1997 Ford Expedition removal of front brake rotors

  • V8
  • AWD
  • 125,000 MILES
While attempting to replace the front brake rotors the rotor will not come loose from the hub. I used a large 3 arm puller to apply tension to it, struck the rotor both front and back, applied heat from acetaline torch and then hammered. Any tips on breaking it free? These rotors were replaced once before a few years ago and I recall qute a fight also. Came off in pieces with lots of hammering. Must be an easier way.
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Friday, October 15th, 2010 AT 2:09 PM

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Remove and Replace a Frozen Brake Rotor

Spray the hub of the rotor where it seams to the hub bearing and strike the plate fin of the rotor with a 2-pound sledge hammer. Strike it from behind and from the front and move the rotor by turning it to hit a different spot. This usually works as long as you're hitting it with enough force to shock it from the hub.

Light the torch and heat up the hub face, around the lug studs, and on the side of the hub of the rotor and get it very hot. Once it's heated up, turn off the torch quickly and continue to strike it with the sledge hammer. This is in some extreme cases, but continuing to do this usually works. You may have to heat the hub of the rotor a few times and continue to strike it with the hammer.

Plug in the pneumatic impact hammer with a stud removal bit to start if you still have not been able to remove the rotor. You can alter the bits around as you begin to work the rotor off. Start by impacting the flat of the hub of the rotor where it seats against the hub bearing. This will help vibrate the rust fusion apart. Next position the impact hammer so that it's contacting the inside plate fin of the rotor and pushing it outward. Again, turn the rotor to alternate the position. This is the last straw kind of step, but will work as long as you remain diligent. Caution needs to be applied on this procedure so you do not incur damage to the hub bearing beneath the rotor.

Since the rotor was "frozen" to the hub, clean the face of the hub and the edges where the replacement rotor will sit. Use a medium-grade sandpaper, or better yet, a pneumatic die grinder and a coarse sanding disk. Clean it thoroughly. Apply a light coat of a high temperature anti-seize lubricant on the seam of the hub bearing where the hub of the rotor will sit over and along the edge of the hub bearing which will be seated against the inside hub plate of the rotor. This is where the rust and fusion generally occur, and this lubricant will help future extractions of the rotor so such measures will not have to take place.
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Friday, October 15th, 2010 AT 2:13 PM

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