You may link to this writeup, but you must obtain my permission to re-post it elsewhere.***

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