Article title: Blackbeauty's Installation Of Frozen Rotors & Hawk Brake Pads
Date added: Nov 28 2008, 07:17 PM
Article starter: tc3driver
Date added: Nov 28 2008, 07:17 PM
Article starter: tc3driver
The following pictures will show how to remove and install new brake rotors and brake pads.
This installation specifically uses the Frozen Rotors slooted rotors and Hawk LTS brake pads,
but the procedure is the same for any brand of pads/rotors and the same for 4x4 & 4x2 trucks.
One more tip, you should work on one side at a time, keeping one completely assembledsystem for reference, in case you don't recall how things go back together.
Tools you will need:
..........½" Breaker Bar
..........½" Socket (with extensions)
..........Torque Wrench (capable of 20-200 ft-lb.)
..........4" C-Clamp (minimum)
..........Bungee Cord or Wire (Coat hanger will do)
..........Recommended: Mechanic's Gloves or Disposable Latex Gloves
The good stuff, Frozen Rotors slotted rotors and Hawk LTS brake pads:
Note that the rotors are all labeled on the boxes. They are directional and specific for each
wheel, so don't take the rotors out and mix them up.
Once you've checked the shipping label and have all that you need, you will need to clean
the new rotors. The rotors are coated with packing oil to prevent surface rust from forming
prior to delivery to the customer. The oil needs to be removed. Warm, soapy water and
a good scrub brush takes care of it nicely.
Let the rotors dry thoroughly, making sure to keep the correct rotors with the correct
I tend to err on the side of caution, so I also sprayed both sides and the hub area with
Brakleen just to be sure they were clean. Wipe the rotors down and allow to dry.
On to the installation... First, remove the cap from the brake reservoir. Note the fluid level.
It should be lower than desired if you have never added fluid. If you have kept your fluid
topped off during the brake wear period, you will need to remove some with either a
small siphon or old turkey baster. When you compress the brake pistons, fluid will be
forced back into the brake reservoir.
Make sure to surround the brake reservoir with dispensable rags. Brake fluid is nasty
to painted surfaces, so protect the area should any spill over.
Jack the front of the truck up and place the jackstands at the proper locations per the manual.
Remove the front tires and set aside. Your brake assembly should look like this:
I always like to perform an inspection of the brake system before touching it. Look at the
brake line and the back around the piston seal to make sure there are no leaks. Look at
the pads and the rotors to see if there is excessive wear or uneven pad thickness.
This is the stock caliper assembly:
Remove the ABS wire from the clip so you can get to the rear of the brake caliper assembly.
There are two schools of thought here with the caliper removal. You can use the 14mm
socket and remove the caliper slide pin bolts, then pry the caliper off with a screwdriver,
and remove the pads.
Now, I realize that this is the rear assembly, but the fronts are removed the same way.
I chose to just remove the whole assembly by removing the caliper mounting bolts
(or torque bolts) with the 21mm socket as shown here:
This will need to be done even if you already removed the caliper as the rotors will not
come off the hub with the mounting bracket in the way. Doing it this way, I was able to
slide the caliper out of the mounting bracket and remove the pads easily as well. Make
sure to hang the removed caliper using a bungee cord or wire. Don't just let it hang by
the brake line.
Once the pads are out, compress the brake pistons with a C-clamp. It's a good idea to
use one of the old pads to protect the surface of the pistons. Compress the pistons until
they are flush with the piston housing.
Once this is done, remove the old pad and hang the caliper from the bungee.
The rotor just sets over the lugs and seats on the hub. There are no bolts holding it.
It remains in place once the wheel is torque onto the hub. Sometimes, the rotors will not
come off easily. This is normal and can be handled with a few taps of a rubber mallet,
Once removed, spray the entire hub assembly, caliper, and caliper mounting bracket
with Brakleen to remove any gunk, grease, debris, dirt, or dust. Take care not to spray
the caliper slide pin bolts that are lubed up. I use a catch basin to keep the driveway
semi-clean of stains…….. It doesn't always work. Remember, never use compressed air
to clean the brake systems and try not to breathe brake dust.
Once dry, take the wire brush and clean out the brake pad retainers and lubricate them
with high temp caliper lube.
Also lube up the caliper slide pins with the same high temp caliper lube.
I reassemble the caliper before installing the rotor so I'm not bumping into it while I'm
working. Do this by sliding the caliper slide pins into the holes in the calipers until the
rubber boots seat.
The brake pads come with a small packet of anti-squeal gel. Put some on the caliper piston
edges where the new pad will seat and put the pad in place.
So as not to make a huge mess and overgel the pads, I visibly aligned the outer pad with
the caliper to see where contact is made and put gel on the back of the pad. You can
also put the gel on the caliper itself, but this is easier to get to.
