2001 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 Replace the Brakes

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The Chevy Silverado Z71 pickup is an off-road sports package that increases the suspension characteristics of the truck. The truck contains 4-wheel disc brakes, a consequence of the truck being designed to haul heavy loads. The rear wheels also have drum brakes, which are used strictly as a parking brake. The disc brakes need to be changed periodically over the lifespan of the truck, while the drum brakes should never need changing.

Tools Used[edit]

Tire iron
Floor jack
Jack stands
Wrench and socket set
Long-neck flat-headed screwdriver
Wooden block
Steel wool
Graphite lubricant
Paper towels
New brake pads

Replace the Brakes[edit]


  • Park the pickup on a solid, level surface.
  • Use the tire iron to loosen the lug nuts on the tires covering the brakes that need to be changed. You must change the brakes on the right and left sides at the same time, though the front and rear brakes do not always need to be changed at the same time.
  • Place the floor jack under the end of the vehicle where the brakes need to be changed and jack up the vehicle far enough to get the tires off the ground.
  • Place the jack stands under the frame adjacent to the wheel wells. If you are changing the rear brakes, the jack stands can be placed under the rear axle, just inside from the tires and not in contact with any wires or suspension pieces.
  • Lower the truck onto the jack stands.
  • Use the tire iron to further remove the lug nuts for each elevated tire.
  • Remove each tire.

Removing the Brakes

  • Loosen the top set of bolts (those farthest from the axle) on the back of the disc brake assembly. These "bolts" are actually the caliper pins.
  • Remove the lower set of bolts (closer to the axle), which holds the brake assembly in place.
  • Use the screwdriver to pry off the brake assembly if it does not fall off when the bolts are removed.
  • Remove the caliper pins fully from the brake assembly.
  • Separate the brake caliper from the rest of the assembly and place a wooden block over the caliper piston.
  • Hook the C-clamp over the wooden block and the brake caliper. Tighten the clamp until the brake piston is compressed in the housing and only about 1/8-inch is exposed.
  • Remove the brake pads from the brake assembly.
  • Use steel wool to clean off any corrosion, particularly in the brake pad tracks.


  • Place a little bit of graphite lubricant in the brake pad tracks.
  • Smear around the lubricant until it forms a thin coating in the tracks. Use paper towels to remove any excess lubricant.
  • Place the new brake pads in the brake pad tracks on the assembly so that the pads are facing inwards.
  • Fit the brake assembly over the brake rotor and insert the bolts to hold it in place. There should be one brake pad on each side of the rotor with the pad setting flat against the rotor.
  • Remove the C-clamp and wooden block from the brake caliper and then immediately place the caliper over the brake assembly.
  • Insert the caliper pins.
  • Tighten the assembly bolts, then the caliper pins, until they cannot be tightened any more.

Completing the Repair

  • Repeat the changing procedure for the other brakes.
  • Replace the tire and screw on the lug nuts.
  • Tighten the lug nuts as much as possible.
  • Jack up the truck and remove the jack stands. Lower the truck to the ground.
  • Tighten the lug nuts on each removed tire again.