Replacing your brake rotors may be a simpler job than you'd expect. You don't need any fancy tools or specialized knowledge to do this job right. You just need a few basic tools and a way to lift one end of your vehicle.
If you're wondering how to replace the rotors on your Ford like a pro, look no further than this step-by-step guide.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Always replace your rotors in pairs. This ensures even braking performance.
- If you're removing a rusted on rotor, spray the lug stud holes with WD-40, wait a few minutes, and then tap it with a hammer.
- If you don't have a c-clamp or a caliper spreading tool, an auto parts store might be able to let you borrow one for free.
Here's a list of tools you will need for this job:
- C-clamp or caliper spreading tool
- Bungee cords or heavy wire
- Torque wrench
- Allen wrench or star wrench (depending on what kind of bolts are used for the brake caliper fasteners)
- Breaker bar
- Brake cleaner
- Brake fluid
- Thread locker
Where to Find Replacement Rotors
Before you head out to a parts shop to buy a set of aftermarket rotors, take a few minutes to read this article: Are New OEM Rotors Better Than New Aftermarket Rotors?
To summarize that article, OEM rotors are a much better investment. However, you might be hesitant to visit your nearest Ford dealership and splurge on a set of OEM rotors. Dealers like to charge a pretty penny for OEM replacement parts, after all. However, we have good news: you can order genuine OEM rotors online for much less money. In fact, we offer wholesale prices for genuine OEM Ford parts, including rotors. Here's our catalog of OEM Ford rotors. Just look up your Ford model, place an order, and then wait for it to arrive. Easy peasy!
Removing the Wheel
To get to the rotor, you have to remove the wheel first. Here's how:
- Loosen the wheel lug nuts by about a quarter of a turn. Don't remove the lug nuts yet.
- Set the parking brake, and lift one end of the vehicle. A common way of doing this is with a floor jack and jack stands. It can't hurt to secure the vehicle with wheel stops, too.
- Undo all of the lug nuts on the wheel and then take off the wheel.
That's all! Now it's time to remove the old rotor and then install the new one. Read on to find out how.
Replacing the Rotor
Image Credit: jharmon203
Follow these steps to replace the rotor:
- On the rear of the caliper are two brake caliper guide pin heads. Unbolt them both. Be sure to start with the bottom one first. Then remove the caliper from the rotor. Don't let the caliper hang by the brake line because it'll damage the brake line. Instead, tie a heavy wire or bungee cord to the caliper and then hang it from the strut or frame.
- On the steering knuckle are two caliper bracket bolts. Unbolt them both and remove the caliper bracket.
- Pull the brake rotor off the wheel studs.
- Apply a very thin layer of high temp brake grease to the hub face. This will make removing the new rotor much easier in the future. (Don't use anti-seize lube. It won't hold up under high temps, and will melt out.)
- With brake cleaner spray, clean both sides of the new rotor. This will remove any oil or residue on the new rotor.
- Slide the new rotor onto the wheel studs.
- Re-install the caliper bracket. Use thread locker on the mounting bolts.
- Compress the caliper piston and then slide the caliper back on the rotor.
- Clean the caliper guide pins and then grease them with high-temperature brake lubricant. Slide the caliper guide pin back in.
- Torque the caliper guide pins and caliper bracket bolts to the correct spec.
- Add brake fluid, check the brake pedal, and then bleed the system if necessary. (You may be able to skip this step if you only changed the rotors and pads, and did not open the bleed valves.)
- Bolt the wheel back on the wheel studs.
- Test your brakes to see if they're working properly.