The dealer was working on the brakes for a 2001 Expedition. They supposedly
soaked the rotors in liquid wrench or similar. Apparently they had no choice
but to break the hubs to get them off. The cost was $85 per new rotor plus
The dealership doesn't have a 5 lb rubber mallet in their shop? Or torches
to heat it up a bit? Are you sure your vehicle is at the local Ford
dealership and not Speedy Muffler?
I'm sure there would have been some way to get them off without smashing the
front hubs of your car to hell. If they beat them off as hard as you're
explaining, you better hope they don't rob you for a set of front wheel
bearings, new flex lines and a set of calipers.
On most cars I would agree with you. On the Expy, and F-150 I won't. When I
the dealership, we had F-150s and Expeditions that had rotors siezed to the hubs
the point that the rotors and hubs were replaced under warranty for other
like a failed ABS wheel sensor. It seems that after about 1 year or so, those
grab a death grip on the hub that the Almighty himself couldn't release. They
look fairly rust free, but you couldn't get them off short of a sledge
would, of course, damage the hub and bearing as would heat). The clearances when
were pretty tight. After just a little bit of exposure to rust belt conditions,
rotors ain't coming off. You could spend 1 hour with a LITTLE heat and a SMALL
and MAYBE get them off, but by then the rotor was damaged enough that it needed
replaced anyway. For brake jobs, we usually machined those rotors on the
which is the preferred method anyway. Aftermarket rotors for those trucks are
$50 each. Replace 'em.
I pretty much agree with this. Though there is a trick to freeing
rust frozen discs/drums. Install lug nuts backwards. lower car.
reverse out of shop, firmly apply brakes, drive forwards, firmly apply
brakes. repeat as necessary. This will break the hold. As for
removing it without damaging the hub or rotor.... that's something
that may or may not be possible.
My experience with some of these is the same as Toms.... Mother nature has
her way of marrying some parts.
FWIW.... smack a brake rotor sideways with 5 pounds of anything and there's
a better than even chance that you now have a spendy lump of scrap metal.
After nearly 40 years of doing this, I have yet to see "everything"..... I
see you live in Canada... how about an all expense paid trip to Slave Lake,
Alberta.... all the best food and the bar will be open 24/7... however, if
you can't remove the rotors of my choice without destroying them. you pay
Gawd, I wish my job was as easy as some think.....
Yeah Tom, you're right. Even here in Nova Scotia, we get handfuls of rust
thanks to that wonderful road salt (I guess the Atlantic doesn't help much
either). It's just hard to imagine that on a vehicle that is only 4 years
old, such a simple part as a rotor would seize itself onto the hub. Then
again, I've never owned a vehicle newer than 1997 and so far I've never run
into this problem working on any of their brakes.
I guess knowing that we live in these kinds of areas, one should have a box
full Anti-seize and another one beside it with Rust Check formula. Problem
is, with a new vehicle, you would almost have to start right from day one.
Even undercoating is not the perfect solution, especially for the
mechanicals of the vehicle. Just another item to add to the service list.
I have definitely heard of this problem on older Expeditions in rust belt
areas. 1997-2002 Expedition used a hub centric wheel design. The wheel
centers fit very tightly on the hubs and this provides the centering (other
designs depend on the lug nuts to provide centering). The hubs are machine
to tight tolerances, and the rotors are machined to fit tightly.
Unfortunately this makes them vulnerable to seizing. It is not uncommon for
the rotors to need to be cut apart to remove them. Some people have managed
to get them off by loosening the lug nuts, driving a short distance, and
sharply applying the brakes several times. Pounding on them with a hammer
may work, but I think I like the idea of using a sawsall to split them the
I suggest you join the Expedition Owner's Group mailing list for better
advice on this subject. See http://mail.xpog.com/mailman/listinfo/expedition
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 12:46 PM
Subject: Re: Rotors rusted to Hub
I never did this myself, but a guy in that participates in the Expedition
Owners Mailing List said it works fine. You make a few cuts through the
beefy part of the rotor with a sawzall and then hit the rotor with a hammer
and it will split apart.
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