How to remove calipers and replace brake lines - Nissan Armada Forum: Armada & Infiniti QX56 Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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How to remove calipers and replace brake lines

.

I wouldn’t classify this as a step-by-step, but rather an enlightenment and tips/tricks narrative on replacing your rubber brake lines with stainless braided lines. My dealer wanted about $325 to do this.

I take no responsibility or liability if you follow this procedure and something bad happens. It is just what worked for me.

Parts required:

10mm wrench
12mm wrench
14mm wrench (If using Goodridge SS lines)
18mm socket
Blue Loctite (or equivalent med strength thread locker)
Two 32 ounce bottles of new Dot3 brake fluid
Small funnel
Shop rags and latex (or similar) gloves – several pair
2 drainpans ( I did two wheels, same-side at a time)
Vice grips – I found needle nose to work well
Rubber hose to fit inside banjo-bolt connector (don’t know the size offhand)
I consider jack stands a requirement – be safe!

Parts optional:

Mighty Vac (or similar) vacuum device
5 gallon bucket
Brake anti-squeal lube

Time of repair:

Difficult to judge, but I would say about 45 minutes per wheel. (I had painting time, smoke breaks, coffee breaks, lunch break, internet breaks in my project)

Difficulty of repair:

(Scale of 1 – 10), I would put it at 2 for technical, and 3 for being a mess
Cussword usage rating = 2

Reference links:
https://www.clubarmada.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17271

Link to Goodridge stainless steel braided brake lines from TireRack.com (This link takes you to the ones for '07 Armada)
http://tinyurl.com/26k6omo


Photo and procedure credits:
tchjts1 (Jeff)

This isn’t technically difficult, but for someone about to attempt it, these guidelines and tips should prove to be beneficial. The how-to looks long only because it is detailed.

Brake fluid is not paint friendly. Your hands are going to have brake fluid on them. Make it a point to not be touching painted surfaces. Brake fluid and moisture do not go together well. Keep your containers closed when not in use, as well as your reservoir.

Note – if you keep the reservoir lid on tightly after each refill during this process, you will have less of a fluid mess as you disconnect the calipers and hoses, due to the vacuum. If you just lay the lid in place, you will basically have free-flow of fluid when you disconnect stuff and it will be a royal mess..

First thing I did was to break out my trusty Mighty Vac. Opened the hood and cleaned any dirt/grime away from the brake fluid reservoir lid. When you take the lid off and look inside, you should be looking at a plastic debris catcher in the opening. Reach in with a finger and lift it out. Have rags close at hand to catch any drips. Set the catcher aside until the end of the entire procedure. Here is a pic of the catcher:



Next, I used my Mighty Vac and vac’d out the nasty fluid from the reservoir. You can’t get it all, so don’t worry about air entering the system. Fill the reservoir with new fluid.
There is no point in leaving that old fluid there. That will be all the less old fluid you will be pushing through the system when you bleed it.

Here’s a pic of the fluid I vac’d out of the reservoir:



And here is a pic of new fluid:



I use an impact wrench. If you are doing it the old-fashioned way with a lug wrench, then break your lugnuts before jacking. Jack up an entire side of the vehicle and put your jackstands in place. Remove both wheels.

You are going to want 4 pieces of rubber hose to insert into the banjo bolt connector to control dripping/leaking while you have the calipers disconnected. Take one of your new brakelines to an auto parts store and get 6 inches or so of rubber hose that fits snugly into the opening as pictured below. This will block fluid from leaking while the calipers are disconnected.



Cut the hose into about 1 inch (or larger) pieces so you have 4 of these.
Note that caliper assembly removal is not necessary to replace the brake lines. But since you have the hoses disconnected, it is a great opportunity to give your calipers a cleaning and a tune up. If you do not wish to remove your calipers, simply ignore the directions below that pertain to that procedure.

Ok, time to remove the banjo bolt from the front caliper. Now you should have a drainpan under the caliper, latex gloves on and rags nearby. Here’s where the mess starts. Have one of your 1” pieces of hose handy as well as rags.

Here’s a pic of the banjo bolt. Just follow your brakeline to the caliper, you’ll find it.



Undo the bolt. As you start to unscrew it, brake fluid is going to start leaking out of it. Don’t worry if any washers fall off, your new lines should have washers in the kit. Once you have the banjo bolt free, place that 1” piece of hose into the connecter where the bolt was. Hopefully this stops any dripping. Most of the brake fluid in the caliper will also run out. This is good. It went into the drainpan, right?

The original hose should now be hanging above the drainpan and looking something like this (and not dripping much):



Remember, your brake fluid reservoir is lowered by whatever amount of brake fluid leaks during this process. You do not want that reservoir to completely empty or you will get air in the system. Check the level occasionally

And here is where the 5-gallon bucket comes in handy. Turn the bucket over so you have the flat surface up to support the caliper when it is removed. There is room to slide into the wheel-well. You only need to remove 2 bolts to take the front caliper off. When you look at the backside of the caliper, you will see 4 bolts. 2 bolts have rubber boots on them. Do not remove these bolts. Those are your slider pins. Instead, Remove the 2 bolts that do not have rubber boots. Remove the bottom caliper bolt first. When you remove the top one, support the caliper with your hand, it will come free of the rotor.

