How to Change Front Disk Brakes on A 2002 Ford F150

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Ford recommends that you inspect or replace the front disk brake pads every 15,000 miles on your F-150. However, strenuous driving conditions, like using your truck to repeatedly tow heavy loads, will cause undue wear and tear on the brake pads. Worn-down front brake pads will cause your truck’s stopping distance to increase. Defective brake pads can also lead to irreversible rotor damage if they’re not promptly serviced. With a few tools, you can change the front brake pads on your 2002 Ford F-150 right at home. The total time the job will take should not exceed 90 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Lug wrench
  • Truck jack
  • Jack stand
  • 8-inch C-clamp
  • Socket wrench set
  • 3-foot bungee cord
  • Open the driver’s door on your Ford F-150 and engage the emergency brakes. The tire’s lug nuts and various other bolts may break off if they're hot. Therefore, if you have recently driven the truck, wait 60 minutes before you continue with the repair.

  • Loosen the lug nuts on your F-150’s front driver-side tire a quarter turn with a lug wrench. Raise the truck with its factory-supplied jack and place a jack stand on the immediate right of the jack for added support during the repair.

  • Remove all of the lug nuts from the wheel studs and place them in a safe location that will remain free of dirt. Take the tire off the wheel studs and lean it against the side of the truck or bumper.

  • Place an 8-inch C-clamp around the outer body of your F-150’s brake caliper. Observe the inner brake pad before you begin. Behind the inner brake pad, you should see two round metal pistons pushing against its surface. You have to use the C-clamp to compress both of the pistons. At the front of the brake caliper, you should see two round cutouts in the caliper through which the surface of the outer brake pad is visible.

  • Move the C-clamp up to the top cutout at the front of the brake caliper. Wind the C-clamp’s screw downward until it touches the surface of the outer brake pad. Begin by tightening the C-clamp five full turns clockwise. Loosen the C-clamp and move it down to the bottom cutout at the front of the brake caliper. Wind the C-clamp’s screw down again until it touches the brake pad, and then tighten the C-clamp another five full turns clockwise. Alternate this tightening sequence until both of the pistons at the rear of the inner brake pad are completely leveled out into the brake caliper.

  • Locate the brake caliper’s two mounting bolts. One bolt sits at the top rear of the caliper, and the other bolt sits at the bottom rear of the caliper. Remove both of your F-150’s caliper mounting bolts with a socket wrench.

  • Attach your three-foot bungee cord by its hook to the shock tower’s spring. Lift the brake caliper off the brake pads and hang it by the bungee cord’s available hook. Do not hang the brake caliper by the brake fluid line. Instead, hang it by one of its bolt holes.

  • Remove the old outer brake pad by simply lifting it out of the mounting bracket. Install the new outer brake pad in its place. Remove the old inner brake pad in the same fashion, and then reinstall the new inner brake pad.

  • Unhook the brake caliper and lower it back down over your F-150’s new brake pads. Thread both of the caliper’s mounting bolts by hand and tighten them as much as you can. Set a 3/8-inch drive torque wrench to 25 foot-pounds, and secure both of your truck’s caliper mounting bolts in place. Remove the bungee cord from the spring, and set it to the side of your work area.

  • Mount your F-150’s tire back onto the wheel studs and start each of the lug nuts by hand. Tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern with your lug wrench until they’re all snug. Remove the jack stand and lower your truck jack until the tire meets the ground, but not completely. Continue tightening your truck’s lug nuts in the star pattern again, this time until completely secured.

  • Lower your F-150 down to the ground completely and remove the truck jack. Sit in the driver’s seat and begin pumping the brake pedal. Once you feel the brake pedal firm up or fail to depress, stop pumping it. Repeat this entire procedure to change the passenger’s-side front disk brake pads on your 2002 Ford F-150.

  • Photo Credit disque image by MATTHIEU FABISIAK from Fotolia.com
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