How to Remove Brake Rotors on a 4WD Fordby Eli Laurens
Most four wheel drive Ford products use a disk braking system, which includes a rotor, caliper and pads. These parts are considered routine maintenance items, and can be removed and replaced when worn. The rotor is a spinning friction surface that can be resurfaced until it is too thin to be considered safe. The average backyard mechanic can remove the brake rotors from a 4x4 Ford in about thirty minutes per rotor.
Lift the Ford with a floor jack and place the front frame rail on one or more jack stands; the brakes can be removed one at a time, or both at the same time with the front end lifted securely.
Remove the wheel and tire by turning the lug nuts counterclockwise with a lug wrench. Pull the wheel from the lug bolts and set it aside. Inspect the brakes for obvious damage to the friction surfaces. Unplug the ABS sensor from the wiring harness at the caliper socket.
Remove the caliper by turning the rear twin mount bolts in a counterclockwise direction. Some models may have Torx bolts, or a bolt that requires a special socket adapter. Once free from the mount, the caliper and pads will slide off of the rotor. Remove the pads and set the caliper onto a control arm, or tie it up so that the brake lines do not support the full weight of the caliper.
Remove the rotor by turning the spindle nut counterclockwise with the adjustable wrench. Then pull the rotor from the hub assembly. Some models could have cotter pins, or secondary nuts in the center of the rotor. With the spindle nut removed, the rotor comes free easily.
- Replace the rotor instead of resurfacing if the model contains internal wheel bearings.
Things You'll Need
- Socket set
- Adjustable wrench
- Floor jack
- Jack stand
- Lug wrench
- Use extreme caution when working underneath a lifted vehicle.
Eli Laurens is a ninth-grade physics teacher as well as a computer programmer and writer. He studied electrical engineering and architecture at Southern Polytechnic University in Marietta, Ga., and now lives in Colorado.