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Dodge Journey Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 1st generation 2009-2014 Dodge Journey with photo illustrated steps.

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2013 Journey Front Wheel
Slightly Loosen 5 Lug Nuts
Floor Jack - Raise Vehicle
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the 1st generation (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014) Dodge Journey SUV in changing the front disc brake pads.

Owners of other Chrysler, Dodge and RAM vehicles with similar front brake hardware such as the Town & Country, 300, 200, Avenger, Challenger, Charger, Dart, Durango, Grand Caravan, RAM 1500 and Ram C/V Tradesman may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The items needed to complete this procedure include a floor jack, two jack stands, a lug nut wrench, a 13mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench, a "C" or "F" clamp and a tube of brake parts lubricant grease.

A few compatible replacement sets of new front brake pads with their part numbers include the following: Bosch BP1327, Akebono ACT1273, Wagner ZD1589, Power Stop 16-1273, Centric 301.12730, TRW TPC1273, Raybestos SGD1273AC, Monroe CX1273, Hawk Performance HB569F.650 HPS and ACDelco 17D1589CH Ceramic.

Spin Counter Clockwise
5 Lug Nuts Removed
Rotor, Bracket, Caliper
The first few steps are to park your Journey on a level surface, engage the emergency / parking brake and chock the rear wheels to prevent it from moving.

Then slightly loosen the 5 lug nuts with the tire iron by turning them counter clockwise.

Raise the front of the vehicle with the floor jack and securely support it with the two jack stands.

(I prefer to work on one side of the car at a time for extra safety.)

Spin off the five lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Pull off the front wheel to reveal the brake caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.

Front Brake Caliper
Loosen Upper 13mm Bolt
Loosen Lower Caliper Bolt
The front brake caliper is held in place to the bracket by two bolts located on the back side of the caliper.

Loosen the upper caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and 3/8" drive ratcheting wrench.

Then loosen the lower 13mm caliper bolt by turning it clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle).

Spin Out Upper Caliper Bolt
Remove Lower Bolt Clockwise
Two Caliper Bolts Removed
Spin out the upper and lower caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
Lift Caliper Out of Bracket
Rest Caliper On Suspension
Remove Outer Brake Pad
Lift the brake caliper out of the bracket and carefully rest it on the suspension. You may also choose to hang the caliper from the suspension spring with some twine or a bungee cord.

Try to avoid stressing, bending or kinking the rubber brake fluid line.

Wear Bar - Top Outer Pad
Remove Old Inner Pad
Wear Bar - Top Inner Pad
Pull the old inner and outer brake pads out of the bracket.

Make a mental note of how the wear indicator or "squeal" bars are situated on the old brake pads. On this 2013 Journey SXT, the wear bars were located at the top of both the inner and outer brake pads.

I recommend buying the Bosch BP1327 front brake pads since they have excellent reviews on Amazon.


Replace Pad Abutment Clips
Remove Upper Caliper Pin
Lubricate & Replace Pins
If your new set of front brake pads included replacement hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket before installing the new ones in their place.

You may choose to apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease in between the pad abutment clips and the bracket.

Avoid getting any grease on the brake rotor.

In order for the brake caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins need to well lubricated.

Carefully pull the upper and lower caliper pins out of their rubber dust boots, apply a thin layer of brake parts grease to each one and push them back in to their rubber dust boots.

Attach "C" Clamp To Pistons
Twist Off Brake Fluid Cap
Compress Caliper Pistons
In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the two caliper pistons need to be compressed backwards.

Attach the "C" or "F" clamp to the caliper using the back of an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the two pistons.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay, closest to the driver's seat, and twist off the yellow brake fluid reservoir cap in the counter clockwise direction. Removing the brake fluid cap will allow the fluid to more easily travel backwards through the lines when you compress the pistons.

Slowly turn the handle on the "C" or "F" clamp to compress the brake caliper pistons. You may need to reposition the "C" clamp in order to fully compress both of the pistons.

Try to avoid pinching or otherwise damaging the rubber dust boots that surround each caliper piston.

Replace the brake fluid reservoir cap as soon as possible since brake fluid is hygroscopic (readily absorbs moisture from the air). Twist it on in the clockwise direction.

Twist On Brake Fluid Cap
Insert New Outer Pad
Wear Bars - Top Both Pads

Thoroughly clean off the brake rotor, caliper bracket, brake caliper assembly and the lug nut studs with brake parts cleaner spray. Do not use compressed air or blow with your mouth to clean off the brake parts since breathing in brake dust can be harmful to your health. Brake dust can be carcinogenic (cancer causing) if inhaled.

If your Journey previously exhibited shuddering, pulsating, or vibrations during braking, you may need to have your rotors "turned" (resurfaced) or just replace them with brand new rotors. If this is the SUV's first front brake job and the rotors appear to be in excellent condition, you should be able to just change the pads with great results.

To remove the existing rotors and install new ones, remove the two bolts on the rear of the caliper bracket that attach it to the steering knuckle. Then loosen the old rotor with a rubber mallet, pull it off, and slide the new one in its place.

Apply a thin layer of brake caliper grease to any area where there is metal to metal contact such as the outer lip of the caliper pistons. Do not apply brake parts lubricant to the friction surface of the new pads or to the face of the rotor.

Install the new inner and outer brake pads in to the bracket with the wear bars at the top of each pad.

Push Pads Against Rotor
Install Caliper In Bracket
Spin In Upper Caliper Bolt
Push the two pads flush against the rotor.

Lower the caliper in to the bracket and line up the bolt holes in the caliper with the corresponding holes in the slider pins.

Re-Insert Lower Caliper Bolt
Tighten - Counter Clockwise
Tighten Lower 13mm Bolt
Spin in the upper and lower caliper bolts by hand a few turns to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the two caliper bolts by turning them counter clockwise (as seen from the outside of the vehicle) with the 13mm socket and ratcheting wrench to just past hand tight or about 26 ft-lbs of torque.

Double check that the two caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
Replace Front Wheel & Nuts
Slightly Tighten Lug Nuts

If your brake pedal previously felt soft or spongy, the brake fluid may be contaminated with water or the brake lines may contain some 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 fresh DOT3 brake fluid. 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 right next to the upper caliper bolt.

Replace the front wheel and spin on the 5 lug nuts by hand in the clockwise direction to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in the clockwise direction with the lug nut wrench.

Lower Car From Stands
Torque Lug Nuts 100 ft-lbs
Front Brake Pads Replaced

Continue progressively tightening the 5 lug nuts in a criss cross or star pattern to about 1/4 turn past hand tight or about 100 ft-lbs of torque. It would be best to use a torque wrench or an impact wrench with a torque stick to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Sit in the driver's seat of the SUV and firmly press the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure. Check the brake fluid in the reservoir and verify that it is at the proper level. If it is low, add some DOT 3 fluid.

To break in your new front brake pads, just drive normally for the first few hundred miles while trying to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new pads and cause them to be noisy or not perform as well.

It's also a good idea to regularly check your driveway for drops of brake fluid which may indicate a leak, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir, and also verify that the lug nuts are still tight.

For more, check out my other Dodge Journey Repair & Maintenance Guides.

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