Once the caliper has been removed, turn it over above the drainpan to get the rest of the old fluid out of it, then lay it on the bucket. You will want to wipe all that fluid from your hands/gloves before you continue on. Wipe off any residual fluid from the caliper. You don’t want any of that getting onto the brake pads.

You can take this opportunity to inspect your pads, lube your slider pins, put anti-squeal on the shim-side of the caliper that contacts the pistons as seen below. Take care not to get any contaminants or brake fluid on the braking surface of your brake pads when handling them.



(That was a little heavy on the lube. I wiped some off after the pic was taken)
Brake squeaks and chatter generally come from the area of the pistons contacting the shim, that’s the only point that really needs any anti-squeal lube applied. Lube, grease and oil are dust and grime attractants, so don’t go overboard. An optional method is to apply it to the piston contact surface to reduce the amount used.

Inspect the hole that the banjo bolt goes into. Look for a copper crush washer to be sticking to the hole. If there is, remove it. They usually fall off when you disconnect the hose from the caliper, but not always.

Now that you have the caliper up to par, mount it back onto the vehicle. Use Loctite or an equivalent on the 2 rotor mounting bolts. I just put a ” band of it around the threads starting about ” up the threaded end of the bolt: (Simulated pic)



Time to remove the old brake line and replace with the new line.

The new Goodridge lines are ” longer than the stock lines. Also, the lines that go to the front are longer than the lines that go to the rear. Make sure you use the correct lines front/rear. Put a piece of rubber hose in your new line as shown here. Note the 2 hose lengths.



First thing you want to do is break the 10mm nut free at the top of the line, then tighten it again just enough to stop any leakage. If you try to break it free after you remove the retaining clip, you will be putting a lot of torque on the hard-tubes, and you don’t want to do that. Next thing is to remove the retaining clip. The SS lines I installed came with new clips, so I discarded the old ones. This is where I used my needle-nose vice grips. You can work the clips left-to-right to break it free of any grime, then it should pull out fairly easily.

Here’s a blurry pic of the retaining clip:



With the clip removed, gently jiggle the connector where that 10mm nut is so the connection starts to drop down through the hole. Unscrew the hose and lay it to drain into your drainpan.

A few notes on the new hoses. The Goodridge lines come pre-marked with black lines on them as seen below. These are indicator lines that will show if you have the hose twisted when you mount it. If they are not lined up, you have stress/twist on the line. Not good. On my mount, the lines weren’t visible because they were positioned towards the frame.
You can pretty much tell if the SS line is laying naturally or if there is stress on it.



Also note that you will use 2 crush washers with the banjo bolt. One goes on each side of the banjo bolt connector.

Connect the new hose to the 10mm nut. Here is where you should do a little planning. I wanted my hose loop to go towards the rear of the vehicle. This is the same direction the loop of the stock hose goes. The fixed 14mm hex head on the new line locks into place as seen here:



You can see how the tab locks that hex head into place and prevents it from turning, so plan it for the banjo bolt connector where the hose comes out, to point towards the rear of the vehicle. It may be easier to secure the banjo bolt into the caliper before securing the top of the hose, but either way, you don’t want stress on the line when all is secured.

You will have to jiggle the top connection a bit work it completely up through the hole. Put the new retaining clip in place. If you have the connection all the way up through the hole, you should be able to push that clip on with both thumbs. If it is taking more force than that, you are probably not all the way through the hole.

Here’s a look at the new clip properly in place:



Secure both ends of the hose into place – caliper end and hard tube end.

Front line is done except for bleeding. Again, if you are dripping a lot of fluid during the process, occasionally check your reservoir and keep it full.

Here is the passenger front side finished. You can tell that the line is laying naturally with no twists or stress on it.



Go to the rear wheel and repeat the above process. Everything is the same except for caliper removal. (Again – caliper removal is not necessary but I like inspecting and cleaning them)

For the rear caliper, there are only two bolts on the back side, and these two both have rubber boots. Remove those 2 bolts. You will see a spring-type clip that you have to push down on to release the caliper. Pull out on the caliper as you push down on this clip.



Clean up your caliper, inspect the pads, lube the piston-contact area, etc.

When you re-install the rear caliper you will have to pull on the slider pins where the rubber boots are to get it past the mounting holes. It should go into place pretty easily when you do this correctly. I do not use Loctite on the rear caliper bolts. Just make sure they are torqued to spec.

Again, when installing the new lines, make sure there is no stress or twist to them. Secure your connections and you are done except for bleeding.

At this point, I bled both the front and rear where I put the new lines on. I am not going to describe the bleeding process here. This is already long enough. You should be able to find that process easily enough with a Google search. Just be sure to frequently check your reservoir when you bleed. Don’t want it going empty.

