WJ Front Pads and Rotors (Akebono) Writeup - JeepForum.com
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Unread 03-07-2012, 11:50 PM   #1
compcrasher86
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Wj WJ Front Pads and Rotors (Akebono) Writeup

So this is being done on a 2001 WJ with the front Akebono conversions already done. Others may have Teves style fronts... consider switching the Akebonos are awesome. Anyways. I used Napa Premium Rotors and Wagner Thermoquiet pads, love em love em love em. In my experience they tend to be completely quiet during break in, make noise for a couple hundred miles, then they go silent again

Anyways, here comes the pics!

First you'll need to jack up one side of the front axle. I reccomend throwing a jackstand underneath for safety. Then take your wheel off and for extra safety you can slip it underneath the body uniframe rail.

Now rotate the steering wheel so that you have better access to the caliper

Give everything a good cleaning with brake cleaner.

I gave my bolts a shot of PB because they were in there well. If you're not replacing the rotors try not to get any overspray on them.

Using a (1/2"?) socket break the caliper slide pin bolts free (one on the top one on the bottom, identifiable by the rubber boot)

And get those bolts outta there

Pop the fluid cap for the master reservoir and use a clamp to compress the caliper a bit which will make it easier to slip it off. It helps to have a buddy keeping an eye on the brake fluid level just to make sure it doesnt overflow (that stuff is hell for the paint)

Then you'll find with some wiggling and possibly a flathead screwdriver prying between the caliper and the bracket that itll come right off. Hold it as it comes off and DO NOT let it hang by the brake line. Support it on a bucket or tie it up somewhere.

my old pads were disgusting and getting near the point where they needed replacement.

so go ahead and pop those pads off. If you're just doing pads stop here and skip ahead. If you're doing rotors continue on. Unbolt the caliper bracket with an 18mm socket. These can be in VERY tight and I used a 1/2" drive breaker bar to break mine free.

Theres the culprits right there

Got the bracket off and my rotors are about ready for replacement by my standards

It should just pop right off else give it a quick tap with a hammer and it should break right free

Here are my shiny new Napa rotors, spray them down thoroughly with brake cleaner to get the assembly oils off and try not to touch the braking surface with your inevitably oily fingers.

I like to wirebrush the mating surface of the wheel bearing hub down just to make sure the rotor is going to sit nice and tight and flush.

So go ahead and pop that rotor on there pressing by the center around the lugs to make sure its seated fully.

At this point move to your caliper bracket and using some pliers or a screwdriver pull the old pad slide clips off noting how they are oriented.

I decided to inspect my slide pins while I was there... it is common protocol to lubricate them... mine were pretty gross

so I pulled them out and cleaned them up real well

Put a generous amount of brake parts lube on them

And slid them both back into place, the rubber boot should be seated properly around the divet

Now I put the new pad slides on like so, I remembered the orientation of the old ones but it wouldnt have taken long to figure out what was the right orientation. I also used my pliers to really clamp them in nice and tight they sit in an indent and occasionally due to tolerances and such will not seat perfectly by hand and need some persuading

So go ahead and bolt that caliper bracket back up nice and tight and then proceed to pop your new pads into place. Thermoquiets dont call for antisqueak but I put a bit on the slide arms anyways and have had no problems for 2000+ miles

Get your caliper cleaned up real nice with some brake cleaner and paper towels

Then using a C-clamp I compressed each piston (good to have someone watching the fluid)

Then I threw on some more anti-squeal for good luck

Then go ahead and get your caliper into place and thread the bolts in. you might find it hanging up on the slide pins... just push those in as you seat the caliper.

Tighten those bolts (there is a spec out there but I have gotten away with bubba tight) and do a inspection of your work.

Repeat the same exact thing for the other side... congrats you just did your brakes and saved a whole bunch of money in the process. Get your tires back on and go for a test drive. Dont forget to make sure your brake fluid reservoir cap goes back on! Most pads will require a bed in procedure right away so its worth researching what specifically needs to be done for your specific pad in order to ensure maximum longetivity of your pads and rotors as well as the best stopping power. With these and my rears done I am able to easily lock up my tires and kick ABS on dry pavement so in the event of an emergency situation I know my brakes will not be my weak point. I am also able to get great braking power whilst trailering a 5klb boat which was my primary reason for upgrading the system.

Also when you start up your Jeep for the first time dont be alarmed if the pedal goes to the floor a couple times. You compressed the pistons remember? So just pump the brakes a couple of times and you should feel the pressure coming back. If it doesnt you have a problem and should check to see if you're leaking/spraying fluid anywhere, this is unlikely if you were careful with the caliper. After your first couple drives and bedding the pads in the pedal should feel much better. If you're still unhappy with it consider getting the brakes bled.

