I have a 2008 Ford Explorer XLT, 4WD with 73000 miles. Time to do a brake job before the snow flies.
Purchased four new rotors and ceramic pads. New rotors as the cost of new ones, and the correct thickness far offsets resurfacing old rotors to a thinner width.
My question, should I expect to find the old rotors to be frozen to the hubs? Will I need a sledge, or will I need the heat of oxy/aceteline torch to remove the old rotors?
Thanx in advance for any advice. Oh, one last thing, I live in the Deeeetroit area where they use salt in the winter to de-ice the streets.
Get yourself a can of PB Blaster:
Pull one of the tires off and take a look at the areas around the lugs and
the center hole. If they're not too bad, you may get away with just spraying
and and a small sledge. Having lived in the Detroit/Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area
for eleven years, I rarely needed heat unless it was a *really* old car that
had never been taken care of at all.
I can't seem to get away from the salt- moved from Michigan to Baltimore to
coastal South Carolina. I find the salt air here to be almost as detrimental
as the salt on the roads up north :-)
I don't have a Explorer, but on my ford vehicles the rotors have been
free floaters. Just taking the caliper off, the rotor slides off if
it's not the first time changing them, and I have *never* had one stick.
(I live in NY, so we have our fair share of road salt as well). If it's
the first time they are coming off since factory installation, then you
usually have to remove a retaining clip that's on on of the lugs. The
factory puts one on to keep the rotor in place as it's moving down the
line. A lot of mechanics will grab a pair of dykes and just snip them
off as they are not really needed. I've gotten my front brake job down
to about 30-45 minutes, and a lot of that is just gathering tools and
Conversely, I just did a brake job on my 06 Saturn Vue 3 weeks ago that
has 175K miles. Been a solid car with relatively no issues, except the
brakes are too light for the car and have a habit of warping the rotors
once the pad gets 1/2 way. I have changing fronts down to a science,
but I haven't had to change the backs until 175K, and even then they
still had meat on them. (mostly highway miles). The backs are drums.
Oy....Hadn't had a vehicle with drums since the 80's, so it had been
a while. Getting drums off is the worst...The brake job is more
involved than disks and takes a bit longer with the springs and such,
however it took me 4-5 hours to get the two drums off... Drum puller,
heat, sledge hammer...Never again... lol. They were so stuck to the
hubs that the drum puller bent the drums out of round. They were smooth
before the brake job and when I went to do the test drive after, they
were pulsing the pedal, and vibrating the car a bit. I had to go buy
BTW, my auto parts place got rid of their machine and doesn't even cut
rotors or drums anymore....and it's not just my normal place...others as
well. The rotors are about $25-30 and the drums are about $40ish. They
said it doesn't pay for them to cut 'em...too much hassle...just get new
ones like you did...
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