Change Front Brakes in a 1994 Ford F150 Truck

These are instructions to replace front brakes on a ninth generation Rear Wheel Drive F150 Ford truck. Save money and make sure the job is right.


  1. Park your truck in a safe place where you can work undisturbed for as long as it takes you to finish the job. Apply emergency brake and chock the rear wheels.
  2. Loosen the lug nuts of the front wheels but do not remove them.
  3. Jack each side of the truck under the front wheels, just high enough to lift the wheels about 1" off the floor. See jacking instructions in your owners manual. There might be a decal under the hood on the right front, passenger side, top of the radiator frame with jacking instructions.
  4. Use jack stands to support the weight of the truck on each side about {{safesubst:#invoke:convert|convert}} inboard the front wheels under the beams that support the front wheels.
  5. Remove the front wheels and set them aside with their lug nuts.
  6. Using a clamp compress the caliper as shown to loosen the grip on the brake pads.
  7. Unscrew the 2 screws that hold the caliper to the bracket.
  8. Remove the caliper and place it on a support
  9. or hang it from a hook so it does not hang on the brake hose. Do not allow the brake hose to kink or be stressed in any way.
  10. Remove the old pad from the rear by pulling it straight away from you. You might have to wiggle it a bit. Set it aside.
  11. Pull the front pad off the shims. You might have to wiggle it a bit, but it will pull straight towards you. Set it aside.
  12. Remove the hub cap using a flat blade screwdriver and prying it off all around the edge. Set it aside on a clean surface
  13. Straighten and remove the cotter pin that secures the nut. Discard this cotter pin. Do not reuse.
  14. Remove the castellated nut cover and the nut and place them on a clean surface.
  15. Grab the rotor from both sides and pull it towards you. Make sure the front bearing does not fall on a dirty surface as it will come right off the spindle. I suggest placing some newspapers under the caliper before you pull it out.
  16. Set the caliper down over a clean sheet of newspaper or other clean surface with the lugs facing up.
  17. With a round wood dowel (about 1" dia works well) or similar object, hammer out the rear bearing and rear seal from the rotor. It should not require much force. Do not damage the seal if you can help it.
  18. Take a plastic milk jug and cut the top portion off so you'll have a makeshift bucket. Place your bearings, seals, nuts and washers in the jug and wash the old grease off completely. You can use a little gasoline or parts cleaner fluid, just use enough to cover the parts and allow you to clean them. No need to have any more left over stuff to dispose of later.
  19. After the bearings, seals, washers and nuts are clean of grease, set them out to air dry. Take care they do not get contaminated with dirt or any particles that might ruin the bearings later.
  20. At this point you might want to take the rotors to an auto parts store where they can machine them if possible. My rotors were too thin to allow machining so I discarded them and bough new rotors. They will tell you if they can machine them or not. You might want to call ahead and make sure they have the new rotors if you need to purchase them.
  21. If you reuse your machined rotors, you must also clean them out of the old grease and proceed as follows. The rest of these instructions refer to the new rotors. the instructions apply to the old rotors as well.
  22. The new rotors might come wrapped in plastic. If so, just open the plastic to access the hub. Place the rotor on a clean surface with the rear facing up. Apply new bearing grease to the hub on the surfaces where the bearing will rest and turn as well as the area where the seal will seat and all in between.
  23. Turn over the rotor and apply new grease to the front bearing mounting surfaces. If you left the plastic around the rotor, you can handle it without worry of greasing the braking surface.
  24. Take a gob of new bearing grease in your palm and push the grease into the bearings until they are completely packed with new grease. Also grease the surfaces of the seal that will contact the bear bearing.
  25. Place the packed bearings and other greased parts on a clean surface.
  26. Place the rotor down on a clean surface with the rear facing up and push the rear bearing into the greased hub.
  27. Take the greased rear seal and push it into the hub over the rear bearing. Make sure it goes in the same way it was before. If the seal became damaged, use new seals.
  28. With a flat piece of wood, hammer the seal flush with the hub.
  29. Grease the clean spindle with new grease paying particular attention to the bearing races and grease the recessed area where the rear seal of the rotor seats.
  30. Pick up the rotor and place it onto the spindle pushing all the way back. Hold it in place as you place the front bearing and washer over the spindle and into the hub. Secure it with the clean, greased nut.
  31. Tighten the nut with a wrench until snug and spin the rotor. This is to seat the bearings properly.
  32. Back off one turn of the nut and re-tighten it *only finger tight*. Do not apply any force with a wrench to the nut at this time. Replace the castellated nut cover and insert a new cotter pin into the hole (back up slightly if needed to match the hole, do not tighten to gain access to the next hole). Bend the legs of the cotter pin to prevent it from falling out. Now you might replace the hub cap by tapping back into the front hub until the ridge sets flush with the hub.
  33. Before continuing, you might want to wipe the rotors clean with brake or parts cleaner because new rotors sometimes have an oil film from manufacturing and packaging.
  34. Now get your new pads and shims and your brake grease.
  35. Remove the old shims from the bracket. Use pliers, you might have tho pull and wiggle them to get them off.
  36. Replace them with the new shims supplied with your new pads. You might need to tap them is place to make sure they are fully seated on the bracket. Otherwise you'll have problems installing the new pads.
  37. Using your brake grease (anti squeal lubricant) coat all the metal to metal contact points of your brake pads. Avoid contaminating the braking surface of the pads with any grease or other substances. The front pad only requires lubricant on the edges that contact the shims.
  38. Slide/push the rear and front pads onto/over the new shims as shown and press them to the rotor.
  39. Now open the hood and remove the cap off the brake fluid reservoir (white plastic container on the driver's side. Remove about 3/4" of fluid and discard.
  40. With one of the old pads and a clamp, compress the piston in the caliper until there is enough room to slip it onto the new pads and rotor. Check periodically to make sure the bake fluid does not overflow from the reservoir. Remove brake fluid as needed to prevent it from spilling into the engine compartment and onto the floor.
  41. Clean the caliper and the sliding pins around the mounting screws, paying particular attention to the sliding pins. Lubricate the pins to make sure they slide easily inside the caliper casting. This is very important! Binding calipers are the cause of uneven pad wear and premature failure of the brakes.
  42. Push the bushings overt the mounting screws of the caliper to make clearance to mount the caliper back onto the rotor and pads. These bushings and screws were the ones you loosened to remove the caliper. They have some rubber bellows type seals over them. You might want to lubricate these bushings before reassembling the caliper onto the brake assembly.
  43. Put the caliper back onto the brake assembly and secure it by tightening the mounting screws back in place with a wrench. If you have done this to both sides of the truck, you are done with the brakes.
  44. Make sure all the parts are back on properly and secured. Make sure the rotors spin freely and there is no noticeable play in the rotors. Replace the cap on the brake fluid reservoir and make sure the level appears more or less right (more about this later).
  45. Mount the wheels back onto the rotors and secure them with the lug nuts as tight as you can with the lug wrench given the wheels will spin. If you are using an impact wrench, make sure not to over-tighten.
  46. Raise each side with a jack enough to remove the jack stands and lower the truck to the ground. Now you can properly tighten the lug nuts. Use a torque wrench to do it with 1/2" diameter studs use 100ft/lbs of torque as an initial setting. Verify the proper torque for your particular application.
  47. Get in the truck and start the engine making sure the transmission is in neutral and the emergency brake is on. Pump the brakes several times to make sure you have a pedal and it does not sink to the floor. Remove any chocks from your wheels and slowly drive forward and backwards to test your brakes. Caution! the brakes might not work as expected if the fluid level is not right of some error occurred during the installation. Use extreme care until you have verified that the brakes are functioning properly.


