Replacing front rotors

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jscott

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The only thing I have ever done with brakes is step on the pedal to stop.  Is replacing the rotors on our cars as easy as this video of a later Mustang?   Or does this look too easy?



 

Bill73Ragtop

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Forget that video.  71 - 73 mustang front disk brake rotors have the hub & wheel bearings incorporated into the design.  The most difficult thing is to install new races and bearings (properly greased).  Now would be a good time to review the procedure in your service manual.  These year brake pads also have a retaining pin and clip to hold them in place.  Couple things to keep in mind:  don't hang the calipers by the hose,  don't over torque the hub nut and remember the cotter pin.

 

MKSpeedlab

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Forget that video.  71 - 73 mustang front disk brake rotors have the hub & wheel bearings incorporated into the design.  The most difficult thing is to install new races and bearings (properly greased).  Now would be a good time to review the procedure in your service manual.  These year brake pads also have a retaining pin and clip to hold them in place.  Couple things to keep in mind:  don't hang the calipers by the hose,  don't over torque the hub nut and remember the cotter pin.
The nice thing is that "usually" if your buying new rotors they may have the race pre installed so you just need to remove your old one, put in seals and the new bearings(after packing them with grease) and then they are ready to go on. Its not a difficult process, but as Bill mentioned, follow a service manual for tightening the hub nut, and make sure you put a cotter pin in. I recently did mine with all new hardware and it was pretty straight forward. Hardest thing was getting the new dust cap on lol. 

 

Hemikiller

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As others have noted, the service manual covers everything. The bearing tightening procedure is critical, follow it to a "T" and you'll be fine. 

As far as pre-installed races, I knock them out and use the ones that come with the bearings. I only use USA-made Timken bearing sets, and trust them much more than the whatever comes in the China-made rotors. 

 
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I was going to China to follow a Timken project there but the virus stopped me from going. 

Brake jobs are about the easiest job to do on your car. That said it is one of those jobs that can snow ball. If you check the rotor thickness you might be able to just turn them and not have to replace bearings. New inside grease seal is always suggested. If your hoses are old you might want to change them. There are copper washers on each side of the metal fitting on the end of the hose that goes to the caliper, banjo washers, you need to change them. The inside of hose can come apart and restrict the flow both in and out which can drag the brakes. 

Bearings are one of the most accurate mass produced items ever. They are held to millionths of an inch tolerance. 

The torque on the spindle nut is very important lots of people leave them too loose you need to follow Ford spec on tightening them. Also you need to always use torque wrench for the lug bolts and cross tighten them in a couple steps. While you have the hoses off you should pump all the old brake fluid out of the system and change the fluid out. I gathers moisture over time and does go bad.

You new pads will probably not have the new pins, boots for the guide pins and clips so you will need to order a kit from one of the Mustang supply houses, I use NPD.

Now the calipers, If you have never rebuilt them might be a little tricky for you. Getting the dust boot back on is the only difficult thing. The pistons are usually good they are hard chrome plated. and if any rust will be in the caliper housing. You can get rebuilt kits with new seal and boot from NPD or your local parts house. Also replace the bleed valve. Wash any brake parts with brake parts cleaner and blow dry. 

If you do not rebuild the calipers you will have to compress the piston back in. Any king of clamp, C clamp, kant twist can be used to push all the way back in. With the new pads being thick you cannot get back on the disc without clamping. You also want to put small amounts of disc brake lube on some areas of the pads you pads usually have instructions with them. 
Brake jobs are a huge rip off I think. I had someone call me from Toyota dealer and they were telling her that if she did not do brake job right now for over $200 could cost her $400 in a day or two. She was there for free tire rotation. I ask her if she had been hearing any brake noise and she said no. So I told her to stop at parts store and get new pads. They were twenty something dollars. She came over and I put in my 2 post lift bay. I could not break the lug bolts loose with 1/2" breaker bar I had to jump on the bar. They had over tightened the bolts attempting to warp the disc so she would be back with pulsing brakes. 

So I had never done this model Toyota it was rear brakes and disc. I was through in less than 30 min.. I wish out local news would do an undercover story on this Toyota dealer they rip lots of customers off with not needed repairs like water pumps and brakes. But they are big ad sponsor on their channel so no story.

 
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