How to change front rotors and pads [Archive] - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum

: How to change front rotors and pads


bob123
01-03-2010, 06:07 PM
I am not a professionally and will not be held responsible for any problems caused by these instructions. I created this write up showing the idea on how to do a brake job on either the XK or Wk.

Warning: Semi-metallic brake pads contain asbestos so make sure to take the correct precautions to avoid inhaling brake dust.

Most of these pictures were taken when the garage door was closed (since it was in the low 20's outside) so the picture quality is fair.

Tools need for the job.
3/8" socket set
1/2" socket set
Breaker bar
Torque wrench
Brake pad spreader or c-clamp
Brake parts cleaner
bungee cords
Of course jack and jack stands

Also make sure you have plenty of shop towels and gloves since this can be a messy job. Make a note to yourself when I mean a lot.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/P1010294.jpg

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/P1010296.jpg

If you have frozen rotors like I did you will need a rubber mallet, any size hammer of your choice, and plenty of penetrating oil.

I only needed to have both front rotors resurfaced and while the rotors are off it was best to change the pads to Wagner ceramics even though the old pads had plenty of meat left.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/P1010304.jpg

To start off, first loosen the lug nuts with a breaker bar before you jack up the vehicle.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/P1010272.jpg

For me, I did not have a tall enough jack to jack up on the frame so I had to jack up on the crossmember.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/P1010273.jpg

Once the wheel is off you can begin to take off the caliper.

This is the best time to get your bungee cords ready since you do not want the caliper to dangle by the brake line.

There are 2 bolts that hold the caliper onto the caliper bracket.

The top bolt shown here (already loosened).

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/P1010278.jpg

The lower bolt shown here.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/P1010279.jpg

Once the caliper is off, start to secure the caliper using the bungee cord. I just attached the bungee cord to the upper control arm.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3014.jpg

Now if you are just replacing the pads you can skip this step since you don't have to remove the rotors when changing the pads.

Start to take off the 2 bolts that hold the caliper bracket.

These bolts will be really tight since they are supporting a lot of force when the vehicle is braking.

So, you might want to get the breaker bar and even a piece of PVC pipe for more leverage.

Once the bracket is removed. You can now start to remove the o-ring.

I used a small screwdriver and pliers.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3025.jpg

Here comes the fun part, if your rotor will not slide off the hub, you will have to use your favorite penetrating oil. I let the oil soak over night and started banging only around the lug bolts since I will be reusing the rotors.

Using a big screwdriver to pry it off the hub finally did the trick.

Once the old rotor is off you can see all the rust that held it on.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3009.jpg

bob123
01-03-2010, 06:29 PM
I heard you should not swap rotors meaning taking the driver side rotor and moving it over to the passenger side so I just labeled the rotors before handing them over to Sears.

I took my rotors to Sears to have them resurfaced which they did an excellent job and for a fair price too ($11 each).

They even took off all the rust around the lug holes of the rotor which surprised me.

You can see all dents from the hammer strikes.
http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3006.jpg

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3008.jpg

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3012.jpg

Now finally its time to put the resurfaced rotors back on the correct side.

Make sure you install the O-ring back on the hub.

Before you install the caliper bracket, now is the best time to clean the contact points where the pad will touch the bracket. I just used shop towels and sprayed a little brake cleaner.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3011.jpg

Take the caliper bracket and install it using the two bigger bolts.

I torqued the bolts to 125 ft. lbs. stated in the service manual posted by Romeo.

Once the bracket is firmly secured, use the grease and spread it onto the copper which is now clean.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3019.jpg

We can finally install the new brake pads onto the caliper bracket. Spread plenty of grease on the back side of the brake pad and not onto the braking compound.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3018.jpg

Install the pads onto the caliper bracket.

In most cases you will have to compress the two piston which are in each caliper using the brake spreader and an old pad.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3020.jpg

Just tighten the knob until both pistons are back into the caliper as far as possible.

