07 Ford 500 Front Brakes Replacement
After a false start yesterday on replacing my front brakes, I completed the job today. Maybe replacing pads and rotors is common place for the individuals who read this forum. Having been a wrench in my earlier days and then owning a repair shop for a time long ago, I thought I had seen all the tricks. So, with being said, here’s the summation of my recent experience.
Removing the calipers is straight forward (two 15mm hex headed bolts). I suggest breaking loose (but not removing) the two caliper guide pin bolts (13 mm hex headed bolts) before you remove the caliper bolts because it’s hard to do that with the removed caliper flopping around.
Once the caliper is unbolted (and supported by coat hanger, bungy, etc.) , remove the guide pin bolts and remove the pad “carrier”. In my situation, after the pads came out I was presented with some shims that were glued to the pistons and the outside of the caliper. Huh?? After some research, I determined that the ProStop pads (installed by PepBoys) are supplied with an extra shim on the back of the pad and that shim has a self-adhesive (pull off the protective sheet at installation) that sticks to the caliper and pistons. They were stuck on really well. I pried them off (carefully around the boots of the pistons) and tossed them.
Next was removal of the rotor. My rotors had one flat head countersunk bolt that held the rotor to the hub. The bolt had not a hex socket, not a Torx socket, but a 12 spline socket. (GEEZ – more special tools, why-oh-why?).
Now let me digress a moment.
I ordered Motorcraft rotors and pads from Rock Auto. (Yeah, maybe Motorcraft wasn’t the best selection, but at this time, I wanted some quality but affordability). The rotors came without the 5 countersunk holes between the stud holes. The rotors look identical in every other way.
SO, given that I didn’t have a 12 spline bit AND that the new rotors had no place to install the bolt AND I had to get the job done, I drilled out the bolt head. I DON’T RECOMMEND DOING THIS. Please, be prepared going into this job by buying a spline bit set. Amazon has sets starting at $9. They might be kind of hard to find locally. (If I ever take this to a shop for rotor replacement, they could say “Oh no, this has been butchered, we are not going to work on it without replacing the hub.”). Oh well, sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
I have been replacing rotors for many years and we didn’t have any such fancy “assembly features”. We just screwed a lug nut (backwards) onto one stud to hold the rotor in place. Because I have fancy one way on lug nuts, I just put a spacer on the stud, screwed the lug nut on and snugged it up. My spacer was a box end wrench which aided me in hand turning the rotor for cleaning, etc.
I can understand the countersunk holes in the rotor for several reasons: 1) Reduce vehicle weight, 2) the one bolt is really helpful to keep the rotor in place, especially at the factory during handling without the rims on. On the other hand, I can see Motorcraft producing these rotors without the countersunk holes because that just costs more AND maybe other vehicles that this rotor fits doesn’t have this bolt feature. And maybe supplying this particular part is ROCK Auto’s way of keeping the part cost down. Anyhow, once the rim clamps the rotor to the hub, the countersunk bolt serves no purpose.
I used Motorcraft pads and besides the typical issues of keeping the pads in position until you get the caliper back on the rotor, I had no other problems. The brakes operate fine and don’t squeal (yet). I took pictures and I could write up a procedure, but except for the issues I ran into, this is pretty much a straight forward project.