How to Change the Back Brakes on a 2002 F-150

by Allen Moore

Rear brakes on a 2002 Ford F150 consist of the brake pads, brake rotors and calipers. While the pads wear out every 20,000 to 60,000 miles, rotors often last two or three times longer. Calipers, if well maintained, can easily last the life of the truck. One key to long lasting brakes is purchasing quality replacement parts. When buying new brake pads or rotors, save yourself some aggravation later on and buy professional grade parts. Economy brakes may be marketed as a great thing, but in the long run, you'll save yourself time and money.

Chock the front wheels, put your safety glasses on and loosen the rear lug nuts using the lug wrench.

Jack the rear end of the F150 up high enough to place the two jack stands underneath the rear axle, on either side near the leaf springs. Lower the truck onto the jack stands once they are in position.

Remove the lug nuts and wheels by hand and move them off to the side.

Start on the left side and place the catch pan underneath the brake assembly. Spray the brake down thoroughly with brake clean, removing as much brake dust as possible. Be sure to spray into the calipers from all sides and all over the rotor and wheel studs.

Use the socket set to unbolt the caliper. Once it is unbolted, pull it off the rotor by hand and prop it on the leaf spring so the caliper does not hang from the brake line. Allowing it to hang from the brake line can damage the line and ultimately lead to a brake fluid leak and loss of brakes while driving.

Pull the rotor off by hand. If the rotor has never been removed in the past, there may be a small tin washer holding the rotor to one wheel stud. Simply pry it off with the needle nose pliers and discard it. The washer is put on at the factory to hold the rotor in place while the truck rolls down the assembly line. Once the rotors are off, either have them resurfaced at a local machine shop or replace them.

Pry the retaining clip off the back of the rotors and remove the old brake pads by hand.

Clean the caliper slides with brake clean and lubricate them with white lithium grease.

Push the caliper pistons back into the caliper with the caliper piston tool. Once the pistons are recessed into the caliper, place the replacement brake pads into the caliper and reinstall the retaining clip.

Place the rotor, whether new or resurfaced, back onto the axle by hand. Slide the caliper back into place and reinstall the caliper bolts.

Repeat steps four through 10 on the opposite side. Reinstall the wheels and lug nuts. Lower the truck back onto the ground and then tighten the lug nuts to 100 lbs/ft with the torque wrench.

Items you will need

About the Author

Allen Moore's career includes awards in poetry and creative fiction, published lyrics, fiction books and nonfiction articles as well as a master certification in automotive service from the Ford Motor Company. Moore is a contributing writer for RF365.com and various other websites, a ghostwriter for Rainbow Writing and has over a dozen works of fiction currently in print.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera brake image by Jan Will from Fotolia.com