Ford Explorer Front Brakes - Lube and Pads
OK, so you have the caliper off the car and hopefully split into the 2 parts. Now we need to do a few things like remove the pads and compress the pistons back into the caliper. If you have a single piston caliper its pretty easy, you can find most anything to press the piston into the caliper. If you have a dual piston caliper like mine you will need a special tool (See Brake Tools) or you will have to get crafty with a piece of wood or the old brake pads, C-Clamp etc. The trick is to press them in slowly and together. If you do have an Autozone or other parts store they do lend the tool so might be worth a visit if you run into trouble.
Get the Explorer Brake Pads Ready
Lay out your four brake pads. You will see that two have a little clip on them and two don't. You need one of each (with a clip and without). Which way do they go? I'm not sure the answer! I tend to put the scraper (clip) to the outside facing the curb, others say to put it on the inside since the inner pad on floating calipers are supposed to wear quicker then the outside pad which makes sense.
Permatex Ultra Disk Brake Lube
If you go to the auto parts store they likely will sell small packets of this (or will try to up sell you). I do enough work where I have the king size jar of Caliper Lube. The key here is to use sparingly and keep it off you pads and caliper. If you do get some of on the pad, wipe off with brake cleaner, same for the rotor. TIP : Throw away gloves keeps things clean by changing them after dealing with grease.
Close View Caliper Clips
This is a very close view of the caliper clips that the break pads slids on. I dab a very small amount of lube on it. Just look for the wear spots (shiny) and that's where you want them. If you blob it, wipe it off with a rag. Keep things from getting too greasy.
Since I have this really slick tool the job is easy. I have used this on the Expedition and Excursion and it's so far the best tool that I have used for these cars brakes. It's about 40 bucks and I picked mine up from the web somewhere a long while ago, but lucky I found it again. Link to Dual Piston Press. Compress the pistons until they are flush with the seals.
Grease the Guide Pins
Wipe the crud off the pins, and add some Disk Brake Lube to them. I would not recommend regular grease for anything on the caliper, stick with the brake specific grease. Blob some on and make a thing nice even layer over the entire pin. Wipe any excess away. You can also see the pistons as they are fully compressed. Once the pins are grease, put the caliper halves back together. You can fiddle with the boots to slide them over the retainers. You can twist them as you are moving them over the retainer. It helps to have the caliper fully pushed together. Make sure both sides are snapped over the retainers or water will enter the pin area and will rust things up. Yes, I had a bad boot on the Excursion and a pin got rusted so bad that the caliper would not slide and caused a pulling when stepping on the brake so make sure you have these boots secured correctly.
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Install the Inside (piston side) Pad
Now with some clean hands or gloves slide in the piston side pad. This is a bit tricky at first, but not bad once you figure it out. The problem is that in the bottom middle of the caliper is another spring of sorts. So when you try to align in the the sides of the pad into the metal slides you first must push down on the pad and then back to slid it into the metal clips. Don't push it too far back where it pops out. You will have a tendency to push it in and right out the backside. If you go too far in, you can start over or try to wiggle it in from the back. Again the edges of the caliper MUST be in the metal slides.
OOPS Went Too Far
If you push it in too far it will look like this. You must fix this and make sure the pad is sitting in the metal clip.