Could some one help me with Info on Front Brakes?? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 09-21-2005
VulcanMotor~PowerHouse's Avatar
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Could some one help me with Info on Front Brakes??

Okay, I own two cars.. My Truck and a 66 Plymouth Belvedere.. That has 4 wheel drums!!! I have never worked on disc brakes before and I need to change the pads and rotors..

Since I work at Autozone I can obviously get the parts there but my question is this...

We have two options..

Brake Rotor Only or HUB & Rotor assembly...

I have no idea what the Hub and Rotor Assembly is...

Can I just change the Pads and Rotors for the first brake job or Do I have to change all of it since it's a 4x4??

Also what pads would you all recomend?
Semi-Metalic / / / Ceramic / / / or Carbon Metalic?
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  #2  
Old 09-21-2005
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You should be able to just remove the old pads, push back the brake caliper, put new pads in (after applying the grease to the back) and reassemble the caliper. Pretty simple. Even I could do it so I'm sure you can. I've heard ceramic is the best but I think that's cuz of the noise. It doesn't squeak like the metallics. Semi vs carbon I don't know...
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Old 09-21-2005
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Unless your rotors are warped or gouged you shouldn't need to change the rotors.

The brake caliper comes off with two bolts. NOT the whole brake support bracket. The bolts you want go through the frame that wraps around the pads and has the pistion it it. There is a "slide nut" with a rubber bellows on it that the bolt threads into and that tells you you're in the right place.

Once those two bolts are out, you can slide the entire caliper/pad assembly off the rotor. I tie some strong cord to the upper mounting ear and to the upper a-arm so that if you drop the caliper or have to put it down, it won't hang from the brake line.

You need a c-clamp or something to push the piston back in, usually. Your new pads will be thicker and if you don't push the piston in, you won't get the assembly back on the rotor.

When you push the piston in with the clamp, the fluid flows back to the reservoir on the master cylinder, so make sure you loosen the cap to let it vent easily. If your brakes were very worn, and the piston is out a lot, you may overflow it -- no biggie. You can remove some fluid first if it bothers you.

Once the new pads are in place (and pay attention to any brass shims or lubricant for the backs of the pads that are supplied or your brakes will be noisy), you can slide the caliper/pad assembly back on the rotor, remove your security rope, and put the bolts back in and tighten.

That's all there is too it.
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2005
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Um yeah...that's the full, non-lazy explanation...Daddy Griggs is the man.
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Old 09-21-2005
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lol! Sometimes my long windedness is useful (far from always, though, lol...)

Thanks though.
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Old 09-21-2005
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ceramic - minimal dusting, mediocore performance
semi metallic - lots of dusting, good performance
carbon metallic - dusting, great performance

i say semi metallic pads, advance auto sells bendix (what ford used to use, might still) titianiumetallic pads...good stuff.

brake pad job should take maybe an hr...dont forget to bleed the system.
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Old 09-21-2005
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You don't need to bleed the system after a pad replacement, Kiel. Only if you open up the hydraulics, which you don't in this procedure.
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Old 09-21-2005
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i disagree, flush out the old brake fluid and replace it with fresh fluid ;-).

actually bleed it first so the crud doesnt go back into the master cylinder.
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Old 09-21-2005
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Wow. Remind me not to hire you to do my brakes!

If you system is closed and tight, and less than say, oh, 20 years old -- that's excessive.

I've opened up OLD brake systems and there was no visible corrosion in them.

The ONLY reason brakes are bled is to remove air. I've never heard of anybody bleeding them BEFORE a normal lining servicing interval, lol!
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Old 09-21-2005
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I've worked on my brakes dozens of times and have never bleeded the system. Unecessary (for the reasons that John listed) and a waste of money/time.
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Old 09-21-2005
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Thanks for all the info guys!!

I pulled off the wheel and you are right about the rotors not needing to be replaced... They are still within the acceptable thickness.. The pads are shot though....

I think the Autozone brand of Carbon Metalic is a company called PFC..

They sound pretty good to me, and I have no issues with brake dust...

I will be sure to uncap that brake resevoir...

I will hopefully tackle this 2maro.. Thanks for the input!!
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  #12  
Old 09-21-2005
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well i guess my schooling was a waste then. when u push the pin in the caliper with the c-clamp u are pushing old and possibly contaminated brake fluid into the master cylinder. when u push the caliper pin in, open the bleeder and let it drain.

but its cool, im wrong again...
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  #13  
Old 09-21-2005
MRC MRC is offline
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You should be fine on the rotors if you aren't getting a pulsation when braking.I am amazed at the good luck I have had with the brakes on mine.I just replaced my rotors at 158,000 miles and they really didn't need it.I would just put pads on it about every 60K or so and keep on driving.That includes alot of towing a 4800lb trailer/car combo.I wouldn't say that my truck stops all that great but at least it is easy on parts.Now my Thunderbird is a different story.It warps rotors like they are going out of style.
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  #14  
Old 09-21-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optikal illushun
well i guess my schooling was a waste then. when u push the pin in the caliper with the c-clamp u are pushing old and possibly contaminated brake fluid into the master cylinder. when u push the caliper pin in, open the bleeder and let it drain.

but its cool, im wrong again...

I've never needed a clamp to work on my brakes, just my hands.
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  #15  
Old 09-21-2005
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i never either, some do, some dont.
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  #16  
Old 09-21-2005
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[QUOTE=VulcanMotor~PowerHouse]Okay, I own two cars.. My Truck and a 66 Plymouth Belvedere.. That has 4 wheel drums!!!