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Unread 03-08-2012, 12:01 AM   #2
1skrewsloose
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New to the jeep world, didn't know they had two piston calipers. Seized parts on the discs I've read cause rotor warpage. Good info, thanks.
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Unread 03-08-2012, 12:51 AM   #3
compcrasher86
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Not sure about the older style teves calipers on the early WJs but mine was retrofitted with the newer style Akebono calipers which are dual piston. The older style teves calipers were known to not be held well enough in place and would push at weird angles and warp the rotors. Common issue on ZJs is the pad slides right on the knuckle (instead of the replaceable hardware you can see in my pictures) so over time it likes to grind notches into the knuckle slides and the pads get caught up in those and cause vibrations over time
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Unread 04-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #4
compcrasher86
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Updated with instructions/captions! Enjoy all!
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Unread 04-18-2012, 04:07 PM   #5
hellboar
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So great post, I already upgraded my 01 to front akebonos a few months ago. No one ever seems to mention the rears, I know they "arent as important" but are they inferior on an 01 as well?
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Unread 04-18-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
billzcat1
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All the rears are the same. No updates to be had there.

A couple notes to add - with dual-piston calipers, it is often maddening because as you compress one piston, the other pops out. Having a second clamp (even a small one) is handy to keep the first piston compressed while you compress the second.

Also, when it comes to socket-and-pin type caliper sliders, it is important not to over-grease them. If there is too much grease, the pins can't slide their full range of travel. Your best bet is to clean out the socket with brake cleaner and some Q-tips. Clean the pin and see what its maximum depth is with no grease. Apply a small amount of grease to the pin, insert, and make sure you can compress the pin to its maximum depth. If you over-grease, you will put load on a single side of the brake pad. You might as well just let it seize up if you do that. It'll chew up the pad and rotor in a big hurry.

I'm also wondering exactly what product you used on those sliders. Usually the brightly colored stuff is a high-temp RTV-like product made to hold brake pads in place and prevent squealing from the pad vibrating. I'm really hoping what you have there is actually a grease product, not an RTV product.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 05:18 PM   #7
compcrasher86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billzcat1
All the rears are the same. No updates to be had there.

A couple notes to add - with dual-piston calipers, it is often maddening because as you compress one piston, the other pops out. Having a second clamp (even a small one) is handy to keep the first piston compressed while you compress the second.

Also, when it comes to socket-and-pin type caliper sliders, it is important not to over-grease them. If there is too much grease, the pins can't slide their full range of travel. Your best bet is to clean out the socket with brake cleaner and some Q-tips. Clean the pin and see what its maximum depth is with no grease. Apply a small amount of grease to the pin, insert, and make sure you can compress the pin to its maximum depth. If you over-grease, you will put load on a single side of the brake pad. You might as well just let it seize up if you do that. It'll chew up the pad and rotor in a big hurry.

I'm also wondering exactly what product you used on those sliders. Usually the brightly colored stuff is a high-temp RTV-like product made to hold brake pads in place and prevent squealing from the pad vibrating. I'm really hoping what you have there is actually a grease product, not an RTV product.
Very interesting. I did grease them very liberally.. as I recall seeing somewhere before but I can reduce that amount if necessary. The material I used was permatex 24125 ceramic extreme brake parts lubricant. It's advertised for use on all brake parts, not sure how good of an anti-squeal it is but in its 2,000 miles of use thus far everything has sounded perfect and no issues
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Unread 04-18-2012, 05:28 PM   #8
billzcat1
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Oh good, had me sweating about that. Stuff like "Disc Brake Quiet" doesn't belong on sliders. My favorite grease for brakes is actually CV joint grease. Extreme pressure, extreme temperature moly grease.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 09:48 PM   #9
Cirruslydakota
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That stuff works great. I usually use wheel bearing grease but the last time around I used some special stuff from my shop. CAT desert gold, its some serious stuff.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 10:21 PM   #10
compcrasher86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billzcat1 View Post
Oh good, had me sweating about that. Stuff like "Disc Brake Quiet" doesn't belong on sliders. My favorite grease for brakes is actually CV joint grease. Extreme pressure, extreme temperature moly grease.
Wait... so... I'm not supposed to lube my CVs with high temp RTV!?
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Unread 04-18-2012, 11:07 PM   #11
billzcat1
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Maybe that's how RCV shafts are made? RTV + CV = RCV???
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Unread 04-19-2012, 04:55 AM   #12
roach68
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You can use one of your old pads to compress the pistons at the same time with just one clamp
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Unread 04-19-2012, 08:25 PM   #13
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Great write up man - Thanks for sharing.
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Unread 04-19-2012, 10:51 PM   #14
2aul1642
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Where can I get akebono?
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Unread 04-20-2012, 04:07 AM   #15
compcrasher86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2aul1642
Where can I get akebono?
You can buy the parts at most any auto parts store or Rockauto.com. You will need new caliper brackets, new calipers, new rotors, and new pads. The swap itself is not too much out of the way from what was done in the tutorial here but you need to bleed the brakes afterwards which can be involved and due to the ABS system may be best left to your mechanic.
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