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Lincoln Forum: '99 Town Car Rear Brake Pads
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  1. #1
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    '99 Town Car Rear Brake Pads

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    Does the '99 TC Signature Series have steel or phenolic rear caliper pistons? I need rear pads, but the pad clips are different sizes depending on the type of piston. Advice will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Town's Avatar
    Town is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 2.7 AWD
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    As far as I know it could be either. I checked RockAuto and they show pads for steel and phenolic rear caliper pistons for your 1999 model.

    You can remove one of the brake pads and check for the small hole for phenolic piston or large hole for steel piston. Your other option is to order both types and return the unused set.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2014
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    Hi... thanks for reply which is consistent with other discussions elsewhere on Google. The shop manual is no help; doesn't distinguish between phenolic and steel pistons. I think back in the 90s Ford was "experimenting" with substituting plastic-like material for some parts as they did with the intake manifold (which is notorious for cracking in the front section with the thermostat housing). In 2011 I did the front brakes and used Ford Genuine Parts ("Brown Box") pads (and saved the part no. label), but I don't remember if the caliper had a steel or phenolic piston and the pad set label doesn't say anything. Rock Auto has a Motorcraft front pad that shows the same Ford part no. that I used, but it doesn't say which type piston it's for (assuming that the front and rear would have the same type piston)..... so I'm back to guessing the type that's on the rear caliper. It comes down to what you advised: get both type pads and return the "wrong" one. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Town's Avatar
    Town is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2017 Lincoln Continental Reserve 2.7 AWD
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    The fronts should have dual piston calipers that were introduced in 1998 models. The pad fitting against the caliper piston does not have a spring retainer to fit into the caliper piston. I believe the caliper pistons are steel and small diameter. The brake pads have ears that fit into replaceable spring clips mounted in the caliper, so both pads can come straight out the caliper at the same time.

    Good luck.

  5. #5
    Slick Fan's Avatar
    Slick Fan is offline Senior Member My Lincoln(s): 2003 TC Signature, 1977 TC, 2003 Aviator
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    My '03 Aviator had phenolic pistons in the rear calipers, and yes, the center hole is pretty small. Meaning the piston itself is pretty thick. I remember the Chrysler Corp experimenting with phenolic pistons in the late 70's, with less that stellar results. When I was a parts dude in the 80's, anything using OE Mopar calipers were constantly replaced with aftermarket rebuilt calipers with steel pistons, to cure the issues with the phenolic pistons literally breaking apart.

    I hadn't heard much talk since those days, of phenolic pistons, and assumed they had gone the way of the dino's...so I was really surprised to look at the rear pistons on my Aviator when I serviced the rear brakes recently, to see phenolic pistons looking back at me.
    I assume the fronts are still standard stainless steel pistons, but who knows? Those are pads due to be replaced a few months from now, when it goes into winter hibernation.

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