Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement - Front RWD

Bearing Cap Removed

Step 13 - Using a shop towel clean the cotter pin area free from grease.

Cleaning Cotter Pin

Step 14 - Next, use a pair of dikes to remove the cotter pin from the spindle.

Remove Cotter Pin

Step 15 - After the cotter pin has been removed, lift off the spindle nut retainer.

Spindle Nut Retainer

Step 16 - Then use a wrench or channel locks to remove the spindle nut.

Loosen Spindle Nut

Step 17 - Once the nut has been fully loosened, lift the nut from the spindle threads.

Spindle Nut

Step 18 - Use one hand to palm the rotor to one side, which forces the outer axle bearing outward. (Note: Have the other hand ready to catch the bearing.)

Removing Outer Axle Bearing

Step 19 - After the outer axle bearing has been released, inspect the bearing for metal shavings which indicates the bearing has failed and needs replacement.

Outer Axle Bearing

Step 20 - To remove the inner bearing and seal from the rotor hub for service, remount the axle nut onto the spindle. (Note: Tighten nut about five turns.)

Remount Axle Nut

Step 21 - Using the spindle nut as an arbor, grasp the rotor on both sides and thrust the rotor outward. This action might need to be repeated until the seal and bearing are released from the rotor hub.

Grasp Rotor

Step 22 - After thrusting the rotor outward, the bearing and grease seal will release and remain on the spindle behind the nut.

Inner Bearing w/Seal

Step 23 - Unthread the nut completely to remove the bearing and seal and clean thoroughly.

Remove Axle Nut

Step 24 - Using a shop towel, clean the spindle free of grease and debris.

Clean Spindle

Step 25 - Once the spindle is free from grease, remove the rotor mounting bolts which will release the rotor from the bearing hub. (Note: Omit this step if needed, some rotors are one piece with the bearing hub.)

Rotor Mounting Bolts

Step 26 - After the bolts have been removed, lift the bearing hub from the rotor.

Removing Bearing Hub

Step 27 - Next, compare the old brake rotor to the new unit, they should be identical.

New Brake Rotor

Step 28 - Then, using a shop towel, remove the grease from the bearing hub, front and rear.

Clean Bearing Hub Grease

Step 29 - Clean the mounting surface of the rotor mount against the bearing hub, this will ensure proper installation of the rotor.

Clean Rotor Mounting Surface

Step 30 - After the bearing hub surface is clean, gently install the new rotor onto the hub.

Installing Brake Rotor


Written by
Co-Founder and CEO of
35 years in the automotive repair field, ASE Master Technician, Advanced Electrical and Mechanical Theory.


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Article first published (Updated 2015-01-03)