I made sure the cap on the brake fluid reservoir was off to allow air to escape since the brake fluid is being forced back up into the reservoir.

Don't forget to put the cap back on the reservoir.

Once the pistons has been compressed, now slide the caliper onto both pads.
There might be some struggle, but just rock the caliper back and forth until it slides onto the pads.

Now take the two caliper bolts and tighten them to 32 ft. lbs.

Once the other side is completed make sure you pump the brake pedal before driving the Jeep for a test drive. Keep pumping the brake pedal slowly until it begins to feel firm.

If you have resurfaced your rotors or just replaced them, you will have to make sure the brake pads will set nicely into the rotors. In order to do this, drive around the neighborhood and do several stops from 20 mph or so. After this just be easy on the brakes to ensure the pads will set.

Finally the job is done and now we can give ourselves a thumbs up.
Note: I had a band aid on before.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/How%20to/CIMG3028.jpg

Did I ever say this can be a messy job, so make sure to wear gloves most of the time.

a49erFan
01-03-2010, 09:16 PM
Thanks for sharing, I am sure this will help many members who attempt this maintance on their own.

tripod
01-03-2010, 09:49 PM
what o-ring on the hub are you referring to? is it a seal or an actual o-ring? how easy is it to break?

bob123
01-03-2010, 10:03 PM
The o-ring is there to secure the rotor to the hub. Most cars don't have them since the wheel and the tightened lug nuts secure the rotor in place.

Both of mine stayed together and did not seem brittle at all.

In the picture I put the screwdriver right by the o-ring so that users can it easily.

robby
01-04-2010, 07:26 AM
Usually the rotor freezes to the hub at the center bore.
I imagine the o'ring is there to try to keep that area dry....obviously, doesn't work.
Whenever I have a rotor or drum removed, I sand the hub clean and sand the centerbore untill I can slide it on and off the hub freely.
I apply a coating of grease (not as messy as anti-seize and just as effective) to the hub face and centerbore.
A coating means like fingerpainting, not gobs, as the exess would be thrown about, possibly working its way to pads or shoes.
The next time service is required, the rotors slide off with no aggravation.

Just thought ya'all might find that useful.

Rob

tripod
01-06-2010, 07:06 PM
going ocd here. even if the o-ring did keep moisture out wouldnt there be condensation regardless? in theory this condensation would then be trapped amplifying the rust problem? if there was no o-ring wouldnt this allow air to cross the surfaces and dry the condensation. or in the off road world is the rust encouraged because there would be less stress on the studs/lugs.

dmoser
01-17-2010, 10:26 PM
I think the o-ring is a means to keep the rotor securely fixed flush to the hub to ease in thea assembly / disassembly process, that's it. Some cars (notably european with lug or wheel bolts instead of studs) use screws.

webjones
01-29-2010, 10:29 AM
Excellent instructions with photos and anecdotes. You can also use a c-clamp to compress the pistons if you don't have a brake spreader - be sure and use an old brake pad or something to protect the caliper and piston.

DatacomGuy
02-01-2010, 10:57 AM
Great guide, thanks

LEBO
02-01-2010, 05:42 PM
oddly my pass side did not have an o-ring and I am the original owner of the Jeep.

bruinfan90241
02-01-2010, 07:11 PM
Also, just remember that if you remove your brake reservoir top to allow the fluid back in, while you're compressing the caliper, be sure to put it back on before you go and start pumping your brakes!

bob123
02-01-2010, 09:20 PM
Also, just remember that if you remove your brake reservoir top to allow the fluid back in, while you're compressing the caliper, be sure to put it back on before you go and start pumping your brakes!

Good point, I did the same thing, but forgot to mention it in the write up.

JeepChief
02-26-2010, 04:19 PM
What kind of mileage are you putting on your vehicles before you change out your front pads?

Thanks

bob123
02-26-2010, 04:39 PM
My rotors warped before the pads were worn. I actually had around 50,000 miles and the pads still had over 50% of material left. Since I was removing the rotors, I just decided to change the pads to ceramics in hopes they will be easy on the rotors.

