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I am less than mechanically inclined but am attempting to do the brakes on my 2013 Nissan Frontier 4X4 SV. I feel the slightest vibration when I brake hard and the brake pedal is a little soft so I am planning to do pads all around and rotors in the front. The truck has 42k miles on it now so i feel like it is time. Is there anything tricky I should know about doing brakes on a frontier that is abnormal or less than obvious?

I appreciate any feed back.

thank you,

Forest
 

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Brakes are very straight forward. Assume at 42K you are only doing the front. I would go ahead and buy new rotors, don't bother getting the old ones machined.

The brake feel will always be soft unless you start modifying things.
 

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Coming from someone with a relatively recent history of being completely mechanically inept and who did a brake job for the first time only a few short years ago, here are the things that come to mind that may not necessarily be thought of:

* When you remove the calipers, make sure you have already lined up a way to secure them, whether that is tying them to the UCA or setting them on a tall sturdy box or whatever (for the rears, you can just set them on the leaf spring). You don't want to hang them by the brake lines.
* Pay attention to the way the little spring clips on the side are holding the pads in place. When you put the new pads in, you'll have to squeeze those little clips together. If you've never done a brake job with a similar style clip, this may not be intuitive...and your brakes will make funny noises if you put them together wrong (ask me how I know...).
* You may already know this, but you'll need a way of squeezing the pistons back to get the new pads to fit over your rotor because they'll be thicker (I use C clamps).
* Apply a very small amount of grease to the backing plates and you may want to add a little more under the slide pin boots as well.
* The bolts for the slide pins are only torqued to something like 20 or 25...I'd have to look it up, but make sure you don't overtorque them.
* Definitely plan on applying anti-seize or blue Loctite (whatever your preference for your climate) to the caliper bolts and torque them properly.
* The brakes may feel really soft the first couple times you apply them after replacing the pads. They should firm up quickly.
* Never top off the brake fluid prior to doing a brake job. If the fluid reservoir is near max, you might want to consider loosening the cap on the reservoir before you start (just make sure to tighten it back down afterward).

I'm assuming you are very new at this and tried to list out the things that the "how to" manuals didn't necessarily mention when I did this for the first time. I hate learning things the hard way. ;)

Brakes are pretty straightforward on these trucks though. The hardest part is usually trying to wrestle the new pads into the side clips.
 

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Solid words from Jen.

Also, don't be afraid to watch a few YouTube videos or Google search. I've had great success over the years typing in the vehicle I am working on and the operation I am about to perform in to the Google/YouTube search. I did this just the other day before I went to replace a headlight bulb on my wife's car. Even though I have been wrenching on cars for 25 some odd years, it was still helpful. Without the search, I would never have thought to look for an access panel inside the wheel opening and would have struggled from the top side.
 

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Another point on the first use of the brake after the brake job. When you get in the car pump the brakes a couple of times before you start to drive. Since you retracted the pistons all the way it will often take several pumps before the new brake pads contact the the rotor. This has almost cause me to crash as you can have NO brakes the first time you step on the pedal.
 

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since no one has mentioned bedding the pads. read the directions and bed your pads.

just as well, pick up some tubing and a boxed wrench to crack open your lines and drain the shitty fluid as you walk the caliper back.
i have this kit and its worked on everything from a frontier to a raptor to a silradooooo. and its cheap and much easier and a smoother motion



i would for sure tq ya bolts down. i was a dummy and on my last brake job one of my rear caliper bolts came loose and it was ****ing with my pedal really bad. it was going to the floor almost and barely stopping.
new bolt in and tqed to spec and the thing stops in the middle of ferguson MO without worries.

good luck, and go slow. its not a race.
 

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Odd that you need to replace the brakes at 40+k. Most frontiers get well over 70k before needing fronts and near 90k before needing rears. Granted YMMV and if you have a heavy foot or a tire tech who doesn't believe in a torque wrench then it's not out of the question that you could have a little rotor warpage starting, just saying it's well outside the norm.
The frontier does have a soft brake pedal, no denying that. And if you share driving duties with another car it's even more noticeable when getting back in the fronty.
As to the job itself, it is a fairly simple procedure. Just follow the good advice above and make sure you pay attention to how things came apart you should be fine. If you're not mechanically inclined and don't have experience with braking systems I don't recommend opening the hydraulic system. If you open a bleeder valve and don't get the air properly bled out you can create a dangerous situation in a hurry.
 

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since no one has mentioned bedding the pads. read the directions and bed your pads.

just as well, pick up some tubing and a boxed wrench to crack open your lines and drain the shitty fluid as you walk the caliper back.
i have this kit and its worked on everything from a frontier to a raptor to a silradooooo. and its cheap and much easier and a smoother motion
https://www.amazon.com/Motivx-Tools...r=1-2-spons&keywords=brake+caliper+tool&psc=1



i would for sure tq ya bolts down. i was a dummy and on my last brake job one of my rear caliper bolts came loose and it was ****ing with my pedal really bad. it was going to the floor almost and barely stopping.
new bolt in and tqed to spec and the thing stops in the middle of ferguson MO without worries.

good luck, and go slow. its not a race.
I was jsut doing a brake job last night and I was able to use some bar clamps to push the piston back. Like Jr mentioned c-clamps work well. Even used big channel locks before. That tool however looks nice. does it work on 2 pot calipers too.
 

