Well I got it all finished up last night, had the wife help me bleed the brakes and finally put her back on the ground! It was good to drive it again (I even took her to work today). Everything seemingly functions fine; the rears haven't locked up, not functioned or sprayed fluid everywhere yet so I think we're in the clear.
Anyway, here is the how to process I used. I'm sure there are other ways but after I did the first one using this method the second one went much faster. Three quarters of my time messing with all of this was in acquiring the right "tools" and figuring out a method to make it all work. My disclaimer goes right here... I take no responsibility if your #### falls apart after putting it back together using "my method." :beer:
1) You start with the bare caliper and your rebuild kit. Also, these are some of the very handy tools you will need.
2) First slide in the new parking brake lever seal (put a little grease around the edge of it... Ford's instructions say di-electric grease)
3) Then grease up the parking lever itself and slide it down into the caliper. Then install the spring retainer bolt.
4) Next, per Ford's directions, install the parking brake spring. I debated leaving the spring off here but then decided it would be best, one b/c it would hold the lever in the correct position so the pin/dowel would line up and two b/c it would be a lot easier to put on while the caliper was off the car sitting on the work bench.
I've used this method in the past for getting this PITA spring back on and it's worked quite well. I put the spring in the vice like so (see below) and then get a decent sized zip tie and hold the two compressed ends together. I usually tighten the vice up a little and then pull on the zip tie and then repeat. At least then you'll hold most of the pressure from the spring if it were to slip out. Be VERY CAREFUL here... if that bugger comes flying out of there it could take your eye with it so I'd throw on some goggles and maybe some gloves.
5) Once the spring is compressed I've found it works best to put the end with the "hook" around the retainer bolt and then install the other end into the parking brake lever. I usually still have to grab it with some large pliers and squeeze a little but with the zip tie on there it takes away most of the awkward positioning in the pliers. You're about 1/3 of the way done now! That was the easy part...
6) Now flip the caliper on its end. The bore should be empty and at the bottom the little notch/hole that was in the parking brake lever arm should be visible.
7) Now grab the screw mechanism and the little dowel pin that goes in the end of it. Make sure to put a new O-ring on the end of it. Grease up the dowel pin and recess in the end of the screw. Then press these two pieces down into the caliper bore. I then chose to pull the screw back out and then double check the alignment of the dowel pin. There is enough grease down in there that you can just sort of stand it up centered in the hole and then put the screw back down on top of it. This just ensures its all centered up. I think you'll know if it isn't though b/c the screw will probably be sticking out past the leading edge of the caliper (it should be recessed just a touch).
8) Then take the notched washer and drop it over the screw. Make sure to put the little nipple on the back side of it down and then make sure it aligns with the hole in the bottom of the caliper bore. Then put the flat smaller washer on top of it.
9) Next I put a piece of padded foam tape on the bottom of the caliper b/c you're about to clamp it in a large C-clamp.
10) Here comes the fun part! :bash: Here is how and what I chose to use as a "tool" to compress the spring and cap. I had to find just the right sized socket (I found a Husky 7/16", I think, socket meant for a 1/2 rachet) that the small end fit down inside the spring/cap but that was large enough up top to allow my C-clamp to press down on. HOWEVER, there are a couple potential hangups here that I found out the hard way.
ONE, the hole/bore down the center of the socket has to be big enough for the screw to pass through as you compress the spring (I actually had to drill this socket out just a hair to allow enough clearance). You don't want this to bind up or you'll probably bend/break the screw and then your SOL.
TWO, it also has to be tall enough so that when you compress the spring and the screw starts to come up it doesn't "bottom out" into your C-clamp. I started with a smaller/shorter socket of which wasn't deep enough and the hole in the middle of it was WAY too small. I spent ample time and MANY drill bits (see below) drilling that SOB out just to then discover it wasn't tall enough!!!! :fm: This socket actually still wasn't deep enough but I solved that with one little washer (again with a large enough hole that the screw can pass through the middle of it). I made my washer just a touch concave as well which helped keep it centered in the top of the socket. I first tried gluing it to the C-clamp base but it just kept F-ing up.
But the socket works great for helping to keep the spring/cap centered as you compress it.
