Ford Explorer Front Brake Replacement
Time for front brakes on the old 1996 Ford Explorer. This should be the same procedure for Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineer from 1995-2001 from what it looks like. The one I have is a 4 wheel drive, not sure if 2wd is the same, but shouldn't be too far off. This is one of the easier brake jobs. For the time and trouble I almost always just replace the brake rotors, the cheap ones are not much more then dealing with the time and money at the machine shop. I also find that most of the cheap rotors don't have enough meat for turning after the soft metal wears away, and let's not forget warping etc.
I picked up a set of pads and rotors from Amazon. Pricing is usually better then Autozone and you again don't have to deal with the less then knowledgeable store workers. If you do get something from Autozone please look for discount codes online and save some money.
COMING SOON DIY EXPORER REAR BRAKES - Yep, need replacement too..
Depending on your skill and running into any 'road blocks' it should take about 1 hour per wheel. No special tools other then then brake piston compressor was used.
Tools Needed to Replace the Pads and Rotors
Medium blade screwdriver
Metric Socket Set, 15mm and 20mm for Lugs (I used a 3/4" just fine)
Torque Wrench so you don't have to guess how tight things should be
Disk Brake Grease (sometimes included with the premium pads)
Piston Compressor or creative replacement - View Some Brake Tools
Brake / Carb Cleaner
Rotors and Pads - I got mine parts off of Amazon Here are the numbers for 1996 Explorer 4x4 V6
ACDelco 18A736A Advantage Front Disc Brake Rotor
ACDelco 14D652M Advantage Semi-Metallic Front Disc Brake Pad Set with Wear Sensor
*NOTE : PLEASE CHECK YOUR VEHICLE FOR PROPER FITMENT OF SPECIFIED PARTS*
Some extra stuff if you don't have it -
High Temp Brake Lube
** LOCTITE RED **
I picked up the rotors EACH for about $33 at Amazon vs. Autozone's $31. Brake pads from Amazon were $19 and the similar price to Autozone. Warranty at Autozone is lifetime, from Amazon it's 12months, 12K. All in all with prices this low you can't go wrong on either place, but not having to get off my A$$ to go to the store and have Amazon deliver them (was fast 2 days).
On the next few pages you can see the process to replace the rotor and pads. Don't forget you can have your rotors turned by a competent machine shop if not that bad, and if you have OEM rotors still on the car it's a good way to go if within spec.
Wheel Lug Torque 1996 Ford Explorer Wheel Lug at 100Ft/Lbs
Caliper Bracket bolts (The 15mm Bolts) at 73-97Ft/Lbs WITH RED LOCTITE
SAFETY, DISCLAIMER AND WARNING
If you don't feel that you have the skill to complete this task take the work to a professional. Please check all parts and ensure that they are in good condition, this includes bolts, hoses and fluid. Make sure brake lines are not cracked, pistons are not leaking and parts are moving freely when they should (Slide Pins) and all fluid is at safe levels.
NOTE : You should use RED LOCTITE on the each of the Caliper Bolts, they were coated with them from the factory and it's a known issue on the Explorer for bolts to loosen if not properly torqued, so the Loctite is mandatory for these brakes.
Lastly take care in how you jack your car up. For the front brake job its a good idea to set the E-Brake or chock the rear tires. Do not rely on your cheap import floor jack to keep your car up, use a cheap jack stand(s) as a minimum.
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