97 Crown Vic P71 4 wheel disc brakes

When I go to buy brake pads for this car, everyone's computer systems shows ceramic and non-ceramic pads available for this car. They also show different selections for steel versus phenolic pistons. How do I
determine which I have or should use?
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Hi Ward, There are other pad choices not shown in their computers. I choose the organic pads myself. Metalic and ceramic just make too much dust and dirt all over the wheels, and they seem to cause a lot more rotor wear. I change them out every 2 years anyhow. Just ask the auto parts store to look them up, most can get them in 1 day if not in stock. Almost never have I seen steel pistons in the ford cars sold to the public. Phenolic pistons are brown in color a resin composite like textolite. As I recall there are 2 different pad retainer sizes a small three fingered spring clip and a larger sized pattern. FWIW....BeeVee
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Ward Cleveland wrote:

Can't comment on the pads but would go for phenolic pistons. A decade ago Ford used aluminum pistons in some applications and experienced a lot of brake problems due to heat transfer between the pads and brake fluid. Their solution was to replace aluminum pistons with Phenolic ones. The phenolic material conducts way less heat than metal especially if aluminum. IMO if you are a heavy user of your brakes, get rid of the metal pistons.
Mickey
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If you are a "hard braker" those phelnolic pistons will fall apart. I've seen probably 50 pair or more damaged from heat. Bottom line: look at the pistons to be sure they are ok, take a pair of the old pads with you to get the right ones for sure. Like the other poster said, there are big clip ones, and small clip ones. I think there are even two different size pads.
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I just did a 4-wheel job on my '95 CV - I used the "PFC-CARBON-METALIC" pads from AutoZone. I was always pleased with the way this car stopped with the 4-wheel discs and ABS but it is a even better now. Narry a squeak or squawk, either. Price was not too bad, either, for a performance pad. I think they were about $40 per set and the cheapos were $10, but the $10 ones had a 1-year warranty, mine are forever.
PoD

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