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The Ford Capri Laser Page

Front Brake Pad Replacement

The title of this page is somewhat misleading as this job is reasonably easy to do. The front brake pads of a Ford Capri have quite a hard life and will normally need replacing every 15,000 miles depending how heavy footed you are! Always replace the pads as a full set left and right. If one side is consistently wearing much faster than the other then you may have a brake cylinder that is not working correctly. You can check if the brakes are binding by driving down a long straight road when it is quiet, and allow the car to come to a stop without using the brakes. Check both brake discs for temperature. If one is much hotter than the other then you have a problem.

From previous bad experience, may I recommend that you stick to quality brand pads such as Mintex or Ferodo? I made the mistake of using cheap ones once and the brake fade was so bad I nearly crashed the car. They lasted two weeks before I had to change them.

Jack up the front of your car and remove the wheel. The brake pads are easy to see inside the calliper. The pads need replacing once they have worn down to 3mm thick. To remove them, first locate the two long cotter pins at the rear of the caliper. On the inner side you will find they are held in place with two small spring-steel clips. Pull these clips and then pull out the cotter pins using a pair of pliers.

This is often easier said than done as they can be very hard to budge. Try using plenty of WD-40 and tap them from the back with a small hammer. Twisting them as you go often helps.

At this point, you should be prepared to catch the anti-clatter spring that clips on the back of the pads. Make sure all these small items are stored safely. All that is required now is to replace the pads. To remove the shoes, try gripping the back of the shoe with a pair of mole grips and pulling it gently. With a bit of shaking and tugging, the pad will slowly but surely work its way out together with its anti-squeal metal shim on the back. Repeat for the second pad. The new pads will be very much thicker than the old ones and you will find it impossible to get them back in without opening the caliper piston. You will need a thin piece of wood something like a hammer handle. Place it in the hole where the pad went, and lever it against the piston. Warning ! Keep an eye on your brake reservoir as you do this as the fluid may rise up and leak out. Place a rag around the top of the reservoir to be on the safe side. The piston should move inwards very slowly; you may have to use quite a bit of leverage to do this. Push it in as far as you can so that there is now enough room for the new brake pad to be inserted. Before you fit the pads, I recommend putting either some copper grease on the back of the pad or using one of those sticky anti-squeak pads. This will prevent your car from having squealing brakes.

With the shim plate pressed on the back of the new pad, carefully insert into the caliper. Make sure that you don't get any of the copper grease on the friction surface! Once both pads are fitted you can replace the top cotter pin and then the bottom one, noting that the anti-clatter spring device is threaded through the bottom pin. After the pin is in place, you can fix the spring-ends into the sides of the pads using a pair of pliers. If you are completely lost at this point, take a look at the other wheel and make sure that it looks the same !

Finally, once both sides have been done, slowly pump the brake pedal to push the pistons tight again. Be gentle on the brakes for the first few miles as they take a while to bed into the contours of the disc.

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Last updated 26/10/21
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