2005 sport Trac XLT Buying new rotors and pads | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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2005 sport Trac XLT Buying new rotors and pads


Well-Known Member
February 14, 2016
Reaction score
City, State
Western Maine
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Sport Trac XLT 4WD
Newbie alert.
Been slowly working my way through my 2005 4wd Sport Trac, and I'm at the "tear into the breaks stage". I took off the Driver side front and rear rotors.
From that I decided I needed all new rotors, and pads, plus rear parking brake shoes.

I bought my other parts at Rock Auto, and was pleased with the price and service.

Checking on their site for rotors etc. they don't have a complete set of Wagner rotors. They did list several Motorcraft rotors, but I can't tell one from another.

Most of the other brands are unfamiliar to me such: as a complete set of rotors and pads for all 4 wheels by Power Stop (Auto Specialty) for under $200.

Also checked with Advance Auto and they seem to sell only a house brand.
Orielly's and Pep boys seemed to be about the same with brands I haven't heard of.

Also do I have to worry about ABS issues when replacing rotors?

Any thoughts?

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Have a look on Amazon Warehouse Deals for pads and rotors. Very low prices on previously returned items. It says "used" but it means original packaging damaged. I've purchased lots of parts at knockdown prices for my 2001 4wd ST.

I just took a peek for you on Rock Auto, and see that there are Wagner parts available for you. Perhaps you were just looking at the complete kit with rotors and pads together?

Just go to the individual pieces and go with Wagner ThermoQuiet brake pads.

You can buy me a Schlitz to thank me.

Seriously, the labor to replace ANYTHING is the same whether you use cheap parts or the best parts. I have always went with top shelf parts and never had a problem.

I learned from my Dad who said " A poor man can only afford the best"

Mustang6878 I was looking in both the seperate parts and the kit areas.

I should have asked this question first: I see listings for 4wd front, and that is obvious as I think the front hubs are different between 2wd and 4wd.

Some listings don't specify if they are for 2wd or 4wd rears. I was unsure what they fit. Are the 2wd and 4wd rear rotors the same?

I do like the idea of the BD126031E and BD125721E having that black E coating.

David4451 I'll take a look at Amazon. Thnaks

I know for certain the front rotors are different between the 2WD & the 4WD. I see no reason why there would be a difference between the 2WD &the 4WD REAR rotors. Perhaps someone who knows for sure will pipe in.

swshawaii did you mean to say there was no difference between rear 2wd and 4wd rotors?

The rear is the exact same on 2wd and 4wd. The front is only different for the rotor itself. The front caliper and pads are the same in the front.

I have always liked purchasing Centric Premium Rotors as they have a black coating so they don't look so rusty. FYI: don't buy any drilled or slotted rotors they don't offer any breaking benefits with today's modern brake pads(look at race cars rotors all plain). They are just for looks and actually decrease performance due to less surface area. For pads I prefer either akebono for no dust pads and I like EBC green stuff pads but they have a little more dust but better breaking. Since the explorer doesn't have the greatest breaking ability I put the EBC pads as I need everything I can get. I have put the akebono on my mustang, jags, and vette as they have plenty of breaking ability. But each to there own, you should be fine as long as you don't buy the super cheap pads that coat your wheels in dust in about a week. Enjoy wrenching!!


Ditto Scott, thanks. Smalltown, whichever REAR pads you buy, make sure you get them for phenolic caliper pistons. Part number usually ends with an "A" such as Wagner MX667A. I believe phenolic were used in 2004-05 ST's, 2003 I'm not sure. The steel piston bores are MUCH larger than phenolic. Also make sure all hardware and hardware contact surfaces are clean and lubed with specific brake lubricant designed for brakes.

Ok thanks both for the clarification. Now just to be sure that my pistons are phenolic will I be able to tell by just looking?

Can I tap lightly on the pistons to see if I hear a metal sound ? I imagine the phenolic will have a clunking sound ?

I'm getting there at least i know what rotors to buy.

Unless your rear calipers have been replaced, I guarantee you have phenolic pistons. Use a small magnet if you don't trust me. LOL ;)

swshawaii You just know I had to check with a magnet :D

You were/are 1000% correct !

At least I learned something today I didn't know yesterday.

Checking RockAuto I see pads for phenolic pistons for the rear only???
I took a look at the Wagner site there are only two pad sets showing for phenolic pistons: MX667A and ZX667A both are rear.
Am I missing something simple here?

Correct, all ST's have phenolic front caliper pistons. Also true, Wagner does not offer ceramic rear pads. I've been using the front QC833B ceramic and MX667A metallic pad combination for years and it works great. Keep in mind at least 70% of your braking power is from the front brakes. Also compare Amazon's pricing for parts, but use RA for fitment accuracy and pics.

swshawaii Remember I am the (old) newbie, but I have been looking for information all day. I even have an E-mail into Wagner that I hope to hear back from. However that said a light came on (might be the wife telling me to please get off the computer). We agree (thanks to you and a magnet) that I have phenolic resin caliper pistons front and rear.

I tried to understand why you were/could be using the pads for phenolic pistons in the rear, and a "regular" pads in the front.

The answer is that steel pistons have a larger bore than the phenolic.
On the inboard side of the rear brake pad is a three pronged clip that fits into the single piston bore.
I think the pads are the same except for the size of the spring clip on the back. Therefore when buying rear breaks you are asked do your current calipers have a steel piston or phenolic ? Steel piston bigger bore bigger clip. Phenolic piston smaller bore smaller clip.

If you bought a regular pad for a phenolic piston the spring clip would be too large to fit into the smaller phenolic piston bore, and vice versa.

So why don't they ask steel or phenolic on the front ?
On the front caliper there are two pistons, and apparently the pads need no such clip(S) to hold the pad. So that's why it doesn't matter they have no clips. You proved that yourself already.

So now I can buy my pads.

^ Don't overthink this. ;)

My dilemma was whether or not I wanted to mix front and rear friction material. Mixing ceramic and metallic pads worked out fine for my driving style, in fact doubt if I could have felt a difference even if Wagner made rear ceramics. Must say one huge benefit of ceramics is brake dust is not nearly as visible. It's there, just lighter colored. BTW, all ST's have phenolic pistons in the front regardless of how they are fastened to the calipers. Can't emphasize enough to make sure all brake hardware is cleaned and lubed thoroughly using the proper grease. Also, open the bleeders when compressing the pistons to avoid back flushing contaminants into the system. One of many great YouTube videos from FordTechMakuloco.

The Most Important Step BEFORE Performing Any Brake Job