How to Replace Brake Rotors in a Ford Aerostarby Chris Moore
The brake rotors on an old Ford Aerostar van, which the brake calipers and pads press against, must have a smooth finish to work properly. If a brake rotor on the van has any deep grooves from worn out brakes and can't be refinished any lower, the rotor needs to be replaced. A rotor has the caliper mounted on it and the wheel in front of it, requiring you to remove both before removing and replacing the rotor.
Raise and support the van's front end on jackstands. Remove the wheel from the rotor; loosening the lug nuts before raising the vehicle will make the wheel easier to remove. Siphon out part of the brake fluid from the master cylinder.
Disconnect and remove the brake caliper from the rotor. Compress the caliper piston into its bore with a C-clamp, then drive the caliper pins out with a hammer and caliper pin removal tool, starting with the upper pin. Remove the caliper and hang it somewhere secure from a strong wire--don't hang it by the brake hose.
Remove the cap in the center of the rotor hub with locking pliers. Remove the cotter pin from the spindle with large tweezers, pull out the castellated retainer and retaining nut, pry out the flat washer with a hooked tool and remove the outer hub bearings.
Pull the rotor off of the spindle, making sure you don't slide the inner bearings across the spindle threads.
Place the new hub and rotor on the spindle, keeping it centered on the spindle so you won't damage the spindle threads or retainer. Replace the washer and retaining nut, making sure the nut is tight enough to secure the rotor while still allowing it to spin, then replace the retainer, cotter pin and cap.
Reconnect the caliper to the rotor, wiping away any dirt on the mounting surfaces first. Use new caliper pins, positioning each pin between the caliper and spindle grooves and tapping them inward with a hammer until the pin's retention tabs touch the spindle face. Start with the upper pin.
Reinstall the wheel to the van, tightening the lug nuts to between 85 and 115 foot-pounds. Lower the van, fill the brake master cylinder if needed and test the brakes for proper operation.
- Chilton Ford Aerostar Repair Manual; 1997
Things You'll Need
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Caliper pin removal tool
- Locking pliers
- Hooked tool
Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.