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Ford Mustang Front Brake Pads Replacement Guide
How to change the front disc brake pads on a 6th generation 2015 to 2022 Ford Mustang (EcoBoost 2.3L I4).

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2019 Mustang EcoBoost
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Loosen Five Lug Nuts
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Raise Front of Vehicle
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the S550 sixth generation 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 Ford Mustang EcoBoost 2.3L I4 model with the standard two piston calipers in changing the front brake pads and lubricating the caliper slider pins. Plus directions for changing the rotors if necessary.

The procedure and torque specifications are different for other Mustang models with the "Premium" braking package (4 piston calipers) and "Performance Package" (Brembo 6 piston calipers).

(The 7th generation S650 Ford Mustang is supposed to be released in 2022 as a 2023 model year vehicle.)

Owners of other Ford and Lincoln vehicles such as the Fusion, Taurus, Escape, EcoSport, Flex, Expedition, Bronco, Ranger, Transit, F-150, C-Max, Fiesta, Focus, Edge, MKZ, Continental, Corsair, Nautilus, Aviator and Navigator may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

A few compatible sets of new front brake pads for the Mustang EcoBoost 2.3L I4 (two piston front calipers) with their part numbers include the following: Power Stop Z23-1791, Wagner QC1791, Power Stop Z26-1791 and Akebono ACT1791.

Please be sure to use the Amazon Part Finder website to verify the correct part numbers for your Mustang before you purchase new parts!

The tools and other items needed to complete this procedure include a lug nut wrench, a floor jack, two jack stands, a 14mm socket, a 3/8" drive ratchet, an "F" clamp and a tube of brake caliper grease.

The first few steps are to drive the car on to a level surface, shift the transmission into "Park" and turn off the ignition.

Engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the rear tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving.

Slightly loosen the five lug nuts on the front wheel by turning them about 1/4 to 1/2 turn in the counterclockwise direction with the tire iron.

I prefer to only work on one side of the car at a time to keep three tires on the ground for extra safety.

Carefully raise the front of the vehicle and securely support it with at least two jack stands.

Please do NOT solely rely on the floor jack to support the vehicle!



 

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Spin Off Lug Nuts
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5 Lug Nuts Removed
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Caliper, Bracket, Rotor
Spin off the five lug nuts in the counterclockwise direction and set them aside in a safe place.

Carefully remove the front wheel and tire to reveal the caliper, bracket, rotor and suspension.

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Standard - Two Pistons
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Loosen Top Caliper Bolt
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Loosen Bottom Bolt
Loosen the top caliper bolt by turning it in the clockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

Then loosen the bottom caliper bolt by also turning it in the clockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the car) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet.

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Spin Out Lower Bolt
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Spin Out Upper Bolt
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Caliper Bolts Removed
Spin out the two caliper bolts and set them aside in a safe place.
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Lift Caliper Off Pads
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Rest Caliper On Rotor
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Remove Old Inner Pad
Carefully lift the caliper out of the bracket and off the old brake pads.

Rest the caliper on top of the rotor or suspend it from the suspension spring with a bungee cord or some twine.

Try to avoid bending, kinking, pulling or stressing the rubber brake fluid hose.

Remove the old inner brake pad from the bracket.

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Wear Indicator Bar
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Remove Old Outer Pad
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Outer Pad Removed
Remove the old outer brake pad from the bracket.

Make a mental note of where the wear indicator bar or "squeal bar" is situated on the old brake pads.

On this 2019 Mustang convertible, the wear indicator bar was situated on the bottom of the old inner brake pad.

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Pad Abutment Clips
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Replace Abutment Clips
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Pull Out Slider Pins
If your new set of front pads includes a bag of replacement brake hardware, pull the old metal pad abutment or "anti-rattle" clips out of the top and bottom of the bracket.

Clean off the bracket, rotor, lug studs and caliper with brake parts cleaner spray.

Try to avoid breathing in the brake dust or the cleaning spray since they may be carcinogenic (cancer causing).