I guess the hardness of the pads caused the rotors to heat up faster?

Briandl
02-26-2010, 07:12 PM
I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to put any grease on the back of the Thermo Quiets, that can actually cause them to make noise instead of stopping it.

JeepChief
03-02-2010, 08:47 AM
I pulled my pads this past weekend. They have 37k on them and still look to have at least half of their life still on them, so all is good. Great thread - thanks for the help.

jeep lifer
03-22-2010, 08:21 AM
will the use of a gear puller have a adverse affect on the rotors

robby
03-22-2010, 08:54 AM
will the use of a gear puller have a adverse affect on the rotors

Very high potental of bending the rotor using a gear puller.
Apply a penetrant to the hub center and around studs.
The rotor/axle hub interface is the corrosion/frozen point.
Once penetrant has had time to work, strike the hub face (not rotor face) sharply between each wheel stud using a steel (not dead blow) hammer.
You are trying to initiate a rotor, spring off hub effect using the shock of a hammer blow.
Specific to rear brake rotor:
If you find the rotor springs loose but won't come off, loosen the park brake cables as the park brake shoes may be unable to retract enouph due to a rust grove in the mini-drum area.

Good luck,
Rob

Psychotic702
04-20-2011, 05:58 PM
Can you tell me if this is the same for the rear rotors as well ? I have the 2007 commander 4x4 sport . Ive changed rotors and pads before on numerous other vehicles , but have never attempted on this jeep . Thanks in advance for any advice you can share .

ScaredNoobGoat
04-20-2011, 07:21 PM
Thank you so much, now I know what my next first DIY project will be. Pretty cool considering I changed my oil for the first time last August. One question for you guys, how do you know if you need to replace your rotors or just get them resurfaced?

ScaredNoobGoat
04-20-2011, 07:24 PM
One more thing I noticed while braking on a steep decline, my jeep shuddered a little bit. From this can I deduce which side the brakes are most worn?

firedude
05-08-2011, 02:01 PM
Just a question, but shouldn't the fluid be drained and new brake fluid put in? I figuered the heat would break it down and always thought that should be replaced too? Haven't done brakes in many many years, so I'm not sure if this is still required or not.

robby
05-08-2011, 08:58 PM
Ideally, brake fluid should be flushed (never drained) every two years.
Brake fluid is hydroscopic, it absorbs moisture from the air.
As it absorbs moisture, its boiling point gets lower and lower and it becomes corrosive to the steel and aluminum parts in the brake system.

However, this two year thing is kind of 'rule of thumb'.....for example, the folks living in the desert southwest or any other low humidity area can and usually do stretch that service way out past two years.
Here in the damp midwest and other high humidity areas the two year rule is about right.

Rob

Mongo
05-09-2011, 11:00 AM
Brake fluid is hydroscopic, it absorbs moisture from the air.
As it absorbs moisture, its boiling point gets lower and lower and it becomes corrosive to the steel and aluminum parts in the brake system.

To add to what Robby said;

The brake fluid will do it by sucking the moisture out of the air right through the seals and rubber hoses in the brake system, so keeping the brakes sealed does help, but you will still get water in the brake fluid no matter what you do.

People that change the brake fluid every couple of years, by flushing it with bleeding them until fresh fluid comes out, do often avoid expensive brake repairs later.

I've noticed the fluid often gets dark as it gets older and absorbs more moisture. NOT necessarily the best way to judge the condition of the fluid, but if you have "BLACK" brake fluid and its been more than 2 years, I would change it.

Use the recommended DOT fluid, DOT 4 has higher "DRY" boiling points, BUT DOT 3 absorbs moisture much slower than DOT 4. So if DOT 3 is required, you're better off using DOT 3 because it will last longer and absorb moisture slower. If DOT 4 is required, you have to use it, make sure to change it more often than DOT 3, because it doesn't last as long as DOT 3 and absorbs moisture faster.

