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2003 caliper bracket bolt torque question

wesalexleft

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2003 Mountaineer V8 4.6L
2003 mountaineer. I know the torque amount for the caliper bracket bolts are 155 ft-lbs for the 2003's only. I've just replaced both front hubs and while torquing down the bracket bolts, things got a little strange. I used a breaker bar to initially tighten the bolts and followed up with the torque wrench which goes to 150 ft-lbs. I gave them my all inside the wheel well and the wrench was clicking at the 135 lb to 140 lb range. As I upped the setting on the wrench for the final go, I got another 1/4 turn, but no "click" from the wrench. You know that feeling that it's about to strip? I had that feeling, so I stopped there. I've also read the stories of these bolts backing out too. Any advice? Should I keep going and risk stripping the bracket, or do you think 135-140 lbs is good. I did use new factory bolts with the already applied yellow thread lock. I suspect my wrench is at its upper limit, and might not be entirely to spec either, but should still be close on that kind of torque value. I have no idea why the 2003's are soon much higher than other years.

Thanks
 



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BigRondo

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From my 2003 Shop Manual.

It looks like you may have confused the caliper bolts with the caliper anchor plate bolts:

2003BrakeSpecs.jpg
 






wesalexleft

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My terminology may be off, but I think we're talking about the same thing. Not the caliper bolt, but the bracket bolts that secure the carriage to the knuckle. The bolts are rated 10.9 hardness and have an 18mm head. What I'm calling the caliper bracket, they're calling the anchor plate.
 






Exproblems

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2003 mountaineer.. You know that feeling that it's about to strip? I had that feeling, so I stopped there. I've also read the stories of these bolts backing out too. Any advice? Should I keep going and risk stripping the bracket, or do you think 135-140 lbs is good. I did use new factory bolts with the already applied yellow thread lock. I suspect my wrench is at its upper limit, and might not be entirely to spec either, but should still be close on that kind of torque value. I have no idea why the 2003's are soon much higher than other years.

Thanks

If you are looking for advice, I would say "tight is tight" and don't risk stripping the bracket bolts if it doesn't feel right to you torquing it down any further. On the bracket bolts backing out, hasn't happened on my EX and I use anti seize compound on the caliper and bracket bolts and never had a problem with them loosening up and backing out on me. I currently don't have a 1/2" or larger torque wrench(for the bracket bolt torque) and I tighten those bolts up by feel and haven't had any problems with my brakes or the bolts. I've had these bolts and brackets out twice on my Ex since buying it, changing pads and or rotors. On the anti seize part of my comment, I'm not recommending you use it on these bolts(it works for me), but it was just to show I haven't had any problems with the bolts backing out on their own. BTW, you are correct on the front caliper and bracket bolt torque being different for each year, with the exception of the 2002 and 2004 models have the same caliper bolt torque(24 ft lbs).
 






tmaher

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by anti-seize do you mean thread locker? anti-sieze will allow easier removal next time but will not prevent loosening. I always use red-threadlocker on all brake hardware where possible. It is good insurance.
 






wesalexleft

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Torque

Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll stay with the 135/140 lbs and recheck them in a week or two to be sure they're staying that way. I may even see if the brackets are stocked locally, and then go higher if their easily bought. When going higher, I started worrying about the socket slipping and falling into the wheel well head first. I'd like to know why those bolts need that amount of torque for that year only.
 






Exproblems

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by anti-seize do you mean thread locker? anti-sieze will allow easier removal next time but will not prevent loosening. I always use red-threadlocker on all brake hardware where possible. It is good insurance.

No, not thread locker. Just as you said, "anti-seize" compound for easier removal next time. I've used anti-seize for 25+ years on caliper bolts or other bolts and have "never" had any brake hardware bolts loosen up inadvertently on me. I use it on wheel lug nuts as well and have never had one of them loosen up on their own. I also use it on the back side, inner center area of the rotors around the lug nut holes to keep the rotor from rusting to the hub surface. Where I live in winter, they use a lot of road salt on the roads for the snow and ice and things tend to rust up here more so than other area's of the country less snowy, so I want to make sure bolts come off in the future when I need them to without any problems. One thing I always do for sure is make sure the bolts or lug nuts are tightened properly before I'm done with the job. It works for me.
 






Exproblems

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I may even see if the brackets are stocked locally, and then go higher if their easily bought..

I tried to buy a replacement caliper bracket 2 months ago from Advance Auto Parts when I changed my front brake pads and rotors, but they told me they didn't sell the bracket by itself for my type of vehicle. To get a new bracket, I would have had to buy the new caliper and bracket combo pack to get one. I didn't need a new caliper, so that idea went to hell. Here is the approx price on a new caliper bracket. If I bought a new caliper by itself, it would have cost me $50, caliper only, but if I bought the new caliper and bracket combo pack, that would have cost me $54, so a new bracket is worth around $4 actual money. The combo pack also gives you new caliper bolts, but not new caliper bracket bolts. You have to use the old bracket bolts. If I needed the new caliper as well as the bracket I could have bought that combo pack for around $34 after using a $20 online coupon for Advance Auto. This info is just in case you ever need to get a new caliper and or bracket.
 






IanJensen

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I just broke a new bolt trying to get these torqued to 155lbs. I wished that I had read this first because I had the exact same feeling you did. It seemed way too tight.
 






Tekreck

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I just tried going to 155 ft/lbs on my 2003 Explorer XLT front left and broke the bolt. That specification can't be right. I am going by the stealership and ask, right after I pick up a new caliper bracket from Advance Auto for $19.99.

On second thought, I'll go to NAPA because they sell the bolts also.
 






Tekreck

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I got the bolts from the Ford dealership - $15 for a pack of 2. Not all dealerships have them, but their inventory search is good and they can send you to the right dealership to get some. Part number is 3L2Z-2027-AA, and it is a bolt kit, meaning you get 2 bolts in qty 1 of the part.

18735237593_d6bbca21cb_z.jpg


Also - while I was there - I asked a technician about the torque. We looked it up in "FMOnline" or something like that. 100 ft-lbs is what the system said, so that is my new standard.
 






sidneytheexplore

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So I just went to replace my calipers and used the Haynes Manuel torque specs of 155 and twisted the bolt off at 145lbs. Have to drive 60 miles road trip to a ford dealer in the next county at $13.00 a bolt 100lbs going back in.
 






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