1999 K2500 - Pads, rotors, calipers, wheel bearing assemblies, ABS sensor

Discussion in 'How-to Guides' started by Springthing, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    This post is to document and hopefully help someone looking to do any of the following:

    Change out brakes pads
    Remove rotors
    Swap out calipers
    Swap out the entire FRONT wheel bearing assemblies
    Replace the FRONT ABS sensor

    The work done below was on a 1999 Chevy Suburban K2500 (3/4 ton) with 4WD. I don't know to which other application this applies. Hopefully, though, this will give someone a heads up on what to kind of expect.

    I am not a mechanic! I am not an expert. Therefore please take the following as for reference only. I will am not in a position to tell you if this will be the same for your application. For some reason it seems the '99 Suburban K2500 is always the odd-man-out when it comes to doing anything mechanically. I'm not sure on the particulars but, again, hopefully this will be helpful to someone as to what to expect when working on their front end suspension.

    If you have insight to anything here, please please feel free to add information so that I may put it in the post and/or add the information. Anything pertaining to what other trucks/applications this applies to, etc.

    I apologize, again, as I'm unsure of the sizes of sockets and tools. This was done some time ago and I no longer have the sheet I was writing on to make notes for this Write up! :confused:

    This is the complete start to finish of replacing the wheel assemblies, replacing the calipers, replacing the rotors, and replacing the pads. Pick and choose the steps as you see fit to what you want to do. I'll just run through the whole gamut.

    Step 1: Jack your truck's front end off the ground and place JACK STANDS UNDERNEATH, IN THE APPROPRIATE PLACE TO SECURE YOUR TRUCK. Please do not do any kind of work to a vehicle without it being securely raised on jack stands.

    With the front wheel off, locate the two allen head bolts holding your caliper in place. Might take a little pressure to unfasten, so watch your knuckles.


    Without kinking the brake hose, flip the caliper up and rest it on top of the wheel assembly. If you are keeping the caliper, hang it with a wire hanger to keep it out of the way.

    If you are simply replacing pads, keep on reading. You should resurface the rotors anyway...and need to get them off.

    On the rear side of the caliper, unbolt the brakeline with a socket. Oil WILL spill -duh- so if you don't want to dirty your floor may want to put something down for the entire job.



    Toss the caliper and pads.

    This is where the fun begins.

    I highly recommend you have a long breaker bar! The wheel bearing nut needs to come off (the huge one right smack in the middle of the hub)

    I went ahead and propped a block of wood against the hub, under a wheel stud, to prevent the wheel from turning while I took the nut off.


    With a little weight the nut should come off. Keep the nut and washer(s?) and lay aside.

    Unclip the ABS sensor wire at the frame and free it from any guides it may be pressed into.

    Turning your attention to the back side of the wheel assembly, there are 4 bolts that need to be taken off in order for the wheel assembly to come off.

    Again, you'll need to apply a little force to get them off, watch for busted knuckles - especially with brake-oil slick wet hands!

    The four bolts are on the four corners of the back side. This is what you'll end up with once removed:


    It may take a little shuffling but the entire wheel assembly should be able to just be pulled off at this point. The only 'bind' it should have is the shaft binding to the middle of the assembly. I had one just pull right off, the other side I popped with a hammer until the shaft broke loose. Just a few taps to loosen it is all it took.

    Ok, remember when I said the fun was beginning? Ok...this is where the REAL fun begins.

    Drop the entire assembly "right side up" so the bolts (aka studs) are sticking out the top. I sat mine on top of a few 2x4's.



    If you are lucky enough to have a press, lucky you! The bolts need to be pressed out.

    For those of us that aren't so lucky, well, pick up the hammer again.

    With a few blows (don't bang away like you're putting in railroad spikes), the bolts should just pop out the bottom, and drop to the ground. If you have a stubborn one, grab an extra piece of 2x4 and POP it a little harder.


    There's always the option of putting a lugnut back on and using it to hammer without damaging the bolt/stud, but really there's no use. You aren't banging threads. If you are....well, you're doing it wrong.

    If you happen to damage a stud/bolt, you can always purchase replacements - I think they're $5-$10 each, or so.

    With the assembly turned over, you will have to turn the wheel bearing assembly a little to slip out of grooves cut in the rotors. Lift and work the rotors out.


    You should then have rotor in hand, wheel bearing assembly on the workbench/ground.

    Old wheel bearing assembly, new wheel bearing assembly, and rotor. You can see the groves cut into the rotor to allow the bearing assemblies to come out:


    Once you have gotten your rotors turned, it's time to put things back together!
  2. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Reverse steps. Duh.

    When I put the new bearing assemblies to mate with the rotors I used a broken socket extension to drive the bolts into the rotors a little to keep it all together.


    When putting the whole assembly back on, and throughout the whole process, treat the ABS wire gently!! It can be pinched in any number of places. At this time you'll want to make sure it sits at the correct place to put it back into it's guides and clip it back into the plug at the frame.


    The four bolts are put back in through the back of the assembly, securing the assembly back on.

    Again, I'm no mechanic, but here is how I set the bolts/studs back into place, pressing the bearing assembly and rotor together. I propped my 2/4 back up, reversed the steps to put the hub nut back on and tightened it with my breaker bar. (check your book for the torque specifications if you use your torque wrench as you should.) :rules:

    I then went ahead and put on all the lugnuts and, one by one, tightened them using the star pattern. (tighten one, tighten the one across, tighten the one back across from that one..working my way around)


    This seated the bolts for me, and served in pressing the rotor against the bearing assembly.

    With the new caliper in hand, the new pads are dropped in. Second photo shows the old pad/caliper...but shows how the pad clips into place:



    The brake line is bolted to the caliper...


    And the caliper is then put into place, and the two allen bolts are tightened up to secure it in place.

    Brakes are then bled (btw...I never did quite figure this out..I think the dealership needs to do this, or a shop that is capable of "electronically bleeding the brakes". I have NO idea what this means....it's an ongoing issue with my truck and need to actually get to the dealership to see what information they have for me there.

    Put the wheels back on, tighten everything nice and good.

    Start the truck. Pump the brakes until you feel them start to push back, so the pads seat themselves. Check and add brake fluid if needed.

    Take a short test drive and see if anything falls off. If it does, well, things weren't done correctly.

    After a short bit of driving, retighten your lugnuts.

    DAREDEVIL Rockstar 4 Years 1000 Posts

    Nice write up , THANKS !!!!!!!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2010
  4. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I had that totaly bas ackwards when i was talking to you about it. i didnt know that the 2500-3500s had to have the rotor separated like that, im used to the style that separate from the bearing while on the truck...

    Great write up that i hadnt seen before..
  5. stephan

    stephan Rockstar 4 Years 5000 Posts

    Hey Steven, I thought you said at the beginning of this write up that you are not a mechanic?? Well pal, I hereby knight you "mechanic".
    Big job for you to take on, & very well done!!:great:

    DAREDEVIL Rockstar 4 Years 1000 Posts


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