1994 Ford Explorer Brake Job

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  #1  
Old 07-27-06, 07:39 AM
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1994 Ford Explorer Brake Job

I took my 1994 in for the annual state inspection and was told I need a $650 brake job. I was told the front discs need replacing, and the rear drums are not very far behind. Is this a job I can handle myself? If so, where do I start to get the info and tools necessary?
Thanks, in advance.
 
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Old 07-27-06, 08:42 AM
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The job is mainly nuts and bolts. I suggest you search the internet for info on doing brake jobs. Perhaps a Chilton manual for your vehicle would help.

You didn't mention your expertise or comfort level working with cars. You could seriously hurt yourself working on a car, or if the job isn't done right.
 
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Old 07-27-06, 08:47 AM
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The front brakes you can get a monkey at a pet store to do they are so easy. The rear drums are much more complex. there is 4 bolts for the front caliper, then you use the old brake pad squeeze it with a c-clamp to press the pistons back in, grease the sliding pins and braket slides and your done
 
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Old 07-27-06, 11:43 AM
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Wow - $650 sounds really high for just replacing pads. Like snuckers99 said - the front brakes are a piece of cake but the rear drums can be tricky because you have to mess with brake springs and other hardware.
Are you sure that this quote was just for pads? Because for $650 I would expect a COMPLETE overhaul (new rotors, pistons, etc). There's a chain down here called Just Brakes that does everything (including machining) for $99.
 
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Old 07-28-06, 03:42 AM
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$650 was for a complete brake job, but I had a complete job (front and rear) done only 19K miles ago.
 
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Old 07-28-06, 05:53 AM
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What do you mean by complete? What was done 19K ago?... new pads/shoes?.. calipers/wheel cylinders?.. rotors/drums?
 
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Old 07-28-06, 06:11 AM
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The car failed VA State Inspection for the following reason, quote, "Rejected for front brake pads and rotors, recommend rear shoes and a brake flush."

19K miles ago, my invoice from the service station of a friend says quote, "Front brake service: Replace Brake Pads, Resurface Rotors...Rear Brake Service: R&R both rear wheel cylinder"

In addition, the replaced parts include "Rear Brake Shoes"

What do you think?
 
  #8  
Old 07-28-06, 06:29 AM
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It is entirely possible to wear out a set of brake pads in 19,000 miles depending on two factors: the quality of the brake pad that was installed and how you drive. If you don't feel good about their diagnosis...take it to another shop and ask for a free brake inspection. Most shops will do this for free. Or, take off you own wheel and look and see how much pad you have left.

The brake rotor may appear fine but in fact may be too thin..the technical term is "below minimum machining" or "at discard". This is also entirely possible since the last time you had brakes they turned the rotors (machined them and made them thinner.

They are only recommending rear brakes...you may not quite need them yet. It may have just been one of those convenience repairs - you're here, you're car's here getting front brakes, you're close to needing rear brakes so now would be a convenient time to fix both type thing.

Assuming you have four-wheel drive and ABS, the price is not too far off. I would have charged around $550 and I'm pretty cheap for the area I'm in. Those rotors run about $85 a piece, good quality semi-metallic (OEM) front pads around $85, rear shoes around $45, and around 2.8 hours labor. Labor is intensive because your wheel bearings have to be removed, cleaned and repacked on the front.

If you don't have any experience w/ brakes at all...I would suggest you go ahead and let a shop do your front brakes and rotors...and just wait on rear if money is an issue. Just plan on replacing rear in the not too distant future.
 
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Old 07-28-06, 06:42 AM
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They test the boiling point of your brake fluid, I thought I was the only one that did that stuff, thats a $300 device to do that.

I wonder if they mic your rotors and drums to. How do they do the inspection, I am unfamiliar with state safety inspections. I wish Illinois had those, there is a lot of cars in Illinois on the road that aren't even S**T legal. Those cars scare me more than speeders.

Are your brakes on the squeel sensor I call it. The thing that scrapes the rotor when your pads are completely worn. If they don't mic the rotors pad slap the front.
 
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Old 07-28-06, 07:30 AM
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I agree with davzack. From what you tells us it is entirely possible you may need everything sans rear wheel cylinders.

It is not unusual for a brake shop to do everything under the sun. This prevents repeat visits by the customer who just had new pads put on, and may in the near future need new rotors or calipers. That way the customer doesn't need to attend to his brakes for a long while. Shops (and customers) hate revisits for the same job.

One car I take care of averages 20K for front pads. The hardware is in good shape. At 170K this car is on its 8th set of pads!
 
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Old 07-28-06, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by snuckers99
The front brakes you can get a monkey at a pet store to do they are so easy.
LOL...well..at least grinning.
 
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Old 07-28-06, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by snuckers99
They test the boiling point of your brake fluid, I thought I was the only one that did that stuff, thats a $300 device to do that.

I wonder if they mic your rotors and drums to. How do they do the inspection, I am unfamiliar with state safety inspections. I wish Illinois had those, there is a lot of cars in Illinois on the road that aren't even S**T legal. Those cars scare me more than speeders.

Are your brakes on the squeel sensor I call it. The thing that scrapes the rotor when your pads are completely worn. If they don't mic the rotors pad slap the front.
Northern cars can literally fall apart on the road and come head on at you...for real! And *I* was guilty of this with my Dodge 600 when the front end rusted off and and snapped apart on me at about 45 mph on the highway. Another guys rear axle and wheels fell off and he went down the road on his rear seat and maybe his gas tank, until it hit the bridge.
 
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