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Premium Member
92,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The following pictures will show how to remove and install new brake rotors and brake pads.
This installation specifically uses the Frozen Rotors slotted rotors and Hawk LTS brake pads,
but the procedure is the same for any brand of pads/rotors and the same for 4x4 & 4x2 trucks.

One more tip, you should work on one side at a time, keeping one completely assembled
system for reference, in case you don't recall how things go back together.

Tools you will need:

..........½” Breaker Bar
..........½” Socket (with extensions)
..........21mm Socket
..........14mm Socket
..........10mm Socket
..........Torque Wrench (capable of 20-200 ft-lb.)
..........Flathead Screwdriver
..........Rubber Mallet
..........Wire Brush
..........4” C-Clamp (minimum)
..........Bungee Cord or Wire (Coat hanger will do)
..........Caliper Lube
..........Recommended: Mechanic’s Gloves or Disposable Latex Gloves

The good stuff, Frozen Rotors slotted rotors and Hawk LTS brake pads:

Note that the rotors are all labeled on the boxes. They are directional and specific for each
wheel, so don’t take the rotors out and mix them up.

Once you’ve checked the shipping label and have all that you need, you will need to clean
the new rotors. The rotors are coated with packing oil to prevent surface rust from forming
prior to delivery to the customer. The oil needs to be removed. Warm, soapy water and
a good scrub brush takes care of it nicely.

Let the rotors dry thoroughly, making sure to keep the correct rotors with the correct
labeled boxes.

I tend to err on the side of caution, so I also sprayed both sides and the hub area with
Brakleen just to be sure they were clean. Wipe the rotors down and allow to dry.

On to the installation... First, remove the cap from the brake reservoir. Note the fluid level.
It should be lower than desired if you have never added fluid. If you have kept your fluid
topped off during the brake wear period, you will need to remove some with either a
small siphon or old turkey baster. When you compress the brake pistons, fluid will be
forced back into the brake reservoir.

Make sure to surround the brake reservoir with dispensable rags. Brake fluid is nasty
to painted surfaces, so protect the area should any spill over.

Jack the front of the truck up and place the jackstands at the proper locations per the manual.

Remove the front tires and set aside. Your brake assembly should look like this:

I always like to perform an inspection of the brake system before touching it. Look at the
brake line and the back around the piston seal to make sure there are no leaks. Look at
the pads and the rotors to see if there is excessive wear or uneven pad thickness.

This is the stock caliper assembly:

Remove the ABS wire from the clip so you can get to the rear of the brake caliper assembly.

There are two schools of thought here with the caliper removal. You can use the 14mm
socket and remove the caliper slide pin bolts, then pry the caliper off with a screwdriver,
and remove the pads.

Now, I realize that this is the rear assembly, but the fronts are removed the same way.

I chose to just remove the whole assembly by removing the caliper mounting bolts
(or torque bolts) with the 21mm socket as shown here:

This will need to be done even if you already removed the caliper as the rotors will not
come off the hub with the mounting bracket in the way. Doing it this way, I was able to
slide the caliper out of the mounting bracket and remove the pads easily as well. Make
sure to hang the removed caliper using a bungee cord or wire. Don’t just let it hang by
the brake line.

Once the pads are out, compress the brake pistons with a C-clamp. It’s a good idea to
use one of the old pads to protect the surface of the pistons. Compress the pistons until
they are flush with the piston housing.

Once this is done, remove the old pad and hang the caliper from the bungee.

The rotor just sets over the lugs and seats on the hub. There are no bolts holding it.
It remains in place once the wheel is torque onto the hub. Sometimes, the rotors will not
come off easily. This is normal and can be handled with a few taps of a rubber mallet,
or ‘Persuader’.

Once removed, spray the entire hub assembly, caliper, and caliper mounting bracket
with Brakleen to remove any gunk, grease, debris, dirt, or dust. Take care not to spray
the caliper slide pin bolts that are lubed up. I use a catch basin to keep the driveway
semi-clean of stains…….. It doesn’t always work. Remember, never use compressed air
to clean the brake systems and try not to breathe brake dust.

Once dry, take the wire brush and clean out the brake pad retainers and lubricate them
with high temp caliper lube.

Also lube up the caliper slide pins with the same high temp caliper lube.

I reassemble the caliper before installing the rotor so I’m not bumping into it while I’m
working. Do this by sliding the caliper slide pins into the holes in the calipers until the
rubber boots seat.

The brake pads come with a small packet of anti-squeal gel. Put some on the caliper piston
edges where the new pad will seat and put the pad in place.

So as not to make a huge mess and overgel the pads, I visibly aligned the outer pad with
the caliper to see where contact is made and put gel on the back of the pad. You can
also put the gel on the caliper itself, but this is easier to get to.

Then just install the pad into the caliper making sure it’s properly seated into the slide rails.
You can see the gel squeezed out, but there is not considerable excess so there should be
no slop. Make sure you don’t get any of this on the pad surface or on the rotors. If you do,
clean it off and spray with the Brakleen until it’s clean.

