Replacing Front Disc Brakes

In this section you will find complete step by step instructions for properly replacing the front brake pads and rotors. If you follow these steps you are assured that your brakes will NOT squeal. If you just do a "pad slap" you can count on brake noise. The photographical examples are actual photos taken during a front brake job performed on a 2003 Ford Mustang.
Brake Rotors     Master Cylinder     Vacuum Booster     Caliper     Wheel Cylinder     Disc Brakes      Drum Brakes     ABS System
  Step 1. You will need to jack up the car and remove the front wheels to gain access to the front brake components.
Remove Caliper Bolts
Step 2. Remove the two Brake Caliper bolts from top and bottom.
Remove Front Brake Caliper
Step 3. Remove the Caliper. It may be necessary to use a screwdriver to pry the caliper loose allowing it to be removed easily.
Remove Brake Pads
Step 4. Remove the Front Brake Pads. They will slide off from each side.
Remove Caliper Mounting Bracket Bolts
Step 5. Remove the two caliper mounting bracket bolts. You may need to use an extension to break these bolts free.
Remove Caliper Mounting Bracket
Step 6. Remove the Caliper Mounting Bracket
Remove Front Brake Rotor
Step 7. Remove Front Brake Rotor. Should the rotor become stuck, you may need to use a Large Hammer to jar it loose.
Brake Caliper Slide Pin
Step 8. Remove the Caliper Slide Pins
Lubricate Slide Pin
Step 9. Lubricate the slide pins with a non-drying silicon based brake parts lubricant. This will insure the caliper can move freely as needed.
Lubricate Brake Caliper Mounting Bracket

Step 10. Lubricate the caliper mounting bracket brake pads sliding plates. This will allow the brake pads to slide easily and reduce noise.

Set it off to the side for now

Clean Rotor Surface
Step 11. Spray brake wash or brake cleaner on the rotor surface to loosen dirt and oil.
Wipe Down Rotor
Step 12. Wipe off brake cleaner along with the oily coating that is applied to prevent the rotors from rusting. Failure to do this will cause unwanted noise.
Install New Rotor
Step 13. Install the New Rotor over the wheel studs.
Install Caliper Mounting Bracket
Step 14. Install caliper mounting bracket using the two bolts you removed in Step 5.
Secure Bracket
Step 15. You may want to apply a small amount of "blue" LockTite to the bolts before tightening them.
Lubricate New Pads
Step 16. Apply a small amount of non-drying brake silicon to the back of the New brake pads. This will help reduce noise that is caused by vibration.
Install New Brake Pads
Step 17. Install the brake pads into the sides of the caliper mounting bracket. Be sure to wipe off any lubricant that might have gotten on the rotors.
Compress Caliper piston/s
Step 18. Compress the caliper pistons. Here we use a caliper compressor but a c-clamp or equivalent can also be used.
Install Caliper

Step 19. Install the Caliper. Slide the caliper over the pads and align the caliper mounting holes and install the two bolts removed in Step 2.

Attach the wheels and pump the brake pedal before you test drive it!

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