Rotor problem

myk

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I've owned my '98 GT since new with ten miles on it. Throughout the years I picked up four other cars, the last of which being my '01 Mustang GT. I've always done the brake work myself on these cars and NEVER had a problem with any of them and their brakes until I tried to change the rotors on the '01 Mustang. For the life of me, I can NOT get these things off. On my '98, the two times I've done rotors on the front they literally fell off as soon as the caliper bracket was taken off. The other cars I have, sometimes they needed a little persuasion with a hammer, and I mean a LITTLE, but they always came off easily.

I've tried the following:

-Hammering. I tried to use a deadblow and then a 2# sledge. Granted, the car is on jack stands and I'm not really able to get a good swing at the rotors but...just how much freaking force do I need? I'm guessing that if the car was up on a lift I could take really good swing at the rotors but...is all of that really necessary?

-Rust penetrants. I've been at this for days, so I've soaked the hub and the lug holes with plenty of PB blaster and WD40. Any more chemicals and the EPA is going to fine me for polluting the environment.

-Bolts from behind. I saw some videos on youtube where guys were threading in bolts from behind the caliper bracket and into the rotor, pushing them off of the hub from behind. They made it look easy on the videos, but...I chickened out because I don't like the idea of putting that kind of stress on the steering knuckle and possibly damaging it; then I'd really be screwed.

I haven't tried heat, as in a torch, because...WTF? All of the years I've worked on my cars I could literally tickle the rotors and they would come off. This '01 is driving me up the wall. At least I was able to change the pads and drive the car around. Have you guys ever run into this? Is this a "new edge" problem? Any recommendations on what I can try next would be greatly appreciated.

PS: When I first tried to take my left front wheel off I had trouble with it. I've never had a stuck wheel on a hub/rotor before, so this was a first for me and I ended up kicking the crap out of the wheel before it came off. Another first for me, working on cars...
 

lwarrior1016

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This is definitely not a new edge problem. The brake system is designed just like the 98, all the parts would swap over.

Is this a northern car? Because that surely sounds like a corrosion issue. It might very well come down to using heat to get them off, or you might end up needing new wheel hubs.

You could try running the bolts against the rotor, and use the hammer on the other side of the rotor (180° away from the bolts). The combination of the constant pressure from the bolts and the shock of the metal hammer might do it.
 

d.garza18

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Believe me I work on cars daily and I’ve had some old buckets with rotors that wouldn’t come off for the life of me. I like to soak it with penetrating fluid, and heating it up and walking it and spinning it every other hit. Just repeat those steps. It can take awhile sometimes but definitely doable. When you do get it off I’d clean the surfaces really good and a little bit of wd-40 to prevent any problems down the line
 
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myk

myk

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Thanks for the responses guys; yes I'm talking about the fronts. Do you guys think there's any chance of ruining the steering knuckles if I retry the bolt behind the rotor method? They look like they're cast iron so they would just break in half if there was too much pressure.

As for heat, what are we talking about, a small propane torch or like...a full on blow torch?

The car was sold new and lived in Arizona until I got my hands on it in san diego. Again, the other four cars have never had this problem and they're all treated the same: outdoor storage, not driven in rain, etc. Thanks again for the feedback...
 

badass98svt

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I'd just spray in the holes for the studs with PB Blaster, wait an hour or 2 and then hit it with the BFH.
 
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myk

myk

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Yeah I guess it couldn't hurt to give it another try. Thanks again...
 

NEURON

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I use a piece of 4x4 wood and a sledge on the backside of the wheel/tire. Turn smack repeat. I have seen this from corrosion and overtorquing.
 

Tim300wsm

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I had this happen on my Mazda I wound breaking the rotor off the hat with a hammer trying to break the rust free. After that it was actually easy. I used a bearing puller and popped it off
 

cryptospook

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Get a 3 jaw puller. Remove the dust cap. Cover the spindle nut hole with something you're sure won't break apart. Torque the 3 jaw puller down. Smack smack spray spray retorque. Repeat.

 

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