Blackbeauty's Installation Of Frozen Rotors & Hawk Brake Pads


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Article title: Blackbeauty's Installation Of Frozen Rotors & Hawk Brake Pads

Article description:

Category: Suspension/Brakes

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 assembled
system for reference, in case you don't recall how things go back together.

Tools you will need:



..........½" Breaker Bar

..........½" Socket (with extensions)

..........21mm Socket

..........14mm Socket

..........10mm Socket

..........Torque Wrench (capable of 20-200 ft-lb.)

..........Flathead Screwdriver

..........Rubber Mallet

..........Wire Brush

..........4" C-Clamp (minimum)

..........Bungee Cord or Wire (Coat hanger will do)

..........Caliper Lube


..........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

labeled boxes.

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,

or 'Persuader'.

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

if necessary.


New Member
This is Blackbeauty's write up, I just moved it to the proper place.

and if I can say ...

What a great write up...

if I may enhance this a little bit, the c-clamp method of pushing the fluid back to the master cylinder is a valid method... but the better method is to loosen the 10mm nipple and eject the old brake fluid while pushing the pistons in with the brake pad, then tighten the nipple and top off the brake fluid :).


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After bleeding the brakes I noticed the brake fluid reservoir has a darker color.......the fluid that was yellowish. This process must have stirred things up in the lines or master cylinder. I vacum/removed and replaced the fluid in the reservoir and this helped but now I want to flush all the brake fluid.

Blackbeauty can you update your thread or make a new one on flushing the brake lines out?

When or how many miles should this be performed?..My Titan has 70+K on it now... <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/004.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':smt017' />


New Member
I'll be installing the SS brake lines from Stillen as soon as I get confirmation that they are good for lifted trucks. I've only got the 4" Performance Lift from PRG, but I don't want the lines to be too short. I'll be flushing the system then. I could do another write-up, sure.

If you've got 70K miles on then you're overdue. When the fluid gets darker, it means it's absorbed moisture. The darker it is, the more moisture is in it. That reduces brake efficiency and can even lead to brakeline corrosion.

More information here:

Brake Flush Tips

....but usually every 2 or 3 years is a good timeline for changing it out. It's about the same as for the radiator flushing.


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[quote name='Blackbeauty' post='136163' date='Nov 29 2008, 12:57 PM']I'll be installing the SS brake lines from Stillen as soon as I get confirmation that they are good for lifted trucks. I've only got the 4" Performance Lift from PRG, but I don't want the lines to be too short. I'll be flushing the system then. I could do another write-up, sure.

If you've got 70K miles on then you're overdue. When the fluid gets darker, it means it's absorbed moisture. The darker it is, the more moisture is in it. That reduces brake efficiency and can even lead to brakeline corrosion.

More information here:

Brake Flush Tips

....but usually every 2 or 3 years is a good timeline for changing it out. It's about the same as for the radiator flushing.[/quote]

Thanks for the tip/link. The fluid was yellow before the brakes went on.

Yep me Titan is overdo for both the brake lines/fluid flush and the radiatior flush... <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/005.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':smt017' />

Here's some more info:

Do I need to flush my brake fluid?

Brake fluid attracts moisture, and this moisture can rust the insides of the brake system. This moisture was not that big of deal 10 years ago, but on ABS brake systems of today, the rust and other debris that accumulates in the fluid can do lots of internal damage, and can be very costly. Brake fluid can also break down over time from excess heat that is created from within the brake system.

It's recommended flushing the brake fluid system about every 30,000 miles, or whenever performing a brake job. To do this flush, open the brake lines located at each wheel and allow the brake fluid from the brake master cylinder to "gravity bleed" continue to feed new fluid to the master cylinder until the fluid runs clear at all wheels. Gravity bleeding is without the assistance of anything other than allowing the fluid to slowly drip from the lines by the natural force of gravity.

You are probably familiar with the term "bleeding the brakes" when talking about a brake job. When the brake lines are opened or any work is performed to the brake system that can allow air to get trapped within the lines, the brakes must be bled of air. In the earlier days, the mechanic would bleed the brakes by having someone pump and hold pressure on the brake pedal as he opened the brake lines located at each wheel. This method of bleeding the brakes is not a recommended procedure for newer brake systems (discussed later).

What is the difference between flushing and bleeding?

Flushing is just that, flushing the old dirty fluid out of the system and replacing it with new clean fluid. Bleeding usually consists of removing just enough brake fluid to get out the air pockets that have become trapped in the system, and usually does not focus on the time consuming process of removing the dirt and old fluid from the system.

