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Chevrolet Tahoe Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a third generation 2007 to 2014 GM Chevy Tahoe SUV with pictures.

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2014 Tahoe Front Wheel
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Loosen Lug Nut Caps
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Lug Nut Cover Removed

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the third generation (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014) Chevrolet Tahoe in changing the front disc brake pads.

Owners of related General Motors full size SUV or truck vehicles with similar front brake hardware such as the Suburban, Avalanche, GMC Yukon, Yukon XL, Yukon Denali, Sierra, Cadillac Escalade and Hummer H2 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The tools needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 19mm socket, a ratcheting wrench, a "C" clamp and a packet of brake parts lubricant grease.

A few compatible sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers include the following: Wagner QC1363, ACDelco 17D1367CH, ACDelco 171-1007, Monroe CX1363, Bendix D1363, Hawk HB561Y.710 LTS, Raybestos ATD1367C and Akebono ACT1363.

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Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of Vehicle
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Spin Off 6 Lug Nuts
The first few steps are to park the SUV on a level surface, engage the emergency / parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent it from moving.

Then loosen the black plastic lug nut caps in the counter clockwise direction with the tire iron.

Continue spinning the lug nut caps in the counter clockwise direction until the silver plastic hub cap can be removed. Set the hub cap aside in a safe place.

Slightly loosen the 6 lug nuts in the counter clockwise direction with the lug nut wrench.

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 SUV at a time to keep 3 wheels on the ground for extra safety.

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

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6 Lug Nuts Removed
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Remove Front Wheel
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Front Brake Caliper
Pull off the front wheel to reveal the caliper, bracket, rotor and the suspension.

The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts on the back side facing towards the engine bay.

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Loosen Upper Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Lower 19mm Bolt
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Spin Out Clockwise
Loosen the upper caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 19mm socket and ratcheting wrench.

Then loosen the lower caliper bolt in the clockwise direction.

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Two Caliper Bolts Removed
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Pry Off Brake Caliper
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Brake Caliper Removed
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull the caliper out of the bracket and off the old pads.

If you have trouble removing the caliper, gently pry off the top edge with a large flathead screwdriver or the end of the GM OEM lug nut wrench. Try to avoid scratching or scoring the rotor.

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Rest Caliper On Suspension
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Old Pads In Bracket
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Remove Old Outer Pad
Carefully rest the caliper on the suspension or suspend it from the spring with a bungee cord or some twine.

Try to avoid stressing, kinking or bending the rubber brake fluid line.

Pull the old outer pad out of the bracket.

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Pull Out Old Inner Pad
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Wear Bar - Bottom Inner Pad
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Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Pull the old inner brake pad out of the bracket.

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

On this 2014 Tahoe, the wear bar was located at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

I always buy the Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1363 brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon. I also like how they don't require any backing plates, shims or disc brake quiet gel due to the built in insulators.

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



 

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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.

Gently pull the upper and lower caliper slider pins out of their rubber dust boots inside the bracket.

Apply a thin layer of high temperature brake caliper grease to the flat parts of each pin before pushing them back in to their rubber dust boots.

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

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

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Brake Fluid Reservoir
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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
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Slowly Compress Pistons
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay (closest to the driver's seat) and twist off the black plastic brake fluid reservoir cap in the counter clockwise direction.

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

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

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

You may need to re-position the "C" clamp to fully compress both caliper pistons until they are flush with their rubber dust boots.

Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boots surrounding the pistons.

Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air).

Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper assembly and the lug nut studs with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since breathing in brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust can be carcinogenic (cancer causing) if inhaled.

If your Tahoe previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations in the front end during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with new rotors. If this is the car's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in good condition, you should be able to just change 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 caliper bracket bolts to about 148 ft-lbs of torque.

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

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Insert New Outer Pad
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Wear Bar - Bottom Inner Pad
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Push Pads Against Rotor
Insert the new brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bar situated at the bottom of the inner pad.

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 Caliper Bolts
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Tighten Counter Clockwise
Carefully lower the caliper down over the new pads and in to the bracket.

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

Line up the bolt holes on the caliper with the corresponding holes inside the slider pins within the bracket.

Spin in the two bolts a few turns by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the upper caliper bolt by turning it in the counter clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 19mm socket and ratcheting wrench to about 74-80 ft-lbs of torque.

If the caliper slider pin spins while you are trying to tighten the caliper bolt, hold it in place with another wrench or a pair of pliers.

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Tighten Lower 19mm Bolt
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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Tighten the lower 19mm caliper bolt in the counter clockwise direction to about 74-80 ft-lbs of torque.

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

If your brake pedal previously felt soft or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain some 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 Brake Fluid Cap
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Double Check Caliper Bolts
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Replace Front Wheel
If you haven't already done so, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

Replace the front wheel and spin on the 6 lug nuts in the clockwise direction by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Spin On Lug Nuts Clockwise
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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
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Lower SUV From Jack Stands
Slightly tighten the six lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern with the tire iron.

Lower the vehicle from the jack stands and the floor jack.

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Torque To 140 ft-lbs
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Replace Lug Nuts Cover
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Tighten Lug Nut Caps

Continue progressively tightening the 6 lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern to about 1/4 turn past hand tight or about 140 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 of the vehicle and firmly press the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, pour in some fresh DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new brake 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 verify that the lug nuts are still tight after a short test drive.

For more, check out my other Chevrolet Tahoe DIY Repair Guides.
 

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