How to Change the Rear Brakes on Ford Cars

by Contributing Writer

If you can hear the rear brakes in your Ford car squeal every time you apply the brake pedal, those are the wear indicators on the brake pads telling you it is time to change the pads. Servicing the rear brakes on time will prevent the need Ford car high-cost repairs and, possibly, traffic accidents. Fortunately, you can perform this repair job at home yourself using some simple tools and stretch your Ford car maintenance budget at the same time.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change the Rear Brakes on a Ford F-250

Remove the Old Brake Pads

Open the hood and remove at least half the brake fluid from the reservoir container on the brake master cylinder using a clean turkey baster and a small plastic bottle. The reservoir is the plastic container on top of the master cylinder attached to the brake booster -- the booster is the round, drum-like component on the firewall, on the driver's side.

Loosen the lug nuts on both rear wheel assemblies using a lug wrench.

Raise the rear of your F-250 with a floor jack, support it with two jack stands and block the front wheels with chocks.

Remove both rear wheel assemblies and start working on one brake assembly first.

Unfasten the two mounting bolts holding the brake caliper to the anchor plate. The brake caliper holds the brake pads in place against the brake rotor. Use a ratchet and socket.

Lift the brake caliper off the brake rotor and secure it to any suspension component with heavy wire. You want to avoid leaving the caliper hanging by the brake hose, which may be damaged.

Look at the mounting position of the two brake pads on the caliper mounting plate and the metal clips and then remove them.

Place the old brake pad against the caliper pistons inside the brake caliper and use a large C-clamp to press the pistons into their cylinders. Remove the C-clamp and the old brake pad. This will give you enough clearance to position the brake caliper with the new, thick pads over the brake rotor.

Spray brake parts cleaner around the brake assembly and wipe all the brake dust using a lint-free towel.

Install the New Brake Pads

Place metal clips and the new set of brake pads on the anchor plate.

Install the brake caliper over the new brake pads and tighten the two mounting bolts to 27 foot-pounds (36 Nm) using a torque wrench and a socket.

Replace the set of brake pads on the opposite brake assembly following steps 5 through 9 of the previous sections and reinstall the wheel assemblies.

Lower your F-250 off the jack stands and tighten the lug nuts using the lug wrench.

Refill the reservoir on the brake master cylinder with new DOT 3 motor vehicle brake fluid, if necessary, to bring the fluid level up to the MAX mark and tighten the reservoir lid.

Pump the brake pedal several times to seat the new brake pads against the brake rotor. Start the vehicle and double-check that the brakes are working properly. Turn off the engine.

Items you will need

  • Turkey baster

  • Small plastic bottle

  • Lug wrench

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • 2 chocks

  • Ratchet

  • Socket

  • Heavy wire

  • Large C-clamp

  • Brake parts cleaner

  • Lint-free towels

  • Torque wrench

  • New DOT 3 brake fluid, if necessary

 How to Change the Rear Brakes on a Ford Expedition

Remove the Brake Pads

Check the brake fluid in the master cylinder. If it is over half full, remove some fluid using a hand siphon pump and leave the lid loose. Then place shop rags underneath the master cylinder to catch brake fluid spill during the brake pad replacement.

Turn off the air suspension if your Ford Expedition model is equipped with it. This will prevent your from accidentally activating the system as you work near the suspension. If necessary, consult your car owner's manual.

Loosen the lugs on both rear wheels using a lug wrench.

Shift the transmission into neutral.

Lift the rear of your Expedition using a floor jack and support it on two jack stands.

Chock the front wheels.

Remove both rear tires.

Press the center of the caliper-anchor housing spring with your thumb until the spring unlatches at both ends. Then remove the spring.

Detach the boots from the brake-caliper guide pins and discard them. Use a pair of slip joint pliers, if necessary.

Unscrew the two guide pins from the brake caliper using a ratchet and socket or torx bit. Discard the caliper guide pins as well.

Lift the brake caliper from the brake rotor and secure the caliper to the suspension using a piece of wire to avoid damage to the brake hose attached to the caliper.

Remove the front brake pad from the brake caliper.

Push the caliper cylinder into its bore using a C-clamp. Use the rear brake pad on the caliper to support the C-clamp screw as it pushes the cylinder.

Remove the rear brake pad from the brake caliper.

Install the New Brake Pads

Set the new brake pads into the brake caliper.

Install the brake caliper onto the brake rotor.

Start the two new guide pins on the brake caliper by hand. Then tighten the pins using the ratchet and socket or torx bit.