Apply a thin layer of brake parts lubricant grease to the top and bottom of the new pad abutment clips where they will come in contact with the new brake pads and the bracket.

Try to avoid getting grease on the friction surface of the rotor or the new brake pads.

Push the new pad abutment clips into the top and bottom of the bracket.

Make sure the pad abutment clips are fully seated in place.


Front Brake Rotors Replacement Instructions

If your Mustang has been exhibiting shaking, shuddering or vibrations in the front end when you step on the brake pedal, the OEM rotors might be warped or worn out and should be replaced.

To replace the rotors, first remove the two 15mm bolts on the back side of the caliper bracket. Set the two bolts and the bracket aside in safe place.

According to the Ford service manual, the caliper bracket bolts should NOT be re-used due to "galling" (wear due to excessive friction between two moving surfaces that can lead to cold welding and seizing).

The part number for the front caliper bracket bolts or "caliper anchor plate bolts" is Ford -W716471-S439 (also known as W716471S439 or W716471 S439).

Some Mustang owners choose to just apply some Loctite to the old bolts and re-use them. Do this at your own risk!

Slide the old rotor off the wheel hub and lug studs. If necessary, hit the rotor with a rubber mallet to loosen any corrosion (rust) or debris that might be holding it in place.

A few compatible replacement front brake rotors with their part numbers are as follows: Bosch 20011516, Raybestos 681952FZN and Callahan CDS03486.

Please verify the correct replacement part numbers for your Mustang before purchasing new rotors!

Slide the new rotor over the lug studs and against the wheel hub. Line up the caliper bracket and spin in the two 15mm bolts a few turns by hand to prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Tighten the bracket bolts with the 15mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until they are snug.

It would be best to use a torque wrench to tighten the bracket bolts to the service manual specification of 85 lb-ft (or 115 Nm) of torque.


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Lubricate & Replace Pins
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Attach "F" Clamp
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Brake Fluid Reservoir
In order for the caliper to operate smoothly, the two caliper slider pins (also known as the "guide bolts" or "slide pins") need to be well lubricated.

Avoid mixing up the top and bottom caliper slider pins since they are slightly different.

Remove one caliper slider pin at a time from its rubber dust boot attached to the bracket, apply a small amount of brake caliper grease to the smooth part of the pin and push it back into the rubber dust boot.

Repeat the process to lubricate the other caliper slider pin.

Make sure the two pins are fully seated in their rubber dust boots.

In order for the caliper to fit over the thicker new brake pads, the two pistons need to be compressed back.

Attach the "F" clamp to the caliper and use an old brake pad to evenly distribute the pressure across the two pistons.

Move to the right rear area of the engine bay (close to the driver's seat and the windshield).

Locate the brake fluid reservoir bottle.

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Twist Off Plastic Cap
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Compress Caliper Pistons
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Re-Position "F" Clamp
Twist off the reservoir cap in the counterclockwise direction and set it aside in a safe place.

Removing the reservoir cap will allow the brake fluid to more easily travel back through the system when you compress the caliper pistons.

Slowly turn the "F" clamp handle in the clockwise direction to compress back the pistons.

Repeatedly check the fluid level in the reservoir to make sure it doesn't overflow.

Clean up any spilled brake fluid immediately and rinse the area with plenty of water since brake fluid can easily damage painted surfaces.

You may need to re-position the "F" clamp to fully retract the two pistons.

Make sure the pistons are going straight back in and not at an angle.

Avoid damaging the rubber dust boot that surrounds the pistons.

Continue compressing the pistons until they are just about flush with their rubber dust boots.

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Replace Brake Fluid Cap
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Install New Outer Pad
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Wear Bar - Bottom Inner
As soon as your done compressing the caliper pistons, replace the brake fluid reservoir cap by twisting it on in the clockwise direction.

The reservoir cap should not be left off for any longer than absolutely necessary since brake fluid is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture from the air).

Install the new inner and outer brake pads into the bracket.

The wear indicator bar should be situated at the bottom of the inner brake pad.