I use CASTROL GT/LMA, it a different kind of formulation that is easier on brake seals, it exceeds DOT 4 boiling points, but absorbs moisture even slower than DOT 3. Best of all worlds, except it hard to find in most areas and costs a little more.


Can you tell me if this is the same for the rear rotors as well ? I have the 2007 commander 4x4 sport . Ive changed rotors and pads before on numerous other vehicles , but have never attempted on this jeep . Thanks in advance for any advice you can share .

Sorry, they are different. I haven't done a Commanders Rear Brakes, but done vehicles with very similiar brakes. Basically the same, follow the guide, you should be able to figure it out and adjust to the differences. The lighter duty rear calipers, have the pads clip or snap into the caliper with springs installed on the pads. So there is NOT big bracket for the pads to remove, they come off with the caliper, you just have to fiddle around with the caliper to unsnap the springs holding the pads on it.

The e-brake on the Commander is a "Drum-in-Hat" brake in the rear disks. This means there is a little tiny drum brake inside the "Hat" portion of the rear discs. When you go to pull the rotor, it can be like pulling a drum off a drum brake, the shoes can get hung up on a ridge that can form in the inner cylinder in the drum portion. 1st make sure the e-brake is off before try to pull it, 2nd if it shoes keep hanging up, you have to use the shoe adjusters to back off the shoes in those tiny drum brakes, to get them inside of the diameter for the ridge in the drum.


I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to put any grease on the back of the Thermo Quiets, that can actually cause them to make noise instead of stopping it.

I was going to post the same thing, I used the Wagner Thermoquites on my Mini-Van, when I got stuck on a road trip with worn out pads, had to rush the job, using my Father's meager tools in his garage. I did the job just like the O.P's instructions, after I finished, did I find the instruction included in the box that said the "Thermoquite" pads have a special noise and heat dissipating shim formed into the pad baking, NOT to use any grease or coatings. I had to slap my head for double hypocracy, NOT only did I miss worn out pads before a road trip, I installed pads without reading instructions. I put 10k miles on those pads without problems or noise, even though I used the same grease as the O.P. and put it on the back of the pads. So its NOT likely to hurt to do this, but the instructions do say NOT to do so, the grease would only hurt the performance of the material they build into the back of the pads.

I think the o-ring is a means to keep the rotor securely fixed flush to the hub to ease in thea assembly / disassembly process, that's it. Some cars (notably european with lug or wheel bolts instead of studs) use screws.
Actually its there for assembly on the Assembly Line, if you look up the FSM procedures for changing pads/rotors, it will tell you to go ahead and throw away the O-Ring. Other cars have used a little push on star washer on one of the lugs to do the same thing.

Nothing wrong with re-using it to do the same job while you change pads and rotors, personally I just finger tighten a lug nut down on one of the studs to hold the rotor on tight while doing the rest of the job.

ROTORS SEIZING TO THE HUB: I have used a little anti-seize on the surfaces between the hub/rotor/wheel to prevent them seizing from heat and different metal corrosion. Most of the brake manufaturers and vehicle manufacturers recomend against this, BECAUSE, the run out specs on the newer brakes is less than a human hair, so using anti-seize that could trap dirt and hair before re-assembly could cause you to exceed the run-out spec. What I do, is rub a little anti-size into the surface then wipe it off, buff it off the surface even, just leaving a stain of anti-seize behind. There is NOT enough to trap dirt or hair and you would see it if was there before re-assembly, but it is enough to keep the parts from seizing together for the next time you do the job.

