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How To: Replace front brake pads on an Aerostar van.

BrooklynBay

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This thread will show you how to replace front brake pads on a 2WD Aerostar van. This was done on my 95, but it's pretty much the same on all of the years. You will need a few basic tools, and a couple of specialty tools to make it easier. It's still possible to do the whole thing with basic tools if specialty tools are not available. You will need a hammer, bungee cord, large C clamp (if a caliper piston tool is not available), and a punch (if the caliper bolt tool is not available). Here are the specialty tools:
Caliper_pin_piston_tools_.JPG

You need a good set of front pads if you plan on using this as your daily driver, and do a lot of stop, and go driving. Even highway driving puts stress on pads while slowing down or stopping at hightway speeds. Friction creates heat, and depending upon the quality, and age of the pads, you will know very fast if the front pads are gone. They will smoke, smell, and at one point make the pedal feel like the master cylinder is fading as if fluid is leaking when no fluid is really leaking. Here are some examples of good quality pads:
Aerostar_front_brake_pads_.JPG

This picture shows what my front brakes were like before they were replaced:
Old_front_brakes_.JPG

This was actually the side with a little less wear. The opposite side had an overheating problem, and everything was covered with light brown flaking rust. The caliper pin tool has a groove on its shaft to act as a stopper when it slides into the caliper:
The_caliper_pin_tool_has_a_groove_.JPG

The side with the taper compresses the metal tabs on the slide bolt to help it release itself as it's going into the caliper. Once the head is clear, the tool is reversed to allow the narrow part to slide into the caliper to push the pin completely out:
The_caliper_pin_tool_is_pushing_out_the_bolt_.JPG

The caliper could be removed once the pins are completely removed:
The_caliper_is_coming_out_.JPG

A bungee cord is holding the caliper while the bolts are removed to prevent stress on the front brake hose:
A_bungee_stretch_cord_is_holding_the_caliper_.JPG

The caliper piston has to be fully compressed before the new pads could be installed:
The_piston_is_being_pushed_back_into_place_.JPG

The new pads should have anti squeal paste on the back of them to prevent chatter:
The_new_pads_have_anti_squeal_paste_.JPG

The calipers are ready to be installed with the new pads. The pins have to be pressed back into place:
The_caliper_pins_are_going_back_into_place_.JPG

The top pin is in, and the bottom one is next:
The_top_pin_is_in_and_the_bottom_one_is_next_.JPG

You are finished after the bottom pin goes back into place. Sometimes it's necessary to replace the rotors, seals, and wheel bearings, but it wasn't necessary at this time on my vehicle. The setup on the E-4WD rotor is a little different, but the set up for the pads is the same.
 


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Willard

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Those brakes look a lot like the brakes on a first gen explorer. Same basic setup. What kind of suspension is under the front of one of those vans? It's not the TTB is it?

And as a side note Brooklyn, you really need to grease those slide pins. Otherwise the inner pad wears way before the outer pad.

Edit: After looking closely, that is obviously a regular old A-arm IFS suspension on the front.
 




BrooklynBay

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BrooklynBay

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Aeroman59

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Brake maintanance

Nice pics & info. I lube the slide pins with synthetic brake grease . Wire brush the slide pin slots to remove any crud etc & spray with brake cleaner. Also a good idea to replace the brake fluid about every 4 years since it is hygroscopic & will pull water from the atmosphere over time. I find a brake skim necessary after 3 years & new rotors/discs after 5 years keeps your front brakes in top shape.
 




BrooklynBay

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Aeroman59

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Mines in almost daily use, clocks up about 20-25,000 kms/ year at present time. Engine is 3L, 2wd, short frame, 96 XLT sport. The old girl has 310,000 kms on her & still uses no oil & only minor sensor replacements. Alternator , starter motor have been replaced. So far it's the most reliable vehicle I have owned. I'm thinking I'll get another 5 years before the rust in the rocker panels looks too bad. I think rust will be the death of the vehicle although at present she is in fairly good shape.

ATB Aeroman
 




BrooklynBay

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BrooklynBay

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I wanted to add some photos of the brake hardware kit for the front calipers. Here's the entire kit:
Aerostar_front_brake_hardware_kit_1_.JPG

Here's a close up:
Aerostar_front_brake_hardware_kit_2_.JPG

It's much cheaper to buy this kit than individual parts kits for the anti rattle clips or two caliper bolts. This is a complete kit for $10 in Autozone.
 




BrooklynBay

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Caliper replacement.

My calipers were pretty deteriorated plus the brake fluid needed to be replaced so it was a good time to do both jobs. One bolt connects the brake line to the caliper. A copper crush washer goes between the brake line fitting, and the brake caliper. Here's a rear view of the caliper:
One_bolt_connects_the_brake_line_to_the_caliper_.JPG

Here's a side by side comparison of the old caliper (already removed), and the new caliper (installed on the driver's side):
New_old_caliper_comparison_.JPG

A hose clamp tool made by K-D pinches the brake line to prevent fluid from draining out of the master cylinder while the line is open. A vacuum cap should be placed over the bleeder screw to keep out dirt, and prevent rust:
Vacuum_caps_for_the_bleeder_screws_.JPG

The part number from Motormite/Dorman/Help is 47392. The size is 7/32". Here's a closer view of the bleeder screw with the vacuum cap installed:
Bleeder_screw_with_a_vacuum_cap_.JPG

The bleeder screws are not ordinary bleeder screws. They have a built in check valve which makes it a one person job to bleed the brake system.
Bleeder_screws_with_a_built_in_check_valve_.jpg

There are two different sizes on my 1995 Aerostar. The front uses Motormite/Dorman/Help 12707:
12707_front_bleeder_screws_.jpg

The thread size is 7/16" X 20 X 1 1/4", and the overall lenght is 1.27". The rear uses Motormite/Dorman/Help 12701:
12701_rear_bleeder_screws_.jpg

The thread size is 3/8" X 24 X 1 3/16", and the overall length is 1.19".
 




Jose A.

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funny that removing the cap of the fluid reservoir before compressing the caliper piston was not mentioned?

when you compress the caliper, the fluid will rise in reverse and overflow so it is a good idea to wrap a couple rags around the reservoir too, to catch any spilled fluid.
 




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