How to Change the Rotors on a 1985 Ford Bronco

Eventually brake rotors on every vehicle wear out, and the 1985 Ford Bronco is no exception to the rule. Actually, the Bronco is a large vehicle capable of towing heavy loads. Using it to its fullest capability may cause the brakes to wear out quicker than expected. Changing the brakes on the Bronco differs from changing them on a standard vehicle due to the axle hub that engages the four-wheel drive. To change the rotor you must first remove the hub, a relatively simple procedure that only adds a few extra minutes to the process of changing the rotor.

Tools Used: Tire iron, Floor jack, 2 jack stands, 7/16-inch socket, Flat head screwdriver or pry bar, Metal coat hanger or string, Adjustable wrench, Snap ring removal tool

Change the Rotors

Removing the Old Rotor

Loosen the lug nuts with a tire iron. Do not remove the lug nuts yet. Simply loosen them before lifting the wheels off the ground.

Place a floor jack under the front transmission cross member of the Bronco and jack the front end off the ground until the tires can spin freely. Place a jack stand under the frame directly behind each front wheel and lower the vehicle onto the jack stands.

Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the wheel studs.

Locate the two bolts that secure the brake caliper to the axle housing. The bolts are on the back side of the caliper. Remove the bolts with a 7/16 socket.

Wedge a flat head screwdriver or small pry bar between the outside edge of the rotor and the bottom of the brake caliper. Pry the caliper off the brake rotor by pulling upward on the screwdriver handle. The brake pads will fall out of the caliper when the caliper pops off the rotor.

Tie the brake caliper to the front spring with a piece of wire coat hanger or a strong string. Do not allow the brake caliper to hang down and put pressure on the rubber brake line.

Use a snap ring removal tool to remove the snap ring holding the hub into place. Pull the three thrust washers out of the hub and then remove the outside locking nut with an adjustable wrench. Pull out the cam assembly with your fingers and then remove the wheel bearing retaining nut with an adjustable wrench.

Pull the brake rotor off the axle.

Installing the New Rotor

Slide the new rotor onto the axle and push the wheel bearing into place.

Tighten the wheel bearing nut, push the cam assembly onto the wheel bearing nut, insert the three thrust washers and lock everything into place with the snap ring.

Place the brake pads inside of the brake caliper and slide the caliper over the brake rotor. Line up the bolt holes in the brake caliper and the axle assembly.

Secure the caliper into place with the 7/16 bolts.

Slide the wheel back onto the wheel studs. Replace the lug nuts and hand tighten.

Use the floor jack to raise the Bronco off the jack stands. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle to the floor, then remove the floor jack.

Tighten the lug nuts with the tire iron.

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