How to Replace Rotors on a 1994 Ford Explorer Four-Wheel Drive

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The brake rotors on the four-wheel drive 1994 Ford Explorer are integral components of the vehicle's braking system. The rotors are discs that provide a smooth surface, which the brake pads grip in order to stop the vehicle. Brake rotors that are badly scored or warped will cause degraded braking performance. Inspect the rotors as part of the regular vehicle maintenance, and replace the discs at the first sign of significant wear or damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Syringe or turkey baster
  • 21 mm socket
  • Breaker bar
  • Lifting jack
  • Jack stands
  • 13 mm wrench
  • 15 mm socket
  • Ratchet
  • Bungee cable (or wire coat hanger)
  • Hammer
  • Brake cleaner
  • Wire brush
  • Cloth towel
  • Rotors
  • Brake pads
  • C-clamp
  • Funnel
  • Brake fluid
  • Raise the hood of the Explorer and remove the master cylinder cap. Remove brake fluid from the master cylinder until the fluid level reads half-full or lower. Use a syringe or turkey baster to remove the fluid from the reservoir.

  • Loosen the lug nuts on all four wheels of the Ford SUV with a 21 mm socket and breaker bar.

  • Place the jack beneath the frame, at the front of the Explorer, and lift the vehicle. Place jack stands beneath the axles to support the Explorer while you replace the rotors.

  • Remove the lug nuts and take the wheels off.

  • Remove the two slide bolts on the back side of the caliper, using a 13 mm wrench.

  • Lift the caliper from the caliper bracket and suspend it above the brake assembly with a bungee cable or wire coat hanger--do not allow the caliper to hang from the Explorer by the brake line.

  • Slide the brake pads from the slots in the caliper bracket. The pads sit on either side of the brake rotor.

  • Remove the two caliper bracket bolts with the 15 mm wrench or the 15 mm socket and ratchet. Remove the bracket from the rotor.

  • Pull the rotor from the wheel hub. Use a hammer to strike the center section of the disc, if it cannot be easily pulled from the lug bolts by hand.

  • Spray brake cleaner on the lug bolts and steering knuckle. Clean the area with a wire brush to remove any rust that may have built up on the hub parts.

  • Clean the new rotor with bake cleaner to remove the packing oil from the disc's surface. Wipe the rotor dry with a clean towel before installing it.

  • Place the new rotor onto the lug bolts. Make sure the raised center section of the disc is facing outward.

  • Place the C-clamp over the caliper piston and the back side of the Explorer's caliper. Squeeze the piston into the side of the caliper with the clamp. Remove the clamp from the caliper once the piston is fully depressed, or opened.

  • Replace the caliper bracket onto the rotor. Screw in the bracket's bolts with the 15 mm wrench or socket and ratchet.

  • Apply brake grease to the back sides of the new brake pads. Place the new brake pads into the slots of the caliper bracket, on either side of the new rotor.

  • Replace the caliper over the brake pads and screw in the slide bolts with the 13 mm wrench.

  • Replace the wheel onto the lug bolts and screw on the lug nuts by hand.

  • Repeat steps 5 through 17 for each rotor that needs to be replaced.

  • Lift the Explorer with the jack and remove the jack stands. Lower the Ford's tires to the ground and tighten the lug nuts with the 21 mm socket and breaker bar.

  • Place a funnel into the opening of the master cylinder. Fill the container with brake fluid until the fluid reaches the full line on the reservoir.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use DOT-3 brake fluid to replenish the Explorer's master cylinder. Do not re-use old brake fluid. Dispose of the removed brake fluid properly. Consult the EPA's website (epa.gov) for your state's regulations involving hazardous materials disposal.

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References

  • Photo Credit Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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