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Jeep Grand Cherokee Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 4th generation WK2 2011-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee with pictures.

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2012 Grand Cherokee Front Wheel
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Slightly Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of SUV

This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 4th generation "WK2" (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016) Jeep Grand Cherokee in changing the front disc brake pads.

Owners of other Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and RAM SUV or minivan vehicles with similar front brake components such as the Town & Country, Patriot, Compass, Cherokee, Durango, Journey, Grand Caravan, and C/V Tradesman may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The items needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack, two jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a flathead screwdriver, a 10mm hex head socket or 10mm Allen key wrench, a "C" clamp, and a packet of brake parts lubricant grease.

Some Grand Cherokee models with the "HD" braking package instead have 11mm caliper bolts. (A 7/16" hex may also fit.)

A few compatible replacement sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers are as follows: Wagner MX1629A, Mopar 6805 2369AA, Hawk HB701Y.723 Wagner ZD1455, ACDelco 17D1455CH, Raybestos SGD1455C, Akebono ACT1455, TRW TPC1455, Power Stop 16-1455 and Bosch BE1455.


Please verify the correct replacement part numbers for your Grand Cherokee by using the Amazon Part Finder website. The correct parts may vary depending on the model year, trim level, engine type and whether it has four wheel drive (4WD) or rear wheel drive (RWD).
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Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Caliper, Bracket, Rotor
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 SUV from moving.

Slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them counter clockwise 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 car at a time for extra safety.

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

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

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Front Brake Caliper
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Pry Off Metal Spring Clip
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Caliper Bolt Plastic Cap
If you have safety glasses, wear them during the next step to protect your eyes.

Carefully pry off the metal spring clip attached to the front outer face of the brake caliper with the flathead screwdriver.

Please be careful since the metal spring clip may unexpectedly fly off and hit you in the face.

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Pry Off Caliper Bolt Cover
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Caliper Bolt/Slider Cap
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10mm Hex Head Caliper Bolt
The caliper is held in place to the mounting bracket by two combination caliper bolts and caliper sliding pins. One near the top of the caliper and the 2nd near the bottom.

To access the caliper bolts, you'll first need to pry out the round plastic caps that cover the dust boots.

Carefully pry out the two caliper bolt caps with a small flathead screwdriver and set them aside in a safe place.

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Remove Upper Caliper Bolt Cap
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Spring Clip & Bolt Caps
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Loosen Clockwise
Loosen the upper caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the car) with a 10mm hex head socket or a 10mm Allen key wrench.

Update - Another Grand Cherokee owner informed me that the front caliper bolt / slider pins on his 2012 model are 11mm hex head. You could also use a 7/16" hex head socket.

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Loosen Lower 10mm Hex
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Spin Out Lower 10mm Bolt
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Caliper Bolt / Slider Pin
Loosen the lower caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 10mm hex head socket or Allen key wrench.

Spin out the two combination caliper bolts and caliper slider pins and set them aside in a safe place.

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Remove Upper Caliper Bolt
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Lift Off Brake Caliper
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Pull Out Inner Brake Pad
Lift the brake caliper out of the bracket and carefully rest it on top of the suspension.

Try to avoid kinking or placing stress on the rubber brake fluid line.

Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the caliper bracket.

I recommend buying the Wagner MX1629A brake pads.

There are two metal clips on the rear of the inner brake pad that hold it in place to the two caliper pistons.



 

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Wear Bar - Bottom Outer Pad
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Attach "C" Clamp Caliper
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Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
Remove the old outer brake pad from the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator or "squeal" bar is located on the old pads. On this 2012 Grand Cherokee, the wear bar was situated at the bottom of the outer brake pad.

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

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

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

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Compress Caliper Piston
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Move Clamp - 2nd Piston
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Wear Bar - Bottom Outer Pad
Very slowly turn the handle on the "C" clamp to compress the 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 to fully depress both caliper pistons until they are flush with their rubber dust boots. Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boots that protect the caliper pistons.

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 (causes cancer) if inhaled.

If your Grand Cherokee previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the SUV's first front brake job 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.

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Install New Outer Pad
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Insert New Inner Pad - Pistons
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Lower Caliper In To Bracket
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.

Install the new outer brake pad in to the bracket with the wear bar situated at the bottom of the pad.

Push the two metal clips on the rear of the new inner brake pad in to the center of the two caliper pistons.

Lower the caliper over the bracket and line up the bolt holes in the caliper with the corresponding holes in the bracket.

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Replace Upper Caliper Bolt
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Push In Lower Caliper Bolt
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Tighten Lower Caliper Bolt
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper bolts / caliper slider pins need to be well lubricated.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to the smooth section of each caliper bolt/pin. Do not apply grease to the threads at the end of the bolts.

Re-insert the upper and lower caliper bolts and spin them in a few turns in the counter clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Tighten Upper Caliper Bolt
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Torque To About 30 Ft-Lbs
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Tighten Counter Clockwise
Tighten the two caliper bolts by turning them counter clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 10mm Allen key wrench or a 10mm hex head socket to just past hand tight or about 25 to 30 ft-lbs of torque.

Update - Some Grand Cherokee models (possibly with the "HD" braking package) are instead equipped with 11mm hex head caliper bolts / slider pins. A 7/16" hex socket may also work. I had no problem using the 10mm Allen key on our 2012 GC.

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

(Note - The rear brake caliper bolts require a 9mm hex head socket. I have yet to replace the rear brake pads on our SUV.)

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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
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Replace Brake Fluid Cap

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 DOT 3 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 right next to the upper caliper bolt.

If you haven't already done so, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap in the engine bay by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

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Replace Metal Spring Clip
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Push On Caliper Bolt Covers
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Pop In Upper Caliper Bolt Cap
Push the metal spring clip back in to place on the outer edge of the brake caliper.

Re-insert the round black plastic dust caps to cover the two caliper bolts.

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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 a few turns to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.
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Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts
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Lower Vehicle From Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts 75 ft-lbs
Slightly tighten the lug nuts in a "criss cross" or "star" pattern by turning them clockwise with the lug nut wrench.

Continue progressively tightening the lug nuts in a criss cross or star pattern to about 1/4 turn past hand tight or about 75 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 SUV 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, add some DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new front 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 also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

For more, check out my other Jeep Grand Cherokee DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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