How to Install a Front Brake Caliper on a 1988 Dodge RAM

Installing a brake caliper is an easy do-it-yourself job most anyone can complete in a short period of time. The installation of the caliper is simply reversing the procedure used to remove the caliper. You will need some basic mechanic's tools for the job. The tools consist of socket driver and various sized sockets, caliper compression tool -- available for rent at most auto-parts stores -- and caliper grease. Following these simple instructions will allow you to complete this simple job in a short period of time.

Tools Used: Socket driver, Socket set, Caliper compression tool, Caliper grease

Install a Front Brake Caliper

Remove the cap from the vehicle's master cylinder. The master cylinder is located under the hood of the car and contains the vehicle's brake fluid. Removing the cap allows for the fluid to be pushed back into the reservoir when you compress the caliper.

Compress the caliper with the caliper compression tool. This tool can be rented from an auto-parts store and will usually come with various-sized compression plates for different-sized cylinders. Once you have placed the device on the caliper, slowly start twisting the clamp and compressing the piston inside the caliper. Once the piston is completely compressed, you can replace the cap on the master cylinder.

Install the brake pads in the caliper. The brake pads fit inside the caliper; place grease on the back of them prior to putting them in the caliper.

Install the brake caliper around the brake rotor. The brake rotor is located on the hub of the wheel and the caliper should fit snugly around the rotor. Once the caliper is fitted around the rotor, bolt the caliper in place with the caliper bolts.

Install the tire on the vehicle and lower the vehicle off the jack. It is a good idea to test the operation of the brakes prior to driving the vehicle. The first few pumps of the brake pedal will likely feel very spongy and soft, as the brake fluid pushes the caliper piston back into place. Once the brakes have been tested, take the car for a test drive to ensure the brakes operate properly.

Tips & Warnings

Brake fluid damages car surfaces. Be sure and wipe up any spills.

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