The Ford Explorer Sport Trac was a four-door truck with a short pickup bed on the rear. The 2003 Explorer Sport Trac was available in two- and four-wheel-drive packages. The 2003 Sport Trac featured a 215-horsepower 4.0-liter V-6 engine. The rear rotors on the 2003 Sport Trac are held in place by the rotor. There is no bulky mounting bracket to remove. The insides of the rotors house the parking brake shoes, which makes removal of the rotors somewhat difficult if the shoes are over-adjusted.
Open the hood of the Sport Trac and check the brake fluid level in the reservoir. Remove fluid in the reservoir with a bottle siphon, until the fluid is down about a half inch below the "Full" mark.2
Loosen the rear lug nuts on the truck, with a tire iron. Raise the rear of the truck with a jack. Place jack stands beneath both ends of the axle housing, about 4 inches inward from the rear wheels. Set the Sport Trac down on the jack stands. Remove the rear lug nuts, then remove the rear wheels from the truck.3
Remove the caliper mounting bolts from one side of the Sport Trac, with a ratchet and a Torx socket. Remove the caliper from the brake assembly, using a pry bar if needed. Hang the caliper from the rear coil spring, with a metal coat hanger or rod.4
Remove the outboard brake pad from the caliper, using a flat-head screwdriver to pry the tabs on the pad free from the caliper. Install a C-clamp around the inboard pad and the rear of the caliper. Tighten the C-clamp to compress the caliper piston completely into the caliper. Remove the C-clamp and the brake pad when you are finished. Pry the brake pad free of the inside of the caliper piston if needed.5
Remove the old brake rotor by hand. If the rotor is stuck, remove the oval-shaped rubber stopper on the brake backing plate, from behind the brake assembly. Insert a flat-head screwdriver and push the adjuster wheel upward to loosen the parking brake shoes, from inside the rear rotor. Tap the raised face of the rotor to the left and right (facing the rotor), lightly with a hammer, to help push the parking brake shoes and linings inward to release the rotor.6
Coat the hub face that mates to the back of the rotor thoroughly with caliper grease. This will prevent the rotor from seizing onto the hub face due to corrosion. Inspect the parking brake shoe linings. The shoes are not that thick to begin with, but if they are worn down to the metal backings, they definitely need to be replaced. Parking brake shoes wear differently, depending on how you use the brake and how often.7
Install the new brake rotor onto the hub by hand. Turn a single lug nut onto one of the studs, until it butts against the face of the new rotor. This will hold the rotor in place for the rest of the installation process. Spray the entire inboard and outboard faces of the rotor with aerosol brake cleaner. Remove all of the anti-rust oil from the brake rotor factory. Remove any oily fingerprints you may have put on the rotor as well.8
Coat a new inboard brake pad with a light coating of caliper grease. Install the new brake pad inside the caliper piston hole. The three prongs in a triangular pattern on the inboard pad will grab the caliper piston. Use a flat-head screwdriver to gently pry the pad completely into the piston hole if needed. Install the outboard pad by pushing it onto the caliper, then use a flat-head screwdriver to adjust the pad tabs into the indents on the caliper body.9
Unhook the brake caliper from the coil spring and place the caliper back onto the brake assembly. Install a half-inch female to 3/8-inch male adapter onto your torque wrench, then install the Torx bit onto the adapter. Tighten the caliper mounting bolts to 24 foot-pounds with a half-inch-drive torque wrench and socket. Replace the rubber stopper on the backing plate. Remove the single lug nut from the front of the rotor.10
Repeat Steps 3 through 9 to complete the rotor replacement on the second side of the Sport Trac.11
Raise the Sport Trac off of the jack stands, then remove the stands from beneath the truck. Lower the Sport Trac to the ground. Torque the rear wheels to 100 foot-pounds of torque with your torque wrench and a wheel nut socket. Check your brake fluid level under the hood, and add fluid until the level reaches the "Full" mark on the reservoir. Install and tighten the reservoir cap.12
Sit in the driver's seat of the Explorer, and pump the brake pedal about 10 to 15 times slowly. If the brake pedal does not stiffen after about five pumps, and the pedal extends near or all the way to the floor, stop pumping. Check the brake lines for leaks. If no leak exists, then proceed to bleeding the brake system.