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Old 03-05-2013, 10:00 PM   #1
matthewedwinmiller
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How to Replace Brake Caliper

Hi everyone, new forum member here :)

just bought a used 2006 Ford Focus, need to repair/replace the front driver side brake caliper. Dealership inspection said that caliper was sticking, and now its grinding loudly. Assuming it will need new pads across both front wheels, new rotor and caliper on front left wheel, and brake fluid line.

Ive bought a Chilton manual and been researching videos/articles online to figure out the process of replacing the pads and rotor, but havent found good information on replacing the caliper itself. My concerns are around disconnecting the brake fluid line and then how to reconnect it to the new caliper and what it takes to avoid getting air in the lines. I have no experience with bleeding air out of the brake system but I feel confident in the work of replacing the pads and rotors and caliper itself.

Would like to find a good video or article on how you go about bleeding the brakes after connecting a new caliper, or if there is any way to avoid having to do that. Also, if this job is beyond the skill level of an enthusiastic repair novice, let me know. i dont want to tackle a job where I will get myself stuck, I don't have anyone to assist me in person and I cant have the car torn apart for more than a day or two.

Thanks for your help!


 
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:02 PM   #2
matthewedwinmiller
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some of the online resources Ive been using:

iFixit - Installing 2005-2007 Ford Focus Front Brake Rotors - http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installi...ke+Pads/3029/1
iFixit - Installing 2005-2007 Ford Focus Front Brake Pads - http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Installi...+Rotors/3095/1
Focushacks - Replacing front disc brake rotors and pads - http://www.focushacks.com/mod/Raplac...otors_and_pads
Youtube - Brake Pad and Rotor Replacement - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Gz2B77HT9A
Youtube - Focus Front Brake Pad Replacement - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_0S5xVlRRE
Youtube - 2004 Ford Focus Front Brake Job - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=077IjX4YXOk
Autozone - Bleeding the Brake System - http://www.autozone.com/autozone/rep...96b43f802e805b

Last edited by matthewedwinmiller; 03-05-2013 at 10:05 PM. Reason: adding links
 
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:17 PM   #3
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If you aren't leaking brake fluid from the caliper piston you probably don't need a new caliper, it's probably just one of the caliper guide pins seized and causing uneven pad wear, it's a pretty common thing. They can be removed and greased with (I think) a 7mm allen drive socket. The guide pins translate the brake piston movement into an even parralell movement between the inboard and outboard caliper sections and brake pads.

Some part of the caliper is likely stuck, and you probably need new pads and rotors for that corner, but unless you have a brake fluid leak you probably don't need a new caliper or get into brake bleeding.

Please clarify anything about what you heard from the dealership, why you need new calipers.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:21 PM   #4
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Going off of the dealer inspection, and the sound of the grinding, my assumption is that the pad is completely ground down and the caliper may be damaged at this point. I'll pull it apart tomorrow and inspect, but that's my assumption at the moment.
 
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:26 PM   #5
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HERE is a link to our How To archive. If you scroll down it you'll see the brake caliper removal and replacement instructions. I would post a direct link but my work internet blocks a lot of stuff.
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SPD_soul View Post
If you aren't leaking brake fluid from the caliper piston you probably don't need a new caliper, it's probably just one of the caliper guide pins seized and causing uneven pad wear, it's a pretty common thing. They can be removed and greased with (I think) a 7mm allen drive socket. The guide pins translate the brake piston movement into an even parralell movement between the inboard and outboard caliper sections and brake pads.

Some part of the caliper is likely stuck, and you probably need new pads and rotors for that corner, but unless you have a brake fluid leak you probably don't need a new caliper or get into brake bleeding.

Please clarify anything about what you heard from the dealership, why you need new calipers.


This could very well be it.

If it's making noise then it's time to replace the pads and probably the rotors anyway. Check out Rockauto as they have great prices on most things.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matthewedwinmiller View Post
Hi everyone, new forum member here...Also, if this job is beyond the skill level of an enthusiastic repair novice, let me know. i dont want to tackle a job where I will get myself stuck, I don't have anyone to assist me in person and I cant have the car torn apart for more than a day or two.
hi and welcome to the forum!

Caliper replacement is pretty straightforward, although it's best to replace both calipers at the same time, rather than just one. I've had good luck with remanufactured Autozone ones, just fyi. (And don't buy the cheapest rotors - unless you love doing brake jobs and want to do another one next year.)

The pad retainer clip on these cars is a PITA; in fact, my pads had a crazy wear pattern because the previous owner couldn't figure it out.

You can certainly bleed your brakes as a one-man job, but it's alot faster if you have a buddy help you. There are products that you can buy to assist you on a solo job, or if you're a cheap b*stard like me, all you need is a 2-3 foot piece of wood or metal pipe to wedge between the seat and brake pedal. Solo bleeds are time consuming but not difficult; a 2-man job is much faster - just recruit a neighbor kid and pay him 5 bucks to sit in the car and push the brake pedal on your command.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 6SPD_soul View Post
If you aren't leaking brake fluid from the caliper piston you probably don't need a new caliper, it's probably just one of the caliper guide pins seized
maybe, but the Ford econoboxes that I've owned always needed new calipers because the pistons seized.
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