How to Change the Front Brake Pads on a 1999 Dodge Caravan

I always start an automated maintenance job by getting online and researching where I can get the best deal for the parts that I need and after I find the best price I either write down the part numbers or print them out so I can take them to the parts store to make sure I do not have to make a second trip. Now I like like everyone else and I usually end up making at least one more trip anyway. Why? I do not know just a guy thing I guess.

I like to get out the tools that I'm going to need before I start if I know what they will be. In this case all I needed was a long regular screw driver, a 10 mm socket and ratchet, c-clamp, floor jack, jack stand and the lug wrench.

The first thing I did was take the hub caps off and break loose the lug nuts before I get the wheel off the ground. Next was to find a good solid place under the car to place the jack for lifting the van up. Once I had the van up high enough so the tire was off the ground about a half inch or so I placed a jack stand somewhere close to the jack in another solid place on the frame then I lower the jack down just to where the van is sitting on the jack stand. I leave the jack in place as an added safety measure. Next was to remove the lug nuts and the tire and set them off to the side. On this van there are two 10 mm bolts holding the break caliper in place. If this is the first time you have had the caliper off go ahead and loosen the bolts and pull them all the way out. Next would be to use the big screw driver and pry the caliper off the rotor. It may take a bit of coaxing but it will come off. Then I pull the old pads off the caliper. Using the c-clamp, slowly compress the cylinder on the caliper until it is all the way in. Install the new brake pads into the caliper. Then slide the whole unit over the rotor.

Before you put the bolts back in the caliper, make sure you put some grease on the shank of the bolt to insure that the bolt and metal sleeve will not rust or corrode together and this will also help the next time you have to take it apart , you will not have to take the bolts all the way out. The grease will hold the bolts right in the caliper so you do not misplace them (not that I have ever misplaced anything. Once you have the bolts tight then replace the tire and install the lug nuts. I bump the tire iron with my hand to get them snug before I lower the van down on the ground. Once all the weight is back on the tire, I tighten them up doing each other one around the pattern until all are tight. Some people use a torque wrench but I tend to want them a little tighter and I've done quite a few tires in my day to know how tight they should be. Once the lug nuts are tight, install the hub cap and then move over to the other side and repeat everything over again. I can usually do the front brakes in about an hour or less.

Good luck with your brake job and we will talk soon.

Source by Shawn Snyder