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Dodge Grand Caravan Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a fifth generation 2008 to 2014 Dodge Grand Caravan with pictures.

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2013 Grand Caravan Front Wheel
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Slightly Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of Vehicle

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 5th generation or "Generation V" (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014) Dodge Grand Caravan in changing the front disc brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins.

Owners of other Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or RAM vehicles such as the Avenger, 200, 300, Town & Country, Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Journey, Patriot, Wrangler, Grand Cherokee, Compass, 1500, 2500, 3500, C/V Tradesman and ProMaster may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible replacement sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers include the following: Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1327, Akebono ACT1273, Wearever Ceramic PNAD1327, ProACt ACT1273, Duralast Gold DGC1327, Bendix D1273CT, ACDelco 17D1273CH and Bosch BP1327.

The tools needed to complete this front brake job include a floor jack, two jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 13mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" clamp and a tube of brake parts lubricant grease.

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Spin Off Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Pull Off Front Wheel
The first steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, engage the emergency/parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent it from moving.

Slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counterclockwise with the tire iron.

Raise the front of the vehicle with the floor jack and securely support it with the two jack stands.

I prefer to work on one side of the minivan at a time to keep three wheels on the ground for extra safety.

Spin off the 5 lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull off the front wheel to reveal the caliper, bracket, rotor and front suspension.

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Front Brake Caliper
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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Lower 13mm Bolt
The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side of the caliper.

Loosen the upper caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Loosen the lower 13mm caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the minivan).

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Remove Upper Caliper Bolt
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Spin Out Lower Caliper Bolt
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Two 13mm Caliper Bolts
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
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Pull Off Brake Caliper
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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Pull Out Old Outer Pad
Pull the brake caliper off the old pads and out of the bracket.

Carefully rest the caliper on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord.

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Wear Bar Top Outer Pad
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Wear Bar Top Inner Pad
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Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator or "squeal" bars were situated on the old pads.

On this 2013 Grand Caravan, the wear indicator bars were located on the top of both the inner and outer brake pads.

I've always had good experiences with the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1327 ceramic brake pads, so I would recommend buying those over other brands. They don't require backing plates, shims or any brake quiet gel.

If your set of new front brake pads included replacement brake hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket. Install the new pad abutment clips in their place.

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Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Attach "C" Clamp To Pistons
In order for the brake caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Pull the upper and lower pins out of their rubber dust boots, apply a thin layer or brake parts lubricant grease and push them back in to place.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the two pistons will need to be pushed back in to the caliper body.

Attach the "C" clamp to the caliper using the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the two pistons.



 

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Remove Brake Fluid Cap
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Compress Back Caliper Pistons
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Replace Brake Fluid Cap
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay (closest to the driver's seat) and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction.

Removing the brake fluid reservoir cap will allow the fluid to more easily travel back through the brake lines when you compress the pistons.

Slowly turn the "C" clamp handle clockwise to compress back the caliper pistons while repeatedly checking the level in the brake fluid reservoir to prevent it from overflowing.

Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately since brake fluid can easily damage painted surfaces.

You may need to reposition the "C" clamp in order to fully compress both pistons.

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Install New Outer Brake Pad
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Wear Bars - Top Both Pads
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Push Pads Against Rotor
Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper and the lug nut studs with some brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow air with your mouth to clean off the brake hardware since inhaling brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust may be carcinogenic (cancer causing) if inhaled.

Spread a thin layer of brake parts lubricant to any area where there is metal to metal contact such as the outer lip of the caliper piston. Do not apply caliper grease to the friction surface of the new pads.

If your minivan previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations while braking, you may need to have the rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or it may be easier and less expensive to just replace them with new rotors. If this is the first front brake job on your Grand Caravan and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just replace the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, remove the two bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place. Be sure to properly tighten the two bracket bolts with a torque wrench.

Install the new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bars situated at the top of both pads.

Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Spin In Upper Caliper Bolt
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Re-Insert Lower Caliper Bolt
Lower the caliper over the new pads and in to the bracket.

If the caliper won't fit over the new pads, you might need to compress the two pistons back a bit further.

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding holes in the caliper slider pins within the bracket.

Spin in the upper and lower caliper bolts by hand a few turns in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Tighten Upper 13mm Bolt
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Tighten Lower Caliper Bolt
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Rubber Valve Cover
Tighten the two caliper bolts by turning them counterclockwise (as seen from the outside of the minivan) with the 13mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 26 ft-lbs of torque.

Double check that the two caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

If your brake pedal has been feeling soft or "spongy", the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain air bubbles.

It would be best to bleed the brake lines at this time in order to flush out the old fluid and replace it with fresh DOT3 brake fluid. For more on this topic, check out my Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With An Assistant DIY Guide or alternatively the Brake Line Fluid Bleeding With A Power Bleeder Guide.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located underneath a rubber cap on the back side of the caliper just below the upper caliper bolt.

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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Replace Front Wheel
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Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
Replace the front wheel and spin on the five lug nuts in the clockwise direction by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern with the tire iron.

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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
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Lower Vehicle & Torque Nuts
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Front Brake Pads Replaced
Lower the minivan from the two jack stands using the floor jack.

Continue progressively tightening the lug nuts in a criss cross or star pattern to about 1/8 to 1/4 turn past hand tight or about 102 ft lbs of torque. It would be best to use a torque wrench or an impact wrench with a torque stick to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Sit in the driver's seat and firmly press the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure.

Check the brake fluid reservoir in the engine bay and verify that the level is correct. If it is low, add some new DOT 3 fluid.

Take the car for a short test drive with the windows down so you can hear any strange noises when you press the brake pedal that may indicate a problem.

To break in your new pads, just drive normally for the first few hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy and/or not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also check that the lug nuts are still tight.

For more, check out my other Dodge Grand Caravan DIY Maintenance Guides.
 

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