Brake Rotor Replacement

Brake Fade

Out driving after having returned from trip to the Southwest to visit family and noticed that brakes not really pulling up like normal. At first thought it was maybe air in the system so a flush should fix it.

Removed wheels and discover that the rotors are just a little worn and extending the calipers to an extent they were never designed for! A brake line flush will not fix this problem. New rotors are a highly necessary action!

Worn Rotor 100000miles+

So off to the RRS manual and get that phone number. Ring the Sydney head office and speak to an enthusiastic assistant. Don’t you love it when the people you deal with have a passion for the job/business they are in/own?

Anyway after a discussion of the history of the vehicle and the current Phase fitted we organise new rotors! All I have to do now is wait!

New Rotors

A week later the new rotors arrive – excitement is short lived as I find something odd about them. They don’t look quite right!

Looks ok

Anyway I can only check by removing the old rotors and try a comparison.

So I dismantle the brake system on the right hand side and find that the rotor is not going to come off easily at all!

Easy a call to Pedders and I should have a solution!

Ok – it seems I just need a bigger hammer! So I get into the shed and get the bigger hammer. 5-6 very heavy hits later and the rotor finally comes off. More than just a few dents on it by now but hey I have a new one!

New one slips on easily – now for the rotor. Disaster the rotor cannot accommodate the caliper! I quickly compare the old and the new disc and it is obvious!

Now you can see that this wont work!

Wrong Kit

Well I am baffled and somewhat frustrated. All excited about getting on the road again and I have major mismatch of parts.

Ok to the phone! Send a photo to show my problem and the return answer is – “You don’t have a Phase 1 kit it’s Phase 2!”

So, bonus – my original fitting 15 years ago was a Phase 2 at Phase 1 prices! A bonus yes but means that I need different rotors and these must go back!

So I order new rotors again and figure if I have gone this far lets also add braided stainless steel brake-lines for the front end!

Mmmmm somebody’s courier business is doing well out of me this month!

Try Again

So wait for delivery of the new rotors – again! So hard not getting the BeaXT out and about!

Finally I come home from a morning working and there on the doorstep are my new rotors and brake lines! Now to get them on!

New shiny parts! Always love that!

First step rip out all the old brake-lines and brackets and loosely fit new lines to work out clearances.

Old kit has a few brackets and extra links in the line!

The braided lines are self supporting almost and require little of the brackets on the old lines. Just one bracket on the sidewall of the engine bay and all done!

So neat clean and tidy! Wish I had done this before!

Ok rotor back on and caliper over that. Repeat for left side of car and we will be nearly done! Less than 2 hours! Torque wrench out and all the bolts checked! Done! Now to bleed the system and get new fluid in there and all the air out!

Now that is simplification!

Little Bleeder

So here we are then, spanners out and away we go!

No, not that simple! The bleeders refuse to budge! I know not to force them as that can be disastrous!

Ok off to Hitech Brake and Clutch in Wangara – problem solved!

New bleeders and repair hint for free – take a hammer – yes a hammer – and hit the old bleeder hard on the top.

I do as directed and “bing” a nice clear ring of the metal –  drop a 10mm socket over the top and out she comes! Nor thread scores or damage to the caliper! Ok now back to bleeding the brakes!

 Test Drive

So all done and ready for a drive.

Slowly back her out of the garage and give the brake a squeeze, mmmmm not as good as expected. Right we clearly need to bed the discs in so off I go down a quiet section of road and basically heat up the rotors and pads until they are bedded in.

Drive at 60kph and brake down to 10kph – 7-8 times in a row. Get a few queer looks from pedestrians along the way but I suppose it’s fair enough!

Until next time!

This petrolhead is gone….. seeya out on the road!






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New Carpet and Lining


Now that the headlining is in and safely tucked and glued attention can now be turned to the bare floors!

New carpet was ordered quite a while ago and has been sitting in the office patiently waiting to stretch it’s legs! The carpet comes with underlay so once the floor is cleaned and the paint is dry I can get started.

Floor cleaned, rust treated – paint over those areas.


 I have laid the carpet out on the driveway to get warm and more pliable. It is custom made for the car but there are sometimes little production variations that will need a little more push or lift – softening the backing makes this much easier.

Step 1 Underlay

The underlay is in two pieces, one for the front and one for the back of the floor. I use masking tape to hold it in place until the carpet is in and the trim screwed back.

First piece.

The front piece needs a hole cut for the T-bar and that is about the hardest task!

Underlay to car floor

 Step 2 Carpet.

