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Brake Pads


New Member
May 30, 2005
Reaction score
City, State
Las Vegas, NV
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLT
2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4

My brakes are squealing, so I obviously need new pads.

Before this 2002, I owned a 92 explorer (xlt, 4dr, 4x4) and when I replaced the pads, I bought some random brand at Auto Zone for like $30. What ended up happening was, the pads were harder than my rotors, so the pads actually started eating away the rotors extremely fast. Because of this, obviously the rotors were then also tearing the pads faster. I quickly (3 months) needed to buy new front rotors. So I did, from Ford, and then also bought new brake pads. Still from the auto parts store, but I spent $60 on a brand that the salesperson recommended. The exact same thing ended up happening within a matter of months.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Huge problem, quite costly… anyway...

I want to avoid this problem with my 2002. The Ford dealership quoted me $100 just for pads. I'd rather not pay that much just for something like brake pads, so I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a pad brand/style that will match my 2002’s rotors.

If the best bet is just to drop the $100, then so be it. I just like to be thrifty whenever possible.

Thanks for any and all help in advance.


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So, based on that thread you linked... I should NOT pay $100 for Ford pads, but I SHOULD pay almost $400 for Hawk pads?

Don't get me wrong, I DO appreciate the helpful input, but the idea was to be effective yet inexspensive. They don't have to be the best, I just want to make sure the pads don't destroy my rotors in a matter of months.

I'm sure those pads and rotors are nice but the ones from Autozone will be more than adequate for most people. The dealer replaced the pads on mine 2x under warranty (every 11k). The 3rd time (35k) they should have, but would not cover it and I did it myself with semi-metallics and the mid priced rotors from Autozone. All 4 wheels cost about $185 (compared to their $875 quote). The Ford pads held up no better than any other pad if you don't do the job right. The dealer would pull the pad, trim the rotor and throw it back together. Junk work.

Here's what has gotten me 55k on a set without any additional maintenance. When you remove the old pads and rotors, clean all important surfaces with a wire brush and brake cleaner. This means removing the stainless slide clips that attach to the caliper mounting bracket - brake pad ears ride on them. Clean the bottom and top to remove any grimy build-up or rust (underneath) or replace them. Use a screwdriver to removing as much of the flaky rust under the clips (on the bracket). You need to make sure the pads are able to move without binding. Once they bind, they will trash your pads and rotors.

I used anti-sieze for this next step but I don't see why a good grease would not do the same thing. Just use it sparingly and make sure you don't get any on your rotors or pads. I coated the bottom of the clips to minimize rust build-up under the slide (excessive rust and grime were causing my pads to bind - the dealer didn't take the time to do this so the pads would bind quickly). Grease the slide bolts and make sure they are free to move - clean out the boot and housing if necessary. I also placed a small amount of anti-seize on the ears of the pads (where they ride on the slides) so they would move freely. Clean the rotor mounting surface with a wire brush to remove any build up. I probably could have gotten more mileage off of them if I had pulled them at 25k and removed the rust off the ears of the pads and re-cleaned the slides but oh well. Good luck.

Epoch18 said:
So, based on that thread you linked... I should NOT pay $100 for Ford pads, but I SHOULD pay almost $400 for Hawk pads?

Don't get me wrong, I DO appreciate the helpful input, but the idea was to be effective yet inexpensive. They don't have to be the best, I just want to make sure the pads don't destroy my rotors in a matter of months.

Where does it say Hawk pads are $400??? The $387.59 is for 4 rotors, front and rear pads.

I just checked and the price has gone up Hawk pads are now $77.97 shipped to your door. They are much better than OEM pads from Ford and less money.

If you do not change your rotors or at the very least turn them NO pads are going to last very long sorry if you don't like that but that is reality.

Spend the money now or spend the money later.

FYI I have almost 60K on mine now and they are about 1\2 way gone, 100k or so for less than $400 I would call cheap.

EDIT: See below.

Ok, next question:

Based on the thread Tower linked me, my top two choices would be Hawks or EBC Greens.

On the description of the EBC's they say that, not only are they cleaner, but they opporate cooler, and they have "zero rotor vibration."

So which is better? The Hawk's or the EBC's? (Dust isn't a real concern, I'm more focused on brake performance.)

And, IF the Hawks are better, should I get the Performance Street Compound, or the Light Truck & SUV Compound?

Again, thanks for any and all help.

I will watch this thread closely to see what everyone says. I am getting close to a pad change on mine. I have the original pads and rotors and have 104,872 miles. :D Since these are OEM and have given me more milage than any other vehicle I've ever owned, I was going to give the local stealership the business.


Run down to Autozone and buy their next to the best Duralast Pads. I have been running them on my Explorers and Mountaineers for years, no problem or excessive rotor wear out. Note: Motorcraft rotors and made in China, and that is OK, Chinese rotors are made to a spec, some are better than others. Motorcraft pads used to be made by Satisfied brake parts. Do not spend the money for Motorcraft. Autozone will do just fine, just do not buy the top of the line Duralast, Next to the top. Top of the line is hard and have to heat up in the winter to work well.

Meh, I put the Autozone rotors on mine, and they were warped right out of the box. I'd go with some stock replacement Brembos from if I were to do it again.