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Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers Questions related to non-modified 1995-2001 Explorer, Mountaineer, Ranger and '02+ Sports and Sport Trac. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications.

Caliper brake bolt backed out!

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Old 08-11-2006, 10:15 PM   #1
96ExplorerXL4x4
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Caliper brake bolt backed out!

I was recently on vacation at Fort Stevens (Mouth of the Columbia River, in Oregon) and started to develope an odd clunk/grind/whistle noise from my front drivers side wheel well. Couldn't diagnose anything wrong. Took the wheel off the rig after backing my boat into the water and it making an awful noise. Come to find out, the upper bolt that secures the brake caliper was completly missing and the bottom one was about to come out! Had to go into town, thankfully my parents had their surburban there since they had to haul down the travel trailer, and couldn't get the bolt from a NAPA. Went over the the Ford dealership in Astoria, finnaly got one there, and some lock tight to boot.

None-the-less, we REALLY looked like the white trash of the campground lol:


I was glad to catch it when I did before the whole damn assembly came off. I checked the other side, they were fairly secure, but tightend them up for peace of mind.

I had the rotors machined and installed new pads last January, and I know I put both of those bolts back in the assembly and made sure they were snug.

Just wanted to see if this was common, or if anyone had ran into the similar problem. Might be a good thing to check for anyone that hasn't ever looked at the caliper assembly.




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Old 08-11-2006, 10:24 PM   #2
section525
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Very common. Happened twice on mine and once on the GF's old Sport.

Easy fix: Dana44




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Old 08-11-2006, 10:28 PM   #3
96ExplorerXL4x4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by section525
Very common. Happened twice on mine and once on the GF's old Sport.

Easy fix: Dana44
I'm sorry, could you explain how a Dana44 would help/change things?

Sorry to hear about your misfortune...




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Old 08-11-2006, 10:48 PM   #4
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I've had numerous issues with my caliper bracket bolts, but none with the actual caliper bolts (knock on wood).




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Old 08-11-2006, 10:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartman
I've had numerous issues with my caliper bracket bolts, but none with the actual caliper bolts (knock on wood).
Yeah, it's the one that secures the caliper to the vehicle that I had an issue with...




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Old 08-12-2006, 09:00 AM   #6
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Who did the brake job last on it?

-Drew




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Old 08-12-2006, 10:49 AM   #7
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Yup...common enough.

A lot of people don't realize that you have to torque the caliper bolts; check your manual for the exact spec. Hell, I know that and it still happened to me last month after I replaced all four calipers and rotors. The top bolt on the passenger's side caliper worked itself completely out and, next thing I knew, the caliper flipped up and started rubbing against the inside of the wheel at 70mph! Yikes!

Anyway, since I had just replaced all the front-end components and all the brakes, I just said "Screw it" and Lok-Tite'd the bolts.

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Old 08-12-2006, 12:20 PM   #8
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Happened to me as well. I had a mysterious clunk that I looked into and it was a loose caliper bolt. I tightened it and problem solved.

My grand fathers F150 had a bolt come out and his caliper rubbed the inside of one of his wheels until it wore all the way through and deflated the tire! He apparently didn't hear the noise or feel anything.

Everyone should check your caliper bolts after a brake job whether you do it or not.
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:48 PM   #9
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The hammered in caliper bolts sometimes tend to work their way out, so they should be checked occasionally. My brakes felt funny a couple of weeks ago, and it turned out that one of those bolts had to be hammered back. It wasn't too far out, but just enough to cause the caliper to wobble.
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:54 PM   #10
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Here's a thread on replacing the front brakes on a 1st generation Explorer: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=122696
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Old 08-13-2006, 12:44 AM   #11
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eek, im going out to check mine first thing in the morning




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Old 08-13-2006, 02:35 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replys everyone! Glad to know I'm not alone with this problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExplorerDMB
Who did the brake job last on it?

-Drew
I did in January




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Old 08-14-2006, 09:39 AM   #13
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only 1 of the bolts came out of mine, once again seems common, the second bolt acted as a pivot point allowing the caliper to come off of the rotor when the pads "SQUEEZED" upon stopping from 80 on the interestate outside of montgomery alabama (on our way to Destin Fla for Vacation).

long story short.

a trip in my father in laws van to a ford dealership in montgomery (who opened the parts department on sunday morning at 7:30 for me - super nice people) getting the correct bolt that wasn't available at any retail parts store. the advanced auto did supply the hand cleaner and lock-tite. didn't have a torque wrench so for a quicky just tightened just short of what I felt was bolt head shear. been running for a year with no other issues (even using same pads). I also dropped the other 3 tires in the parking lot of the hotel and lock-tited all caliber frame bolts and checked the caliper bolts they were fine. we also had to mount the spare (praise god and ford for a full sized spare) because when the bolt came out it bounced inside the wheel and busted 5 holes in the inside of the wheel the sized of a quarter. get a great looking replacement from www.wheelsandcaps.com

I am going back to FLA for vacation and will be verifying everything before I leave just to be sure, we only lost about 2 hours for the fix but it was still a pain in the butt.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:34 PM   #14
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Well I just backed mine out today in order to replace the rotors. I had replaced them five years ago and never had a problem with them loosening off. But today I ended up having to use a long pipe on the end of my ratchet to back them out. Took some of the inner threads with it. glad i decided to grab a few bolts off of the suv in the scrap yard that i took the parts from. I for sure would recommend some anti seize.
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:42 PM   #15
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DO NOT use anti-seize on those bolts, you should use red thread locker.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:35 AM   #16
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Yes

Yes that has happened to me on my 2002 Mazda truck (built by Ford). First on the driver side then on the passanger side. Went to junk year and found a 2000 Ranger that had locking washers on one side the other side one bolt was loose the other one was tough getting off. I also had a 1997 Ford Ranger XLT that I rolled in the Spring and I think that is what happened in the accident. But can not prove it as the impact totally demolished the rim and wheel unit.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:38 PM   #17
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Both of my bolts fell out today on my sport at 80 mph......i heard something pop and fly under my truck so i went to pull over and the passenger side felt like it wanted to flip the truck. Does anyone know the size of those bolts? I know the head is a 17mm and thats about it




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Old 05-05-2011, 06:53 AM   #18
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Don't buy the Dorman ones. Read the two reviews there...
Ford/Motorcraft has a caliper bolt kit. Expensive.
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Old 05-05-2011, 09:14 AM   #19
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i wasnt going to buy the dorman ones but then i thought about it, the two people most likely either screwed them in to far, over torqued the bolts or didnt torque them at all. I've come to realize this about most people and auto part reviews, 95% of them have no clue what they are doing. haha




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Old 05-05-2011, 09:50 AM   #20
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Very common problem read the stickey for some scare stories. Didn't have trouble with the actual caliper bolts but I did have the caliper bracket bolts loosen up one actually fell out. Happened several times. Once I had replaced and torqued the bolts and went back a week later and I could turn the bolt by hand. I bought the car used and found out someone had put antiseize on the bolts. Disassembled and cleaned the brackets. Got the new Dorman bolts(they work fine) and used the blue locktight and torqued to specs. Have checked several times and they have stayed good and tight. I keep two bolts in the glove box for emergency. Actually hope I don't have to remove them. Glad I did not use the red loctite.

Ed
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