One side note learned by experience. If you are interested in doing a brake fluid flush on your own vehicle, be warned of the potential dangers. Foremost, follow the brake bleeding procedures outlined in the repair manual you should be using. Stepping on the brake pedal with the brake lines cracked open can cause the dirt and debris to be pushed into the body of the master cylinder, thus causing damage to internal parts and seals of the master cylinder and the anti-lock brake components. Stepping on the brake pedal as someone under the vehicle opens each brake line at the wheel used to be the way you bled brakes, but not anymore.

Gravity bleeding does take a little longer to perform and can require a lot of new brake fluid to push out the old dirty fluid, but the risk of doing internal damage to the anti-lock system is greatly reduced. They also make vacuum assisted brake bleeding and flushing equipment to help speed up the process.

How can you tell if your vehicle is due for a brake fluid flush?

They make special test strips which can detect high levels of moisture present in the brake fluid, but I prefer the old fashioned eye ball method personally. Remove the brake master cylinder cap and visually inspect the condition of the fluid. Brake fluid should be clear or a slight yellowish tent, so black or dark colored dirty fluid should be quite obvious even to the untrained eye.


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Well, just my luck... The Goodridge lines are only for stock Titans... My 4" lift puts me too high to use the Stillen lines.. I'll bet Greg can hook me up with a set.....


[quote name='Blackbeauty' post='136172' date='Nov 29 2008, 09:01 AM']Well, just my luck... The Goodridge lines are only for stock Titans... My 4" lift puts me too high to use the Stillen lines.. I'll bet Greg can hook me up with a set.....[/quote]

He has em. They are part of the 4" kit.


Well, I didn't get in on the Frozen Rotors group buy because I was a little short on cash at the time. Additionally, the Nissan TSB brake fix (new rotors and pads) did the job just fine for me. I've never had a problem since then, and only developed a slight judder on the old rotors. But, lately I noticed that it was taking a little more pressure to stop, so I checked out my pads. The front ones are due for a replacement. The rears are still at least half there. About a week ago, I decided to order the parts I'd need. I decided to go with the Hawk LTS pads since I've heard such good things about them. Originally, I also decided to go with the EBC slotted sport rotors. I ordered the pads from FrozenRotors and the rotors from Autoanything on the same day. Autoanything said they had the rotors in stock, but later gave me an estimated ship date of 2/12/09. I didn't want to wait that long, so I decided to just buy some regular rotors locally. First, I checked with Napa on their Premium Rotors. My store didn't have them in stock, but the one in downtown Bham did. They said they could get them for me in a day or two. Before I did that, I decided to see if Autozone had any Duralast rotors in stock. Believe it or not, I haven't heard much negative about Duralast Rotors, so I decided to give them as shot when Autozone actually had them. I bought them, brought them home, and opened one box and realized I'd be taking these back to Autozone. The part # listed for both 04 and 05 Titans is the same. But they're the original 04 style rotors. Remember those? You know, the ones where one half was narrower than the other. The same ones that Nissan replaced because they warped easily. So, today I decided to strike out to Downtown Bham and get the Napa Premium rotors instead. I opened one of them before I felt and they are correct. I also like the fact that they have "Made in the U.S.A" stamped huge on the top of each box.

So, tomorrow I'm off work and will be installing these and the new pads. Thanks to Blackbeauty for the writeup that should make this a breeze!


[quote name='WhiteNite' post='138987' date='Jan 25 2009, 06:41 PM']Ed does some of the best write ups on the boards. I gotta get him back over here![/quote]

He certainly does.. With this how-to I thnk I could tackle this myself.... <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/001.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':smt001' />


Well, it took me about 3 hours, but it's done...and I was only doing the front. Seems that the dealership in Baton Rouge that did my Brake Fix TSB used some sort of thread compound on the Caliper Mounting bolts that turned itno what I can only describe as concrete. These were the toughest bolts to remove that I've ever had to take out. The bottom caliper bolts combined probably took about 2 of the 3 hours. Putting on the new pads and rotors once I had the calipers removed took about 10-15 minutes per side. If it weren't for those bolts, this would have been really simple. Phew....just glad I'm done.


[quote name='WhiteNite' post='139065' date='Jan 26 2009, 03:12 PM']Holy Cow!!!! did you just have to work them or use something to try and break them loose?[/quote]

Just me and a breaker bar... THe driver's side was a little easier as at least I could use my weight down on the bolt. On the passenger side, I basically had to get under the breaker bar and push up on it about a hundred times as hard as I could push.


[quote name='BLWedge09' post='139072' date='Jan 26 2009, 01:59 PM']Just me and a breaker bar... THe driver's side was a little easier as at least I could use my weight down on the bolt. On the passenger side, I basically had to get under the breaker bar and push up on it about a hundred times as hard as I could push.[/quote]

SO? How they feel?!


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