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newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

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Old 03-27-2003, 12:00 PM   #1  
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newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Hi everybody,<br>actually, I have a bunch of questions. And I've been browsing this forum already a lot of times, but now I've got this problem with my brakes, and can't seem to find the right thread(s).<br> First things first. I bought a 98 2500 2WD aut. 12valve QC with only 66k miles on it, and really in very good shape. Actually, someone (let's call him the dealer) bought it for me in the US and imported it. The truck runs great, but I still need to get used to the automatic. When I asked the guy to buy me a dodge ram, I specified most other aspects (I wanted a 2500 diesel of 4-5 years old and not to much miles, 2WD was fine, but 4WD for a good price too) but I didn't think there would be a big difference in it being an automatic or stick shift. From what I read so far on this forum, I kinda fooled myself. I guess if I would do it again, I'd go for the manual trans. <br>Lucky for me, the previous owner put in the EGT and boost gauge I hear everybody saying every truck should have. <br><br>Now, first question:<br>I only have the truck a month, and (i think) the front pads must be replaced. Awful sound when I press the brake, so I would like to fix it asap. Now, which pads to buy, and where to order them? How much do they cost? I read somewhere it is not too hard to replace them... But I'm not a mechanic although I don't mind getting dirty . So is there a good site where changing front pads is explained in detail? <br><br>Question two: when my truck arrived, the dealer put in another fuel gauge. Now, one month later, my gauge apparently is stuck or broken again, since it stays on full with already 200 miles on it (would be nice if true ). So, I guess I'll take it back to the dealer, to look it over and repair it, but maybe it would be better to know myself what to do, or what needs to be done, since my dealer probably doesn't know it very well...<br><br>And the next question is actually kind of following... Since there is no official Dodge dealer (at least not for trucks) in my country, would it be a good idea to buy the service manual? Is it worth the money? And how about the Haynes manual? Anybody has those and can comment on them?<br><br>Since I'm asking... mileage is around 18 mpg. I guess it's okay, but since diesel isn't getting any cheaper... what are the best ways to get better mileage?<br><br>Another mod I have is the Prime-Loc external fuel filter... I saw, on this forum I guess, that one is suppose to drain water out of the filter, but I can't seem to find a drain valve on this filter...? That is, I presume it should simply be on the filter, right?<br><br><br>And one last question... I don't like the way the torque convertor doesn't let you accelerate like it does when it's locked up (have the switch, thanks to the previous owner). You'll probably gone say it's expensive, but would it be a good idea (in time) to change the torque convertor for a, I'd say, sturdier model?<br><br>Well, I still have quite a few questions, but it'll do for now. Especially those brakes I would want to take care of in the next days...<br>thanks a bunch, <br>maarten<br>
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Old 03-27-2003, 01:48 PM   #2  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

where r u from?
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Old 03-27-2003, 01:53 PM   #3  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Well, I'm from Belgium, Europe. And as far as I can tell, Dodge itself dus not really have a division over here. Maybe it'll change with the DaimlerChrysler association gettin in gear. However, Ram trucks are not really answering market needs, I think. Most people don't even know it's existence...<br>
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Old 03-27-2003, 02:06 PM   #4  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Maarten, welcome to the dodge/cummins world...<br><br>Ok mines a 2000 and it's 4x4 but I have done the front brakes on mine and it's really not hard. Sounds like you are into one or both of your front rotors so in US those cost about $105 a piece. If they are still turnable then $20 US will fix them up. The pads on mine were $55 for the set and are supposed to be lifetime but no way on this truck, fronts do all the stopping.<br>If the '98 is like mine then rotors come right off after you pull the rims. Two bolts hold on the caliper which I think are 16 point socket style. You will need a &quot;C&quot; clamp to compress the caliper pistons but that is about it. Everything goes back in reverse order. About 1 hour job.<br><br>Fuel gauge, I would try and trace the wire from the sender in the fuel tank up the frame rail looking for any damage. If this wire is grounding could be causing your gauge problem. Mine doesn't come off full until about 100 miles.<br><br>I bought a service manual which I think is a good investment, $90 US. If you plan on keeping the truck for a while that is. I don't always follow their assembly/disassembly instructions but is a weath of info. For example I just put in a new lift pump and manual says to remove starter. Much easier to just remove fuel filter exposing LP instead of crawling around on the ground. <br><br>I get 20 mpg with mine, 18 seems ok but I'll have to defer to the 12v guys for comment here. <br><br>Not familiar with the prime loc filter?<br><br>I love my automatic and with my 275's and EZ it goes just fine when I step on it.<br><br>Good Luck!
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Old 03-27-2003, 02:31 PM   #5  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Jec3,<br><br>thanks for the answers... I don't understand all of the terms (I could use a dictionary... and I don't know very much (yet) about the stuff) but I guess I'll have to concentrate on those rotors instead of the pads. <br>And now I'm going to ask a real newbie question: how can I see which will need replacing (rotor or pad)? I suppose the wear ofcourse, but what are the limits...<br><br>And uhm, supposed to last a lifetime... than I guess 66k miles is rather early to get into brake problems. Since I only have the truck for a month, I guess the previous owner knew when to sell . It does have a Kelsey brake, so I suppose its been used for towing a lot, which might explain this. Although you'd think brakes wouldn't have to work that much harder with the Kelsey assistance...<br><br>About the fuel gauge, I'll definitely check the wiring. <br><br>thanks again.
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Old 03-27-2003, 02:51 PM   #6  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Mararten,<br><br>You will definitely need pads but may or may not need rotors. Pull the front rims and look at the rotors. The are the big disc that fits over the front hubs. The shinny surface is what contacts the pads to slow the wheel. This shinny surface should be smooth with no grooves (check both sides front &amp; back). The pads wear past their max, a metal surface (either a rivit or the pad base) will contact the rotor and you have metal to metal and instead of the softer pad material wearing will actually wear into the metal rotor. Once the grooves in the rotor get too deep you will have to replace them.<br><br>Pull the wheel and inspect the rotor and peer into the caliper where the pads are mounted (one on each side of the rotor). You should see the metal backing plate of the pad and then some amount of pad material. If the pad material is less than approx. 1/4 inch (not sure how many mm that is) they should be replaced.<br><br>My brakes hit metal to metal at about 60K but I don't have an exhaust brake. If you have an exhaust brake this should improve the longevity of your brakes by a huge amount. Depending on what was being towed. Your TC may have been weakend by that same tow load.<br><br>Hope this helps,<br> Jim
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Old 03-27-2003, 03:14 PM   #7  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Jim,<br><br>too bad it's already dark outside or I'd go and take a look right now. Your explanation is really gonna help me to know what to look for. <br><br>I don't have an exhaust brake. And about the towing weakening the TC... I think it might have done so. But then again, maybe it's just normal and I just need to get used to having a little slip driving an automatic. Maybe I need to time a couple of accelerations and shiftpoints and compare with folks on other threads. But for now, first I'll take care of the brakes. <br>One more question on that: which brand of pads and maybe the rotor(s) would be good? I suppose there are some differences between brands, both in quality and price... I read on dodgeram.org something about the type-number being the same for all brands, (ending with 3704 for 80mm pistons and with 4594 for the 86mm pistons)... I don't know which I have, but I guess crawling under might give me some more information. <br>Or maybe I'll just find a site where they tell me which pads go on my truck. And then I hope they are right .<br><br>thanks again,
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Old 03-27-2003, 04:03 PM   #8  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