Then just install the pad into the caliper making sure it's properly seated into the slide rails.
You can see the gel squeezed out, but there is not considerable excess so there should be
no slop. Make sure you don't get any of this on the pad surface or on the rotors. If you do,
clean it off and spray with the Brakleen until it's clean.
Once the pads and calipers are assembled, let them hang on the bungee and put the
rotor on the hub.
Now, the Nissan Service Manual says not to reuse the torque bolts, but I did. I may swap
them out sometime in the near future, but for now, I reused them. I always use
Nev'R Sieze anti-seize compound on bolts when I'm reinstalling them. It's a good idea. Trust me.
Then just reassemble the caliper onto the rotor and reinstall all the bolts. The 14mm bolts
on the caliper slide pin bolts get torque to 32 ft-lb. (if you disassembled the caliper from
the mounting bracket). The 21mm caliper mounting bolts (torque bolts) get torqued to 155 ft-lb.
Make sure to put the ABS wire back in the retainer clip before putting the wheels on. Give
the rotors another cleaning with Brakleen, front side and back side, just to assure they are
clean and there's no dirt or fingerprints on them. Put the wheels back on, torque the lugnuts
to 98 ft-lb and set the front end back on the ground. Go back and recheck the brake
fluid reservoir. You will see a much higher fluid level than when you started, as previously
explained. If it is almost overflowing, remove a bit more fluid as the rear caliper compressing
will also displace more brake fluid.
Perform the rear disassembly, cleanup and reassembly similarly to the front:
Jacking and tire removal:
Stock rear assembly:
There is no caliper mounting bracket on the rear setup, so just remove the caliper bolts after
performing an inspection of the pads, rotors, etc.
Using a screwdriver, prepare to pry the caliper away from the rotor.
You will need to press down the retainer clip on the pads to clear the pad keeper slide rails.
Inspect the caliper, brake line, seals, etc. for leaks or damage.
Then, hang it out of the way with the bungee.
To remove the front pad, pull on one side of the retainer clip.
Again, by removing the front pad you can use the rear pad as a surface for the C-clamp
and compress the piston until it is flush with the piston housing.
The rear assemblies also house the Emergency Brake assemblies. These can sometimes be
out of adjustment and make the rotors difficult to remove. Again, the rubber mallet
"Persuader" can be used to convince the rotors to come off. You may also want to "unadjust"
the E-Brake a bit by loosening the 10mm nut on the adjuster under the front dashboard,
near the top of the E-brake pedal assembly.
Some will say there's little correlation to this adjuster and the rear rotors sticking, but as
soon as I loosened it, the rotors came off easily.
Inspect the pad retainer slide rails and clean with a wire brush.
Remove the rotor and spray everything down with Brakleen. Clean the hub, caliper, slides,
etc. Make sure to get behind the hub plate on all the inner workings of the E-brake as well.
Reassemble the rear pads similarly to the fronts, using the anti-squeal compound supplied
with the new pads. And hang them again using the bungee. The rear pad just presses into
place, but the front is installed opposite to its removal, by just sliding it in the tracks until the
little pin on the back of the pad is in the hole in the caliper, and the retainer clip is
centered on the caliper.
Place the rear rotors on the hub.
Lube up the brake pad slide rails (knuckle slide in the diagram).
Prepare the new caliper assembly for installation by making sure the slide pin bolt boots are
pushed back as far as they can go.
Reinstall the caliper assembly by hooking the bottom of the brake pad retainers on the
brake pad slide rails (knuckle slides) and pushing them onto the rotors.
Once in place, put Nev'r Seize on the bolts and reinstall.
Torque the bolts to 24 ft-lb. using a 10mm socket.
Again, clean off the rotor with a shot of Brakleen, both front and back, and let dry.
Just torque the wheels back on (98 ft-lb) and set the truck back down on the ground. Check the
brake fluid reservoir and top off the fluid if necessary. Put the cap back on BEFORE you go inside
the truck and press on the brake pedal. You don't want the mess it will make otherwise.
Start up the truck, and pump the brake pedal to get fluid to the new brake assemblies.
It will take a few pumps. Once they are pumped up and will hold the truck, shut it down and
recheck the brake fluid reservoir. Top off if necessary.
To bed the new pads, all procedures will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. This
is how Frozen Rotors recommends the Brake Burnishing be done:
Frozen Rotors Brake Burnishing Procedure
A note on the importance of lubricating the caliper slides:
Please note, some portions of the installation instructions are reproduced from Frozen Rotors'
instructions. Always refer to your provided instructions and use this as a secondary guideline