I feel your pain man I have a 67 barrucuda with a 440 big block
and 4 wheel drumss!!! They suck dont they.
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  #17  
Old 09-21-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optikal illushun
well i guess my schooling was a waste then. when u push the pin in the caliper with the c-clamp u are pushing old and possibly contaminated brake fluid into the master cylinder. when u push the caliper pin in, open the bleeder and let it drain.

but its cool, im wrong again...
How is the fluid getting contaminated in a closed hydraulic system? Furthermore, it's unlikely the fluid from the caliper makes it all the way back to the master cylinder -- that's mostly just the fluid in the tubes probably.

Well if that's how you were taught, it's not your fault.
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  #18  
Old 09-21-2005
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first you should never just "pad slap" your brakes!
at least have the rotors machined, better yet replace them, they dont cost that much (4x4)
next, NEVER put grease on your pads DUH!!! not on the back, sides, top or bottom, dont do it! ask yourself this, self did ford put grease on the back of my brake pads at the factory? the answer is no.
the ONLY place you need grease is the caliper slide pins
and always get new hardware, replace the clips on the caliper/pad bracket and clean the rust scale out from under them, this is the most overlooked part of a brake job and the number one reason for premature wear.
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  #19  
Old 09-21-2005
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I just read about that in a magazine at the tire store I go to (which also has mechanics) -- one of the "trade magazines". They discussed that very subject of the crud getting in that area.

I've never bought pads that had lube for the backing -- but I've seen them advertised.

My favorite pads have been the Wagner Thermoquiets and they require nothing -- but I didn't get a lot of life out of them. They stopped great and were quiet though. I went back to semi-metallics after that.

And yeah, getting the rotors machined is a bit of a pain on 4x2's. I just replaced mine at 50K miles since if they were going to come off, it made sense just to put on new ones.
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Old 09-26-2005
optikal illushun's Avatar
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Ok i am bringing this back up for good reason. whenever the brake system is service it should be bleed, even with just a pad replacement. since the brake fluid is easilty contaminated with mositure it is important to keep the system fresh. also the brakr system isnt completely sealed because the rubber lines have microscopic holes and lets in moisture and that reacts with the fluid. also air can enter the system and cause a soft pedal.

the average life span of brake fluid is 2-3 years at best. a bleeding should be done around 25K and a complete flush at 50K. brake fluid is inexpensive and its cheap insurance to keeping the brake system working properly.
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  #21  
Old 09-26-2005
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so anyway, DONT GET THE PFC pads, i just yanked them off all 4 corners of my truck. performance was horrible. i switched to the morse ceramic pads, and they bite MUCH harder, so whoever said ceramic pads perform worse, is sadly mistaken. plus they hardly dust, hardly make noise, etc.

as far as the grease, its only needed on the slide pins, and sometimes i lube the hardware that the pads slide on in the caliper bracket. most good pads come with antisqeak shims, and thats all youll need on the back of the pad.

when you push the pistons in on the caliper, use an old pad against the 2 pistons to press them in evenly, otherwise you usually press one in and the other out!! i also loosed the master cylinder cap and wrap a rag around it, so if it overflows the rag catches most of it.

on new vehicles i dont bleed the brakes unless i have reason to believe there is air in the lines or if the fluid is a muddy brown. i HATE bleeding brakes
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  #22  
Old 09-30-2005
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I think Bendix pads, which MRC has had great luck with, have a "scuff pad" of sorts, so the first few brake applications are mildly re-surfacing the rotors. Obviously its not as effective as having them turned down, but if you're not experiencing pulsation its probably not strictly necessary. As for me, I just put new slotted, cryo rotors, Hawk pads, and all new bearings on my front brakes, and with some helpful guidance from MRC it was not a hard job at all. Hot and sweaty, yes, but not difficult. We used an old pad and a C-clamp to compress the pistons.. I didn't even think to try to compress them by hand. What John suggested about using rope to hang the calipers is a good idea, although I took the fast and loose alternative of sitting the caliper on the A-arm. There was plenty of brake line to allow this without stretching, at least on my 2wd Edge. We also borrowed a bearing grease packer.. what a neat little contraption! No moving parts, and it made pre-loading the bearings MUCH easier!

My rotors and pads had a specific break-in procedure (and boy did they smell terrible during it!) but once that was out of the way they are performing fantastically. It hard to judge if my warped rotors and marginal pads had just gotten crappy, or if there really is a huge improvement with the slotted rotors and hawk pads, but I'm very pleased with them. I hope the cryo-treated rotors are as warpage-resistant as they claim, I paid a premium for them!
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  #23  
Old 09-30-2005
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I'm going to have to agree with Keil on the whole flushing issue. Break fluid attracts moisture very very well. And it does get crap in the system. Over time parts break down, seals in the system wear, metal and rubber lines corode leaving 'junk' particles in the fluid and the fluid its self breaks down over time. While you may never ever notice this, its just one of those things that should be done every now and then. Clean break fluid should be clear, check your resivoir, I bet its a shade of brown. To be honest, I would never have done it if I hadn't been taught it and had a shop to do it in...

Just my 2pennys... and if you ever go to take the ASE test for break systems, flushing the system will be part of it.
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  #24  
Old 09-30-2005
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All I know is that my 2WD EDGE Front Brakes were a P.I.T.A., the rotor IS the whole hub UNIT.(not assembly) It's machine to 1 part. And Autozone is where we purchased all of my brakes (front and back-mud can mess some brakes up). Basically had to get the 4x4 torsion axle front rotor/hub unit and pads. (Different size for 2WD and 4WD - DUH!!!) And that's another reason I have been stayin outta the mud lately. My dad AND my brother chewed me a new one when they did my whole brake job.
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