Repairing 2001-2007 Dodge Caravan Brake Pads and Rotors

Student-Created Guide

Student-Created Guide

An awesome student from our education program made this guide. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

Potentially Dangerous

Potentially Dangerous

Injury may result if this procedure is not followed properly. Use caution and follow all warnings.

  • Author: aelegg
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This guide shows how easy it is for someone with little skills to easily change brake pads & rotors in a Minivan. 2 bolts, and all by hand afterwards.

Tools (continued)
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Edit Step 1 Brake Pads and Rotors  ¶ 

  • It's a good idea to leave some weight on the tire as you start loosening the lug nuts; if they're tight, the car itself is holding the tire still for you.

  • Make sure you have a jack supporting most of the weight before you attempt to remove the lug nuts. If you take them all the way off with the tire fully supporting the car you will have "issues".

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • After jacking up the car PLACE JACK STAND(S) under the car for safety, THEN take off the wheel.

  • Take a 13/16" socket and take off the bolt holding the entire caliper assembly to the car.

  • Take the 13/16" socket and remove the lower bolt holding the caliper assembly to the vehicle.

    • When reassembling the torque for these bolts is 126 ft lb.

  • Be ready when the two bolts are backed out enough, as the caliper will be free to fall. The bolts don't have to come out all the way for the caliper to be free.

  • You MUST not allow the brake line to be overstressed. Have a milk crate and wood ready to hold it up.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Don't have your work light RIGHT up against the flimsy plastic of the splash-shroud. I was back and forth from the house for tools. Came out to a burning smell. VERY funny. When THIS is the worst thing that happens in your automotive project, you're doing OK.

  • A little souvenir from the incident.

  • And a little evidence left on the car.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • This is the caliper freed from the car and supported.

  • One should take off the brake fluid resevoir cap, since later we'll be pushing old pads back, and raising the overall level.

  • The cap itself says to clean it first.

  • If the fluid has been "topped off" at any time, then one will have to pay attention to overflow during later steps. If the fluid hasn't been altered since new, then there should be no worries.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • The new pads are thicker than the old, so the piston will have to be pushed back. Leave the old pad in place for now since the piston is hollow. Use the C-clamp to gently push the piston back. Look for rubbery seals around the piston as you push back. Watch for any signs of strain.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • The old pads now come out by hand. Some jiggling may be necessary, but in my application, I didn't even have to tap them with anything. The pads sit passively in little channels, and come out towards the inside. There should be little clips remaining.

  • The new pads are thicker than the old, obviously.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The pads ride in a carrier that's free to move in and out. These two shots show fully IN, and fully OUT. We will later have to grease these slides.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • The new pads will come with little clips that help secure the pads in place. Look carefully at the clips as they come out by hand, and match the new ones (that come with the pads) accordingly.

  • The 2nd shot shows a new clip peeking out from the near side of the carrier.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • If the carrier can't move freely back and forth, uneven pad wear can result. The pads should come with a tiny tube of high temperature grease. Carefully ease back the boots from the slides, and grease both rails. There's 2 for each side of the car, so budget accordingly.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • With the caliper moved aside and supported, the rotor comes right off by hand. In my case, it was not rusted solid in any way.

  • A peek at the old rotor alongside for no reason.

  • Make sure to use a good quality brake cleaner on the new rotors and do not touch it with your bare hands after cleaning.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • The red/pink goo is Anti-Squeal, which when put on the back of the pad, can later prevent high pitch squealing. It takes a while to dry, so one might put a light coating on the pads before beginning....

  • The pad goes into the carrier, inside the channels defined by the clips, and up against the retracted piston. One can see here the tabbed-end of the pad, in the carrier's channel, and the clip peeking out, keeping order....

  • The business end of the new pad.

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • The partner-pad also slips in fairly easily. It would angle around a bit trying to get it in right, but not enough to have to pick up a tool to tap it in.

  • It's remarkable the ferocious heat and energy going through brakes, and it's all in there by hand.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • With the two 13/16" bolts back in, it's DONE!

  • You might choose a smidge of anti-seize on the 13/16" bolts, so that they'll come off next time.

  • The other side of the car is done the same way of course.

  • DON'T FORGET TO CLOSE UP YOUR BRAKE FLUID RESEVOIR!

  • After the car is safely lowered and you start it up, the brake pedal will go the floor several times as the system pressurizes. You'll hear a noticeable clicking from the pedal. This is the "Apply brake to shift" mechanism. It will settle down as the brake pedal firms up. It took about 5 or 6 slow/gentle applications.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the 2001-2007 Dodge Caravan device page.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

Do not push fluid back into the master cylinder! When you start pushing the piston inti the caliper open the bleeder valve to drain the fluid. If you force fluid back through the system you can screw up your ABS.

carl920, · Reply

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