The brake system is the hardest working system in your Jeep Wrangler. Here is how to replace your worn brake pads, your faulty brake calipers, or your dying brake rotors.By Bassem Girgis – November 25, 2015
This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).
The Jeep Wrangler is designed to go above and beyond in order to exceed all your expectations. With rough conditions, brake components tend to wear out faster. The same goes with heavy traffic, as the friction you need to stop your car is the same reason you wear your brakes; it’s the sacrifice that has to be done to save you. The longer you wait on replacing your brake pads, the more worn your rotors will become. The brake calipers, on the other hand, are not known to need replacement, sometimes for the life of the car. However, there is always an exception and things can go wrong. The caliper’s piston sometimes gets stuck, which results in fast wear for the pads and rotors. In other words, it’s never wise to wait when it comes to brakes because each component directly affects other components. Read on to learn how you can replace your brake pads, calipers, and rotors on your Jeep Wrangler.
- Jack and jack stands
- Tire iron
- Sockets (18mm and 21mm)
- Rubber mallet
- Brake pads
- Brake rotors
- Brake caliper
- Brake fluid
Step 1 – Raise the car
Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels you will be replacing the brakes on. Jack up your car using the proper jack points and secure it with jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and remove the wheel. Jack it from the axle and as close as you can to the wheel you will be working on.
Figure 2. Raise the car and secure it on jack stands.
Step 2 – Replace brake pads
After you’ve removed the wheel, remove the caliper’s bolts using your socket from the back of the caliper. Pull the brake calipers out; if you are not replacing the brake calipers, just remove the brake pads and put the new pads in place. You will have to use your C-clamp to compress the caliper’s piston so it fits the new, thicker pads. Place the caliper back on the rotor and tighten the two rear bolts.
Figure 3. Remove caliper.
Figure 4. Compress caliper’s piston.
- Figure 5. Replace pads.
Step 3 – Replace rotor
With the caliper removed, be sure it’s not hanging from the brake line and pull the rotor out. Most likely it won’t come off, so tap it with a rubber mallet until it wiggles loose, then pull it straight out. Install the new one in place and install the caliper over it.
Figure 6. Pull the rotor straight out.
Step 4 – Replace caliper
If your brake caliper is faulty and in need of replacement, remove the brake line connected to it and quickly install it onto the new caliper. Place the brake pads into the new caliper, which should come compressed all the way, then place it onto the rotor and tighten the two bolts on the rear. If you replace the calipers, you will need to bleed the brakes because you’ve introduced air to the system.
Figure 7. Brake line to caliper.
Step 5 – Bleed the brakes
You will need to bleed the brake on the wheel you removed the brake line from. The sequence, if you want to bleed the whole system, is as follow: bleed the passenger’s rear side, driver’s rear, passenger’s front, and then finally the driver’s front side caliper. The thought behind this is to begin from the furthest point of the master cylinder and work your way towards it to eliminate any air bubbles.
Locate the caliper’s bleeder screw on the back, install a hose on it and connect the other end of the hose to a bottle. Ask a friend to pump the brake pedal a few times, then keep it pressed down. Loosen the bleeder valve and watch the fluid drain in the bottle. As soon as you stop seeing bubbles in the fluid, tighten the valve and ask the friend to release the brake pedal after. It will likely take a few passes of bleeding the caliper before you stop seeing bubbles in the brake fluid. Be sure to top off the brake fluid reservoir between each wheel. If the reservoir gets too low, air will go into the system and you will have to start all over again.