I'll admit it: I'm lazy. Real lazy as a matter of fact. Regardless, I do have standards: I won't let another soul wash a single vehicle of mine, won't let anyone change my oil, and unless it's just something entirely out of my realm of expertise (which doesn't say a whole lot), I do my own servicing whenever possible. That includes the dreaded brake job.


First and foremost, it's probably a good thing if you're familiar with basic handtools. Beyond that, stocking up on a few specialty brake tools, such as those from Lisle and/or Powerbuilt, is highly recommended. Additionally, you'll need a good set of jackstands, a reliable jack, as well as an impact (either 3/8- or 1/2-inch drive), a can of Brakleen (or equivalent), high-temp bearing grease, and maybe a pair of gloves or two. Product-wise, well, that all depends on how much you value your life and the lives of those who travel in your truck. Not too worried? Then stick with the chain-store cheapies and a simple turning of the rotors. But if you want your binders to bind, then open the purse strings a bit more, dig a bit deeper, and spend the coin on quality components like EBC Brakes' Turbo Groove rotors and Sport Formula brake pads. You won't regret it. More than likely you'll pat yourself on the back after you bed those pads into the rotors and see how much more responsive and efficient your truck's brakes are.

Along with the typical R&R'ing of pads and rotors, there are a few possible pitfalls you should be prepared for, first of which are the wheel bearings. Depending on the age of your truck, you might be in store for bearing replacement. Secondly, and again this will be determined by age and use of your truck, there's always the slight possibility of discovering a worn-out brake caliper. Beyond that, anytime you perform maintenance on your brake system, fully inspect each and every component from the master cylinder to the booster, wheel cylinders (if applicable) to flex lines. One faulty component can affect the whole system.

Unless you're the heaviest of leadfoots, most new trucks won't require rotor replacement for the first few brake jobs. That said, some newer trucks aren't always equipped with the best brakes, and once you throw in 20-inch (or larger) wheels, new rotors might become necessary. For all intents and purposes, EBC Brakes' Turbo Groove slotted rotors and Sport Formula (aka Greenstuff) premium pads are perfect replacements as well as upgrades for larger-wheel applications.