My front pads on my '05 2500 4WD CTD/HO are almost at the point of requiring
replacement. I don't have any brake problems, just time for new pads. I
have about 62k on these, and about to leave for a 9k mile trip.
Is this a straight forward, remove the tire, remove the caliper with two
bolts each, open the fluid resevoir, remove old pads, compress the
cylinders, install new pads, torque the mounting bolts (torque # ???),
remount the tire (torque # ???) recap the fluid resevoir?
I've done brakes on other vehicles, but not on a 4WD. Am I missing
Not much - but it's better to attach a hose to the bleeder screw and expel
fluid from the caliper when compressing the pistons, rather than forcing the
fluid back up and into the resevoir. This accomplishes several things - it
works the bleeder screw so it doesn't freeze up, it gets some old fluid out
of the system, it doesn't allow the resevoir to overflow and make a mess,
and most importantly, it doesn't force any contaminants back up the system,
possibly into the ABS pump. Just make sure the tube fits tightly over the
bleeder nipple, and the other end is in a contained immersed in fluid (this
way, if the piston happens to bounce back a little bit when you remove the
clamp, it won't suck in air). The slide pin bolts that mount the caliper
torque to 24ft.lbs. Your lug nuts go to 135ft.lbs., in a criss-cross
Use the old inner pad as a backing plate to compress the pistons, since
there's two of them. Bottom out the pistons, then re-tighten the bleeder
When you remove the pads, check the rotor for any scoring. I always check
the rotors for excessive run-out (need a dial indicator for this) as well.
If there's no grooves, and the run-out's within specs, the rotor's good to
go for another set of pads. If not, I just toss 'em and put on new
rotors... even on our trucks, these days there's just not much excess
material on the rotors, and more often than not, having them cut will bring
them below minimum thickness, and will cost almost as much as a new set.
Fortunately, the 3rd gen trucks (even the HD 4x4's) use a separate rotor and
hub, meaning you just have to remove the two bolts that hold the caliper
adapter to the knuckle to remove the rotor.
When you're all finished, pump up the brakes until the pedal gets firm, then
top off the fluid resevoir with fresh brake fluid.
I'll be doing the first brake job on my '03 before the end of summer... I
have to say I'm REALLY impressed with the brake system on the 3rd gen
trucks. My '95 is good for front pads every 20-25K. My '99 2500 wasn't
that much better (although once I did the rear disc conversion, it did
improve). At 45K now on my '03, the front pads are just about at the 50%
mark - the rears have at least 70% left on them. And this is a heavier
truck (by about 800lbs.) than my '95. Long-lasting, quick-stopping,
quick-change rotors, and an ABS system that really works... can't ask for
any more than that.
I prefer my MityVac hand pump. I can sit right there at the brake and see
exactly what I'm extracting, rather than set up the bottle, hope the hose
doesn't pop off, get in the truck (greasy hands and all), and pump the brake
pedal. Yes - Speedbleeders are better than the two-person method, but a
vacuum pump is easier and quicker than speedbleeders.
Ditto on the vac pump. Back in the early 80's I bought on that runs off
compressed air and it has been a very useful tool. It does great when
bleeding brakes and it easily doubles as a suction gun for sucking out the
little extra trans fluid that some dumbass (me) dumped it.
I've tried both methods and the speedbleeders are still much better IMO.
The vac style bleeder can/will suck air from around the threads unless
you put dose of grease around the union between the caliper and bleeder.
With the speedbleeder, you don't have to worry about it. I rarely step out
to endorse something but this product WORKS.
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