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How to Change the Brakes on a 1978 F-150

by Kyla Chele Cambrooke

The Ford F-Series truck made its mark in America in 1978. The F-150 Series pickup truck offered a variety of trims, including the Sport and Lariat. Ford offered the vintage truck with a V-6 and V-8 engines. If you have a classic truck and want to replace the brakes with new front brake pads to keep the vehicle running smoothly, you can save money by replacing the brakes yourself.

Remove Old Brake Pads

Lift the front end of the 1978 Ford F-150 truck with a floor jack and safety hold up the vehicle with jack stands.

Look at the brake fluid level in the brake master cylinder reservoir. Remove some of the brake fluid until the reservoir is half-full.

Remove the wheels and tires in the front.

Hold the brake caliper piston with a c-clamp along the inside of the brake caliper and constrict it beside the outer pad.

Take the clamp and the key retaining screw off the vehicle.

Push the brake caliper key support spring key with a drift, and hammer.

Disconnect the brake caliper from the support assembly by pressing down in the direction of the spindle. Turn the top end up and out of the spindle assembly. Hold the brake caliper in position with a wire or ties, so it does not detach from the brake hose.

Tap and separate the outer brake pad from the brake caliper. Take off the brake pad in the inside and remove the spring clips.

Sanitize and look at the brake caliper assembly for leaks.

Install New Brake Pads

Replace the spring clips with a new spring clip at the bottom of the inside brake pad.

Put the inner brake pad inside the brake caliper. Ensure that the loop spring of the clip faces away from the disc brakes.

Put the outside brake pad in the brake caliper. Push the tabs together with a c-clamp.

Spin the brake caliper on the spindle.

Press the top surface of the brake caliper alongside the outside of the support assembly with a screwdriver.

Place a new brake caliper spring clip and key assembly. Hit the spring and key with a plastic mallet.

Position the retaining screw and constrict the screw to 20 foot-pounds of torque.

Replace the rims and tires.

Review the master cylinder to verify the level of brake fluid. Add new brake fluid to the master cylinder.

Push the brake pedal until the brake pads feel firm.


  • Replace both left and right brake pads.

Items you will need

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