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S-Max Changing Rear Brake Pads


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#1 John U

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  • Name: John
  • Ford Model: S MAX
  • Year: 2006
  • Location: Oxfordshire

Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:43 PM

I changed the rear brake pads for the first time on my early 07 S-Max 2.0 TDCI Zetec (non-electric handbrake) today at 37,000 miles with 2mm left on the pads. Having trawled all the Ford forums for advice and guidance (mainly Galaxy & Mondeo posts, nothing S-Max specific) I ended up a bit confused about piston wind-back direction etc., so I thought it might be helpful to record my experience.

WARNING - This is not an approved DIY guide or procedure, just a record of what I did. I take no responsibility for its use by others.

Having carried out the usual chocking, jack and axle stand safety procedures etc, I removed the road wheels.

Next step was to disconnect the handbrake cable inner from the caliper lever. This was very easily achieved using a Quik-Grip clamp using a couple of convenient ledges on the back of the caliper and lever arm. Simply ratchet the clamp up until there is sufficient slack to pull the inner brake cable nipple out of the lever slot. I did this with my fingers, but it would be easy to attach a Mole Grip to the nipple if you needed to pull the cable.

Next I removed the 2 Caliper Slide Bolts using a 13mm ring spanner and a 15mm open ended spanner to counter-hold the slide mechanism. The main caliper assembly can then be lifted off the caliper bracket and the old brake pads removed by hand.

The pads are held in position on the caliper bracket by 2 spring steel clips on each wheel. Contrary to what I had read the clips are all identical and not 2 rubber covered. They were removed by hand and cleaned up easily with a drop of solvent to their original shiny condition with no corrosion evident, so there was no need to renew them, simply replace with a touch of Coppaslip grease where the pads contact the spring channels.

The face of the piston has 2 diametrically opposed key slots. I had invested in the Laser Ford Brake Wind-back Kit available on Amazon for about £20, but the bespoke S-Max key in the kit has 4 pins so would not fit! Fortunately the pins are a press fit so I was able to push 2 pins out in the vice after which the 2 pin key fitted the piston face perfectly. Winding back the piston with the tool was achieved very easily without fuss or damage to the seals and I can confirm that both pistons need to be rotated CLOCKWISE to wind back.

Cleaning and reassembly of the caliper was then the same as for any brake job using the new caliper slide bolts with pre-applied sealant supplied with the new pads.

Once the new pads and caliper were refitted the handbrake lever was again ratcheted up until the cable inner nipple would fit into the lever - again just fingers required, then wheels back on, pump brake to take up slack, road test - job done!

All in all a very simple and satifying DIY job achieved withot swearing, damage or injury (for a change). I don't think that would have been the case had I not used the wind-back tool though - essential for the likes of myself. :)

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#2 Richiemac

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  • Name: Richard
  • Ford Model: Focus 2014 1.6 tdci + S max 2007
  • Year: 2014
  • Location: Ireland

Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:45 PM

Thanks for this......I'm fitting new rear discs + Pads to my 2007 S Max on Saturday, so handy to have a read up first.

#3 RichBuda

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  • Name: Richard
  • Ford Model: S-Max
  • Year: 2008
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Posted 04 February 2012 - 04:33 PM

I had invested in the Laser Ford Brake Wind-back Kit available on Amazon for about £20, but the bespoke S-Max key in the kit has 4 pins so would not fit! Fortunately the pins are a press fit so I was able to push 2 pins out in the vice after which the 2 pin key fitted the piston face perfectly. Winding back the piston with the tool was achieved very easily without fuss or damage to the seals and I can confirm that both pistons need to be rotated CLOCKWISE to wind back.


Thanks for this John. This paragraph saved me a lot of head scratching. I also have the Lazer tool and experienced exactly the same issue. Having found your excellent description of how to solve it I also drove out two of the pins and as you say the modified key fits perfectly. Also, knowing it was a clockwise rotation was helpful as the pistons can be a bit tricky to get moving initially, and it is always a worry that you might not be exerting force in the right direction. Great post!!

#4 Uplands5

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  • Name: Martin
  • Ford Model: SMAX
  • Year: 2008
  • Location: Dorset

Posted 16 May 2012 - 01:33 PM

Thanks for this great post, garage suggest rear pads are at 30% and discs need changing, will give it ago myself before the MOT in July. I did my wife's Focus fronts a couple of months ago so should be similar except for the handbrake cable.


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