I just bought my parts at a local auto parts store. If you stick to a name brand like Raybetos you should be fine...<br>
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Old 03-28-2003, 05:42 AM   #9  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Hi Maarten<br>Welcome to the site. There's a member here called AlpineRam who lives in Austria that can probably help you out with where to buy parts in Europe. Send him a PM. I'm sure he'd be glad to help you out.<br>As far as that automatic trans, that's the way there are stock. There are a few good vendors selling better torque converters, valve bodies, shift controllers and various upgraded internal parts. If you do a search here you'll find lots of threads on transmissions. I'm not going to mention any names or this will turn into another &quot;tranny war&quot; thread. : I've got the Hayne's manual and a service manual on CD which are both all right, but the original factory service manual can't be beat.<br>
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Old 03-28-2003, 06:12 AM   #10  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Anyone up to a road trip to Belgium to help out a fellow diesel driver? Oops, wait a minute, there's water between here and there right? Crap..............

Welcome to the site. There is a young fellow on here by the name of Cattlehauler that changed his rotors and pads and took pics. Send him a PM to see if he still has the pics and can show you the parts. His is four wheel drive but the component parts are similar. With an auto trans, 66000 miles is pretty good for a set of brakes. Mine on my 85 went out clear to the rotors ar 35000. They went so bad I had to have the rotors turned.

There are plenty of experienced helpers on here so don't be afraid to ask the questions. A lot of times, it has already been asked and someone will post a link to that thread.

Check the classifieds for a used manual and then you can ask in a new thread if anyne has one and yes, the factory manual is definately worth the money.

Good luck and welcome again.
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Old 03-31-2003, 03:05 AM   #11  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Thanks everyone.<br>I'll definitely order the service manual (unless I find a used one, but I guess nobody who ever bought one will want to part with it. If people sold their truck the manual probably went with it too, right?)<br>Anyway, I'll PM the people you mentioned, and get me some tools to do the work (jack stands and such ) And if I need any special tools, I guess I'll find out soon enough. <br>after a quick look, I don't think I need to change the rotors, but maybe a better look will prove me wrong. <br><br>thanks again, maarten
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Old 04-28-2003, 09:59 PM   #12  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

I am doing the front brakes on my truck right now. I picked up new rotors at Advance Auto for $47 each. Not really worth turning them if you can get them for that price. Pads were $28. Now, if I just did not mess up one of the bearing/hub assembly that the dealers wants $400 each I would be much happier. Soooo, I would have to agree with saying that the factory service manual is a good investment. I just need to go get one.
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Old 04-30-2003, 09:42 PM   #13  
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Re:newbie needs to change the front brake pads.

Welcome Maarten,<br> If you can't find the parts that you need where you live, let me know what you need and I'll try to send to you via our freight broker, but the freight may cost may be more than the parts ???.<br> Most rotors have the minimum dia. that they can be turned down to cast into them, but like everyone says, if they are &quot;grinding&quot; it may be too late.<br>e-mail [email protected]
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