Once the pads and calipers are assembled, let them hang on the bungee and put the
rotor on the hub.

Now, the Nissan Service Manual says not to reuse the torque bolts, but I did. I may swap
them out sometime in the near future, but for now, I reused them. I always use
Nev’R Sieze anti-seize compound on bolts when I’m reinstalling them. It’s a good idea. Trust me.

It's been brought to my attention that the stock torque bolts come with blue loctite applied. That's
what makes them a bit difficult to loosen. It's also a good reason why the Service Manual recommends
they be replaced. They could snap. Reapplication of blue Loctite could prevent these bolts from backing
out and causing the calipers to loosen and wear the rotors unevenly or cause other issues. I have never
had an issue but it is a good recommendation for safety.

Then just reassemble the caliper onto the rotor and reinstall all the bolts. The 14mm bolts
on the caliper slide pin bolts get torque to 32 ft-lb. (if you disassembled the caliper from
the mounting bracket). The 21mm caliper mounting bolts (torque bolts) get torqued to 155 ft-lb.

Make sure to put the ABS wire back in the retainer clip before putting the wheels on. Give
the rotors another cleaning with Brakleen, front side and back side, just to assure they are
clean and there’s no dirt or fingerprints on them. Put the wheels back on, torque the lugnuts
to 98 ft-lb and set the front end back on the ground. Go back and recheck the brake
fluid reservoir. You will see a much higher fluid level than when you started, as previously
explained. If it is almost overflowing, remove a bit more fluid as the rear caliper compressing
will also displace more brake fluid.

Perform the rear disassembly, cleanup and reassembly similarly to the front:

Jacking and tire removal:

Stock rear assembly:

There is no caliper mounting bracket on the rear setup, so just remove the caliper bolts after
performing an inspection of the pads, rotors, etc.


Using a screwdriver, prepare to pry the caliper away from the rotor.

You will need to press down the retainer clip on the pads to clear the pad keeper slide rails.

Inspect the caliper, brake line, seals, etc. for leaks or damage.

Then, hang it out of the way with the bungee.

To remove the front pad, pull on one side of the retainer clip.

Again, by removing the front pad you can use the rear pad as a surface for the C-clamp
and compress the piston until it is flush with the piston housing.

The rear assemblies also house the Emergency Brake assemblies. These can sometimes be
out of adjustment and make the rotors difficult to remove. Again, the rubber mallet
“Persuader” can be used to convince the rotors to come off. You may also want to “unadjust”
the E-Brake a bit by loosening the 10mm nut on the adjuster under the front dashboard,
near the top of the E-brake pedal assembly.

Some will say there’s little correlation to this adjuster and the rear rotors sticking, but as
soon as I loosened it, the rotors came off easily.

Inspect the pad retainer slide rails and clean with a wire brush.

Remove the rotor and spray everything down with Brakleen. Clean the hub, caliper, slides,
etc. Make sure to get behind the hub plate on all the inner workings of the E-brake as well.

Reassemble the rear pads similarly to the fronts, using the anti-squeal compound supplied
with the new pads. And hang them again using the bungee. The rear pad just presses into
place, but the front is installed opposite to its removal, by just sliding it in the tracks until the
little pin on the back of the pad is in the hole in the caliper, and the retainer clip is
centered on the caliper.

Place the rear rotors on the hub.

Lube up the brake pad slide rails (knuckle slide in the diagram).

Prepare the new caliper assembly for installation by making sure the slide pin bolt boots are pushed back as far as they can go.

Reinstall the caliper assembly by hooking the bottom of the brake pad retainers on the
brake pad slide rails (knuckle slides) and pushing them onto the rotors.

Once in place, put Nev’r Seize on the bolts and reinstall.

Torque the bolts to 24 ft-lb. using a 10mm socket.

Again, clean off the rotor with a shot of Brakleen, both front and back, and let dry.

Just torque the wheels back on (98 ft-lb) and set the truck back down on the ground. Check the
brake fluid reservoir and top off the fluid if necessary. Put the cap back on BEFORE you go inside
the truck and press on the brake pedal. You don’t want the mess it will make otherwise.

Start up the truck, and pump the brake pedal to get fluid to the new brake assemblies.
It will take a few pumps. Once they are pumped up and will hold the truck, shut it down and
recheck the brake fluid reservoir. Top off if necessary.

To bed the new pads, all procedures will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. This
is how Frozen Rotors recommends the Brake Burnishing be done:

Frozen Rotors Brake Burnishing Procedure

A note on the importance of lubricating the caliper slides:

View attachment Slide Lube.pdf

Please note, some portions of the installation instructions are reproduced from Frozen Rotors'
instructions. Always refer to your provided instructions and use this as a secondary guideline
if necessary.

2,316 Posts
Now that's one great "how-to"! Thanks and I owe you a beer or two! :cheers::cheers:

Premium Member
141,094 Posts
Excellent write up.
Did you notice any difference in stopping power?