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Push Pads Against Rotor
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Lower Caliper Over Pads
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Spin In Top Bolt
Push the two pads together until they are flush against the rotor.

Carefully lower the caliper over the new pads and into the bracket.

Line up the bolt holes in the caliper with their corresponding bolt holes in the slider pins within the bracket.

Spin in the two caliper bolts a few turns by hand in the counterclockwise direction (as seen from the outside of the car) to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

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Replace Bottom Bolt
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Tighten Upper Bolt
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Tighten Lower Bolt
Tighten the bolts in the counterclockwise direction (when viewed from the outside of the vehicle looking in towards the engine bay) with the 14mm socket and a 3/8" drive ratchet until they are snug.

If the caliper slider pins turn as you are attempting to tighten the caliper bolts, hold them in place with a 19mm wrench or pliers.

If you have a torque wrench, tighten the caliper bolts to the service manual specification of 24 lb-ft (or 32 Nm) of torque.

Double check that the two caliper bolts are tight before moving on to the next steps.

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Front Caliper Secured
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Rubber Valve Cap
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Brake Fluid Bleeder Valve
If the brake pedal has been feeling soft or spongy, the brake fluid may contain a few air bubbles or some moisture.

It would be a good idea to bleed the brake lines and flush out the old fluid with fresh new DOT 4 brake fluid.

I highly recommend using the Allstar Performance Bleeder Bottle to bleed the brake lines. It makes this procedure an easy one-person job compared to having an assistant pump the brake pedal for you.

According to the service manual for the 2015 to 2018 Ford Mustang, the brake line bleeding order is as follows: 1. Rear Right (Passenger Side) 2. Rear Left (Driver Side) 3. Front Right (Passenger) and 4. Front Left (Driver).

Most cars have this same bleeding order where you start at the caliper furthest from the master cylinder and work your way towards the brake fluid reservoir and master cylinder.

The brake fluid bleeder valve is located on the top of the caliper just below the upper caliper bolt and it is covered by a rubber cap.

In order to open and close the bleeder valve, you'll need a 10mm wrench.

Double check that the bracket bolts, caliper bolts and brake fluid bleeder valve are all properly tightened before moving on to the next steps.

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Push On Front Wheel
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Spin On Five Lug Nuts
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Slightly Tighten Clockwise
Carefully push the front wheel back into place over the lug studs.

Spin on the five lug nuts a few turns by hand in the clockwise direction to help prevent them from becoming cross threaded.

Slightly tighten the lug nuts in the clockwise direction in a "star" or "criss-cross" pattern with the tire iron.

I place my foot on the tire to help keep the wheel from moving while I slightly tighten the lug nuts.

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Lower Car From Stands
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Torque Lug Nuts
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Front Brake Job Done
Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands by using the floor jack.

Continue tightening the lug nuts in the clockwise direction in a criss-cross or star pattern with the tire iron until they are snug.

The 2019 Ford Mustang owner's manual specification for tightening the lug nuts is 150 lb-ft (or 204 Nm) of torque.

Please double check your owner's manual for the correct lug nut torque specification for your vehicle!

It would be best to use a torque wrench or an electric impact wrench with a torque stick to properly tighten the lug nuts.

Check the level in the brake fluid reservoir and if necessary, slowly pour in new DOT 4 brake fluid until it reaches the "MAX" (maximum) line.

Sit in the driver's seat and firmly push down on the brake pedal a few times to restore the brake line pressure.

Don't forget to write down the brake job in your car's service records.

To break in (or "bed-in") your new standard ceramic or metallic brake pads, just drive normally for the first few hundred miles and try to avoid any hard or "panic" stops which may glaze over the new pads and lead to reduced braking performance and / or noisy brakes.

If you installed performance brake pads meant for drag racing, autocrossing or road racing, follow the manufacturer's recommend procedure for breaking-in or "bedding-in" your new pads.

It would also be a good idea to check your parking spot, driveway or garage for drops of fresh brake fluid during the next few days since they may indicate a leak from the reservoir or the bleeder valve.

For more, please check out all of the 2015-2022 Ford Mustang DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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