11) Now drop the spring, cap and socket down into the bore of the caliper. And put your washer on top of your socket if it is necessary.
12) Then put it all in the C-clamp (or the C-clamp around all of it). I quickly found putting the C-clamp into my vise made things SOOOOO much easier than just trying to hold onto all of this mess on the work bench. Plus you are going to need both hands, a flashlight and lots of patience for the next part.
13) Next up comes compressing the spring. That part is relatively easy but you have to be very careful b/c of the little tines on around the perimeter of the spring cap. I would screw my C-clamp down until the edge of the tines were just on the lip down inside of the bore of the caliper and then take a long/skinny screw driver and kind of work my way around pressing inward on the tines as I slowly put a little more pressure on the spring via the C-clamp. You will kind of hear some of them "snap" down into the bore/lip. If you compress the spring/cap without getting the tines centered up you'll bend them (see pic below). I had to straighten them out several times, not too big of a deal. But what does becomes aggravating is if you don't know you've bent one or two of up them and then try and get your snap ring to fit down in there and you can't figure out why it won't lay flat or fit all the way in the groove... it will become obvious and you'll figure out how to get the spring cap compressed pretty quickly.
14) Once the spring/cap is compressed all the way down take your snap ring and slide it around the C-clamp shaft. Do this BEFORE you "close" the snap ring and tie it shut (don't ask me how I know)! The tying of the snap ring with some thin but strong wire was what saved me on this whole endeavor. For the life of me I couldn't get my snap ring pliers down in there, not even if I had a smaller socket, and while I think it can be done by just using pressure from a screw driver I think it will take much longer and be much more aggravating. There is very little room to see and maneuver down in the caliper bore once everything is in place so the less you have to be down in there the better.
15) Once you've got the snap ring tied off, drop it down into the caliper. Again, make sure you get it tied together BEFORE you drop it down in there (again, I learned from experience) b/c it is a bitch to try and get that snap ring back out of there. I would then work the snap ring around with either my screw driver and/or a piece of coat hanger I had cut off (worked quite well actually). It will eventually lay completely flat down in there and you can usually get one side or the other to slide up underneath the lip that holds the snap ring in place once you release it.
To get the wire undone I found I could just put my screw driver on it, lightly tap it with a hammer or piece of wood etc and the wire would break. At this point you may still need to work the snap ring into place a little more with the screw driver. And some frustration may occur with trying to pull the wire out of the little hole in the snap ring without pulling the snap ring from the groove it is in. I did this a couple times after removing it from the C-clamp jig and thinking I was finally done... pissed me off something fierce. But as long as you get the snap ring mostly in place you can remove the caliper from the C-clamp and then pull the socket out of the way and then you will be able to slide a long nose pair of needle nose down in there (see pic). Just be easy when pulling on the wire ends that are left. And make sure to get all of the wire out.
16) The hard part is finally over! It will take several attempts and it is tedious b/c getting the spring and cap all centered and then the snap ring to fit just doesn't always work and then you basically have to start all over.
But once you get it, you will jump with joy!
Now just put your new piston seal into the caliper, lube up your piston with some fresh brake fluid and slide your new dust boot on. I first cleaned the surface of the piston with a scotch bright pad (lightly). I found it much easier to put the boot on from the bottom of the piston and leave it right at the edge. Then hold them both together and slip the edge of the boot that goes into the caliper into its recess. It may take a few tries doing it this way but I couldn't get the boot to fit in there if I installed the piston first.
17) Then just screw your piston back into the caliper and you're done!!! Easy as pie, LOL. :rollseyes I found you had to put a lot of pressure on the piston when screwing it back in otherwise the mechanism that is actually in the top of the piston starts to spin and it doesn't screw into the caliper bore.
Who knew it would take all these tools and so many drill bits to rebuild some rear calipers?!
This was definitely a lot of work and is not for everyone but it can be done if you so choose. While I can't say it was all enjoyable I did feel like I accomplished something when it was all said and done and it was definitely a learning experience. Let me know if you have any questions or if you think I left anything out.
Thanks for reading this extremely long post!
PS If the mods would like to change the title to "Dis-Assembly and Re-Assembly" I would appreciate it.