How to Jack & Change Brakes on a 2008 Chevy Suburban

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The 2008 Chevrolet Suburban uses both disc and drum brakes. The disc brakes are on all four wheels where they are used for everyday stopping of the vehicle while the drum brakes are on the rear wheels, where they are used only for the parking brake. Normally, the drum brakes are only replaced if they are rusted into the braked position while the disc brakes are replaced multiple times over the life of the vehicle. The procedure for changing the front and rear disc brakes is the same.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire iron
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Wheel chocks
  • Open-end wrench set
  • Ratchet and socket set
  • Long flat-headed screw driver
  • Wooden block
  • Steel wool
  • Graphite lubricant
  • New brake pads

Accessing the Brakes

  • Park the Suburban on a solid, level surface.

  • Use the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts on both front wheels.

  • Place the jack under the front cross-member on the frame of the vehicle

  • Jack up the vehicle until the wheels are off the ground, and the jack stands will fit under the frame just behind the wheel wells.

  • Lower the Suburban onto the jack stands and then place the wheel chocks around each rear wheel.

Disassembling the Brakes

  • Remove the lug nuts and both front wheels.

  • Remove the brake-caliper pins which are located on the back of the brake module. The caliper pins are the set of bolts farthest away from the axle.

  • Remove the brake-module bolts. They are located next to the caliper pins, closer to the axle.

  • Remove the brake assembly and place a wooden block in the caliper to keep the pistons from working their way out. Use the screwdriver to pry off the assembly if it does not come off easily.

  • Clean out the brake-pad tracks using the steel wool.

Reassembly

  • Smear a little bit of lubricant on the brake-pad tracks.

  • Place the brake pads in their tracks and put the module back on the axle. The brake pads should be on the inside, touching the brake rotor. Put the bolts in loosely to hold the pieces in place.

  • Remove the wooden block from the caliper and put it over the brake pads. Insert the caliper pins and tighten down the pins and bolts.

  • Replace the wheel and evenly tighten the lug nuts.

  • Use the floor jack to raise the vehicle and remove the jack stands. Lower the vehicle back down to the ground and retighten all of the lug nuts.

  • Repeat these steps for the rear brakes, using the rear differential to jack up the Suburban and placing the jack stands below the frame, just in front of the rear wheel wells.

Tips & Warnings

  • The drum brakes on the rear wheels are housed within the center cylinder of the brake rotor. If you look at the front and rear axles without the wheels on, you will notice the center cylinder of the brake rotor on the rear axle is deeper than the front. The disc brake mechanism is the same on the front and back though.

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References

  • Photo Credit Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from Fotolia.com
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