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Brake issue, SAVE ME!

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 02 Oct 2014, 12:11 am
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Default Brake issue, SAVE ME!

So about 3 months ago I changed my front brake pads, and turns out I needed rotors too............


So saturday I swapped my front rotors, just like i have done a thousand times. I decided to use the 3 month old pads because well they are three months old and had zero wear.


Well after changing them all out, new anti rattle shims and the works I went to work, I noticed a burning smell within 10 miles and pulled over.

Smoke was coming from my drivers side front wheel. I figured i had just over tightened the bolts on the slides because my torque wrench is busted. So i did the normal thing and backed them out to finger tightness, then tightened them just enough so they wouldnt back out and continued on.

Car was fine for a day, Today I went to pick up a check and when I stopped the wheel was smoking again.


Took the whole wheel off, caliper off, caliper bracket and rotor and looked around. Didnt see anything off, no gouging of the rotor etc. pads look OK.

So i cleaned the slides and threw some 5th wheel grease on them , aligned everything and put it back together.


When i got home from doing that *15 mile drive* no smoke but there is still definitely a burning smell coming from the brakes on the drivers front side. and a noticeable "woosh woosh woosh" noise when i drive down the road.


I cant figure it out. Would make sense if the slides were sticking, would make sense if the pads or rotors were shot, but the pads probably have 1,000mi on them and the rotors now have about 86mi on them. The slides move freely............


So is my assumption that the only thing left as the issue is a stuck caliper piston? or are the new/used pads rubbing? or maybe when it heated the first time it warped the rotor so badly that its rubbing constantly? *also there is no shimmy in the wheel or brake pad when i brake so i dont think thats the case.



Its driving me nuts.......any ideas?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 02 Oct 2014, 01:31 am
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Location: SW PA
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pluminator View Post
So about 3 months ago I changed my front brake pads, and turns out I needed rotors too............


So saturday I swapped my front rotors, just like i have done a thousand times. I decided to use the 3 month old pads because well they are three months old and had zero wear.


Well after changing them all out, new anti rattle shims and the works I went to work, I noticed a burning smell within 10 miles and pulled over.

Smoke was coming from my drivers side front wheel. I figured i had just over tightened the bolts on the slides because my torque wrench is busted. So i did the normal thing and backed them out to finger tightness, then tightened them just enough so they wouldnt back out and continued on.

Car was fine for a day, Today I went to pick up a check and when I stopped the wheel was smoking again.


Took the whole wheel off, caliper off, caliper bracket and rotor and looked around. Didnt see anything off, no gouging of the rotor etc. pads look OK.

So i cleaned the slides and threw some 5th wheel grease on them , aligned everything and put it back together.


When i got home from doing that *15 mile drive* no smoke but there is still definitely a burning smell coming from the brakes on the drivers front side. and a noticeable "woosh woosh woosh" noise when i drive down the road.


I cant figure it out. Would make sense if the slides were sticking, would make sense if the pads or rotors were shot, but the pads probably have 1,000mi on them and the rotors now have about 86mi on them. The slides move freely............


So is my assumption that the only thing left as the issue is a stuck caliper piston? or are the new/used pads rubbing? or maybe when it heated the first time it warped the rotor so badly that its rubbing constantly? *also there is no shimmy in the wheel or brake pad when i brake so i dont think thats the case.



Its driving me nuts.......any ideas?
Your pad should slide easily on the rotor mounting groves, I've been grinding mine to fit because I feel they are too tight out of the box.

I've had the brake hose between the body and cailper go bad and do the exact thing you mention.
You can check it by having some one push on the brake while you spin the rotor, it should stop as the brake is applied and release immediately with the pedal being released.
Have the brake bleeder wrench ready, if it doesn't release open the bleeder. If it releases you can be pretty sure its the hose. If it doesn't release it will be the piston not releasing.
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Last edited by JoeX; 02 Oct 2014 at 01:40 am.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02 Oct 2014, 01:45 am
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

It might be time to invest in a hardware kit for your calipers. There are two bolts that ride in tubes that are supposed to be free. My guess is these are no longer 'floating' like they should be.

The kit comes with new bolts and the rubber bellows that cover them for not that much money.

