Jeep Wrangler Rear Brake
Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the rear brake pads on a 4th generation JL 2018 to 2023 Jeep Wrangler SUV.
2020 Wrangler Rear
Chock Rear Wheels
Slightly Loosen Lug Nuts
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the "JL" fourth generation (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023) Jeep Wrangler SUV in changing the rear disc brake pads including instructions for replacing the brake rotors if necessary.
Owners of other Jeep, Dodge and RAM vehicles such as the Grand Cherokee, Compass, Renegade, Gladiator, Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer, Wagoneer, Charger, Challenger, Durango, RAM 1500, Promaster, 2500 and 3500 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.
The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack, two jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 13mm socket with a 3/8" drive ratchet, an "F" clamp and a tube of brake parts lubricant grease.
The first few steps are to park the SUV on a level surface, turn off the ignition, shift the gear selector into "P" (Park) and release the emergency / parking brake.
If you don't release the emergency / parking brake, you won't be able to remove the caliper from the bracket.
I also recommend placing wheel chocks on both sides of the front tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.
Slightly loosen the five lug nuts in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.
Raise Rear of SUV
Support With Jack Stands
Spin Off 5 Lug Nuts
|Raise the rear of
the SUV with the floor jack placed under the rear jack point as shown in the
Securely support the vehicle with the two jack stands.
Spin off the five lug nuts in the counterclockwise direction.
Five Lug Nuts Removed
Caliper, Bracket & Rotor
Loosen Top Bolt
|Set the lug nuts
aside in a safe place.
Pull off the rear wheel and tire to reveal the caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.
Loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.
If the caliper slide pin turns as you are attempting to loosen the caliper bolt, hold it in place with a 17mm wrench.
Wrench - Hold Pin
Spin Out Caliper Bolts
Caliper Bolts Removed
|Loosen the bottom
caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (when viewed from the
outside of the car) with the 13mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.
Note - If you were to slide under the cargo area of the SUV and look at the back side of the caliper, you would loosen the caliper bolts in the "normal" counterclockwise direction (lefty-loosey). But since we are viewing the caliper from the outside of the car, the orientation is reversed and the ratchet is turned in the clockwise direction to loosen the bolts.
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
Lift Off Rear Caliper
Rest Caliper On Rotor
Old Brake Pads Exposed
|Gently lift the
caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.
Rest the caliper on the rotor or suspend it from the suspension spring with a bungee cord.
Try to avoid bending, kinking, stressing or pulling the rubber brake fluid hose.
Remove Old Pads
Wear Indicator Bars
Pad Abutment Clips
|Remove the old
brake pads from the bracket.
Take a note of where the wear indicator bars are situated on the old pads.
On this 2020 Wrangler, the wear indicator bars or "squeal bars" are located at the bottom of both the inner and outer brake pads.
If your new set of rear brake pads includes a bag of replacement hardware, remove the old pad abutment clips (or "anti-rattle clips") from the top and bottom of the bracket.
Clean off the rotor, bracket and caliper with brake parts cleaner spray. Allow the parts to dry.
Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the top and bottom of the new pad abutment clips.
Push the new pad abutment clips into the top and bottom of the bracket. Make sure the clips are fully seated in place.
Replace Abutment Clips
Lubricate Slide Pins
Do NOT Mix Up Pins
|In order for the
caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slide pins need to be well
Remove one pin at a time, apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to the smooth part of the pin and push it back into place.
Do NOT mix up the top and bottom caliper slide pins as on most vehicles they are slightly different with a trailing and leading pin. The leading pin will usually be equipped with a rubber bushing (or sleeve) that helps dampen vibrations.
Rotor Replacement Instructions
If you've been feeling shuddering, shaking or vibrations in the rear end during braking, you probably need to replace the rear rotors.
To replace the rotors, remove the two 18mm bolts on the back side of the caliper bracket and detach the bracket from the wheel hub.
Remove the rotor set screw by loosening it in the counterclockwise direction with a Torx T30 screwdriver. Slide the old rotor off the hub. If the rotor won't come off, hit it a few times with a rubber mallet to loosen any rust.
Clean off the hub and new rotor with brake parts cleaner spray. Slide the new rotor into place, replace the bracket and tighten the two 18mm bolts to 74 lb-ft (or 100 N*m) with a torque wrench.
Attach "F" Clamp
Brake Fluid Reservoir
Twist Off Yellow Cap
|In order for the
caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the two caliper pistons need
to be compressed back into place.
Attach the "F" clamp to the caliper and use the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the piston.
Move to the right rear area of the engine bay and twist off the brake fluid reservoir cap. Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the lines when you compress the piston.
Compress Caliper Piston
Replace Cap ASAP
Install New Brake Pads
|Slowly turn the "F"
clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the piston.
Repeatedly check the fluid level in the reservoir to make sure it doesn't overflow.
Once you are done retracting the caliper piston, replace the brake fluid cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air).
Install the new brake pads into the bracket with the wear indicator bars situated at the bottom of both pads.
Wear Bars - Bottom Both
Push Pads Against Rotor
Lower Caliper Over Pads
|Push the two pads
together until they are flush against the rotor.
Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and into the bracket.
Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding holes in the slide pins.
Spin In Caliper Bolts
Spin In Caliper Bolts
|Spin in the two
caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction.
Tighten the two caliper bolts in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 13mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until they are snug.
If you have a torque wrench, the service manual specification for tightening the 13mm front caliper bolts is 27 lb-ft (or 37 N*m).
Wrench - Hold Slide Pin
Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Rotor Set Screw T30
|If the caliper
slide pins turn as you are attempting to tighten the caliper bolts, hold the
pin in place with a 17mm wrench.
If your brake pedal has been feeling soft or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain a few 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 either some new DOT 3 brake fluid. (Check your owner's manual.)
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 just below the top caliper bolt.
To open and close the brake fluid bleeder valve, you'll need an 11mm wrench.
Replace Rear Wheel
Spin On Five Lug Nuts
Slightly Tighten Clockwise
the rear wheel and tire.
Spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.
Slightly tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron in the clockwise direction in a star or criss-cross pattern.
Lower From Jack Stands
Torque Lug Nuts
Rear Brake Job Done!
|Carefully lower the
vehicle from the jack stands.
Continue tightening the lug nuts in a star pattern until they are snug.
It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the torque specification listed in the owner's manual which is 130 lb-ft (or 176 N*m). The correct 1/2" drive socket size for tightening the lug nuts is 22mm.
Please double check your owner's manual for the correct lug nut torque specification.
Sit inside the vehicle and pump the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure.
Check the brake fluid level in the reservoir and some new DOT3 brake fluid if necessary.
please check out all of my
2018-2023 Jeep Wrangler DIY Maintenance Guides.
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