How To Change The Rear Brake Pads on a Ford Escort

Ford uses the Mazda designed rear disc brake system found on the MX-3 and MX-6. This is a single-piston design with the parking brake actuator built into the caliper. The design requires a different approach to compressing the caliper piston than most rear disc brake systems. It is not possible simply to push the piston back into the caliper, or even to turn the piston back in, as is common on many systems.

Raise and support the vehicle with a jack and jack stands. This is an important safety step. Every year people are injured or die when vehicles fall on them. Be safe, and use jack stands to support the weight of the vehicle. Then remove the wheel and place it along with the lug nuts out of the way.

Remove the caliper by removing the two retaining bolts, and then sliding it up and off the caliper bracket. Remove the two bolts attaching the caliper bracket to the hub, and remove the caliper bracket. Remove the rotor by taking out the two small screws attaching it to the hub, and then set it aside. This provides extra space to work, and prevents damage to the rotor.

Retract the caliper piston by first locating the plug covering the retractor. This caliper is equipped with a gear-type retractor to make pushing the piston into the caliper a breeze. This plug is located on the caliper housing near the back of the piston bore, near the brake hose. Remove the plug, and then insert an Allen wrench into the gear located behind the plug. Rotate the gear to collapse the piston back into the caliper housing.

Reinstall the rotor and the caliper bracket, and then tighten the bolts securely. Install the new pads onto the caliper bracket. Be sure to use any shims and anti-rattle clips from the old pads on the new pads unless new ones are supplied with the pads.

Install the caliper back onto the bracket, and tighten the bolts securely. Reinstall the wheel and lower the vehicle onto the ground. Pump the brake pedal a few times to expand the caliper piston, and then test-drive.

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