How to Change the Brake Rotors on a Ford Windstarby Jody L. Campbell
Brake rotors are a key component to the braking system of any vehicle. If you're feeling a vibration when braking under duress, chances are you're experiencing a brake pulsation--which is most likely due to warped rotors. Rotors become warped or out of round by heating and cooling down in a unnatural time frame. This can be due to low friction material left on the pads or having heated up brakes and going through a deep, cold puddle. You can try to have the rotors machined, but the cost of replacing the rotors is fairly inexpensive now and can be done in your own yard with the proper tools.
Park the vehicle on a flat, level, paved or concrete surface. Apply the parking brake. Release the hood latch and lift the hood.
Place the wheel check behind one or both rear tires. Crack the lug nuts loose on the tire you're starting with first. Do not remove them.
Lift the vehicle with the floor jack and place the jack stand in a secure and safe location to support the weight of the vehicle. Remove loosened lug nuts and remove the tire.
Remove caliper bolts using a 3/8-inch ratchet and appropriate sized socket. Place the caliper up on the knuckle. Don't allow it to dangle on the brake hose.
Remove the caliper bridge bolts using a 1/2-inch breaking bar and appropriate sized socket.
Remove the rotor. If the rotor does not loosen from the hub when you remove the caliper bridge, you may have to hammer it from the front and rear, being careful not to hit the fender.
Clean the hub with a medium-grade sandpaper as best you can and apply a light coat of high-temp, anti-seize lubricant along the edge.
Clean the new rotor with the canned brake clean and wipe it dry with a shop rag. Be liberal and clean the new rotor inside and out. Place it on the hub.
Reinstall the caliper bridge with pads still loaded in them, and tighten bridge bolts with a 1/2-inch drive breaking bar and socket.
Press the caliper piston in, using a large set of channel locks or C-clamp. Reinstall the caliper and tighten caliper bolts with a 3/8-inch drive ratchet and socket.
Replace the tire and tighten lug nuts as tight as you can, with the wheel elevated.
Lower the vehicle and tighten lug nuts with a 1/2-inch drive adjustable torque wrench and appropriate socket to 100 foot lbs.
Repeat the procedure for the other side.
Pump the foot brake pedal until it feels normal to reapply hydraulic pressure to caliper pistons. Check and adjust the level of brake fluid in the master cylinder. Close the hood.
Remove the wheel chock. Release the parking brake. Test drive.
Things You'll Need
- Floor jack Jack stand Wheel chock 1/2-inch drive breaking bar 1/2-inch drive deep socket set 3/8-inch drive ratchet 3/8-inch drive socket set. Hammer Medium-grade sandpaper High-temp, anti-seize lubricant Canned brake clean Shop rag Large set of channel locks or C-clamp Adjustable 1/2-inch drive torque wrench
Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.