Maintenance and Ford brake repair are critical to your Ford’s safety. A failing brake system can result in further component damage or even an accident. If your brake system has been compromised, it is simple to repair the system with a little guidance.
To properly repair your Ford, you must first determine what has caused the brake failure. Check all brake components for leaks, including the master cylinder (located under the brake fluid reservoir,) lines, hoses, calipers and slave cylinders. It may help to have a friend step on the brake pedal while you inspect for leaks. If the fluid system seems in good repair, inspect the braking components. Remove your vehicle’s wheels to inspect your brake pads and rotors for wear. If you notice heavy scoring or worn brake pads, those items must be replaced.
If none of these components seem to be damaged and the brake pedal is difficult to push or goes to the floor, your vacuum booster may be damaged. These items are generally special order from parts houses. First, remove the master cylinder (usually two bolts) and then remove the bolts that hold on the vacuum booster. Transfer all vacuum lines to the new booster, and reinstall all components.
To replace your brake pads and rotors, remove the bolts that hold the caliper on. Many Ford vehicles use a single bolt and the caliper then rotates on a pin, allowing for easy removal of the brake pads and rotors. Other Ford calipers require you to drive a pin out with a punch or screwdriver for removal.
Once you have the calipers removed, tie them back with a wire or plastic tie to prevent them from straining the brake hoses. It is not necessary to remove the hoses unless they are damaged. The pads should slide out from the caliper. The rotor is removed easily after the caliper by sliding it over the wheel lug studs. If the caliper mount prevents removal of the rotor, remove the attaching bolts. Since these components are exposed, slight rust may make them difficult to remove and gentle taps with a rubber mallet can help ease their removal.
Drum brakes operate similarly. Removing the wheel, the drum can then be pulled from the vehicle, exposing the brake shoes. The drum may prove difficult to remove on some vehicles and the shoes can be loosened with a large screwdriver through a slot on the drum back plate. Check the pads and the drum’s inner surface for wear and scoring and replace these items if necessary. Check the slave cylinders for leaks before reassembly.
If it appears that a master cylinder, caliper, slave cylinder or other component is not functioning, leaking or broken, they are easily replaced by removing lines and bolts. Be sure to bleed your braking system after replacing any fluid-carrying components. You can take your worn rotors and drums to an auto parts store, where they may be able to restore the surface by removing a small amount of metal. However, if the amount of metal required is too large, you may have to replace your rotors. Ford brake parts are commonly available at chain auto parts stores, such as O’Reilly Auto Parts, Autozone or Advance Auto Parts.
After reassembly, take a test drive to check your brakes and enjoy your new stopping power.