Ok, now for the carpet – basically the same task as the underlay but no room for error once you cut the carpet!

The carpet has to be alined carefully so that equal overlap is evident on the sides for the fitting of the trims. Also there are seatbelt reels and seat floor bolts to cut holes for!

Carpet centred – cut for the T-Bar and holes cut for bolts!

Getting the holes aligned for the seat bolts and seatbelts is a major task – I have learnt to insert long bolts as I cut the holes. The last thing you need is the carpet to move as you cut the other three holes for the seat mounting frame!
Some parts need the underlay removed under the carpet in order to fit the part (Inertia reel for the seat-belt a good example).

Aluminium Trims hold the carpet down along the door frame.

Back door trim.

Seatbelts in! Note plastic trim holding carpet from front to back trim!

Centre Consul

Before fitting the seats I just take moment to tidy up and re-colour the centre consul.

Consul out and ready for a cleanup and maybe some vinyl re-colour!

Seats Back In

With everything cleaned and ready for fitting seats can now be bolted back in.

Front seats in!

Rear seat is in!

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Headlining this Month

Well with the car in pieces and the inside gutted, repairs to rust all finished, time to turn to fitting all the new good stuff.

First task is the


Tools you will require are, Stanley knife, scrapper, cleaning fluid, bulldog clips, (any strong clips help), spray on adhesive, patience!

Some basic tools for getting the car ready for the new headlining!

First step is to lay out the headlining to “relax” the vinyl. Insert the rods (check the order!) by the numbers and left to left and right to right!

Here you can see the rods are in and I am just clipping and testing the fit. I bought 30 little bull clips to hold the headlining as I check fitting and also as the glue dries.

I have done the doorways so now onto the rear window. A few little cuts in the corners allow for the curve of the windscreen.

These pieces of trim go back over the headlining once the glue has dried.

The sides are well and truly dry before I start on gluing the windscreen.
The creases start disappearing as you tighten the edges – a few weeks after fitting very few left.

Here are three tabs along the parcel shelf for holding the headlining. (circled) There are a set on each side and along side the seat back as well.

Tension is added by pulling done onto these “teeth” which bend over once finished.

So front and back done sides in and trim replaced! Just leave it for a day or two to soften out the creases and then I will start on the light fittings.

Taking a Stanley knife I make 4 little cuts from the center of the light location to the edge of the hole in the panel. Must not rush this – one wrong cut and ………

Refit the globe holder and the facia and – lights in action!

Repeat for the center light and the bits of trim and sun visors!


Rear view mirror.

The visors look rather sad against the new white headlining! Will spray them later!

Finished and parked in the sun to warm and soften to work out creases!

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Out With the Old Interior

Just Rip it Out

Well the new carpet has arrived some weeks ago and I am just waiting on the headlining to arrive and to find some time between landscaping jobs to strip the whole inside of the car out.

Its here! Now, do I take on the task of fitting it myself? Do I find an auto-detailer to do it for me?
If I stuff it up that’s $200 wasted!

New White Headlining. Perforated like the original

I am doing it myself! First though have to strip out all the old carpet and fittings – seats – trim and headlining all must go!
Always the fun part!

20 Years Old and showing it!

Rods for giving tension and form to the headlining. All numbered and left and right marked!

One seat gone – one to go! Also the seatbelts and consul, trim around doors as well.

Half way there! Left side done now back to do the rest!

Old carpet sorted! 20 years wear and tear, two kids, 5 years as a landscapers work vehicle!

Now to the parcel shelf and rear seatbelts!

Screen out with no scratches so far! Cleaned up and ready to go back in a weeks time!

Ok cleaned up and stripped right down to the floor! All rust areas treated with POR15.

Some of the insulation was loose and needed regluing. You can see my new speaker cable ready for the sound system replacement. The red line is the high-rise led brake.

All the side trims are repainted. These sit under the aluminium plates. All the speaker wiring has been replaced with new cable.

Ooooh! Nasty rust found as I removed the window rubber! This is going to be a challenge!

Oops same on the other side!

After trying to find a talented MIG operator I ran out of time so opted for the epoxy, fibreglass option! It’s as strong as the metal and should give me a few years while I plan for a future repair with metal!

So a couple of days later – sealer and topcoat added – test the windscreen rubber – fitting is ok! Time will tell if we have stopped the rust and water leaks!

Window in, trim fitted, seal perfect! Have been in two storms of torrential rain and still dry in boot!

