How to Change the Rear Brake Shoes on a 1987 Nissan Pathfinder

The rear brakes on a vehicle are not used as frequently as the front; therefore they do not have to be replaced as often. The rear brakes on a 1987 Nissan Pathfinder can be replaced by the average weekend mechanic. The rear brake shoes can be purchased from any auto parts store. Performing the rear brake replacement yourself can save you time and money.

Tools Used: Replacement brake pads, Brake fluid, Car jack, Blocks, Lug nut wrench, Syringe, Socket wrench, Wire, Jack stands, C-clamp, Small block of wood

Change the Rear Brake Shoes

Removing the Old Brake Pads

Park the vehicle on level ground and place blocks in front of the front tires. If the vehicle has a manual transmission, make sure it is in gear.

Open the hood of your Pathfinder and locate the master cylinder and remove half of the brake fluid with a syringe. The master cylinder is located in front of the steering wheel on the firewall separating the engine from the body of the truck. The plastic container on top of the cylinder is what holds the brake fluid. Dispose of the brake fluid per local environmental guidelines.

Loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels with a lug nut wrench.

Raise the vehicle using a floor jack. Place jack stands beneath the vehicle for support.

Unscrew the lower caliper guide pin with a socket wrench. Swing the caliper away from the disc rotor. Use a piece of wire to hold the caliper out of the way and prevent it from hanging from the brake line.

Remove the brake pads and retainers from the caliper bracket on the disc rotor. Remove the inner and outer shims and the pad retainers.

Installing the New Brake Pads

Insert the inner and outer brake shims into the caliper bracket. Place a pad retainer on the bottom of each brake pad. Slide the pads into the caliper bracket.

Place a block of wood over the caliper piston and tighten the C-clamp over the wood and caliper. This will press the piston back into the caliper bore. Remove the C-clamp and wood.

Slide the caliper back onto the caliper bracket. Torque the mounting bolts to 24 ft.-lbs. Lift the boot (rubber seal) located around the piston bore to release any trapped air.

Repeat the removal and installation process on the other wheel.

Remount the wheels onto the vehicle. Raise the vehicle slightly with the floor jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts onto the wheel studs with the lug nut wrench.

Tips & Warnings

Season the brake pads by making gentle stops when driving the vehicle for the first week after brake installation.

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