After bleeding, put your wheels back on and repeat the entire process on the other side of the vehicle.

If anyone notices anything glaringly wrong in the how-to, let me know and I will correct it.

.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
'07 LE 4x4, Injen PowerFlow intake, SuperChips tuned, Borla dual exhaust, Bilstein struts, Michelin LTX MS2's, PowerSlot slotted rotors/Akebono pads, Goodridge SS brake lines, KMC-XD Monster rims, Viper remote start.


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Last edited by tchjts1; 05-23-2010 at 02:09 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 05:11 PM
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Looks great! I am going to have to do this mod! I am also going to get the Bilsten HD's and the R1 Concepts cross and drilled with the ceramic pads along with this. Thanks for the write up!


James

2004 Armada SE Smoke 4x4, 2 Degree Advanced Timing, Air-Box Mod, K&N Drop In Filter, Active Tuning Grounding Kit, 6000K HID's, LED Interior and Exterior illumination, Chrome OEM Grille, Front Windows Tinted To Mach Back, V8 Emblems, LE Emblem, Big Tow Package, Prodigy Brake Controller, ScanGauge II, Microfilter, Qx56 Chrome Wheels/Steering Wheel, OEM Fog Lights, Back-Up Camera!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 06:37 PM
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I've never used loctite on caliper bolts before, is this normal practice or just something you do?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-23-2010, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjdubber View Post
I've never used loctite on caliper bolts before, is this normal practice or just something you do?
Consider the fact that if you buy new caliper mounting bolts from the dealer, they come pre-coated with a thread locker on them.

If your top mounting bolt works free and falls out, the entire caliper assembly is going to rock back off the rotor, pivoting on the lower mounting bolt, and is going to be banging off the inside of your wheel.

If they both happen to work themselves free, you're going to have a major mess on your hands.

A little blt of medium strength thread locker on these front caliper bolts is cheap insurance.

.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
'07 LE 4x4, Injen PowerFlow intake, SuperChips tuned, Borla dual exhaust, Bilstein struts, Michelin LTX MS2's, PowerSlot slotted rotors/Akebono pads, Goodridge SS brake lines, KMC-XD Monster rims, Viper remote start.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 02:10 AM
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I suppose its deffinetly good practice and will be doing this myself this from now on as well, allthough I have never experienced a problem with this there is always a first time.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2010, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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If you need more convincing... here's a thread posted today where he lost a caliper bolt...

https://www.clubarmada.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17345


.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
'07 LE 4x4, Injen PowerFlow intake, SuperChips tuned, Borla dual exhaust, Bilstein struts, Michelin LTX MS2's, PowerSlot slotted rotors/Akebono pads, Goodridge SS brake lines, KMC-XD Monster rims, Viper remote start.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2010, 02:19 PM
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Loctite is cheap insurance but that thread is awefully fishy. Did I read it correctly that he and his neighbor had the exact same problem pretty much at the same time? This is something that is rare enough that not many of us experience even hearing about it in a lifetime. That is just too much of a coincidence. They may have a vandal in the area, and no loctite is going to stop that. My .02 is to always use a torque wrench and double check all the bolts. It is more likely to loosen up if you forgot to tighten it properly.

My .02 on the ss brake line install, That rubber tube trick to stop the fluid leak is brilliant!

Chrisarmada
04 SE Gray, 05 dark gray wheels, K/N drop in, airbox mod, BFG AT's, 6000K HID, EBC Greenstuff, yellow calipers, powerslot rotors, Goodrich ss lines, 3000K HID fogs, LED everything, Bilstien HD's, foam filled sway bar, urethane bushings, 2 degree mod

Last edited by chrisarmada; 07-24-2010 at 02:23 PM.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-24-2010, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisarmada View Post
My .02 is to always use a torque wrench and double check all the bolts. It is more likely to loosen up if you forgot to tighten it properly.
For what it's worth, when you buy new caliper bolts from the dealer, they come with thread locker on them. That should tell you something right there.

When I replaced my rotors and pads, I didn't use loctite on my old bolts, but I did torque the bolts to spec. About 3 weeks later I lost the top caliper bolt on the driver side. The last 3 miles home wasn't a lot of fun.

- - - - - - - - - - - -
'07 LE 4x4, Injen PowerFlow intake, SuperChips tuned, Borla dual exhaust, Bilstein struts, Michelin LTX MS2's, PowerSlot slotted rotors/Akebono pads, Goodridge SS brake lines, KMC-XD Monster rims, Viper remote start.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-20-2011, 06:49 PM
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Very nice! I am really looking for instructions like this. I just had my brother change and replace everything for me though but I want to learn to do it myself so that I could always do it just by myself. Thanks for sharing this information. nice post!

Nissan


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 02:27 PM
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Very nice write up! I am wondering, does brake fluid leak out when you disconnect the top bolt of the brake line? Do you have to hurry to get the new line connected?

2008 LE 4x4, White Exterior, Leather Almond Interior
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