How to Replace the Brake Calipers on a '97 Ford Escort

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    1997 Ford Escort: Replacing the Calipers

    • 1). Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels on the end of the Escort on which you are working. Lift the Escort using a 2-ton jack or a jack with greater capacity. Place jack stands beneath the Escort under the frame rails, or the rear axle beam if you are replacing the rear calipers. Remove the lug nuts from the wheels and then remove the wheels completely from the car.

    • 2). Place a brake line clamp on the brake line which leads from the frame of the Escort to the back of the caliper. Place the clamp as close to the caliper as possible, so that you can lessen the amount of brake fluid lost in the replacement of the calipers. Remove the brake caliper mounting bolts using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. Turn the mounting bolts counterclockwise until they are removed from the caliper.

    • 3). Remove the banjo bolt or brake line bolt from the rear of the caliper, using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. Remove the brake line completely from the caliper. Remove the caliper from the brake assembly, using a small pry bar to pry the caliper free if necessary.

    • 4). Install the new caliper onto the brake assembly, over the brake pads and rotors. Install the caliper mounting bolts and tighten the bolts between 29 and 36 foot-pounds of torque, using a certified torque wrench. Install the brake line onto the rear of the new caliper and tighten the brake line bolt between 16 and 20 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

    • 5). Repeat Steps 2 through 4 to complete the caliper replacement on the second side of the car.

    1997 Ford Escort: Bleeding the Brakes

    • 1). Ask you assistant to sit in the driver's seat of the Escort. Loosen the caliper bleeder screw on the back of the caliper using a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket. Turn the bleeder screw counterclockwise to open the screw.

    • 2). Ask your assistant depress the brake pedal completely to the floor of the Escort. Ask your assistant to use the words "down" when the pedal is depressed completely, and "up" when the the pedal is pumped up or at the top of resting position. When the brake pedal is down to the floor, tighten the bleeder screw back shut. Ask your assistant try to pump the brake pedal. If the brake pedal will not pump up, have your assistant lift the brake pedal up to the top position.

    • 3). Repeat Step 2 on the first side of the Escort at least three times, then perform this same procedure on the second side of the car at least three times as well. Make sure you add brake fluid to the brake fluid reservoir frequently while bleeding the brakes, and always replace the fluid reservoir cap after filling. When the brake pedal becomes solid or unable to be depressed from the upward position, then the brakes have been bled sufficiently.

    • 4). Install the wheels and snug the wheel lug nuts onto the car. Raise the car using a 2-ton jack or a jack with greater capacity. Remove the jack stands from beneath the escort. Lower the Escort to the ground and remove the floor jack. Complete this step only after you have verified that you have torqued all of the caliper bolts to the proper torque, and once the brakes have been bled.

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