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im not saying c clamps dont work.
playing kickball with a baseball can happen, but i bet you have a better time with a kickball.

apply tension to the piston on the lower piston in relation to the bleed screw. Crack the line and push back, close the line and move on to the other piston.

idk on the two pots, never done them.
 

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im not saying c clamps dont work.
playing kickball with a baseball can happen, but i bet you have a better time with a kickball.

apply tension to the piston on the lower piston in relation to the bleed screw. Crack the line and push back, close the line and move on to the other piston.

idk on the two pots, never done them.
POT=piston. They do make a 2 piston version of the tool.

As for your analogy of the kickball. I have a garage full of tools, and many single job specific ones. I am at the point, in tool storage, where if I do not need to own a specialized tool that a generic one will accomplish all the better. A clamp can easily retract a brake caliper piston thus the necessity for a specialized brake piston retraction tool is low. So more like playing kickball with a volleyball rather than an official "kickball". If I was trying to compress a suspension coil spring with some C and hose clamps...
 

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well if you have never used one before you cant really comment on what its like. you can only speculate.

so i dont think you are up to the task of labeling analogies for comparisons when you only have one side of the comparison....
c clamps will work on some calipers for sure, but some you have to turn back to the base. thats something a clamp cant do, hence a specific tool that works better than something that clamps.
but also works better than clamps, but hey keep your clamps what do i know, im only the only guy so far thats used the tool you are commenting about lol....
 

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The tool in discussion has been on my "I should get" list for probably 20 years. Each time I pull out my C clamps and fiddle with getting things lined up just right so I don't wedge a piston in it's bore, I tell myself I'll get the tool for next time....

So, yes, C clamps work, but, a dedicated tool that doesn't rely on the outside of the caliper body to line up correctly would be better.
 

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OK to tell you the truth I do not use c-clamps. I have been using these type of one-handed bar clamps for the job. I have a couple of large ones where the clamping surface covers the entire piston face. Works extremely well.
 

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I had no idea my C clamp suggestion was going to be such a hot topic. I do like doing things the hard way.

The tool that Andy linked looks like a worthwhile investment. I've only actually replaced the brake pads on my truck once, but I've also taken them apart to reapply grease...and I swear that half the time when I do a completely unrelated front end project, my brake pads fall out of the caliper and then don't want to go back over the rotor.
 

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I had no idea my C clamp suggestion was going to be such a hot topic. I do like doing things the hard way.

The tool that Andy linked looks like a worthwhile investment. I've only actually replaced the brake pads on my truck once, but I've also taken them apart to reapply grease...and I swear that half the time when I do a completely unrelated front end project, my brake pads fall out of the caliper and then don't want to go back over the rotor.
I have used c clamps more than any other tool when doing disc brakes. I just got a spreader for large calipers a little over a year ago. Whatever works for you is what you should use.
 

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I should also buy one of those tools............but knowing me I probably wont. lol

I use one of the OLD pads between the piston and clamp to apply even pressure when pushing the piston back in.
 

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I should also buy one of those tools............but knowing me I probably wont. lol

I use one of the OLD pads between the piston and clamp to apply even pressure when pushing the piston back in.
$10.00 at Harbor Freight.

I changed mine a while back. I had 141,000 miles on them. I changed everything Rotors and pads, although I probably could have gone another 10-20K. I saved the rotors because they were not worn enough and I will have them machined for future use.

I got that kind of mileage because of my 105 mile daily commute, I only touch the brakes 16 times in a normal day over that 105 miles and I also let up on the gas way before I need to use them. My last set of tires lasted 91,000 miles.
 

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$10.00 at Harbor Freight.

I changed mine a while back. I had 141,000 miles on them. I changed everything Rotors and pads, although I probably could have gone another 10-20K. I saved the rotors because they were not worn enough and I will have them machined for future use.

I got that kind of mileage because of my 105 mile daily commute, I only touch the brakes 16 times in a normal day over that 105 miles and I also let up on the gas way before I need to use them. My last set of tires lasted 91,000 miles.
Like you I try my best to be very easy on the brakes. I let off the gas and coast as soon as I see a stop ahead. I always stay several car lengths behind the vehicle in front of me on the Interstate. I am always amused watching people that ride the bumper of the vehicle ahead of them. You can tell they are constantly going from brake to accelerator over and over. Makes NO sense. lol
 

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since no one has mentioned bedding the pads. read the directions and bed your pads.
I just had all 4 pads and rotors done under warranty at the dealership. They put on the Nissan Advantage Parts.

Should these be bedded, or is just easy driving OK for 200 miles or so?
 
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