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How to Replace Front Brake Pads on a 2000 Ford Mustang

by Jody L. Campbell

The 2000 Ford Mustang features two types of front brake calipers. Replacing the front brake pads, however, still employs the same procedure. Some of the 2000 Mustangs used a single hydraulic piston caliper to extend outward on braking demand. Other 2000 Mustangs featured dual (two) piston calipers. The more pistons on the caliper applies a degree of better and more even braking power. However, it also adds to the odds of more frequent failure. When pushing back the pistons, always inspect the dust boots and release any trapped air inside making bubble-shaped pockets on the boots.

Remove and discard half the brake fluid from the master cylinder in the engine compartment (driver's side firewall) with the brake fluid baster. Replace the cap of the master cylinder.

Apply the parking brake, and then loosen the front wheel lug nuts (both tires) with the lug nut wrench.

Hoist the front end of the Mustang up (one side at a time) with the jack, and then lower the jack so the car is supported onto jack stands. Remove the lug nuts and wheels.

Remove the clip, washer and caliper locating pin (dual caliper piston) with the hand wrench, or remove the caliper bolts with the wrench on single-caliper pistons.

Pry the caliper and pad assemblies off of the rotor gently with a small pry tool and use the length of cord to tie (support) the caliper from the front suspension so it does not dangle from the hydraulic brake fluid hose (attached to the calipers).

Remove the outer and inner brake pads from the calipers. On single-piston calipers, also remove the rattle clip.

Brush the surface of the brake caliper mount and brake caliper with a wire brush to remove brake dust, rust and other corrosives.

Compress the pistons of the calipers inward by placing an old pad (removed) against the pistons and use the large C-clamp to tighten against the inner housing of the caliper and against the backing plate of the old pad. Tighten the clamp fully to press the pistons fully into their bores.

Apply an even coat of silicone brake grease to the matting surfaces of the brake caliper and caliper mounts.

Install the inner pads into the brake calipers first by pushing the clips into the hollow pistons. Install the outer pads last by clipping on the wing clips to the outer caliper housing.

Replace the calipers (after removing the cords) and pads assemblies by reversing the removal procedure respectively. Tighten the locating pin or caliper bolts with the wrench.

Replace the wheels and lug nuts, and tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern with the lug nut wrench.

Use the jack to raise the front end up (one side at a time) high enough to remove the jack stands.

Torque the lug nuts in a star pattern with the torque wrench (set to 100 foot-ibs) and a socket.

Climb into the driver's seat, and pump the brake pedal until it feels firm.

Check and add brake fluid (DOT-3) to the master cylinder to top it off if necessary. Release the parking brake and test drive.

Tip

  • The brake discs (rotors) should always be visually inspected for surface cracks, heat spots or rust pits when replacing brake pads.

Warnings

  • Ensure the brake fluid baster is used for brake fluid only. Petroleum-based products (engine oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid or antifreeze) will contaminate the hydraulic brake fluid causing the rubber components in the hydraulic braking system to swell and result in complete braking power loss.
  • Do not breathe in the brake dust.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.

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Photo Credits

  • brake calipers image by Tom Oliveira from Fotolia.com