How to Replace the Brakes on Ford Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The Ford car comes equipped with front and rear disc brake pads. The disc brake pads are designed to stop the Ford car by applying to the front and rear facing of the brake rotor while the wheel is turning. The friction from the brake pads being applied to the rotor facings is what makes the wheels stop turning and bring the Ford car to a stop. Replace the brake pads when they have worn down to the wear indicators that are located inside of each pad, which will emit an audible squeal when they are uncovered.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Brakes on a 2000 Ford Ranger

Park your 2000 Ford Ranger on a flat surface and pull out the emergency brake.

Loosen the lug nuts from the passenger side front tire with a lug wrench or tire tool.

Loosen the lug nuts from the driver's side front tire with the lug wrench or a tire tool.

Position a jack under the front of your 2000 Ford Ranger so that the jack is directly below the cross-frame under the engine. Jack the truck up and place a jack stand under both front jacking points. Lower the jack until the Ranger is secure on the stands.

Remove the lug nuts from the driver's side front wheel and pull the wheel off of the hub. Set the wheel on the ground flat to prevent it from rolling.

Locate the brake caliper mounted to the side of the brake rotor. The caliper is the component that houses the brake pads. Position a pry bar between the back of the brake rotor and the outer brake pad. Pry the outer brake pad towards the engine until the caliper cylinder has retracted enough to remove the caliper from the rotor.

Look on the back of the brake caliper and locate the two 15 mm mounting bolts that attach the caliper to the caliper bracket. Loosen and remove the two 15 mm bolts with a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and a 15 mm deep well socket.

Pull the caliper off of the rotor by hand. If the brake caliper is still hard to remove from the rotor, tap the top and bottom of the brake caliper with a rubber mallet until the caliper loosens up. Then pull the caliper off of the rotor.

Tie a small piece of rope around the brake caliper. Then hang the brake caliper onto the nearest steering component behind the wheel hub assembly.

Pull the brake pads out of the brake caliper. Slide the C-clamp into the caliper so that the adjustment rod is facing the caliper cylinder. Compress the caliper cylinder until it is flush with the inside of the caliper cylinder housing. Then unscrew the C-clamp and remove.

Remove any clips and other brake hardware from the brake caliper. Install the new brake pads along with any new clips and other brake hardware. Then untie the rope from the brake caliper and slide the caliper back onto the side of the rotor.

Screw the two 15 mm bolts back into the caliper and tighten down snugly with the ratchet and socket. Put the wheel back onto the hub and screw the lug nuts back on. Tighten the lug nuts until the wheel begins to turn.

Perform the same steps above for replacing the brakes on the front and rear passenger sides and the driver side rear wheels.

Crank your 2000 Ford Ranger and compress the brake pedal in and out a couple of times to seat the new pads to the brake rotor. Then turn off the engine.

Jack your 2000 Ford Ranger up and pull the jack stands out. Lower the Ranger back to the ground and remove the jack.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Pry bar

  • 3/8-inch drive ratchet

  • 15 mm deep well socket

  • Rubber mallet (optional)

  • Small piece of rope

  • C-clamp

  • Replacement pads

 How to Replace Brakes on a 1999 Ford F-250

Replace the F-250's Front Brakes

Lift the front of your Ford F-250 off of the ground using a jack and jack stands. Remove the wheels from the Ford with a lug nut wrench to prepare the truck for servicing.

Open the hood on the engine compartment and take the lid off of the master cylinder that bolts to the brake assister on the driver's side firewall.

Remove the hex-head bolts on the back of the brake caliper with a socket. With the bolts removed, pull the caliper off of the Ford's brake rotor.

Pull the old brake pads out of the caliper and discard them. Squeeze the brake piston back into the backside brake caliper with pliers, and then insert the new pads into the brake caliper.

Pull the rotor cap cover off the middle of the rotor with a screwdriver and use a socket to remove the nut located behind the cover.

Pull the rotor off of the wheel spindle.

Remove the old wheel bearings from the brake rotor and insert them into the new rotor. If the old wheel bearings are worn, replace them with new bearings.

Slide the new rotor onto the wheel spindle and secure it using a bolt and socket. After you tighten the bolt, press the cover back onto the rotor.

Place the caliper on the rotor and secure it with a socket and hex-head bolts.

Duplicate the process on the passenger side of the F-250.

Close the master cylinder after putting the wheels back on the Ford and lowering it to the ground. Press on the brake pedal to seat the pads against the rotor.

