The brake calipers are the main parts that compress the brake pads to the facing of the brake rotor. The brake caliper sits on top of the brake rotor. When the brake pedal is pushed in, the brake fluid pushes the cylinder inside of the brake caliper outward. The caliper cylinder then pushes the brake pads against the facing of the rotor. This is the process for stopping the vehicle.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Small pry bar
- 1/2-inch drive ratchet
- 3/8-inch Allen-head socket
- Bungee cord
- Vice grips
- Open-end wrenches
Park the GMC Jimmy and open the bonnet. Locate the brake-fluid reservoir on the back side of the engine on the driver side. Unscrew the cap from the brake-fluid reservoir.
Loosen the lug nuts on the front driver-side and front passenger-side wheels of the Jimmy with the lug wrench.
Slide the jack under the metal cross-member that connects the two front wheels. Jack the front of the GMC Jimmy up and put the jack stands under the frame rail on the driver side and the passenger side behind each front tire.
Release the jack so that the GMC Jimmy rests securely on top of the jack stands.
Finish removing the lug nuts from both front tires. Remove both front wheels from the front of the Jimmy.
Pull the wheel off of the hub and set the wheel to the side. Locate the brake caliper that is sitting on top of the brake rotor. There are two 3/8-inch Allen-head bolts on the rear of the brake caliper. Remove the two Allen-head bolts with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and the 3/8-inch drive socket.
Slide the end of the pry bar into the opening at the top of the brake caliper. Pry the rear brake pad towards the rear of the brake caliper to compress the cylinder that is inside of the brake caliper. This will make it easier to pull the caliper off the rotor.
Locate the brake-fluid line on the rear of the brake caliper. Lock the vice grips onto the brake hose itself directly behind where the brake line connects to the brake caliper. Loosen and remove the brake line with an open-end wrench. This will keep any brake fluid from dripping out.
Slide the brake caliper off the brake rotor and set it to the side. Transfer the brake pads to the new brake caliper or, if using new brake pads, put the new brake pads inside of the new brake caliper in the same direction as the old brake pads.
Slide the new brake caliper over the top of the brake rotor. Line up the caliper mounting bolts with the holes on the caliper bracket. Screw the two 3/8-inch Allen-head bolts back into the rear of the caliper and tighten them down with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and the 3/8-inch Allen-head socket.
Screw the brake line back to the rear of the brake caliper. Tighten the brake line down tight with an open-end wrench. Unlock the vice grips from the brake line.
Slide the wheel back onto the wheel hub. Screw the lug nuts back onto the lugs. Tighten the lug nuts down with the lug wrench. Follow these same steps for replacing the brake calipers on the front passenger side also.
Jack the GMC Jimmy back up and remove the jack stands. Lower the jack so that the GMC Jimmy is sitting on the ground.
Finish tightening the lug nuts down tight with the lug wrench.
Screw the cap back onto the brake-fluid reservoir and close the bonnet.
Tips and warnings
- Always have the rotors turned or replaced if you are replacing the brake pads. When new brake pads are compressed against worn or grooved brake rotors, it can cause uneven braking and cause the vehicle to pull to one side. This can cause an accident.
- Be very careful around any vehicle that is resting on jack stands.
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