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Front Rotor Replacement

Thanks to Al Primm and Jim Heaton for text and Scott Waters for photos:

You need  a couple of wrenchs, a big hammer, and a light.. I think they are 10mm and 14mm wrenches.

NOTE:  The rotors are actually matched to the wheel. It matters which stud goes through which hole.  Suggested technique is to turn the rotors on the car.  If you do them yourself, get each rotor back on the same wheel, with a locating mark on the rotor hole and wheel stud the keep them lined up.

Is this what your brakes look like?




Step 1: Jack car.
Step 2: Remove tire.

Step 3: Remove caliper (10mm wrench) and tie out of the way.

Step 4: Remove caliper bracket (14mm wrench)
Step 5:
Since the brackets are off, lubricate caliper slide pins!
Step 6: Beat rotor with hammer until it loosens enough to slide off of the hub and lugs. 

*If these are OEM rotors, there should be two threaded holes, next to two of the studs.  Find a bolt that will thread into the holes until it stops.  Use a ratchet and give the bolt a few turns.  The rotor should pop right off.

Note in the photo at the top of this pate that the replacement rotor on the left does not have these holes, so you may be SOL the next time.

Step 7: Use a c-clamp to press the piston back into the caliper body.  This may take some brute force.  If you are having trouble driving the piston back in loosen the bleeder valve to reduce the hydraulic pressure.  You can always bleed the brakes after everything is reinstalled.

Step 8: Install new Rotor and use a lug nut to snug it down so that you can reinstall the caliper and pads without having to hold five things at once!

Step 9: Put everything back like you found it.

Mine were pretty well rusted on, at 54K miles.  at 22K they my come off easier. I was in Green Bay/now Boston, so had alot of corrosion.

Install is the reverse.  1 hour both sides IF the rotors are trouble.  I found my rotors (96 Mark) at the local NAPA dealer.

This job is worth three wrenches and two band aids.  Suitable for the marginally mechanically inclined.

Happy wrenching...

When you're all done it should look like this...


Editors Note:  Rotors can be found at most automotive parts stores now.  Many folks have written in and said that the new Raybestos Brute Stop and Premium pads are a real God-send.


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