Replace the F-250's Rear Brakes

Lift the rear of the Ford F-250 off the ground with a jack and jack stands. Remove the wheels from the Ford with a lug nut wrench.

Place a strip of paint on the back of the brake drum and rear brake drum cover so you can position the brake drum correctly when you put it back on. If you plan to install new brake drums on your Ford F-250, skip this step.

Place the brake drum puller on the brake drum and pull the drum from the wheel hub. The method for attaching the brake drum puller depends on the brake drum puller that you use.

Remove the springs that attach the brake shoes to the wheel hub by pulling them off with pliers.

Lift the old brake shoes off of the wheel hub and place the new brake shoes on the wheel hub. Secure the new shoes with the springs.

Pound the brake drum onto the axle hub with a rubber mallet.

Duplicate the process on the passenger side of the Ford.

Put the wheels back on the F-250, lower it to the ground and, then press on the brake pedal to seat the shoes against the brake drum.

Items you will need

  • Tire iron

  • Jack

  • Jack stand

  • Rubber mallet

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Socket wrench

  • Screwdriver

 How to Change the Brakes on a 1978 F-150

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.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands

  • Chisel

  • Hammer

  • Screwdriver

  • Plastic mallet

 How to Change the Brakes on a 1999 Ford Taurus

Park the the 1999 Ford Taurus in a safe location that has a level surface.

Loosen the lugs from both front wheels with a lug wrench or a tire tool.

Slide the jack under the cross frame that is located under the engine. Jack the front of the Taurus up and position a safety stand under the frame on both sides. Lower the Taurus to the top of the safety stands and leave the jack under the cross frame.

Unscrew the lugs from both front wheels. Pull both front wheels off and set the wheels down flat.

Move to the front driver-side wheel and locate the small opening at the top of the brake caliper. Position the pry bar between the back side of the brake rotor and the outer brake pad. Pry the outer brake pad against the caliper cylinder until the cylinder retracts enough to loosen the caliper's grip on the rotor.

Locate the mounting pin bolts on the back of the brake caliper. There is one lower pin bolt and one upper pin bolt. Remove both pin bolts by turning the bolts counterclockwise with the 1/2-inch drive ratchet and a socket. Pull the pin bolts out of the brake caliper.

Remove the brake caliper from the side of the brake rotor. If the caliper is still too hard to remove from the caliper, use the pry bar to pry the bottom part of the caliper off and then pull the caliper off the brake rotor.

Tie a small piece of rope around the brake caliper. Then, tie the brake caliper to the closest steering component behind the wheel hub assembly.

Pull the inner brake pad out of the holding clip inside of the brake caliper. Then, position the jaws of the large channel-lock pliers over the outer brake pad and the caliper housing. Compress the outer brake pad with the pliers until the caliper cylinder has fully retracted inside of the caliper housing.

Pull the outer brake pad out of the holding clip. Then, position the replacement pads inside of each holding clip inside of the brake caliper.

Remove the rope from the caliper and the steering component. Place the brake caliper back on the side of the brake rotor. Screw the two pin bolts back into the caliper and tighten with the ratchet and socket.

Put the wheel back on along with the lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts tight with the lug wrench or the tire tool. Move to the front passenger side, rear passenger side and rear driver side wheels and follow the preceding directions for replacing the brake pads.

Crank the 1999 Ford Taurus and pump the brake pedal a few times to set the new pads to the sides of the brake rotor. Turn the engine off.

Jack up the Taurus and remove all of the safety stands. Lower the Taurus to the ground and slide the jack out.

Items you will need

  • Tire tool

  • Jack

  • Safety stands

  • Pry bar

  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet

  • 1/2-inch drive socket kit

  • Rope

  • Large channel-lock pliers

  • Replacement brake pads

 How to Change the Brakes on a Ford Aspire

Removal of Brakes

Lower the brake fluid level by about a third from the master cylinder reservoir. This will stop the brake fluid from spilling when you place the brake caliper into the bore.

Lift the Ford Aspire with a hydraulic pump and hold up the vehicle with jack stands.

Use a socket to loosen the bolt on the wheels. Remove the Ford Aspire wheels and tires.

Press the brake caliper into the bore with a C-clamp about 1/8 inches to permit ejection of the disc brake pads.

Disconnect and remove the anti-rattle clip from the locating pins on the brake caliper.

Take off the pair of locating pins and the anti-rattle spring shaped similar to an "M."

Take off the brake pads and shims. Keep the shims that sit in the rear of the brake pads.

Installation

Push the brake caliper piston into the brake caliper bore with an old brake pad and a C-Clamp.

