HOW-TO: 2006 V8 4WD Front Rotor/Pad Change | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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HOW-TO: 2006 V8 4WD Front Rotor/Pad Change


Well-Known Member
May 14, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Central MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
2006 Limited V8
*** Go HERE for a 2 year update!

Just changed my rear rotors and pads, here's the write-up for the fronts so I didn't net an unbalanced braking system. Even with just the rears done a slight brake improvement was noticed.

The fronts are very similar to other vehicles I have done brake work on in the past whereas the rears were quite new for me.

I used Magnum cross drilled rotors and EBC Green Stuff brake pads. The brakes before had always disappointed me with this Explorer. I guess I had always been spoiled by borrowing my dad's 2005 F-150 with the 5.4L. Well, who knows what brakes were on there but I must say that these brakes are NICE. I am definitely looking forward to the next time I tow a vehicle in my dual axle trailer! It is almost difficult now to come to a "gradual" stop as I usually did before... careful not to get too close due to the 1st gear bump. I had my girlfriend drive it and just backing out of the space we were in at the store she immediately looked at me with the biggest smile, that the investment on brakes might not have been wasted!

Side note, little bit of a squeal with a very slight press of the brake pedal until the pads have heated up. Squeal goes away after releasing the pedal even when cold so it is not the pads riding the rotors. Hopefully that goes away once broken in.

Forgot to take a before with the wheel on, so my first "before" is of just the rotor/caliper assembly behind the tire.

Used a large C Clamp to press the pads back forcing the pistons back into the caliper. If you didn't use depress the pistons, it would be difficult to push the caliper away from the hub due to the "nubs" on the pads which are inside the caliper pistons. Then removed the top 17mm bolt to the slide.

Caliper assembly rotated away. This is as far as you need to go to just change the pads. Continue if you also need to replace the rotors.

Pads removed...

To replace the rotor, you need to remove the entire caliper assembly including its bracket. To do this I first placed the 17mm bolt back in the slide alignment hole and turned it a couple times by hand. Next, used a 21mm to remove the two bolts which hold the caliper bracket to the hub assembly.

Naked old rotor...

Naked hub...

Old rotor by itself removed...

New rotor all cleaned up...

New rotor held in place for pictures...

Noticed the 21mm bolts had lock tite from the factory on them. Granted, the factory used red, all I had in my box was blue so that's what I used.

New pads...

New with old...

New pad installation begins...

All bolted back up...

Wheel back on...


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Hi, your photos at show a rotor that comes like the pads from EBC. In this thread here you say that you used Magnum rotors.
What's about the EBC rotors?


Hi, your photos at show a rotor that comes like the pads from EBC. In this thread here you say that you used Magnum rotors.
What's about the EBC rotors?
The picture you quoted is the box for the pads. I used Magnum rotors.

The EBC pad box text is misleading.

Towed for the first time yesterday. It is official, I am very impressed with this brake combination! Stops very quickly with almost no brake fade over prolonged braking from highway to an offramp (about 75mph to 30mph).

Well, two years later now and I've been driving the Explorer less and less now that I have a Fusion for my backup "reliable vehicle" to the others. That said, following a record setting low snow winter, the rotors mostly sat and rusted.

Took a look at them after a long braking down a hill followed by a heavy burning brake smell. Investigated and the pads were fine but, as you'll see, the rotors have rusted from the holes quite a bit and I decided to replace them.

Here's the new blanks I put on.

i can understand you replacing the rotors because of the rust, but why did you go back to standard rotors?

will those drilled rotors still rust like that if you drove it often?

Realistically, I'll never need the long distance frequent braking that the cross drilled may have allowed me to do. I had installed a brake controller for my trailer so there went the occasional here to there with an empty trailer and no brake controller which I was doing.

In addition, I'd noticed the rust leaching outward from the holes last year and my lack of driving sped that process up. I'm not as into the "performance" as I was years ago.

I had a second pair of these and sold them to someone local. I wonder how theirs are looking and performing now. My comment in post 4 of this thread was likely caused by EBC's starter material for breaking in the rotors and not from the combination. At the end now they were pretty unsafe to drive.

So it looks like the moisture of your area caused the rotors to rust all together. I live in Phoenix AZ where this is absolutely NO snow. My wife and I do a lot of city/highway driving. I notice the brake fade when going from highway to streets. Maybe this exact setup is a good idea for me. I'm gonna look into the prices and convince my wife we need these rotors and pads for the safety of our kids :)

I only bought the rotors by the recommendation of another board member. Otherwise, non-name branded drilled rotors like these are a gamble.

EBC sport rotors and Akebono pads

Thanks towingExplorer, I just did a brake job after reading your post . Really helped a lot , as there was no surprises:D :salute:

Thanks towingExplorer, I just did a brake job after reading your post . Really helped a lot , as there was no surprises:D :salute:

Great, glad to help!