When I had to do the ones on my HHR I had to drive the old ones out of the caliper with a drift punch, they were that rusted. I had rebuilt the front brakes just a few months earlier and they hadn't been that stiff then.
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Old 02 Oct 2014, 08:16 am
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

Sounds like the piston in the caliper is sticking, and not releasing.
Had it happen on wife's van. Brakes would be fine when cold, but after a few stops, caliper would lock. When cold, all was fine. New caliper fixed it.
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Old 02 Oct 2014, 08:27 am
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

I would suggest checking the brake fluid. If its old and dirty it might be restricting the pressure flow in the brake lines. You might have to replace the brake fluid and bleed the brakes lines.
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Old 02 Oct 2014, 09:28 am
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

IMHO DIYrs should do their own brakes!But that will never happen!

The number one incorrect action I seem to always hear about or witness is DIY home and shade tree mechanics pressing the piston back into the caliper with tools other than a correct caliper tool which is important mostly not to damage the caliper parts.

This is the big one.... forgetting or neglecting to completely and thoroughly clean the seal and piston area of ALL debris and brake dust before pushing the piston back. Without doing that simple cleaning you contaminate the caliper and the piston. This can and will cause the caliper piston not actuate smoothly and may even stick.

Also EVERY brake part needs to be cleaned before the new brakes are installed. This includes the caliper slide bolts. To many lazy people think that just adding a little grease is good enough. NOPE you need to remove the rubber boots and use bottle brushes to remove all the old dirty grease clean the holes and fasteners with brake clean and then re apply brake or high temperature grease.

The last thing which is really the first thing is to measure ALL the new brake friction parts. This is the rotor thickness and brake pad thickness to make sure that they will fit properly and not bind when they are installed.

When you finish ALL brakes should be broke in over a few miles of first easy braking and than moderate braking. This will also help you to track any trouble before it becomes a "smoking gun!

Replacing brakes is so easy to do and does not require much mechanical aptitude or experience. It does require COMMON SENSE patients and the ability to take your time and do it correctly the first time.

After all it is some of us that may suffer from someone doing their own brakes badly!

There are other steps that should be done but IMO these are the more important ones!
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Last edited by NitroPT; 02 Oct 2014 at 09:33 am.
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Old 02 Oct 2014, 09:54 am
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

When I worked in a few repair shops and later when I had my own shop I always tried to get folks to go somewhere else to have brake systems repaired.

I always cringed when a customer did manage to get me to do a repair if they would balk at getting parts like wheel cylinders. Yes, new wheel cylinders were more expensive than a cylinder rebuild kit but in my own not so humble opinion they are worth it just for the piece of mind knowing you have new ones. New ones usually work just great. Can't say that for all of the ones I rebuilt.

I would spend extra time honing used cylinders out to make sure they were smooth and not pitted, but if I wasn't satisfied with the results I would buy a new one and install it even if the customer didn't want to pay for it.

I also always replaced the bleeder screw. On a lot of the older cars I worked on the brake lines were mostly rust and I would end up replacing brake line too. You can't imagine the bitching that would bring me.
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Old 02 Oct 2014, 10:56 am
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

Nitro had it well said....It's usually the piston that get's stuck because of dirt & the likes.....it may need cleaning and bleeding of air in the process but I always leave those jobs to the expert.....don't wanna be too thrifty on the brake jobs since It may cause your life.....brake is one of the most important systems in a car......I'd rather stall than not be able to stop.....LOL!
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Old 02 Oct 2014, 11:07 am
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

I always used a large C clamp to push the pistons back into calipers with. Then I took a break job on an Audi. The piston on those calipers turn as they come out and you really do need a specialized tool that turns the piston while you push them back.

I bought the special set of tools {from Harbor Freight of course} and have only used them for that one job.

Naturally I do have them on hand now so I can use them when I want to.
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Old 02 Oct 2014, 11:22 am
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Default Re: Brake issue, SAVE ME!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KA9VQF View Post
When I worked brake s .........

.............
I would spend extra time
I don't expect everyone to keep the underside as clean but really...I have over 60k the PT is parked out side. We drive it in all seasons and occasionally on dirt and gravel roads.

Some simple green in a spray bottle a coarse nylon scrub brush and a minimal of washing can easily keep things clean in the brake area.

These are the original brake calipers never have been kitted and the second set of brake pads. The rotors were machined at the time of pad replacement. other wise that's it.

I just took these pictures as indicated by the BofA receipt from this morning.

Rear:









Front:







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