Premium Member
92,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm still on the burnishing procedure, but yes, the few times I've had to get it stopped quick, there's no second guessing. These babies are MORE than up to the challenge of stopping 2.5+ tons of rampaging beast!! They work good at stopping the truck too! :lol:

Premium Member
92,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys! It's really not as difficult as some think. Heck, if I can do it.... :D

2,143 Posts
Excellent, thanks for the "How to" BB! Hopefully I can get mine installed here in the next couple of days. :cheers:

143 Posts
Great wrteup. The only thing I'd do differently is to spray paint the entire rotor with metallic silver paint. Or use Aluminum color. Don't worry about the rotor surface, just spray it with paint. The first time you stop, the pads will clean the paint off from where they contact, and the rest of the rotor will stay clean looking for years.

I sprayed my new rotors on my 2002 Camaro SS in 2005, and they still look new.

I will try to get in on the group buy today, and thanks for the writeup again.

Update: Just ordered. Code worked. Thanks for the group buy effort, I appreciate it.

143 Posts
BlackBeauty, I have a question and a request.

I absolutely CHANCED onto this post by browsing the Titan General; Discussion forum. After following the link s and participating in the group buy, I started to wonder about other group buys. I was and amm unable to locate a special place for group buys, and only managed to see the info contained in the link in your sig buy clicking it. Actually, I can't even FIND this thread without following the sig link.

So, my question: Is there a special place that I haven't yet found for collected group buy information?

My request: If there is NOT such a place, could we get one added so that participation in group buys might be quite so left to chance?

Again, thanks for the savings.

For those who do not know, the Frozen Rotor cost is about $863 for rotors and pads, and the group buy code saves 15%. When shipping is added (remember, these things are heavy!) the total comes out near $801 or so, and would otherwise be $935 or so including shipping.

Premium Member
92,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I agree with the "Group Buy Forum". This is something that will need to be taken up with the site Administration, however. Typically, all the group buys are started in the actual Sponsor's Forum. In this case, Frozen Rotors has their own Forum section, just like PRG, Adam's Polishes, tech12volts, etc. It's in those particular Forum sections that they post group buys. That's just how it's always been done here.

In a way, it keeps all that Sponsor's information, threads, and group buys together. Neat and clean.

Premium Member
59,443 Posts

252 Posts
Great wrteup. The only thing I'd do differently is to spray paint the entire rotor with metallic silver paint. Or use Aluminum color. Don't worry about the rotor surface, just spray it with paint. The first time you stop, the pads will clean the paint off from where they contact, and the rest of the rotor will stay clean looking for years.

I sprayed my new rotors on my 2002 Camaro SS in 2005, and they still look new.

I'm assuming you used a high temp paint? which kind specifically? also i'm thinkin about just going black instead, and spraying the calipers black as well, any recomendations?

Premium Member
92,554 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
For the calipers, there are dozens of Caliper Paint Kits available, either online or at your local auto parts stores. It doesn't really need to be high heat resistant paint for that. These kits are a brush on application, not spray, so disassembly is not required.

The rotors would need a high temp resistant paint. I personally would NOT paint the pad wearing surfaces. The hot paint peelings might tend to gum up and stick to the pads... I wouldn't trust that. There are tons of how-to's online for that, but the biggest thing is to protect the rotor/pad contact surface from the paint, IMO.... Obviously, you'd spray the rotors OFF the truck.

252 Posts
I ended up getting a ceramic paint for the rotors, because your suppose to bake it and it seals eveything under the paint. but i'm not gonna bake them, cause when i put them on the truck the pads will just take the paint off of the contact surfaces, and the rest of the rotor will heat up and seal the paint in on it.:)

143 Posts
Got the shipment, cleaned it in the sink as you did, and then spray-painted all the rotors with high-temperature Aluminum metallic paint. All done and dry; looks great. They go on this Saturday.

Thanks for the great group buy!

- Greg

33 Posts
I just wanted to say Thank You for posting these instructions. I have never changed brakes and rotors before. You instructions were perfect! I have had problems with my rotors from day 1 of buying my titan. With your instructions and new frozen rotors and pad, I atleast know I have quality parts and work done this time. Individuals that take the time to post things like this never get enought credit. Thanks Again!!

143 Posts
I used engine/header paint ( high temp).

Same as I did on the Camaro. I painted those in 2003 and they still look new today.

Of course, truck does, too.

My Frozen Rotors took maybe 50 miles to wear in. They stopped poorly until then, and now, once broken in, stop VERY well when I need them. But wouldn't go from new rotors and pads to running up on someone' bumper at speed ...

Of course, that is NOT unique to Frozen Rotors ... it applies to ALL rotors and pads. New ones need a break-in or "seating / bedding" If you DO it, no problem. If you don't ... your new brakes might warp when you overheat them for the first time.

The "seating" or "bedding" purpose is to make the brakes more resistant to degradation with heat by heating them gradually and making them more "used to" getting hot quickly.

Trust me, it works. DO it.

15 Posts
How difficult would you say it is to put new brakes and rotors on? I've never done it before and don't want to get in over my head, but at the same time I would like to be able to. I think I can handle it with this step by step walkthrough. Anybody wanna try to talk me out of it?
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