Brake Pad Materials

Ceramic is one of the most common brake pad materials. Ceramic is typically used for street use on less demanding applications like daily drivers and light-duty trucks. One reason for ceramic’s popularity is its quiet braking. Brake pads do make sound, but they generate a frequency that’s higher than the human hearing range 

Ceramic also generates less dust, keeping your wheels clean and shiny, and it slows the onset of wear for both your pads and rotors.

Semi-Metallic brake pads contain anywhere from 30 to 65 percent metal (bits of steel wool or wire, copper, iron powder) mixed with synthetic fillers and bonded with friction modifiers.

Brake pads are also available in organic and low-metallic formulas. Low-metallic brake pads feature between 10 and 30 percent copper or steel to provide extra friction and heat transfer without wearing on rotors as hard as semi-metallic pads. Due to their metal content, low-metallic pads will be slightly noisier and generate more dust than ceramic or organic pads.

Organic brake pads are made from natural fibers like glass, carbon, rubber, or Kevlar and are held together with high-temp resins and filler materials. They’re quieter than metallic formulas and softer on your rotors, and they work well when cold so they’re a great choice for daily drivers. Organic pads don’t bite as hard when they get hot, so they’re not ideal for racing.

How to Replace Your Brake Pads and Rotors

Today, I’m going to show you how to change out your brake rotors and brake pads. But this process will pretty much be the same for almost any maker model. Front brakes, rear brakes as long as there are disc brakes, it’s pretty simple and very similar across the board.

Here’s what you’re going to need to do the job

  • Flat-head screwdriver used for prying different size ratchets
  • Extensions and sockets
  • A breaker bar
  • Torque wrench
  • Brake clean
  • A brake pad tool. It just compresses the brake pad piston and
  • Some type of grease
  • I also have thread Locker for the calliper bracket bolts and
  • Don’t forget about your brake pads and brake rotors

Try to get a decent quality set, so that you don’t have any problems with warping, brake dust and things like that.

So let’s begin

The first step is going to be to take the brake pads off

To do that, you’re going to unscrew the top calliper guide pin and then this is going to open up like a clamshell.  Apply a 12 millimetre screwdriver; this is when your screwdriver will come in handy. Just pry it open. But you will need to clean this up later. Right now, you just want to get the brake pads out. With the brake pads out, you’ll close it back up and you’ll just lightly hand tighten it, because you’re going to be putting new brake pads in after you get the rotor done.



The second step is to disconnect the whole calliper and calliper bracket from the knuckle

Disconnecting the whole calliper and calliper bracket is going to give you access to the rotor. To do that, you just go to the back of the calliper. You will see a bolt that connects the calliper mounting bracket to the knuckle. There are two of them, there’s one at the top and there’s one below. Do the top one first, use the break-up one on the bottom one, as well after you break the bolts, you could just use a regular ratchet, that’s the top one. When you’re almost done unscrewing, hold on to the calliper because it’s going to drop out, if you pull it out. Have some type of bucket or something ready to put the calliper on.

Make sure your brake line is loose because you don’t want to have pressure on it, which could damage your brake line. Now, this should just slide right off, so slide the new one on.

The third step is to put the new one

You’re going to hit the new one with some brake clean, because it comes with a protective coating. Get that coating off, before you put the brake calliper back on. What I like to do is, I like to seat it properly and then take one of my lug nuts and just tighten it down. So that this doesn’t move and won’t slide out while you’re trying to put the brake calliper back on.

Put the brake calliper off the screen, with the brake calliper driven well, and mount it back onto the knuckle. Get the calliper bolts and add some Loctite thread locker on each one and that’ll just prevent vibrations from loosening it up.

One of the best ways to do this is;

Get one of your bolts, just slide it in, and stick it out a little bit out of the hole.  So that you can more easily align the hole with that bolt. Once you get it aligned, hand tightens it so it holds it in place.

