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Front brake upgrade

Discussion in 'Modified 2006 - 2010 Explorers' started by Floordford, August 20, 2016.

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    1. 06bluez

      06bluez Active Member

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      nice, I also ordered everything from Rockauto. parts should be here today, trying to find time to do the swap this weekend but the deal breaker may be scheduling an alignment right afterwards.

      I think the reason for the small brakes is the base models still had 16" wheels. The aviators came with 17" as the smallest option i think.. The current generation explorers smallest wheel size is 18", so they are able to fit the 13.8" rotors...

      my summer wheels are 20" but I also have a winter set of wheels and tires that are 17", so that's one reason this swap was so appealing to me, should work out great!
       
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    3. Floordford

      Floordford Member

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      Ive got the 18" 5 V Sport Trac wheels. Id love a set of Adrenalin wheels.

      Did you get the aluminum lower control arm? I didnt. Not really worth it for my daily driver
       
    4. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      If you do work the brakes harder than most, like towing, look at the cryogenically treated rotors. They are available for most vehicles now, and they help in high heat usage. I have them on my 99 mail truck, and they look very good after much severe duty use.

      My 12.75" rotors of my 98 Mercury survived my mail delivery for two years straight, though the pads did not. I ate the new set of Hawk pads that came with new SSBC calipers, in two months. They wore down that fast, and then one lining part fell off, killing the rotor surface.

      I've used EBC for almost everything since Performance Friction lowered its quality in the late 90's. The prices for some are very high, you just have to shop and weight the choices.

      I like my 16" snow tires/wheels, so I'll try to stay with 12.75" rotors, they fit easily any 16's. For a 17" wheel, 13.75" is the best rotor size, but of course OEM likes to make them right at the inch mark, thus a "14" rotor usually needs the 18" wheel etc.
       
    5. Floordford

      Floordford Member

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      My last experience with Hawk HPS pads were on my Mustang. They drove soft and stock at low temp and turned into a sensitive track pad when I got them hot. Best of both worlds. Never ran any other Hawk pads. Who knows, maybe I need to think about HD types of pad and rotor for the back. The back brakes are like the trailers front tires in a way. I think Aviators are bigger out back too but it takes a bit more work if I remember right.
       
    6. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      That one set of Hawk pads were the only ones I've ever tried. They came with the new calipers, and they were the highest temperature range pad made, so I thought they would be okay. I've had good luck with all of the EBC pads, green most of the time, but I tried red and yellow once each. The pads I've been using up were selected by SSBC, they made the caliper to fit these pads. I wish they were larger, made for a 65-82 Corvette they should have been made for that specific pad, which was an average size. Instead they made them to use a 1995 Dodge Stealth pad, which is on the small size.

      For brakes, bigger is usually better.
       
    7. Floordford

      Floordford Member

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      I agree. It adds a little weight. Like 1lb a rotor but on the positive it adds more metal for better heat disipation surface and its harder to get to those higher temps in the first place. Also with the caliper further away from the center of rotor it provides more leverage which is less stress on parts and less clamping force needed to do the same task. Think how hard it is on your hand to push 100ft lbs with a 3/8" torque wrench verses a 1/2". Lot easier with the 1/2". More leverage = easier to move
       
    8. Floordford

      Floordford Member

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      Heres something that shouldn't be overlooked, are the caliper bracket bolts the same size and length on the Aviator and Explorer? Otherwise thats one more thing that needs to be bought to do the swap.
       
      Last edited: November 6, 2016
    9. nopistn

      nopistn New Member

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      I got the drilled/slotted rotor and pad upgrade from summit and it's way better than stock. probably not as good as going bigger though.
       
    10. Christobal65

      Christobal65 Active Member

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      Question because I don't see it being discussed here, but is there a difference in how the caliper bracket and calipers themselves mount to the Lincoln and the Ford knuckles?
       
    11. jd4242

      jd4242 Elite Explorer

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      The whole knuckle and spindle is different
       
    12. Floordford

      Floordford Member

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      The Explorer has its mounting bolt spacing further apart than the Aviator. The bolts are the same size. The calipers are different, the pistons on the Aviator are slightly larger. The banjo bolt is the same size and thread for both calipers.
       
