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1st Time replacing brake pads. Help


November 10, 2006
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2001 Explorer Sport Trac
Hello All,

I have a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport trac and need to replace my brake pads (Squealing noise).

1. My main question is: Is there any thing that I should look out for? I be searching on-line for pictorials on how to do this, just what to hear from the experts, on anything specific to this vehicle

2. Any prefer make of brake pads to use?

3. Any special tooling needed?



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Sounds like you have little experience with brakes. My advice is for you to first go buy the Haynes Repair Manual for the Ford Explorer 1991 thru 2001 from your local auto parts store. Chapter 9 covers brakes. Thoroughly read that chapter before even starting.

Sometimes rotors and drums need to be turned or replaced and the repair manual will give you guide information about if they need to be turned or replaced.

I've learned most of my do it yourself information from repair manuals. But, you are always welcome to post a specific questions here.

Good luck.

+1 on the Haynes Repair Manual

Special tools = C clamp

Installed the new brakepads (stops fine, no more squeaks), used after market pads from Autozone (Duralast MKD833). Please note they went into the clips kind of tight. The outline profile matched up fine with the old ones, but again tight. Now Brakes pads/rotor run HOT I'm guessing the pads are not releasing fully from rotor. A friend said he sometimes will touch up the metal ends of pads with a file on the aftermarkets due to the looser tolerances.

Has anyone had similar experiences. How did you solve them

I'll be jacking it up to see if the wheels spin freely without brakes engaged.

did you lube the slides? what kind of lube was used? how did you compress the caliper?

brakes by nature run hot. do the smell like they are burning or just hot to the touch? did you have the rotors turned?

brakes do have a break-in period, a time where the parts "get to know each other" so to speak. Also due to the painting or powder coating of the parts they may fit a bit tight and you may need to "dress" them with a file. Also some brake lube on the slides will help. Hope thiss helps.

"how did you compress the caliper?" To ease back the caliper piston I used the old brake pad with a C- Clamp. And before that I removed the brake fluid reservoir to relieve any brake fluid pressure.

I lube'd the slides (Caliper clips channel section) with the Hi-Temp grease pack that I purchase with the brake pads. Since my last post. I removed the pads they still were very tight, touched up the edges (lightly on the grind stone) which are supposed to move within the caliper channel. Now they can be pushed into place with my hands only, no longer required tools to force into place.

Drove around ~2 miles rotors still a little hot to the touch but not as much as before, I will monitor. They seem to be better, and I do understand the break-in period for things to settle in place. So I'll get a few more miles driven and touch to determine if things get better.

I did not have the rotors turned, the existing ones looked smooth no grooves and had enough thickness.

i always recommend new rotors or turning the old ones.

do they smell hot or burning?
remember brakes cause friction, which cause heat, which is transferred by the rotors to cool off for the next use.

drive around the block get the brakes hot. find a very slight hill(driveway) or let the truck roll then put in neutral. jab the brakes, does the truck keep rolling or stop?

Brakes parts get real hot, (burn your skin hot). Also new pads smell like crap and smoke a bit sometimes when they are new.

I replaced pads without turning the rotors once. Over time they got noisier and performance decreased. Now, I either turn em, or replace em.

Don't mess with brakes or tires and you will be safe.

Also, when I do them I swap most of the brake fluid. After you push in the caliper, suck out and replace as much of the fluid in the reservoir as possible. Then bleed out some extra on each wheel through the lines.

Brake fluid absorbs moisture over time, which causes degradation.

Get some new rotors and new pads that you have not modified, and do it correctly.