USE THE RIGHT LUBE: Finally, one last thing to keep in mind, you do need to lube the contact points on the brakes, and there are several kinds of lube out there to choose from. Make sure the lube is compatible, the high temp silicon lubes will work great on the metal to metal points. BUT, the brakes often have rubber bushings and boots on the pins that the calipers slide on. I learned this the hard way, using Silicone lube on the rubber bushings and boots on those slider pins, they are NOT compatible, and it caused the rubber to swell and jam up the calipers. Make sure to use compatible lube on any of the rubber parts, the silicone lube I used said nothing about compatiblity on the label, so personally, I would NOT trust any silicone lube on rubber, just get a hi-temp petroleum lube for the ruber parts.

lekmedm
08-31-2011, 08:10 PM
Thanks for this great post. I just put on a fresh set last week. It was a breeze! I think those rubber o-rings are there to hold the disc up against the hub. They seem to do a decent job of it.

nserafini
09-04-2011, 03:03 PM
Just wanted to add a plus one on this post.

A dealer in North Jeresy quoted me $440 ( $220 per axel ) to replace the pads and I assume turn the rotors. Depending on the miles and the condition of the rotors, you may not need that ( like my case ). It cost me $100 in pads at auto zone and maybe 20 minutes a wheel to jack / remove wheel, remove / replace pads, clean wheel and mount it up.

lekmedm
09-04-2011, 08:15 PM
I paid $188 for OEM style front rotors and pads at NAPA.


BTW, NAPA has a 7% discount for AAA members, at least in my area. It's worth asking if you're already a member.

06_OD_BLK
05-14-2012, 06:08 PM
This guide was perfect as far as I'm concerned. I had the lucky surprise of needing to replace the passenger axle seal as well!!!

2006blackcommanderloaded
05-14-2012, 07:44 PM
Great guide. Thank you!

bob123
12-15-2012, 02:25 AM
Here comes Round 2:

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/Commander%20pictures/P1010711_zpsba278d96.jpg

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/JeepC/Commander%20pictures/P1010714_zpsb7dba8d6.jpg

Now at 87,000 miles, the steering wheel has been shaking/vibrating at high speeds.

I blame the rotors, but instead of trouble shooting the problem, I decided to install new front rotors and pads. The local dealership was able to apply their 20% off coupon on all the parts! The total, with tax included, came to $230 which I think is a great deal for OE brake parts.

I will keep this thread some what up to date for the next few weeks posting my review on these Mopar rotors and pads.

Nezz
01-24-2013, 02:57 AM
Great post, just a quick question from somebody who doesn't know much about this stuff but is trying to learn (Just changed out my spark plugs today all on my own), while braking the car pulsates and it feels like I'm pumping the brakes but I'm not, so I'm guessing I need to get new pads or rotors. Have about 46k miles and its just the V6, would I need to get new rotors/pads for all 4 wheels or just the front? Or just the back? Thanks in advance for any help.

Creek
01-24-2013, 06:56 AM
If you can feel it in the steering wheel, I would change the front pads and take the rotors in to a local shop to be turned. Sears, Pep Boys or many local mechanics can do it. They will tell you if they are too thin to turn, but at 46k I would think they can be rersurfaced.

89eggum
01-24-2013, 04:10 PM
I just did my brake and there were cracks in the pads. it was really easy to replace the rotors. from taking every thing off and going to the parts store to get the rotors turned but they were to thin, it only took like 1.5 hours

SkyBlade
03-27-2013, 06:44 PM
Is it worth buying performance pads, like the StopTech type drilled versions? They are not too much from tirerack (~$350 shipped) and I figured since I need to put some $$ into it I might as well try for a little better stopping distance.

I don't know when the last time the brake fluid was flushed, but I suspect that is not something I can do myself, right?

SkyBlade
03-27-2013, 06:52 PM
Update, looks like the same thing is cheaper from a site sponsor: http://www.partsgeek.com

tempestv8
12-16-2013, 10:07 AM
Now at 87,000 miles, the steering wheel has been shaking/vibrating at high speeds.
I suspect you have worn tie rod ends which is inducing the wobble, and consequently causing the front rotors to warp.

jennecy
01-05-2014, 09:45 AM
When depressing the caliper piston it's a good idea to open the bleeder screw as forcing fluid back through the system can damage the butterfly valves in the ABS unit.