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Explorer to Aviator front brake upgrade

Discussion in 'Modified 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by firefly1246, August 20, 2013.

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    1. Number4

      Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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      Don't think I missed it, but you didn't swap out brake lines. The Aviator and Explorer had different lines from what I can tell. Any issues related to this?
       
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    3. firefly1246

      firefly1246 Active Member

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      No plans in the future until I need to do rear wheel bearings. The rears require aviator rotors and aviator rear knuckles. You would follow the explorer rear wheel bearing write up and substitute the aviator knuckle. Most of your braking is done with the front brakes so I just focused on those.

      FYI: the front brake line is a different part number but works perfect so I just reused the explorer brake line.
       
    4. firefly1246

      firefly1246 Active Member

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      Sorry dumb question: how do you send a message to the admin. Thanks in advance for the help.
       
    5. College Student

      College Student Well-Known Member

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      Just send a message to one of the moderators or Rick, they can help you out. To do this just find one of there names in a thread left click on it, click the send private message button. Tell them why you are messaging and all that jazz.
       
    6. Number4

      Number4 "I'm counting to 3, then I'm getting your dad." Elite Explorer

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      Just picked up some spindles off a 2005 aviator today. Hope they are okay with my 04 Explorer. Anyway, not doing anything now as I'd just did a complete brake job a few months ago. But my wife's 05, will be due next and will most likely get the set up off my 04.
      S&W Auto in Lithonia Georgia has an awesome selection and prices for anyone in the area. $20 ea on the spindles.

      [​IMG]
       
    7. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      I got my aviator swap done today. I found out the difference on the brake hoses. The mounting tab to the frame is in a different spot, and the diameter of the hose is a little larger. Everything else is the same. I swapped front and rear knuckles, so now I am full aviator. The are a big improvement over the explorer stuff, plus they look better behind my mustang gt wheels. Now I just need to paint the wheels again and it will look even better. Everything is basically a bolt on, I don't know why I waited so long.

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: August 2, 2014
    8. Mikerider

      Mikerider New Member

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      Ordered all my parts today along with new ball joints, tie rods and wheel bearings. New front end here we go!
       
    9. Mikerider

      Mikerider New Member

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      got my swap all done, in for an alignment Tuesday and it will be ready to go! thanks for the how too, I ran into a few stubborn ball joints and a few other small hi-cups that slowed me down but now have a complete new front end.

      for those wondering the caliper bolts are 14mm X 45mm 2.0 thread pitch
       
    10. firefly1246

      firefly1246 Active Member

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      Your Welcome! Glad I could help. Thanks for getting the bolt size, I will add that to the write up.
       
    11. JW

      JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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      Do you have a parts list for the rear? Is it just a knuckle and rotor swap?
       
    12. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      Yep, knuckle and rotor. The caliper is the same.
       
    13. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      You do have to make sure you have the updated toe links in the back. The early 2002 have a smaller diameter outer tie rod where it goes into the knuckle. The latter explorers and all aviators are the same. Just depends on what year explorer you are starting with.
       
    14. dieselscout80

      dieselscout80 Member

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      So the Aviator rear rotor is bigger than the Explorer's is that correct?
       
    15. JW

      JW Third Gen Collector Elite Explorer

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      Thanks! This will be on my 2003 so I'm good on the toe links.

      Yes, by about 0.7". Odd that they use the same caliper...
       
    16. Mrooney322

      Mrooney322 Active Member

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      just wondering if there is any height difference between our knuckles and the aviator ones. out of curiosity
       
    17. firefly1246

      firefly1246 Active Member

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      No height difference between the two knuckles. Just a larger dust shield and the caliper bolt holes are in different location for the larger calipers.
       
      Last edited: October 10, 2015
    18. firefly1246

      firefly1246 Active Member

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      Update:

      After 20K miles and almost 2 years, these brakes are holding up great. I have pulled a couple 6500lb loads and feel a huge difference in braking power. Not quite like pulling with a super duty but an improvement over stock. I painted the calipers silver with G2 caliper paint which is holding up nicely.
       
