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How do you change rear disc brakes on a Ford Taurus Mercury Sable?

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βˆ™ 2015-07-15 21:52:12

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See "Related Links" below, for Autozone's on-line repair manual for 1996-1999 Taurus & Sable rear brake repair instructions.

NOTE: Autozone now requires free registration to access the repair guides. More than worth the extra effort for these photo/illustrated instructions.


  1. Chock front wheels.
  2. Loosen (don't remove yet) the lug-nuts on rear wheels.
  3. Jack rear end of vehicle up.
  4. Place a jack-stand on each side of vehicle, to safely hold the entire weight of the vehicle (locate the proper jack points to avoid damage to parts under the vehicle)
  5. Lower the jack until the vehicle is resting on the jack-stands.
  6. Remove lug-nuts and wheels, exposing the braking system.
  7. Looking behind the rotor, locate the two 1/2 inch sized bolts holding the caliper in place. Remove the bolts, and the caliper will be disconnected from brake assembly (the caliper will still be attached to the vehicle by the brake hoses).
  8. The bracket your caliper was bolted to, can now be removed by two bolts facing the same way as the caliper bolts--they are 3/4 inch in size.
  9. Once the bracket is removed, the rotor can be removed easily.
  10. For best braking, the rotor(s) should be replaced or turned (cut/machined down) at a machine shop or your local auto parts store before replacement, as long as the rotor hasn't yet worn down to its minimum thickness (check your car's specifications). If the rotor has worn down to its minimum thickness, replace it with a new one.
  11. With caliper in hand, locate the piston that pushes the pads. This piston has to be pushed and turned in, to accommodate the new pads and/or rotor thickness. This can be done with a rotor tool (less than $10 at local part stores). This tool is a round piece of metal with two nubs on it. When placed on the piston, the nubs grab into it and is able to be turned with a ratchet, usually 3/8 drive.
  12. Replace the brake pads.
  13. Place rotor on lugs.
  14. Reinstall the caliper bracket.
  15. Place caliper over new pads and rotor.
  16. Reinstall wheel and lug-nuts.
  17. Jack up vehicle and remove the jack-stands, then lower jack.

More Information:

I suspect you are asking how do you replace disc brake pads....I also suspect you are having trouble pushing back the caliper piston so you can refit the caliper with the new thicker pads. You have no doubt tried to push the caliper back as in a conventional style front caliper and have found a lot of resistance. This is due to the mechanism associated with the park brake actuator. You should have a proper tool that allows you to push and also turn the piston so it threads its way back into the caliper. You might be able to push and turn with a rigged up C clamp, but you stand a good chance of messing things up without the proper tool.

There is an aftermarket tool that fits a lot of caliper pistons that sells for about five dollars and saves a lot of grief. You will likely notice a couple of little indents on the piston...this is where the tool fits to enable turning while pushing.

I used a C clamp and a pair of channel lock pliers to do this job. First attach the C clamp to the caliper tightly. Don't try to turn, because it won't. Next, grasp your pliers and turn the piston clockwise--be sure not to grab the rubber bushing or you may tear it, causing your caliper to leak from the puncture. As you turn, the C clamp will loosen. Stop turning and tighten the C clamp. Keep alternating between turning with the pliers and tightening the C clamp until the piston goes back in. You can use this method if you don't want to pay for the cheap tool, or if you have already started and your car is disassembled and you can't drive to the parts store.

This second answer was a life-saver and worked like a champ. I live in Guam and the "special tool" would have either not been available or cost me a Hundred Bucks. I bent the handle on my C-clamp and my son was starting to think I didn't know what I was doing. After nothing more than a little grease on the keyboard, we got his car back up and running in no time.

More on Compressing Rear Piston On the rear disc brake caliper piston there are two knotches (one on either side) that require a SPANNER type wrench to grab the piston. Turn the tool clockwise to screw the piston in, thereby making more room available for the new disc pads. If you were to actually remove the piston from the caliper assembly, you would see a threaded stud sticking out of the center of the hole in the caliper assembly that has ACME threads on it (the type of threads that you see on a "C" clamp or a VISE). I have used common plumbers pliers to grip the edge of the piston and turn it in clockwise, but the best way would be the correct tool made for the job. It is possible that an auto parts store will rent the tool or maybe a repair shop will rent the tool to you. AUTOZONE and ADVANCE may have a loaner tool and they don't cost anything to loan, just a returnable deposit.

On the Taurus I have, it is the same as doing the front brakes: undo the two bolts on the upper half of the calipers, and this should give you some play room to get at the calipers to release them in order to remove them from the rotors. Collapse the calipers with a 6" clamp, which I found to be the easiest for a do-it-yourself job, and replace the brake pads. There really is no way to put in your new pads the wrong way--just make sure you have the pad part inward on both sides, not the metal. Then reverse the process. Make sure that the holes realign when tightening your bolts back on, or the obvious will happen and your little inexpensive job can become a bigger financial headache. Remember to bleed the brake line and add more brake fluid before you do. BEFORE REMOVING THE CAP ON THE BRAKE FLUID RESERVOIR TO PUT MORE FLUID IN, CLEAN THE CAP AND SURROUNDING AREA TO AVOID DEBRIS GETTING IN. Voila back in buisness!

Rear disc: lift car & pull off wheels Remove the 2 bolts holding the caliper to the caliper bracket slider pins lift off caliper & pads and push & turn the piston back in till seated(tool available) Remove 2 bolts holding caliper bracket to the spindle and take it off Remove rotor, if stuck use a hammer to loosen At this time take the 2 slider pins out of the caliper bracket & lube them and clean the area the ends of the pads slide back & forth in & lube (grey antiseize or silicone brake lube). If they're seized you may have to heat them (without burning the rubber boots) to get them out. Clean & install new rotors, a little antiseize on the hub between hub & rotor is a good thing (make sure it's clean!) reinstall caliper bracket & tighten the 2 big bolts (12mm bolts) put pads in caliper bracket & slide caliper over them & tighten the two 8mm bolts into the caliper bracket slider pins. A light layer of silicone brake lube on the back of the pads where they contact the rotor housing will minimize squeals Clean any grease off of rotor surface as not to get it on the pads

Tighten tires & lower the car Pump up the brake pedal before starting the car.

If your emerg brake works, try it a few times.

The common square tool that a few people refer to does NOT fit all Taurus rear disc pistons. I've had 3 Taurus mk2 and all of their pistons were indented with triangular indents. The knobs on all the common tools will not fit. There are a number of rear disc tool sets that some large auto stores will lend you. The commonest is called Powerfist. This is around 35 to buy in Canada or US.

2 was the most helpful in my opinion, but I did notice that nobody mentioned the TYPE of pads to use. Cheap composite pads will last only about 30,000 miles, -good ceramic pads cost twice as much, but will usually last up to 100,000 miles with rear disc brakes - I know which I always pick - -

2015-07-15 21:52:12
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