How to Remove Stuck Rear Rotors on an Expedition


There are a couple different reasons why the rear rotors on your Ford Expedition are stuck to the hub. Depending on your geographic region, rust could certainly be the biggest factor. However, interior parking brake shoes can be another reason. There are ways to get every job done, and some require a little more tenderness than others. If you're replacing the rear rotor, you do not have to apply as much delicateness when removing it. If you're removing it to have it machined on a brake lathe and want to reuse it, then you must apply a great degree of delicateness for the removal of it. If the rotor is completely rusted to the hub, consider replacing the rotor altogether.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stand
  • Wheel chock
  • 1/2-inch drive breaking bar
  • 1/2-inch drive socket set
  • 1/2-inch drive ratchet
  • 1/2-inch drive adjustable torque wrench
  • Turkey baster
  • DOT-approved brake fluid
  • Bungee cord
  • C-clamp
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Spray lubricant
  • Large hammer
  • Large rubber mallet
  • Slide hammer with rotor/drum removal adapter (optional)
  • Brake shoe adjuster spoon (optional)
  • Hand torch (optional)
  • Sandpaper
  • Anti-seize lubricant
  • Safety glasses
  • Park the Expedition on a level paved or concrete surface. Release the hood latch. Do not apply the parking brake.

  • Place a wheel chock in front of one front tire and open the hood. Remove half the amount of brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir with the turkey baster and discard. Replace the master cylinder cap.

  • Break the lug nuts loose on the rear tires with the breaking bar and a socket.

  • Raise the rear of the Expedition with the floor jack and place the jack stands under the rear axle on the left and right side.

  • Remove the lug nuts and wheels.

  • Remove the caliper bolts with the ratchet and a socket. Pry the caliper off the rotor and pads using a flathead screwdriver, and support the caliper to the frame with the bungee cord. Do not let the caliper hang from its brake hose. Compress the piston of the caliper inward using a C-clamp.

  • Remove the pads from the anchor and remove the caliper anchor bolts using the ratchet and a socket. Remove the anchor.

  • Remove any rotor retaining rings located on the lug studs. These rings can be discarded, and you do not have to replace them, so you can pry them off without regard. If there are no retaining rings, skip this step.

  • Determine to the best of your knowledge how the rotor is stuck to the hub. If there is movement in the rotor somewhat, then it is most likely stuck on the interior parking brake shoes. If there is absolutely no movement in the rotor, then it's most likely seized/rusted to the hub. Spray the center of the rotor around the hub and lug nuts with lubricant. If you're replacing the rotor, strike it on the fins with a heavy metal hammer (wear safety glasses). If you want to save the rotor, use a rubber mallet, but you will have less successful results. A slide hammer with an adapter may also break the rotor free from the hub without incurring much damage to the rotor. Adding heat to the hub and around the lug nuts with a hand torch is another helpful hint for breaking the rotor free from rust, but only when replacing the rotor.

  • Remove the rubber plug from the porthole located on the back of the backing plate once the rotor is separated from the hub but is still stuck on the parking brake shoes. Inside the porthole is a star adjuster wheel that can be turned in to contract the parking brake shoes closer together using a brake shoe adjuster spoon or a screwdriver. Turn the wheel in until the rotor releases from the parking brake shoes.

  • To replace, reverse the procedure. Clean the hub with sandpaper and apply a thin coat of anti-seize high-temp lubricant around the edge of the hub and where the center of the rotor sits against it to help out in future rotor removal procedures.

  • Torque the lug nuts to the tires when the Expedition is back on the ground using the adjustable torque wrench. Also pump the foot brake pedal to restore hydraulic pressure to the compressed caliper pistons. Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder and add new DOT-approved brake fluid only after you've pumped the brake pedal.

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