Get the other bolt, slide it in and hand tighten. After hand tightening those two bracket bolts, you’ll talk them down to 85 foot-pounds.  So remember you have hand tightened the two bolts so that we could take it off when you wanted to put the brake pads in. So just unscrew that and then this is going to open up like a clamshell.

The fourth step is to compress the two Pistons

Now what you need to do next is to compress the two Pistons, so that they move inward. You can fit the thicker brakes because your brakes are really thick, because the thickness of the old brakes is already worn down.  Before you compress those Pistons, you’re going to want to go to the master cylinder and just open it so that you can let it breathe.

Don’t leave the cap loose for long because moisture can get in. Just get the job done and then tighten it back up. This will relieve the pressure on the system.

The fifth step is to get an old Brake Pad and put it against the Pistons

Next is to get an old brake pad and you put it against the Pistons in the system. Then you get your brake pad tool and since there are two pistons there, you’ll need to do each piston one at a time, and you just tighten your tool and then you crank away. Now you do the piston in a little bit, then you’ll go to the second piston so it’s not closing unevenly.

Because at that time, there’s pressure on the second piston. So loosen it up, go to the first piston and tighten it down all the way. Go back to the other side and tighten it up. By this time, both brake Pistons are completely pressed in.

The sixth step is to add Grease to the Brake Parts that have Metal and Metal Contact on the Calliper

Now add grease to the brake parts that have metal and metal contact on the calliper. Make sure you use a very little grease when doing this, you’ll grease where the brake pads sit and contact the calliper so you can see the brake pads sit there.

They sit and press against the plate there and then they also sit on the other side and at the top. Those are all your grease points.

 The seventh step is to Grease your Guide Pins

The other thing is now’s a good time to grease your guide pins. Just pop off that cover, pull them out. Just take your guide pin, clean it off, take off the rubber boot and I like to slide the guide pin back in. Move it around, get any of that extra dirty grease out of there. On my guide pins I like to use high temperature silicone instead of grease, it’s a petroleum product. So eventually, it’ll wear it out and become like gummy. And it won’t allow the calliper to slide freely.

Silicone is compatible with these boots, so it’ll lubricate it and allow it to slide back and forth. But it won’t eat it up. Take your heavy-duty silicone high-temperature, put it in where the guide pin goes, and spray the guide pin itself. Then you need to slide the boot back over. Make sure that the boot sits on the edge, so it doesn’t come off with a light tug. It shouldn’t pop off, push that in there. Make sure it sits on the edge until it moves around freely.

Now you can do the same for the bottom one.  Make sure your brake pads have wear indicators. What happens is when the brake pads go below a certain thickness, this scrapes against the rotor. And since the scrapes against the rotor, it creates a high-pitched squeal noise and that squeal noise will let you know you need break soon, because you’re almost done. So just make sure that’s attached.

If you don’t have one on your brake pads, consider getting different brake pads, because this is a good warning signal to let you know when your brake pads are getting really low.

The eight step is to put your Brake Pads In

Now go put the brake pads in. This is pretty simple, the brake pads only fit one way. They both have the same ends, so all you have to do is find how this slope and put from the side where it slope.

Then you can see that little clip that slides into it. There’s one down and one up. So this just simply slides right in.  It will fits in there right in the top and fits in there right at the bottom. Get to the other side; they’re going to fit in like that again.

Very simple, just slides right in. When you’re doing this, make sure your brake pads are completely against the rotor and to make sure your Pistons are collapsed. You’ll know in a second if you collapse your pistons enough, plus when you close it.

Final step

Put the last screw in all right at the top connects to the guide pins. On my vehicle, this gets torqued to 20 to 25 foot pounds. But I just hand tighten it and then give it an extra quarter turn, and then that’s about 25 foot pounds. And there you go; now you’re done. You don’t have to bleed the brakes as long as you don’t undo the calliper from the brake line or undo a brake line in general.