Ford Explorer Front Brakes - Removing Stuff
This is the easy part, get some gloves as brake dust and dirt is messy. Start with jacking up your car with jack stands. Do it safely as you will be under the fender and you don't want to get crushed and end up with you on a YouTube Video. Be safe! If you do NOT have an impact wrench it's a good time to crack loose the lug nuts before the wheel is off the ground.
Get the lug cover off and remove the lugs, then take the tire off, and then begin to start taking things apart. Steps outlined below and in the next couple of pages.
It's also helpful to turn the wheel you are working on towards the opposite side, that is driver side would be making a right turn, passenger side should be making a left turn. Do this BEFORE jacking up the car.
Pull the Lug Cover Off the Wheel
Carefully with a screwdriver pry up the lug cover on one side. When it gets enough to hold it with your fingers pull it out. If you have trouble you can go to the opposite side of the cover where their is another slot to pry. Don't be bashful, just rip it off. You can put a rag or cardboard to keep from scratching your rims if you are concerned.
Remove Wheel Lug Nuts
If you don't have an impact wrench, you should have cracked the lug nuts before jacking the tire off the ground. In any case, get them lug nuts off and get the tire out of the way. Note I had no Metric impact sockets at home, but a 3/4" fit perfect, otherwise I think it's a 20mm
Back Side Of Wheel and Caliper Bolts
Their are 2 bolts that hold the caliper to the backing plate. These are 15mm bolts and can be tough to get off. The factory used a locking compound on the bolts and rust and heat can make this difficult. Use a breaker bar or if you have any trouble get an impact on it. I live in California so they were not rusted at all and a breaker bar made short order of them. If you don't have a breaker bar a short piece of pipe on the end of the wrench will do it. Make sure you don't strip the bolts, use the right tool! If you have a camera it's also a good time to snap some pictures just incase you forget how something goes!
DO NOT REMOVE THE LOWER BOLTS these are not holding the caliper on..
Remove Caliper and Prop on Box
Once you pull the 2 bolts from the back of the caliper, you will need something to put the caliper on that will not stress out the rubber brake line. Now is a good time to check that. If you have any cracking or defects in that your job will be much bigger, and will not be covered by this job, but make sure the line gets replaced and the brakes get bleed as a minimum.
Now get something to prop up the caliper on. Make sure it's stable and that the caliper will not fall off as the only thing that is holding is the brake hose.
Closer View of the Explorer Caliper
My explorer has a 2 piston floating caliper. Some may be 1 piston, but effectively work the same. Their are 2 pins the caliper slides on, we will look at those in a few. You can see a couple one of the metal clips that the pads slide on in the upper left of the picture. Again be careful since the only thing holding the caliper is the rubber brake line. You are going to pull the 2 haves of the caliper apart, the rubber bellows should pop off and stay on one side or the other. You have to pull the caliper evenly or it will bind.
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Exposed Slide Pin
After separating the 2 sides of the caliper you will see the 2 pins. Check them for rusty crud. If you can't spit the 2 parts of the caliper your pins are rusty and you will have to remove them from the back of the caliper with a socket. If they are in really bad condition you should replace them. Sadly if you only have one car your out of luck. Look at both of the boot/bellows. If they are cracked or damaged time for a replacement. Autozone has a small kit with the pins and boots for replacement. If they are in good shape wipe the crud off of them as you are going to lightly lube them (with special brake lube) later.