Do not put pressure on the caliper piston, because you can damage the piston.

Place grease that comes packed with the new set of brake pads to the inner ship surface and the brake pad rear.

Do not place grease on the friction area of the brake pads.

Places the new brake pads in position, including the shims.

Replace the wheels and tires back in position. Tighten the bolts to 65 to 87 foot-pounds of torque.

Place the Ford Aspire on the ground.

Push the brake pedal inside the Ford Aspire to set the pads firmly and accurately prior to driving the automobile. Add new brake fluid to the master cylinder. Ensure the brake operation.

Items you will need

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stand

  • Socket

  • Ratchet

  • Brake fluid

 How to Change Brakes on a Ford Escape 2003

Front Brakes

Place your Escape in park and engage the emergency brakes.

Loosen the lug nuts on both front tires.

Jack up your Escape and set the jack stands under the front frame securely and then lower vehicle on them.

Remove the lug nuts from both front tires and pull them off.

Loosen and remove the two retaining bolts on the inside of the driver's-side wheel with the socket set.

Place the C-clamp onto the brake caliper and use it to depress the caliper piston until it is flush against the inside of the caliper wall.

Remove the pin that runs through the caliper with needle-nose pliers. This will loosen the old brake pads. Slip the new brake pads in and replace the pin. Set the caliper back over the rotor and replace the two retaining bolts.

Repeat steps 5 through 7 to replace the passenger-side brakes.

Replace both tires and lug nuts and tighten them with the lug wrench.

Lower the vehicle down from the jack and finish tightening the lugs nuts.

Rear Drum Brakes

Loosen the lug nuts on both back tires and then jack up the rear end. Set the jack stands in place under the rear frame and lower your Escape onto them.

Remove the lug nuts from both tires and pull the tires off.

Remove the brake drum from the wheel hub on both rear tires.

Remove the adjuster spring from the rear driver's-side brakes.

Disconnect the adjuster spring from the both brake shoes on the rear driver's-side wheel hub and then remove both shoes.

Set the two new shoes for the rear driver's side in place and then replace the two springs.

Repeat steps 4 through 6 to replace the rear passenger-side brake shoes.

Slip the brake drums back on the wheel hubs of both rear tires.

Replace the both rear tires and screw the lug nuts back on with the lug wrench.

Lower vehicle down from the jack stands and tighten all lugs again with the lug wrench.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Socket set

  • Bungee cord

  • C-clamp

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Replacement front and rear brakes

 How to Change Brakes on a 2001 Ford Escape

Put the Ford transmission in "Park" and apply the parking brake. Place tire blocks behind the rear tires.

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels with the lug wrench.

Lift the Escape with a lifting jack and place jack stands under the frame. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands to support the Ford during the brake change.

Remove the two caliper slide bolts with the 13mm wrench. Remove caliper from the caliper bridge and place it on top of the steering arm above the wheel hub.

Remove the two bolts on the caliper bridge with a 15mm wrench. Pull the brake pads (held in place by the caliper bridge) from either side of the rotor.

Pull the rotor from the wheel bolts. Spray the rotor with chain lubricant at the point that connects to the steering knuckle. Tap the "top hat" section (center ring of the rotor) with a hammer to relieve the bond of rust.

Spray the new rotor with brake cleaner. Wipe the rotor clean and place it onto the wheel bolts, with the top hat section facing outward.

Unscrew the brake line from the old caliper. Place a drip pan below the line to catch any leaking brake fluid. Screw the brake line onto the new caliper. Apply brake grease to the inside of the caliper.

Place the caliper bridge onto the new rotor and screw in the caliper bridge bolts with the 15mm wrench. Insert the new brake pads into the caliper bridge on either side of the rotor.

Place the new caliper (connected to the brake line) onto the caliper bridge. Screw in the caliper slide bolts with the 13mm wrench.

Replace the wheels and lug nuts.

Lift the vehicle with the lifting jack to remove the jack stands before returning the Ford to the ground.

Lift the hood and remove the lid to the master cylinder. Press the brake pedal three times.

Fill the master cylinder with brake fluid until the reservoir is full. Replace the lid to the master cylinder and close the hood.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Tire blocks

  • Lifting jack

  • Jack stands

  • 13mm wrench

  • 15mm wrench

  • Caliper

  • Rotor

  • Caliper bridge

  • Brake pads

  • Brake fluid

  • Brake grease

  • Brake cleaner

  • Hammer

  • Chain lubricant

  • Drip pan

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.