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Brake Pads - Changing Rear

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The Ford Mondeo hit our roads in 1993, and has consistently been a sales success. Now on its 4th incarnation, it remains a drivers favourite.
For more information, visit the Ford Mondeo forum on, the definitive resource site covering all Fords from the present day to the 1970's.

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Overview Guide
Ford Model: Mondeo
Petrol/Diesel: ????
Estimated Cost: ????
Difficulty? ????
How long does this take? ????

Changing Rear Pads on a Mk3 Mondeo

Note: The FordWiki article on changing the Mk3 rear wheel bearing has additional information and photos relating to removing and re-fitting the brake calipers, here: Rear Wheel Bearing

Caution - Before You Start

  • Slacken all wheel nuts slightly before jacking car
  • Remove the wheel
  • Before working underneath the car, always support it firmly with axle stands!

Here We Go...

  • Release handbrake cable from actuator on rear of calliper. Remove the return spring and rotate the arm, allowing the cable to be released easily. Lower guide pin bolt (13mm, and 19mm spanner to hold the end of the sleeve it goes into) is now removed and inner caliper frame hinged upwards, leaving pads in position either side of disc. Alternatively, to allow a more thorough "clean up", particularly if the caliper/assembly is rusty, I found it easier to remove both guide bolts (my replacement pads came with new bolts anyway) and remove the caliper completely. This made it easier to get to rusty surfaces with a scraper to ensure the pads moved more smoothly.
  • Next comes the 'interesting' bit! The piston will be fully extended, as in nornal calipers, and must be pushed back into housing. Unfortunately, because the self adjusting handbrake mechanism operates on a threaded piston located behind the front piston, which rotates as the handbrake is operated and thus takes up any wear, the front piston cannot be returned by normal means. It must be pushed back, whilst rotating it, to screw the threaded rear piston back into the housing. A 12mm hexagon socket is located in the centre of the piston (not on 55 plate, merely a dimple), for this purpose and hence a 12mm Allen key is required! (Haynes, of course, just say use an Allen key). A long nosed pliers can be used instead and provides good leverage to rotate the piston; if you have one, the spanner for changing disks on an angle grinder can be used to good effect. To aid the retraction of the piston, I have found that a sharp blow with a hammer on the Allan key to jar the piston before rotating makes it a lot easier. Try taking the arms off a gear puller and use the remaining threaded shaft and shoulder to provide controllable pressure; turn by hand after each half revolution of the piston; the dimple in the piston helps centre the shaft. On right hand caliper, the piston must be pushed hard whilst rotating it clockwise. For the left hand calliper it must be rotated counter-clockwise. On MK4 5Door Hatchback [57 plate] both calipers need to be rotated Clockwise. (Estates, it says, are the opposite way round! I can confirm that the estate has the passenger side rotating anti clockwise to screw in. I can also conform that the estate uses different calipers to the hatchback and saloon cars and the calipers are NOT interchangeable. There is also a different cable attachement arrangement on the estate compared to the non estate cars. This task was not easy, and at first I thought the piston was not going to go in. You must persist and push very hard, whilst an assistant holds the caliper. There is a 'caliper winding in tool' available from Halfords for about £12, This pushes and winds the calliper in at the same time. But beware that the Halford item only winds in the clockwise direction as i have just found out, so only good for one side and the price is now £21. This can save you a shed load of heart-ache.

A useful tool can be made using a cheap metal silicone gun, I did it by cutting off the end and bending the arms round about halfway along, this gripped the arms of the caliper while the pushing mechanism can go between the caliper arms and exert pressure while you turn the piston. ... a bit 'McGyver' but it works really well. Once i had made that tool it only took about 3 mins to retract the caliper. Since cheap metal silicone guns are about £5 its cheaper and quicker than trekking all the way to halfords... twice. Crude but effective:


There is a lot of confusing directional information in the edits above. I'm going to leave them all in for completeness. The official line is below (LH, RH is left and right hand; Clock Wise and Anti Clock Wise):

Cars built up to 09/2004: 4/5-door: LH ACW, RH CW; Estate: LH CW, RH ACW. Cars built from 09/2004: 4/5-door: LH CW, RH ACW; Estate: LH ACW, RH CW.

  • With piston retracted, general clean up is done with brake cleaner fluid and copper grease applied to all pad contact points. The piston has a long and short cut-out, on opposite sides, and these must then be aligned with a raised casting pip on the outer rim of the piston housing. For reasons I cannot see, the long cut out must be aligned with the pip on the Right hand side wheel caliper and the short one on the Left hand side caliper. The 12mm Allen key is again used to rotate them into their correct positions. The new pads are then fitted, the caliper inner hinged down and secured with the screw, after applying Loctite threadlock.
  • Reconnect handbrake cable, in a similar manner to when removed. Lever the return spring back into place using a slim screwdriver, or similar, to lift it up and on to the arm .
  • Apply handbrake several times to take up slack, pump the brake pedal a few times for good measure, check that the disk still moves freely with brakes released (if not you may need to clean a bit more thoroughly). Fit wheel and job is done!

It's quite an involved affair the first time, but second wheel can be done in about 30mins!