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    13. 06bluez

      06bluez Active Member

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      have been sidetracked with a house window/siding project that has used up all of my free time, but I hope to get the aviator brakes swapped on here soon. Good to know that the explorer caliper bolts can be used on the aviator's. also it looks like the explorer brake lines will match up perfectly with the hard line looping around the bleed screw on the aviator calipers too...
       
    14. Floordford

      Floordford Member

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      They do.
      Also remember to get a 32mm socket if you are 4wd. And outer ball joints. Those are different.
       
    15. 06bluez

      06bluez Active Member

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      nice, is your swap done FlooredFord? Im going to do a few pre-install things like paint the new calipers black, etc...
       
    16. Floordford

      Floordford Member

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      Its done and running smoothly. One issue I ran into that I hope you dont is that the remanded caliper for my passenger side had damaged seal rings for the copper gasket to seal against. As in, the brake line meeting up to the caliper is a box with a hole. Then the banjo bolt goes through that and makes the seal with 2 copper washers. There are 3 raised rings on the caliper that bite into the gasket. Mine were damaged and that caused a leak instantly. I know that was a little long winded but I wanted to explain it with little misunderstanding.
       
    17. 06bluez

      06bluez Active Member

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      i understand, thanks. my remaned calipers are ok, but not thrilled with the quality. they seem a little cheap on the slides, etc. i think the casting is in good shape on mine.

      the important question though, has the braking performance improved?!!?
       
    18. Floordford

      Floordford Member

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      I say in my case it improved vastly because my old stockers were dragging and basically glazing and cooking the pads and rotors. Both sides were glass and my rotors were dark and microfractured.
      I actually picked up a little MPG due to my brakes not dragging.
      The overall upgrade drops weight off as well because of how light the aluminum spindles are over stock steels. Not that you can feel that difference but its nice to think about.
       
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    19. 06bluez

      06bluez Active Member

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      I finally got around to installing these, turned out to be an ordeal due to my 17" winter wheels not clearing the bigger brakes! Stock mustang 17's will not fit over aviator brakes, FYI...

      The wheel and tire situation was a mess for me, because I had my 20" wheels broken down to get powercoated this winter. I had to scramble to get new tires put on them when I discovered my winter wheels would not fit.

      anyway, here are a few pictures from my swap. I had to buy a ball joint remover to break the lower one free, but the upper and tierod end were easy.

      before - winter 17" wheels and stock brakes:

      [​IMG]

      painting the new parts:
      [​IMG]

      disassembly of stock parts:
      [​IMG]

      removed the fragile ABS wire from the hubs:
      [​IMG]

      The tie rod ends are a different size. New Aviator size on top, OEM 4th gen size on bottom:
      [​IMG]

      New Aviator brakes installed:
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Bleed the brakes, this tool makes it easy!
      [​IMG]

      new brakes, with 20" oem wheels installed:
      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]
       
      Last edited: January 5, 2017
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    20. Partsman109

      Partsman109 Legion of Doom Elite Explorer

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    21. 06bluez

      06bluez Active Member

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      thanks, should be fixed..
       
    22. USMCBuckWild

      USMCBuckWild Elite Explorer

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      That looks awesome!! I love those factory 20" wheels and want them for the wife's Explorer.

      All in all I believe this is a worthwhile upgrade and plan on completing it once we get past the "Holiday slump"
       
    23. 06bluez

      06bluez Active Member

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      definitely worthwhile, especially if you are coming up on needing a regular brake job soon. these are the size brakes the 4th gen trucks should have come with, especially the sport trac's which are longer, and a little heavier I believe.
       
    24. Partsman109

      Partsman109 Legion of Doom Elite Explorer

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      Looks great, nice job!...definitely on my list of mods!

      For some reason the 1st, 2nd and 5th pics aren't showing up for me, but the rest look great!...thanks for posting!
       
    25. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Bump for this helpful thread. The Aviator calipers have bigger pistons, that is the primary gain for the brakes if you do the swap to the Explorer. The larger rotor is a minor gain, unnoticeable if the caliper was the same(piston size). This is good to recall, I recently had an Aviator turn up in the JY. I don't know if I'll have time to go there before they scrap it, but I'll want to see it if I get there.
       
    26. jd4242

      jd4242 Elite Explorer

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      I would argue that the larger disc have a greater impact than larger pistons,the leverage is much greater,think like a breaker bar longer the better. .aviator is 13" rotors,depending on what explorer thats a huge difference from like 10-11" rotors (cant remember the size,know sport track has 12")
       

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