    19. Fredness

      Fredness Elite Explorer

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      Looks like this will work on the front of my 2005 Sport Trac, but not the rear - you guys all have the IRS 8.8 and not the solid axle, right?
       
    20. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      Correct, all 2002 and newer non-sport explorers have irs.
       
    21. Fredness

      Fredness Elite Explorer

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      No info on an IRS swap to a Sport Trac, so fronts will work until I can fab brackets...
      Great info - upgraded to cryo slot rotors and Hawk LTS pads awhile back and need more now that we have a travel trailer!
       
    22. firefly1246

      firefly1246 Active Member

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      The sport trac is based on the 2nd generation explorer and has a slightly different front end than the 3rd generation explore. So from this point forward in my post i will refer to the 2nd gen explorer and 1st gen sport trac as a 2nd gen. I don't know of anyone who has fit aviator front brakes to a 2nd gen. The offsets of where the brake is relative to the wheel is about an 1" different between the 2nd and 3rd gen.

      Good luck if you decide to go down this route, let us know how it turns out. When I get some free time I will try and take some measurements, as i have both a sport trac and a 3rd gen.

      Update:

      So, I did some online digging as this got me curious:

      1st gen Sport Trac and 3rd gen explorer use the same caliper.

      When comparing a 2nd gen and 3rd gen rotors they are similar, but with some key differences:

      Sport Trac / 3rd Gen / Aviator
      OD: 12.01"/12.01"/12.99"
      Height: 2.61"/2.22"/2.29"
      Nom Thick:1.02"/1.02"/1.1"
      Hub Size: 2.83"/3.23"/3.21"
      Bolt Circle: same 5x4.5"
      Weight: 19.25#/19.25#/23#

      The 3rd gen and 2nd gen have the same size rotors, with 2 main differences: the 2nd gen rotor is 0.41" farther apart from the hub to outside of rotor, so the rotors will not be in the same spot. The dia of the hub is also different.

      In order to successfully install aviator front brakes on a 2nd gen explorer/1st gen ST the following would need to occur:

      1) Swap aviator front hubs to a 2nd gen knuckle in order to have correct hub diameter. This would only potentially work on a 4wd 2nd generation as the 2wd 2nd gen using a totally different knuckle/hub. I don't know if this would fit on the knuckle.
      2) The bolt pattern for the aviator front brake caliper is different then the 2nd/3rd gen explorer, so a bracket would need to be fabricated.

      or if 3rd gen knuckles could be used on a 2nd gen then it would be a much easier swap. Both use the exact same lower ball joints and tie rod end, but use a different upper ball joint. Another question would be where everything is in relation to each other. After looking at some pictures they look really similar, the 2nd gen is iron and 3rd gen is aluminum. On the 4wd models both use a 27 spline axle.

      This is all assuming one would have at least a 17" wheel, as the aviator doesn't fit under a stock 16" 2nd gen wheel even with the greater offset.

      Man after doing this research this has really got me thinking... and I have parts just sitting around to be able to check it. Looks like a new project might be in order.
       
      Last edited: March 13, 2016
    23. Fredness

      Fredness Elite Explorer

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      Nice! I got some time as I have to fix the rear brakes first...
       
    24. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      You could check and see if the press in 3rd gen upper ball joint has the same o.d. as the 2nd gen. Maybe press a 3 rd gen into the upper arm of the 2nd gen.
       
    25. firefly1246

      firefly1246 Active Member

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      That is exactly what I was thinking. I am going to take some measurements this evening after work.
       
    26. 87350gta

      87350gta Active Member

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      I just did some quick checking. The 02-05 looks too small, but the 06-10 upper looks close. You might have to change your front half shafts also. The newer ones might be longer overall.
       

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