  • If you can obtain an impact wrench your job will be much easier. Removing and mounting the wheels and tires can be a real chore without the impact wrench.
  • Make sure you have a long extension to remove the lug nuts. they can be very hard to break loose. Having a torque wrench is very convenient.
  • Make sure you have a jack and jack stands to support the truck. Never work on the vehicle if it's only supported by a jack.
  • You are going to get pretty dirty and greasy. Make sure you have paper towels and cleaning supplies handy.
  • Purchase your pads, bearing grease, brake lubricant, cotter pins and parts cleaner before you start the job.
  • You will need to keep all bearings and seals and other parts that contact them, very clean. Make sure you have clean surfaces to place them on.
  • Before you start, call you auto parts store and ask them if they can machine rotors. If not, find a place that can do it. Also make sure you can get replacement rotors if needed. If they have them, ask them to hold them for you. This way you are covered if you need them.
  • Purchase good quality pads at least equivalent to OEM.


  • Under no circumstances work unless the truck is supported with appropriate jack stands.
  • There will be waste products after cleaning bearings, draining brake fluid, etc. Make sure you dispose of this waste properly.
  • These trucks are very heavy. Be sure your jack or lift and your stands are suitable to hold the weight.
  • Make absolutely sure that you have a safe work area.
  • Before lifting the truck, make sure you know the proper procedure to jack it up.
  • If possible do not work alone and make sure you can call for help if you are injured during the operation.
  • The brakes and bearings are very important parts of the vehicle and if they malfunction, you or others could suffer serious injury or death. You are responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle after the job is done.
  • Make sure you know that the job is done correctly. If you have any doubts, do not continue or operate the vehicle as it could cause serious damage, injury and/or death.
  • These instructions may not be complete or accurate. It is assumed that you have skills and knowledge to use the tools, parts and equipment to do this job. You are ultimately responsible for your own and other people's safety and property if something goes wrong with this job.

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