How to Change Crown Victoria Rear Brake Pads

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The Ford Crown Victoria is one of the longest-tenured vehicles in the history of Ford Motor Co. It has featured rear disc brakes since the early 1980s, though the car also has been available with rear drum and shoe applications. There are slight variations in the procedure to replace the rear brake pads, depending on the year and the version, but most of the process is the same. Since the rear brake pads account for only about 25 percent of the full-framed sedan's braking capacity, the front disc brakes usually need repairs more often.

Things You'll Need

  • Bottle jack or floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Length of wire
  • 10 mm box-end wrench
  • 15 mm open-end wrench
  • 6 mm hex bit (optional)
  • Ratchet (optional)
  • Ford caliper piston tool (optional)
  • Wheel nut lug wrench
  • Caliper piston retracting tool or 6-inch clamp
  • Replacement pads
  • Silicone brake lubricant
  • Torque wrench with suitable socket set
  • Open the trunk and turn off the air-ride suspension if it is equipped. The button is on the passenger side of the fender wall. Not all Crown Victorias have air-ride suspension, so if the switch is not present, you're clear to lift the rear axle.

  • Remove the hubcaps if applicable. Place the bottle jack or floor jack under the frame until it supports the vehicle but leaves pressure on the rear tires. Loosen the lug nuts with the wheel nut lug wrench. Lift the car high enough to insert a jack stand under the frame in front of each rear tire. Remove the lug nuts and wheels.

  • Remove the two caliper slide bolts. Depending on the year of the car, you may encounter a variation of slide or guide bolts. Recent models require a 10-mm box-end wrench to remove them. Some older versions may require a 15-mm open-end wrench to stabilize the guide bolt retainer along with the 10-mm box-end wrench to remove the guide bolt. Even earlier versions call for a 6-mm hex bit that can be used with a ratchet to remove the slide/guide bolts.

  • Swing the caliper upward off of the caliper bracket and then use a length of wire to attach it to the rear suspension or the frame. Letting it hang from the brake hose can damage the hose.

  • Remove the old pads from the caliper housing by releasing the retaining tabs (on older models) or remove them from the caliper bracket connected to the knuckle (newer models). Inspect the rotor for signs of damage such as grooves, rust pits, heat spots or scoring. If necessary, replace the rotor.

  • Compress the caliper piston using a caliper retracting tool or a 6-inch C-clamp. Some versions of the Crown Vic that integrate the rear parking brake require a notched caliper piston tool that can be used with a ratchet to screw in the rear caliper piston in the clockwise motion.

  • Place silicone lubricant along the pad hardware clips, wiping off any excess that gets on the rotor. Install the new pads. Place the caliper over the rotor. Clean and lubricate the non-threaded part of the slide bolt. If guide bolts are used on the older versions, you'll need to pop out the internal slides of the calipers to clean and lubricate them. Replace the guide/slide bolts, making sure to align them properly into their seats. Tighten the bolts.

  • Replace the tire and lug nuts. Repeat the process for the other side. Lower the Crown Vic and then torque the wheel nuts to 100 foot-pounds with the torque wrench and suitable socket. Turn the air-ride suspension switch back to the "on" position and then pump the foot brake pedal several times to seat the pads to the rotors. Test drive.

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