Set the lower and upper arm of the anchor housing spring into the caliper anchor plate. Then press down on the spring with your thumb until the spring snaps in place over the brake caliper cavities.

Depress the brake pedal several times to make sure the brakes are working properly.

Install the tire and the wheel lugs. Then replace the brake pads on the opposite wheel assembly and install the tire and the wheel lugs.

Lower the vehicle and finish tightening the wheel lugs on both rear tires.

Remove the chocks from the front tires.

Add new DOT 3 brake fluid to the master cylinder if necessary. Tighten the lid and remove the shop rags.

Turn on the air suspension if your Expedition is equipped with it.

Items you will need

  • Hand siphon pump

  • Shop rags

  • Lug wrench

  • Floor jack and 2 jack stands

  • 2 chocks

  • Ratchet and socket or torx bit

  • Piece of wire

  • C-clamp

  • 2 new brake-caliper guide pins

  • New DOT 3 brake fluid

 How to Change the Rear Brakes on a 2007 Ford Freestyle

Loosen the rear lug nuts with the lug wrench until they’re finger tight. Don’t take them off yet.

Place the wheel chocks around the right-front tire to keep the Freestyle from rolling. Lift the back end of the vehicle off the ground with the floor jack and support it on the jack stands.

Remove the rear lug nuts and wheels by hand.

Place the drip pan under the right-rear brake assembly and rinse the brake dust off the brakes with the brake cleaner spray.

Unbolt the brake caliper with the socket set and lift the caliper off the brake rotor by hand. Slip the brake rotor off the hub and slide the new rotor in place by hand. Pull the old brake pads out of the brake caliper by hand as well.

Wash out the inside of the brake caliper with the brake cleaner spray. Lubricate the caliper slides with a generous layer of white lithium grease.

Push the caliper pistons into the caliper with the caliper piston tool and then install the new pads by hand.

Slide the caliper over the rotor and bolt it in place with the socket set.

Repeat steps four through eight on the left-rear wheel. Reinstall the rear tires and lug nuts by hand. Lower the Freestyle off the jack stands with the floor jack and then tighten the lug nuts to 100 ft.-lbs. using the torque wrench.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • 2 wheel chocks

  • Floor jack

  • 2 jack stands

  • Drip pan

  • Brake cleaner

  • Socket set

  • White lithium grease

  • Caliper tool

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace Rear Brakes on a Ford Explorer

Preparing the Vehicle for Brake Removal and Installation

Park the vehicle on level ground. Put the vehicle in gear and place blocks in front of the front wheels to prevent it from rolling.

Open the hood of the vehicle. Remove half of the brake fluid from the master cylinder using a syringe. The master cylinder is located in front of the steering wheel on the metal firewall that separates the engine and the body of the vehicle. It is a metal cylinder with a plastic container on top that holds the brake fluid. Dispose of the brake fluid properly.

Loosen the lug nuts from the rear wheels of the vehicle using a lug wrench.

Raise the rear of the vehicle using a floor jack. Place jack stands beneath the vehicle for support.

Remove the lug nuts and wheels from the vehicle.

Removing the Old Brakes

Remove the caliper bolts from the back of the caliper using a socket wrench.

Slide the caliper off the disc brake. Use a piece of wire to suspend the caliper housing near the disc brake to prevent damage to the hose.

Remove the two brake pads, inner and outer, from the caliper.

Installing the New Brake Pads

Place a large C-clamp over the brake caliper and clamp the ends against the rear caliper body and a small block of wood against the caliper piston. Tighten the clamp to compress the piston into the caliper bore. Remove the C-clamp and small block of wood.

Insert the inner brake pad into the caliper and snap it into place. Press the spring into the piston. Slide one end of the outer brake pad into the caliper. Rotate the pad into place until the springs are seated.

Place new shoe slippers on the rear disc brake adapter located behind the rotor. Attach the caliper to the disc rotor.

After Installing the New Brake Pads

Place the wheels onto the vehicle. Loosely place the lug nuts onto the wheel studs.

Raise the rear of the vehicle with the floor jack and remove the jack stands from beneath the vehicle and lower to the ground.

Tighten the lug nuts onto the wheel studs using a lug wrench.

Replace any brake fluid that was removed from the master cylinder.

Season the brake pads. Make gentle stops while driving for the first week after brake installation.

Items you will need

  • New brake pads

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Socket set

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Large C-clamp

  • Brake fluid

  • Syringe

  • Wire

  • Blocks

  • Piece of wood