Front Brake System Overhaul / 90k Miles Maintenance - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 09-28-2011
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Post Front Brake System Overhaul / 90k Miles Maintenance

Hey everyone. I've got a 2003 FX4 Level II w/ 89,600 miles that desperately needs a front brake system overhaul (pads, rotors, and calipers). The squeaking in the front has gotten pretty bad when I brake, and I believe its the caliper pistons sticking. Anyway the local auto shop quoted me about $900 to do all of this work a few months back. I know I can do it a lot cheaper if I do it myself, however I am not sure what parts to buy (it seems there are so many different options out there) and also I am not sure if there's anything I need to do the job aside from the obvious pads, rotors, and calipers. I know how to change rotors and pads, and I figure calipers won't be that hard to figure out, I'll just have to find a tool to pinch the lines so the brake fluid doesn't leak out? I don't know how to do a brake flush, which I figure it will probably need after this overhaul, so I thought I would let the auto shop do the brake flush for me when I take it in to get the 90,000 mile service. Which leads me to my next question, what should I look to get done on my 90,000 mile service? I don't want to spend money for things that the truck doesn't need, but I also don't want to cheap out either. About what price should the 90k service cost me (I know it will vary depending on exactly what it needs)? And also, about what price can I expect pads/rotors/calipers to cost me (the parts that I am going to buy offline and install myself).

I know that was long, and I can't blame you for not reading it, so below is the summary of my questions:

1.) Do I need anything besides calipers/rotors/pads to do a front brake system overhaul?

2.) What is a good website to order the proper parts from and about how much should I expect to pay for these parts?

3.) In terms of a good 90k service, what should I be aware of that the auto shop may try and sell me that I don't need, and about how much will a good 90k mile service cost?

Thank you in advance for any assistance you may provide!
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Old 09-28-2011
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If the calipers aren't leaking or binding up,why change them ? I've got over 150k on my 2003 with the original calipers.
A sticking caliper will cause the truck to always pull toward that side.
Check the ball joints,wheel bearings, and tie rod ends for any play.

Last edited by OTRtech; 09-28-2011 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 09-28-2011
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Originally Posted by OTRtech View Post
If the calipers aren't leaking or binding up,why change them ? I've got over 150k on my 2003 with the original calipers.
Check the ball joints,wheel bearings, and tie rod ends for any play.
Well I believe they are "binding up" because of the bad noise from the front end. It usually only happens while breaking, but also can occur while coasting at slower speeds (about < 40mph) so I think the caliper piston is not retracting all the way and holding the pad to [worn out] rotor when it shouldn't be.
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Old 09-28-2011
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The squeaking can be the low wear indicator. Like OTRtech says, if it is not pulling to one side or leaking, you don't need to change the calipers.
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Old 09-28-2011
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I agree, replace the rotors and pads then see if the problems go away. Who knows, maybe the caliper just needs to be played with so it'll seat properly.

As for dropping that $900 down, I think my pads and rotors cost me $400ish.
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Old 09-28-2011
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I agree, replace the rotors and pads then see if the problems go away. Who knows, maybe the caliper just needs to be played with so it'll seat properly.

As for dropping that $900 down, I think my pads and rotors cost me $400ish.
That must be from an auto shop? It looks to me like I can buy good pads for $60 and rotors for $70ish each, making it all ~$200.
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Old 09-28-2011
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I agree, replace the rotors and pads then see if the problems go away. Who knows, maybe the caliper just needs to be played with so it'll seat properly.

As for dropping that $900 down, I think my pads and rotors cost me $400ish.
so with labor included, about what you'd expect.

I'd try and do it yourself though, not that hard with a few tools.
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Old 09-28-2011
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Yea I intend on doing the brake job myself. I've done it before on other vehicles. Should be just a socket set and a C-clamp, right?

As far as the 90k mile service goes I think I will ask the auto shop to do the following:
Replace Plugs, Wires, Air filter, Fuel filter, Coolant flush, change front and rear diff. oil, and change tranny oil. Is this all I should ask the auto shop to do or am I missing something?
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Old 09-28-2011
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that list is pretty good if u have kept up on maintenance so far. and yes a few sockets and something to compress the piston, c clamp will work. just place one of the old pads in front of the piston(s) to compress.

edit: if you can do a brake job then u can do the air filter and fuel filter,( again just basic hand tools needed, well need fuel disconnect tool for fuel filter but can buy cheap at auto store) and possibly the plugs and wires. i would leave just the flushes to the shop if it were up to me.
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http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EBC-USR7086/

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EBC-DP61617/

ok, so i was a little off with my price. the stopping power is good and no more factory brake fade.
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coolant flush is pretty easy too.

i swapped all plugs myself except the number 3 cylinder... couldnt reach it so i left it.
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Old 09-28-2011
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Is a transmission flush necessary on a manual vehicle? I know its a newb question, but I am having a hard time finding a definitive answer on Google.
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Old 09-28-2011
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on a manual it should be super easy. not sure how access is. basically drain and refill.
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Old 09-28-2011
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Originally Posted by morris View Post
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EBC-USR7086/

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/EBC-DP61617/

ok, so i was a little off with my price. the stopping power is good and no more factory brake fade.
Why in the world would you get such expensive rotors? $200 a piece? Man I'd rather buy the $50 ones and replace them every 6 months!
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Old 09-28-2011
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that's for the pair.
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yea, $100 each and they are good quality. i always wanted them for my VW but never got around to buying them. i found out they made em for mid/compact trucks and knew i'd be getting them
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Old 09-28-2011
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One more quick question: Would you guys mind ranking the following services (at 90k and assuming none of them have ever been done to the car before) from most important to least important? I've called my local auto shop and gotten quotes and its looking like I'll have to trim a thing or two off the list right now. So what services would you put off of the following:

Changing spark plugs + wires, coolant flush, manual transmission fluid change, cabin air filter, fuel filter, front and rear differential fluid change.

Thanks!
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Old 09-28-2011
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Originally Posted by kengh View Post
One more quick question: Would you guys mind ranking the following services (at 90k and assuming none of them have ever been done to the car before) from most important to least important? I've called my local auto shop and gotten quotes and its looking like I'll have to trim a thing or two off the list right now. So what services would you put off of the following:

Changing spark plugs + wires, coolant flush, manual transmission fluid change, cabin air filter, fuel filter, front and rear differential fluid change.

Thanks!
you dont have a cabin filter...no rangers have one IIRC
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Old 09-28-2011
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Originally Posted by kengh View Post
Yea I intend on doing the brake job myself. I've done it before on other vehicles. Should be just a socket set and a C-clamp, right?

As far as the 90k mile service goes I think I will ask the auto shop to do the following:
Replace Plugs, Wires, Air filter, Fuel filter, Coolant flush, change front and rear diff. oil, and change tranny oil. Is this all I should ask the auto shop to do or am I missing something?
tcase fluid
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