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Discussion Starter #1
I have been having a braking issue since i bought this car.(1978 XR7 Cougar) The driver side squeaked horribly. I just pulled the tire off today and to my amazement i discovered that the car in fact hasnt had a pad on the car within the last 3-5,000 miles at my estimate. The rotor is completely worn out. So bad in fact there holes going through the front surface and its scored. Im replacing the rotor and getting new pads. The passenger side is perfectly fine. Very little wear and the rotor is perfect. So my question is this. Should i replace the caliper when i do the brakes? or should i just replace the pads? And does anyone have any pointers about replacing the brakes? Its my first time doing them myself. Thanks!
 

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I would just do the pads and rotor, if it were me...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK. Thanks for the help. Im still shocked at how bad it is.
 

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When the brakes on one wheel only is totally worn out and the other side is good I would always assume there is something wrong somewhere. Usually this is a result of a brake caliper that does not move as freely as it should and when you take the pressure away from your brake pedal the piston(s) in the caliper does not move away from the rotor far enough and the pad will scrub the rotor all the time. Of course this will cause excessive wear on that side and eventually brake failure.
It is really important to check how the caliper piston is moving, and if there is doubts replace the calipers. And I write calipers for a reason, as you should replace both to be 100% sure you get even brakes. Uneven brakes is extremely dangerous and have caused many accidents. Remember brake parts are inexpensive compared to the cost bad brakes may generate in a situation where you really need good brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We finally removed the caliper. It took over an hour, and was stuck on there badly. UI noticed on the brake pads there was no outside pad left at all. and the inside pad was basically brand new, with barely any wear. is the 78 cougar supposed to have any slide pins or anything? Or is it just the caliper and two pads?
 

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I would consider replacing the flex hose also. If the flex hose is collapsed on the inside it will not allow the fluid to travel back to the m/c when the pedal is released. This would act like a seized caliper. I usually replace both!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The flex hose looks decent but it would prolly be wise to replace it as well. And looking at what i have to do to replace the rotor.... this is going to be the most annoying thing i have ever done. I guess im going to have get the bearings redone? Im not to sure how to progress from here...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Im also doing this in my driveway at college. My tools include a partial walmart socket set, a pry bar i found on the side of the road, and an old lug nut wrench i use as a breaker bar.
 

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WP2,
You have a sliding issue, probably the caliper is OK. The shim(?) that is held in place by the bolt should be lubed on both sides, as should both ends of the caliper where they meet the bracket. The caliper, the shim thing, and the bracket should all be free of dirt and rust etc. You can get a small tube of synthetic lube at any auto parts store. All this is assuming that your brakes are like those in the link. I couldn't find a better picture, I'm sure I can tomorrow if that helps.

http://www.cougarpartscatalog.com/79discspindles.html (Don, I hope it's OK that I used this link)

A stuck caliper is the only way you can ruin the outboard pad. The piston is probably OK unless it has come too far out of its bore. If is is not leaking and it retracts OK, you can probably use it. I would recommend getting 2 calipers, 2 rotors and two grease seals, but you need some more tools and experience to tackle all that.

Steve
_________________________________
GT-E
64 Galaxie
30 5 window cp
 

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Discussion Starter #11
im just replacing this side for now so i can drive the car at least. In the next month im gonna go to Les Schwab and let them fix the other side. The passenger side rotor is pretty much new. same with the brakes on that side. just the driver side is completely shot. And im getting more tools i just dont have much currently. Another question. What is the best method for taking the rotor off. I see that i need to take the Spindle nut off to remove the rotor what is the logical method for this?
 

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Remove the dust cap (can be a pain if it's corroded) by tapping around lightly with a small screwdirver and prying it out away from the hub. Under that you will see a castle nut held on by a cotter pin. Straighten out the pin and remove it. back off the nut. Check and clean the bearings while your at it, regrease them. When you re-assemble do not overtighten the castle nut and don't forget the cotter pin! There should be just a bit of end play when you get it on there and the rotor should spin very easily and free.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My manual says i should torque it to like 20 inch pounds. Is it even neccessary to get a torque wrench for that? And thanks everyone for the help! I dont think i would have gotten anything done so far without it. Im gonna see if i can get the rotor off this afternoon after class so ill know how bad it is then.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well the rotor came off like butter. Easiest rotor ive ever seen come off a car. now jusdt to wait till thursday for money and for a new one to get here.
 

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When you reinstall the rotor, tighten the castle nut until it's snug then back it off 1/2 a turn and reinstall the cotter pin. The rotor should turn freely. You don't need a touque wrench. I would check the operation of the caliper pistons on both sides.
 

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Don't forget to install a new grease seal in the back side of the rotor. And remember to install the anti-rattle clip on the trailing edge (toward the bottom) of the pad before you install it in the caliper bracket.
 
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