Ok! Interior gone, repairs done, rust treated and repainted metal!
Next it’s fitting the headlining – but that is another days story!

All of this is in order to get the car looking A1 for a certain young ladies wedding in September!

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Trim and Tidy

Having fixed the mad steering drift it now time to start on the other more cosmetic issues that are challenging the old BeaXT! First up the nasty nose!

Nose Job

It a few years ago that I managed to put a rather large dent in the front of the old girl – courtesy of pebble gravel, a steep driveway and a rather heavy trailer. The upshot was to either drive into a very solid granite strainer holding up a heavy gate or roll the car over the edge of the driveway!
A no brainer – the post it was to be!
Well avoided the rollover but some very nasty dents in the bumper, trim and bonnet!

I managed to do a little repair on paint and knocked the bonnet back into some semblance of straight! The trim was too bad and had to be replaced. A call to Superoo in Armadale and all done!

Clean and Strip

This process is pretty straight forward – having done it many times over the decades.
Fist off clean the car and then remove any polish or tape. In this case the bonnet had a piece of protective contact put over the nose – this was a short term fix after the bump. It held the paint in place and stopped anymore chips.

However, removing it stripped all the paint off down to the earliest primer layers from the 1980s! Nothing a little primer and spray putty cannot fix!

Primed, sanded and spray puttied and sanded again!

Add the colour after the last coat of primer!

Clear coat and then we are ready to do a little cut and polish. Not perfect but waterproof.

Next Time – the new carpet for the boot and interior has arrived!

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Rewire the Steering Column

Ok, the steering box is back in, engine starts – battery has not gone flat after sitting there for two weeks (I did disconnect the car at the battery while working on this). Now to tackle the steering column!

First problem is the the worn horn contact. The horn failed last year and it was the motivation to get on with the steering box replacement. Now I have to deal with the reason for that and it means a complete replacement of the column wire harness.

New harness

Rare Spares to the rescue on this one – I visited the store when fixing the threads on the steering shaft. The part had to be ordered from the eastern states so it will take a week to get here! No worries, I had plenty to do at this stage anyway.

Old Horn indicator wires

If you look carefully you can see that the outer pin is worn and not repairable so the whole horn and indicator switch has to be replaced.
I found a great video on youtube and watched the two guys do the same job on a Mustang – identical almost to the XT!

Wire it Right

Once you start pulling wiring apart it is very easy to forget the order of the wires in the connector so the first thing I always do is take a photo!

Plug for horn indicator harness

This is the plug from the steering column to the major wiring harness so this must be rewired correctly!

Alarm connections

This is the piggy-back setup to the alarm system to give the alarm access to the lights to confirm arm, disarm and alarmed!
The alarm wires are all black so a little tape is used to distinguish one from another!

Cut and Pull it Out!

Once the plug is cut off it easy enough to remove the wires from the column but I tape one large wire and attach it to some steel garden tie. Then as I pull out the wires the tie will move up through the shaft!

Taped end to hook onto follow wire

Follow wire threaded


All I have to do is now run some heavier wire up through the shaft pulled thru by the green tie wire so I can pull back the new harness! (That black wire is the back-up line for the automatic gearbox to turn on the two indicators when selecting reverse.)

New harness taped and ready to pull up the steering shaft

New wires in

Carefully and gently I pull the wires through and then we can start reconnecting the plug.


Remove old wires and in insert new ones carefully!

It was at this point I discovered that one wire had not been duplicated in the same colour pattern as the old one so care was needed when rejoining the plug!

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Headers back on the Engine

Clean Up the Head

Steering box is in, the engine bay clean and the old Pitman Arm is gone!

Pitman Arm Gone

So step 1 scrape and clean the face of the head without breaking any spark plugs (better still take them out!)

Clean head and spark plugs loose


Headers back in

Then all we need is a little copper based silicone and bolt ’em up!
(Permatex Ultra Copper High Temp RTV Silicone)

Pitman Arm In

So headers back in and plugs wired up! Now to check the pitman arm for clearance and bolt it up!

New Pitman Arm

Looking good! We might even try starting the motor now and check that we can even turn the wheels!

Steering Wheel test

Yep wheels turn and very obviously no play in this new steering box!
Mmmm that cut header pipe leaks a lot of engine noise – sounds like the drags!

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Getting Out The Steering Box

Square Pegs and Round Holes

So this is what faces me as I inspect the engine bay.

Ready to go!

First step is to undo the three bolts that hold the box on the frame and they come out very easily.

Retaining bolts out.

