guzzle's 2002 Ford Powerstroke Diesel
Powerslot Rotor & Hawk Brake Pad Replacement
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During a recent trip while pulling a 3000lb boat with no trailer brakes over the Rocky Mountains, I was forced to do some hard braking when exiting the interstate on a couple of offramps when going down a 6% grade. I had been experiencing some rotor warpage ever since I bought the truck but the heat generated from the hard factory brake pads during hard braking really intensified during this trip. During the hard braking, the steering wheel would rapidly pull back and forth +/- a good 5. The steering wheel action pretty well narrowed it down to a front brake problem. The previous owner had the rotors turned under warranty but the warpage had quickly returned due to Ford's choice of pads.

I decided it was time to go to the aftermarket and get rid of the factory front rotors and brake pads. It did not take much research to find that most Powerstroke owners recommend the Cryo Powerslot rotors in combination with Hawk Pads. Since I seldom tow more than about 5,000 lbs it was recommended that I go with the Hawk LTS Compound Front Pads.

Now after a few hundred miles on the new rotors, I could not be happier with the choice I made. Just make sure that you follow Powerslot's directions for seating the brakes to the letter. Stopping power has doubled, no front end shaking or pulsations when doing hard or easy braking. I have not towed the boat over the Rockies since installing these rotors and pads but feel that they will perform as well as other owners have testified.

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Parts that I used to perform the service

Cryo Powerslot rotors are sold as LEFT and RIGHT rotors. They are marked on the rotors with an L and R. Make sure you use the correct rotor for each side. Left is the drivers' side wheel. The pads are sold in two wheel sets, 4 pads to a box.

remove the tire

Remove the tire

First of all SET THE PARKING BRAKE. It would also be a good idea to chock the rear wheels to keep the vehicle from moving while jacking it up and positioning the jack stands. Using the tire iron that came with the truck, the end is covered with a soft plastic jacket is designed to pry off the hubcap without damaging the wheel surface.


Before jacking the truck off the ground, break the lugs loose about 1/4 turn. Jack the wheel off the ground and place a jack stand under the axle. Never work on the axle with the tire removed when only supported by a jack. Lower the jack down so the axle sits firmly on the jack stand. Finish removing the lug nuts and remove the rim and tire.

old rotor


With the tire off, the rotor and brake caliper is exposed.

caliper bolts

Using a large breaker bar and socket, brake the caliper mounting bolt loose. Do not remove the bolts all the way yet.

slide pin bolt

With the caliper bolts loose, break the caliper slide pin mounting bolts loose. Now you can remove the larger caliper mounting bolts but make sure you are supporting the entire caliper so it does not drop to the floor and possibly damage the brake line or ABS cable.


Slip the caliper off of the rotor and support it on the top of the rotor. Here you can see the caliper slide pins that are loose from the caliper bracket.

slide pins

Remove the caliper slide pin bolts and remove the pin bracket and slide pins. This will expose both brake pads. Notice the two pad springs that are fastened to the bottom of the brake pads. The springs are simply set in a small hole that is on each end on the underside of the pad. When removing the brake pads, the springs will attempt to expand in the caliper bracket and is what holds the brake pads in place when re-assembling.


The outside brake pad on my Powerstroke had factory adhesive applied to the bracket and it took a light tap from a rubber mallet to break it loose.

compress pistons

Using a large C-clamp and one of the old brake pads, compress the brake pistons into the caliper bracket. You could also use a small block of wood instead of an old brake pad. Go slowly so not to force brake fluid too quickly into the reservoir. I actually had a small amount of fluid squirt from the power steering pump while performing this piston compression.

remove pins

Remove the slide pins from the slide pin bracket and lube with a quality silicone caliper grease. Do not use any grease that is not designed as a high-temp, caliper grease; otherwise you will pay for it later! If your pins are frozen in the bores, apply heat to the bracket and attempt to remove the pin. If you have difficulty with removing the pins, you may want to consider replacing them with Ford's upgraded slide pins.

clean caliper

Suspend the caliper from the chassis with some heavy wire and clean the caliper with a brake cleaner that is safe for use on the piston boots to remove any caked-on brake dust and road grime. I also used a stiff nylon brush to assist in removing as much dirt as possible without completely removing the caliper from the truck.

spring holes

This pictures show where the holes in the brake pads for the pad retainer springs. This is a new Hawk pad next to one of the factory brake pads.

assemble pads

To assemble the new brake pads, grasp the new pads, face to face, in one hand and insert the retainer spring tabs into the brake pads holes.

set pads

Set the pads into the caliper bracket and re-attach the slide pin bracket.


If it has been over 60,000 miles since you have lubricated the front 4x4 hub needle bearings, you may want to consider performing this service at this time. You can also remove the automatic hub switch and lubricate it at this time.

new rotor

Place the new rotor on the hub. Make sure you use the 'L' rotor on the driver's side and the 'R' rotor on the passenger side. Fasten the rotor to the hub using 2 lug nuts to keep the rotor from moving while mounting the caliper.

check pins

Before mounting the caliper, check the slide pin boots one more time to assure that the boots are fastened securely over the slide pin shoulder. Water and dirt can enter into the boot and quickly corrode the pin if the boots are not set properly.Also make sure you have the slide pins in the correct position.
The slide pin with the notch needs to be installed in the bore that will be at the top of the caliper (farthest from the ground) when the caliper is installed.

mount caliper

Mount the caliper by slipping the brake pads over the rotor and replace the caliper mounting bolts. Torque the caliper mounting bolts to 166 lbs/ft and torque the caliper slide pin bolts to 42 lbs/ft.

lug nuts

Remove the two lug nuts from the rotor. This is what the new rotor and pad installation should look like.

install rim

Install the rim and tire on the hub and torque to 150-165 lb-ft. Reinstall the hub cap. Start the engine and pump the brake pedal to fill the caliper pistons. Put the truck in gear and test the brakes. Release the brake and slowly begin moving while tapping the brakes to re-position the brake pads in the calipers.

Follow the Powerslot rotor instructions to seat the brakes. By doing so, you can expect to experience what the brakes should feel like on a Powerstroke and feel confident on your stopping power. Wow, what a difference!

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