Ford Explorer Front Brakes - Lube and Pads
On to the home stretch! Just a bit of busy work before you re-assemble the caliper onto the rotor. Some cleaning and a bit of busy work and you are done. Make sure that your components are clean (both sides of the rotor) and any Disc Brake Lube that may have come in contact with the pad. Also it's important to use Loctite on these bolt threads as it is specified by the manufacture. It's cheap insurance. And finally make sure all bolts are properly torqued down. Specs for the Caliper Bolts are 73-97 Ft/Lbs and Wheel Lugs are 100 Ft/Lbs.
Install the Outer Pad
In a similar manner you will press the pad down into the caliper (to compress the spring clip) and slide the edges into the metal clips. It should look simething like the picture. Note the outside pad has the noise making wear indicator clip on tue left of the outer pad.
Clean the Rotor
Clean up the rotor. It almost always has some kind of coating on it. Carb or Break cleaner and a couple of clean grease free rags will do the job.
Install the Caliper
Time to install the caliper. Note that my pads had the edges chamfered to make it easy to start them by sliding the edges first. The caliper should tightly fit over the rotor. Make sure that the rubber brake line is not twisted or kinked. You can wiggle it a bit as you are pushing it on. It should fit tightly if you correctly pressed the pistons into the caliper. Push the caliper completely over the rotor. You can put in the top bolt and pull the caliper down if that helps.
Install the Rotor on the Hub
With the new clean rotor put on on the hub. It's a good idea to put a couple lug nuts on to keep it from falling off. Keep the lugs a bit loose as that will help when sliding the caliper over the rotor and aliging the caliper bolt holes.
The factory used it and so should you. The crusty rusty looking stuff is the old locking compound. If you don't want to use it that's up to you but it's cheap insurance and the right thing to do. Once you get some loctite on both bolts 'Wiggle' the caliper into place so you can thread the bolts. Start them by hand and once you get them going use a ratchet to snug them down. You should try to spin the rotor (with clean hands) and make sure it can move. It should break free with some force and allow the rotor to spin. Better to try that now. If all's well torque the bolts to the factory spec's. For my car it stated 73-97 Ft/Lbs of torque. I choose 85 Ft/Lbs as a good point for me.
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Reinstall the Wheel and TORQUE the lugs
Take a final look before putting the rim on. Again double check the rubber boots that cover the pins to make sure they are snapped over the retaining clip. Also again double check the brake line to make sure it's routed properly and not twisted up. If all's well then time to put the rim on. Torque the bolts in a criss cross pattern shifting to adjecent bolts as you tighten them up. The torque specs for the Explorer was 100 Ft/Lbs for the lugs.
You do the same work for the other side. It will be much easier since you figured out how it all works on the first side. One thing to watch out for is to check your brake fluid level. If you fluid was topped off at some point when you compress the pistons in the calipers you may have it overflow the master cylinder reservoir.
The front brakes on the 1995-2001 Explorer's are pretty easy to do. As with any brake job make sure you use the proper tools it's not much of a problem. Once thing that is nice is that the parts are inexpensive and readily available for this DIY Project.
Test your brakes in your driveway before the street just to make sure they are working just to be safe and follow any pad / rotor break in instruction that may have come with your parts!