A steel brush and degreaser and they are like new!

Cleaned up Bolts















Lifting the steering box up it is clear that there is no way it is going up and out with the headers in place. Maybe with the original collectors I might have a chance but not with the Genie pipes! My reciprocating saw earns its keep on this job!

So jack up the car and cut the pipe near the U-bolt and undo the header bolts.

Header Bolts Out Cleaned

Cleaning up the bolts – very little rust – and they are ready to go back in once we have the new steering box in.

Steering Box out Headers off

An hour later and all is done!

Header gone Steering box gone











There we go, a little degreaser and the engine will be clean and ready for the new one!

The Old is Out Now for the New

First step clean up the new one – a lot easier to fit parts that are clean and not greasy and slippery!

Clean Steering box

Everything is straight forward now – reverse the procedures to remove the box and in goes the new one!

New box in

Not as Simple as It Seems

At this point I must recall a few challenges I faced before reaching this stage of the replacement of the steering box.
Once I tried to fit the steering wheel retaining nut it was clear that the thread was damaged and needed a tidy up before I can fit anything to the car. The same was true for the pitman arm connection.

I visited my local Pedders since it seemed a good place to start with all things suspension and steering. They gave it a good shot and managed to fix the lower thread but had no joy with the top one.
My next idea was to find steering specialists in the northern suburbs and found one right next door to Rare Spares in Osborne Park.
Auto Power Steering, 21 Guthrie St, proved to be the best find for this problem and I found a keen reception as the owner operator jumped at the chance to help me out. 10 Minutes later and the thread is clean and a perfect fit!

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Wires, wires, wires?

Alarming wiring!

Having removed the steering wheel we are now confronted with the components of the turn signal and horn contacts.
These are connected to the dash loom by wires feeding down the column and into the underdash area.

After 45 years of wear and tear often the loom is a little confusing – in my case two alarm systems have been and gone in the BeaXT and the loom has been piggy-backed too often!
The alarm system wires are all black so never cut them unless you have marked them somehow so you know which wire goes where!


After carefully identifying all plain wiring photographs of the loom will be a life saver later on!

I do know what goes where!

Removing the Column

Ok wiring sorted. Now to remove the base plate that holds the column in the floor and the bracket across the top!

6-7 little screws hold 2 plates and a large gasket to the floor.

Upper bracket is just two bolts and we are free!

2 bolts and the bracket is away!

Just gently lift the column up and out over the shaft and …..

At last! In one piece and no damage!

Wear and Tear

It is at this point that careful inspection of the column and the steering wheel reveals damaged from simply driving 100 of thousands of miles! The indicator/horn unit cannot be repaired easily so it is cheaper to order a new unit from Rare Spares.

The steering wheel also has some worn parts and I had ordered them a few months back so I can get on with that now!

The aluminium ring on the right is the old one and the new one is smooth and unmarked!

A couple of screws and the pieces fall out nicely!

Minutes later, the steering wheel is ready to go back in the car for another 500000+ miles!

Yes that is a genuine Ford part in the original bag from the 60’s!

Next time I tackle the removal of the steering box!
The big question is will we need to remove the starter motor? The Headers? Or lift the motor?

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Out With the Old and In With The New

Step 1 Read the Manual

Over the years I have tackled quite a few repairs on the cars we have owned and the first lesson I learned early on was to get a a good manual. By manual I don’t mean the little handbook in the glovebox of most cars. I mean the Haynes or equivalent! I have two manuals and set about reading them whilst sitting in the car so as to visualise each step as they described it. Manuals are not always perfect but at least you have some idea of where to next! I then write a short list for myself to help with overall progress in the job in question.

Remove Steering Wheel.

So first job is to remove the steering wheel inside the car – including the wiring and attachments for the horn and indicators.

Start here!

A simple push and twist (after removing the battery leads!) the centre piece is in my hands and we are ready to remove the retaining nut!

This is the part that sends the signal to the horn when you have an opinion to express!

Out with the trusty socket set and a little bit of muscle!

Hold the wheel with one hand and use the socket with the other!

Now the wheel is ready for the useful little guy the puller! The two holes in the centre are threaded and form the attachment points for the puller.

Nearly there!

Puller attached and ready for the socket again!

It takes some pressure sometimes but off it pops and exposes the wiring and contacts beneath.

At last!

Success! Photos at this stage are compulsory – if you hope to get it back in the right way when repaired!

That’s it for this update! Next time we need to get the column out of the car – tricky moments with the wiring lay ahead!

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