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How to Change the Front Brakes on a Ford F150

by Jesse James Dean; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Set of Allen Wrenches

  • Jack

  • Tire iron

  • Large channel lock pliers

When you start to hear your brakes squeal or grind, a brake pad replacement should be done immediately to prevent damage to the rotors of the vehicle. Taking your vehicle to your local mechanic might be on your mind, but the bill that follows might be a little more than you have to spend. Changing the brake pads on your vehicle yourself is doable with the right tools.

Jack up the vehicle. At this time, break free all the lug nuts just enough so they will spin without brute force on the tire iron. You do this before raising the vehicle because you will not be able to do so when the wheel is off the ground and can spin. This is done by placing the tire iron on the lug nuts and turning them counterclockwise until the lug nuts break free. Place the jack under the coil spring bucket and begin to raise the vehicle. Raise the vehicle until the tire is off the ground enough to spin.

Remove the wheel. Now that the vehicle's tire is off the ground, place the tire iron back on the lug nuts and remove them by turning counterclockwise until they are all off. Once this is done, grasp the tire firmly with both hands and pull the wheel off the rotor; place it out of the way to avoid falling over it.

Remove the brake caliper and pads. Use the appropriate Allen wrench to remove the caliper's slide bolts. To do this, insert the Allen wrench in the bolt and turn it counterclockwise until you can pull the bolt out. There are two of these bolts; one on the top of the caliper, and one on the bottom. Once the bolts are out, remove the brake caliper by pulling upward until it comes off. At this time, use your large channel lock pliers to squeeze the caliper pistons in all the way to make room for the new pads. To do this, simply place the pliers on the old pad and outside the caliper and squeeze. You are now ready to remove the old brake pads. To do this, simply pull the pads out of the caliper.

Install the new brake pads and replace the caliper. Install the new brake pads by placing them on the proper sides in the caliper. Once this is done, you may replace the caliper. To do this, place the caliper back on the rotor and put the slide bolts back in the holes. Use the appropriate Allen wrench to tighten the slide bolts by turning them clockwise until they are tight.

Mount the wheel. Grasp the wheel with both hands and set it back on the wheel studs. Start the lug nuts on the studs with your fingers turning them clockwise. When all lug nuts are back on the wheel studs, tighten them with the tire iron by turning clockwise until they are tight. Once this is done, you can let the jack down, lowering the vehicle to the ground. When the vehicle is back on the ground, check the lug nuts again to be sure they are tight. Repeat all steps for the remaining side of the vehicle.

About the Author

Jason, who holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism, hails from Espyville, PA. Troutman is not only a successful freelancer, he also worked for NASCAR teams including DEI and Joe Gibbs Racing. Troutman is editor-in-chief of Outlaw Motor Sports, a publication devoted to everything racing, from engine building to car design.

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Photo Credits

  • Photo courtesy of fordf150.net