Dodge Ram 1500 Brake Components Explained

One of the worst sounds you hear is when you are coming to a stop in your truck and then you hear the sound of pure metal scraping against the rotor.  This only mean one thing.  Your Dodge Ram 1500 brake pads have worn out.  There comes a time in every car or truck’s life that when the brake pads and or rotors need to be replaced.

Usually it is a fairly simple job to replace these parts.  If you want to save hundreds of dollars for an hour’s job, and want to know how to change brake pads of your Dodge Ram 1500, please read on.

Step 1

Do park your vehicle on a flat surface and make sure the back wheel is chocked. This means you need to wedge something behind the wheel in between the back of the tire and the ground to keep it from rolling backward. Do not just depend on the emergency brake. When you jack the vehicle up, the chock will keep the truck from rolling back.  Remember to always do this just in case your emergency brake is faulty. Use a jack stand or other ways of supporting your vehicle in the air.  Do not trust just the jack to hold the heavy vehicle while you are under the car.

Step 2

Remove the front tire, exposing the brake rotors and calipers behind it.  As you remove the tire, look at the rotor and the calipers.  Carefully check the rotors for grooving or ridging. When you feel toward the back of the caliper, you will find two bolts holding it around the rotor. Usually, the caliper is held on by a 1/2-inch bolt. Remove these bolts and work the caliper assembly out. The caliper should now just fall off the rotor. The brake lines hold the brake fluid so you will want to make sure you are careful when handling the caliper.

Step 3

While holding the caliper, remove the old pads. When you buy the pads from the auto parts store, you will notice they are labeled  “Front” and  “Back.” If you remember which pad you pulled off, then it should be easy to remember which shoe goes back on.

Step 4

When you get the cylinder pushed down, place the pads on the caliper. They are slotted so it goes on a certain way. Match it up per side of caliper. When you finish putting the pads back on the caliper, inspect your brake assembly. Use your fingers and gently slide them along the front and back of the rotor. Make sure it is smooth. If you notice a lot of ridges and bumps in the rotor, then it is time to get it “turned” or replaced. In most cases, you can “turn” or regrind the rotor back to a flat surface. Be extra careful removing the rotor.

Step 5

It is simple to remove the rotor, but you will have many parts to keep track of. Remove the dust cap, pull the cotter pin, nut and the washer. There is a bearing as well. When you pull it off the spindle, you will notice a bearing in the back. You might as well replace those as they get old and burned out.   Use grease to “pack” or lubricate the bearing. Place the larger bearing in the back of the rotor and make sure it is packed with grease. The appropriate order is  seal, bearing and the race. On the inner side, it will be the small bearing, the race, the washer, the nut and the cotter pin. Put it back on the spindle and load it up with grease. Excess grease will fall out. Go ahead and put your locking nut and washer back on and when you go to tighten it down, only go half a turn after you get a little resistance. You will then place the cotter pin back through the little hole in the nut and put your dust cap back on over the spindle.

Once that is done, line up your caliper and put it back on. Tighten the bolts holding the caliper back on to the rotor and you will be able to put your wheel back on. Do these steps on the other front wheel as well.

Final Checks

It would be a good idea to go back and check the lug nuts. It is easy to forget while the tire is off the ground, and you do not want them coming off while driving.

Dodge Ram 1500 Parts are available from auto parts store and if one is not available, these items are also available online.

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