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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I did a complete brake job on the front brakes of my 04 Armada. Calipers, Pads, Rotors. I used EGR Brakes as my parts source based on their truck/SUV experience, on-line reviews, and recommendations from a buddy with a Dodge diesel that has had great success with EGR. Overall, this was a straight forward job – you just need a few specific tools to deal with the larger torque requirements. I finished it in 3-1/2 hours, including bleeding the brakes and doing a quick test drive to bed the pads. Initial impressions are favorable. This is a lengthy post, but I tried to break it down into manageable bits. I posted appropriate photos to show how the brakes go together, compare new to old, and show you what slotted rotors look like behind factory wheels (nothing impressive, but someone will ask).

Quick background: I bought my 04 Armada in Nov 03. I’ve had it in for brake related servicing 8 times since then. This included the “final” brake fix in the Spring of 05. The judder returned, along with squeals and a grabbing right front caliper within 10k of driving. When I pulled them apart to inspect the brakes I also found uneven wear on the pads and chips on the caliper pistons. Worse, my wife was getting to the point of feeling that the truck was unsafe – the judder was extreme and the grabbing piston started pulling the truck hard to the right at speed. Nissan has been good about continuing to service this issue, but the amount of time invested in getting warranty servicing exceeds the cost of me going to the aftermarket to get the brakes done right.

What I bought: From EGR, I ordered slotted rotors, rebuilt calipers and carbon-kevlar brake pads. All OEM sized. Total price is just shy of $800. The only parts I re-used were the torque member and torque member bolts. I did not opt for stainless steel brake hoses because my problem hasn’t been stopping performance – it’s been judder, wear, and everything else.

Required Tools: You’ll need a good ½” socket set with metric bolts up to 22mm. To remove the torque member bolts (torqued to 155 ft-lbs) you’ll need a 2’ breaker bar. You’ll also need a torque wrench. Thread locker, assembly lube (provided by EGR), brake parts cleaner and extra brake fluid.

The Project:

Jack up the truck and pull the wheel.

Remove the two sliding bolts that hold on the caliper. The caliper will come off with some gentle nudging from a rubber mallet, or by prying it off with a large screwdriver. Conveniently, the caliper with hose still attached will sit on top of the upper A-arm out of the way.

Remove the pads and clips.

Remove the torque member bolts with 2’ breaker bar. It’s a tough geometry with the limited space, but there is enough space under the fender to get some serious leverage on the bar. Because of the thread locker on the bolt, you’ll need to use the breaker bar almost the entire time to get the bolt out.

Pull the torque member and the rotor. I used brake/parts cleaner to clean out the threads on the torque member.

Install the rotor and torque member. Use brake cleaner both surfaces of the rotor to remove oil/debris. Use lock-tite red on the torque member bolts and tighten to 155 ft-lbs.

Lube up and install new sliding bolts. Lube back of brake pads and install along with new clips.

Undo the banjo fitting to the old caliper and install it on the new caliper. You’ll get some fluid leak, but not very much. Be sure to get the brass washer since it likes to stick to the old caliper.

The new caliper pistons are completely compressed. So assembly is easy. Just slide over the brake pads and onto the rotor. Then screw in the sliding bolts and torque as required.

Reinstall tire/wheel and bleed brakes (right rear, left front, left rear, right front). I had to add brake fluid after both front brakes. Bed brakes as directed.
 

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Armadaof1 said:
I did a complete brake job on the front brakes of my 04 Armada. Calipers, Pads, Rotors. I used EGR Brakes as my parts source based on their truck/SUV experience, on-line reviews, and recommendations from a buddy with a Dodge diesel that has had great success with EGR. Overall, this was a straight forward job – you just need a few specific tools to deal with the larger torque requirements. I finished it in 3-1/2 hours, including bleeding the brakes and doing a quick test drive to bed the pads. Initial impressions are favorable. This is a lengthy post, but I tried to break it down into manageable bits. I posted appropriate photos to show how the brakes go together, compare new to old, and show you what slotted rotors look like behind factory wheels (nothing impressive, but someone will ask).
Well sir, this is certaintly a dramatic solution to an unfortunate problem, but it seems in your case necessary. Very nice work and a reasonable price. I think Nissan owes you a little more than what you've been getting but as long as your happy now more power to ya. Please keep us updated on how this brake system works out for you.
 

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Looks nice. Smart not getting the drilled rotors and getting slotted instead. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
An update on the brakes. Almost a year and a half later and 35k miles, including a cross country haul across the southwest in 110+ heat with four kids and more luggage than I care to remember, the brake fix is still good.

Always nice when the investment pays off.
 

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Armadaof1 said:
An update on the brakes. Almost a year and a half later and 35k miles, including a cross country haul across the southwest in 110+ heat with four kids and more luggage than I care to remember, the brake fix is still good.

Always nice when the investment pays off.
Thanks for the update. It's much appreciated.
 

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Great post, Armadaof1.
We really appreciate the info and you taking the time to share it with us. That's what makes clubarmada the best club on the web!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
78k time to replace the pads

So a couple years and 78k miles later, it's time to replace the pads. Absolutely no problems with the front brakes since I did the EGR upgrade and we've run the truck through everything short of off-roading. We criss crossed the mountains of the northwest. Made a cross country trip fully loaded, in the summer, through central California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas with temps over 115. We beat around DC for two years in the hell of the beltway and wall-to-wall traffic. And of late we've battled through 100+ inches of snow. So I'd have to say they've held up pretty good in a variety of conditions.

I pulled the pads off and the inner pads are at the minimum (based on the metal warning bar) and have worn very slightly more at the bottom then the top. The outer pads have marginally more meat on them.

The rotors are in good shape. The grooves accumulated some rust on the outside and picked up some braking material on the inside. The calipers look fine - dust boots are in good shape on the pistons.
 
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