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Chrysler Town & Country Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a revised fifth generation 2011 to 2014 Chrysler Town & Country minivan.

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2012 T&C Front Wheel
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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of Vehicle

This automotive tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the revised 5th generation (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016) Chrysler Town & Country in changing the front disc brake pads.

Owners of related Chrysler Group minivan vehicles such as the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Grand Voyager, Lancia Grand Voyager, Ram C/V Tradesman Cargo Van and the Volkswagen Routan may also find these DIY front brake job instructions to be helpful.

The items required to complete this procedure include a floor jack, two jack stands, a tire iron, a 13mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, pliers or a thin cone spanner wrench (to hold the caliper slider pin), a "C" clamp and a packet of high temperature brake parts lubricant grease.

A few compatible replacement front brake pad sets with their part numbers include the following: Wagner QC1327, TRW TPC1273, Akebono ACT1273, Dura International BP1273 C,  Power Stop 16-1273, Centric 102.12730, Bosch BP1327, Wearever Platinum Ceramic # PNAD1589, TRW TPC 1273, ACDelco 17D1589CH, Wagner ZD1327 & KFE KFE1327-104.

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Spin Out 5 Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Rotor, Caliper, Bracket
The first few steps are to park the vehicle on a level surface, engage the emergency / parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent the minivan from moving.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counter clockwise with a lug nut wrench.

Raise the front of the minivan with a floor jack until the tire is at least an inch or two off the ground and securely support it with the two jack stands. I prefer to work on one side of the vehicle at a time for extra safety.

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

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

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Front Brake Caliper
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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
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Pliers - Hold Caliper Pin
The brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side of the caliper.

Loosen the upper and lower caliper bolts by turning them clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

If the caliper slider pins turn as you are trying to loosen the caliper bolts, hold them in place with either a pair of pliers or a thin cone spanner wrench. (I believe the caliper slider pin is 18mm.)

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Loosen Lower 13mm Bolt
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Spin Out Upper Bolt
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Remove Lower Caliper Bolt
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
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2 Caliper Bolts Removed
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Lift Caliper From Bracket
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Rest Caliper On Suspension
Carefully pull the front brake caliper out of the bracket and rest it on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord or a piece of rope.

Try to avoid stressing the rubber brake fluid line.

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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Wear Bar - Bottom Inner Pad
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Pull Out Caliper Slider Pins
Remove the old inner and outer brake pads from the bracket. Make a mental note of how the wear indicator or "squeal" bar is situated on the old pads.

On this 2012 Town & Country, the wear bar was located at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

I've always had great experiences with the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1327 brake pads. I really like how they don't require any backing plates, shims or disc brake quiet gel due to the built in insulators.

In order for the brake caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

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Lubricate Pins & Replace
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Attach "C" Clamp To Piston
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Brake Fluid Reservoir Cap
Gently pull the caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots and apply a thin layer of high temperature lubricant grease to each one. Push them back in to their dust boots until they pop over the metal lips near the top of each pin.

In order for the caliper piston to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the caliper piston needs to be compressed backwards.

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



 

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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
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Compress Caliper Piston
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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 yellow brake fluid reservoir cap in the counter clockwise direction.

Removing the cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily move backwards through the system when you compress the caliper piston.

Slowly turn the handle on the "C" clamp to compress the caliper piston back until it is flush with its rubber dust boot.

Repeatedly check the level in the brake fluid reservoir while you are compressing the piston to make sure that it does not overflow. Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately since it can easily damage painted surfaces.

Replace the reservoir cap as soon as you are done compressing the piston since brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air).

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Replace Pad Abutment Clips
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Install New Brake Pads
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Wear Bar - Bottom Inner Pad
If your set of new front brake pads included replacement hardware such as new metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips, pull the old ones out of the top and bottom of the bracket and install the new ones.

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 brake caliper grease to the friction surface of the new pads.

If your vehicle 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 Town & Country 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.

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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Insert Caliper In To Bracket
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Spin In Bolts By Hand
Install the new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bar situated at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

Push the two pads flush against the rotor.

Carefully place the caliper over the new pads and in to the bracket.

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

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Insert Lower Caliper Bolt
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Tighten Bolt - Counter Clockwise
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Tighten Lower 13mm Bolt
Insert the two caliper bolts and spin them in a few turns by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the bolts by turning them counter clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and 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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Replace Front Wheel
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Spin On 5 Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten With Tire Iron
Replace the front wheel and spin on the five lug nuts 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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Lower Vehicle From Stands
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Torque 5 Lug Nuts 102 Ft Lbs
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Front Brake Pads Replaced
Lower the minivan from the jack stands using the floor jack.

Continue progressively tightening the lug nuts in a 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 torque stick to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Sit in the driver's seat and firmly pump 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 and cautious 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 Chrysler Town & Country Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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