How do you replace front brake rotor on 2001 Ford Ranger 4x4?

First, an service manual is essential for any repair work. The dealer has them, as do Haynes and Chilton.

4x4 hubs have many different designs, all of which are jammed in one spot of my memory, so bear with me.. Designs with hubbed rotors, such as the Ranger, will require hub removal first. They require special tools, such as snap ring pliers, picks, and special sockets.

The Ranger outer hub cover, unlike most other models, will just slide off to reveal the inner. If there are any retaining washers left on the wheel studs, they must be removed first. On most models the inner hub will stay in place after the outer is removed. The inner and outer hub fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Do not force them back together.

Once you see the inner portion of the hub, you will see a snap ring on the splined axle in the center. Remove the snap ring, and pull the inner hub out. The inner hub can be held with a spring clip. The spring clip must be removed or compressed on some models with a pic before the hub will come out, depending on design. The spring clip fits in a groove on the outer splined portion of the hub.

Now you will be able to see the retainer or spindle nut(s) which require a special socket. Some retaining washers are held in by screws which must be removed to get the washer off before the nut can be seen.

The spindle nut(s) can be large hex, or round with grooves. Make sure any retaining tabs in the nut grooves, spindle groove, or on the hex flats are bent back, or removed. Retaining washers located in between the outer and inner nut will have a tab which must be bent out of the way.

Single nut spindles and some double nut spindles will have a retainer screwed to the nut, or a pin inserted into the spindle groove.

Remove outer nut, then retaining washer, if applicable, and retaining nut. The bearings and rotor should then slide off the spindle. The retaining nut sets the bearing preload, and the jam nut and/or retaining tab/washer holds it in place. The bearings do not need much preload, so obtain torque specs and instructions from your manual. On this type, there will be a very small amount of hub play when correctly assembled.

Lay all parts out in order on a clean cloth. Do one side at a time. All parts must be cleaned, inspected, and relubricated before re-assembly. Check operation of hub before driving. When locked, or auto-locking, turning the axle should turn the rotor. Otherwise the rotor should be able to spin without the axle. The rotor assembly should spin freely.

I have a 2000 Ranger Supercab 4x4 and just did this. I did buy a Haynes Manuals which is usually very good, but in this case it was not accurate.

Replacement of the the font rotors is quite simple. Remove the front wheel. Remove the two bolts that hold the disc brake caliper onto the arm/spindle. Remove the caliper.

The rotor should be free at this point to slide of the lug nuts. Replace in reverse order.

(2000.5 and up have Live axle set-ups, and this is where the clarity of the Haynes and Chilton's seems to get lost a bit, as they don't differentiate this from the older Auto/Manual hub setups. There is no engagment at the hub for 4x4, the axle shafts, diff, and front drive shaft are always connected to the front wheels and always spinning.)