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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 03-13-2009
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Brakes Suck

My brakes have sucked ever since I got my truck. I disconnected my ABS because it had a serious problem, and I don't have money to fix that (I'm assuming its fairly expensive for anything abs related). So the problem is, my brakes are not very good. Compared to my dads F150, my moms KIA Sorento (spelling?) and possibly even my buddies Jeep with 33's and steal wheels, my brakes just don't seem to be working properly. My pedal will travel almost all the way down without much brake response, until they lock. Its not hard to lock them, but there's a lot of pedal travel without much response. It seems like there's not much brake increase the farther i push the pedal down, until the point that it locks up. So I'm not to sure what to look for here. Any suggestions of what to do first? Now I've never driven another ranger, so I'm not sure what the brakes feel like on others, but every other vehicle I've driven has had a stiffer peddle. My brake pedal will travel down with very little resistance.

Also, usually in the mornings, my brakes are very touchy. At very low speeds, such as moving vehicles around in my driveway, with very little braking (because I'm moving at little over an idle) my brakes will lock up, after just touching the brakes. Not sure what it could be.

One last thing, there's a metal on metal sound, coming from the rear (i think) usually when i turn. Going to take the rear drums off soon and check it out. But I figured this problem is from the front. Anyway any help would be great...thanks guys.

Last edited by Ranger928; 03-13-2009 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 03-13-2009
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Bleed the system. Its cheap and it might fix everything. If not then maybe the master cylinder is going out.
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Old 03-13-2009
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ABS sensors aren't that much money...could be your little abs issue.


like Christian said, bleed the entire system. If that don't do it, start looking at a master cylinder. Has your front end ever been gone through?


Of course your dad's fiddy is better and the kia...those have discs in the back!
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Old 03-13-2009
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Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
ABS sensors aren't that much money...could be your little abs issue.
Well yes they will be since he has a 4wd. The sensors and wheel bearings are one piece. You're slipping Shane.
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Old 03-14-2009
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I noticed when its misty outside my breaks are touchy on start up in fact the other day i about threw my self through the windshield had i not put my seat belt on lol
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Old 03-14-2009
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Brakes are rangers seem to be less than adequate, but it sounds like you have a problem. I would first check for leaks in the system.(wheel cylinders, calipers, lines, and the master cylinder.) If no leaks are found I would pull the rear wheels and adjust the rear brake shoes if they need it. Then check the fluid in the master and make sure it is the correct level. When you push the pedal down or pump it with the engine off the pedal should get very hard. When it is running it should not go to the floor. If you pump it when it is running are it stiffens up you may have an internal leak in the master cylinder. I would start there for now and see what you find. I hope this helps you out.
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Old 03-14-2009
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I noticed that my brakes were also kinda crappy and several people suggested that i go in reverse at about 15 mph and slam on the brakes several times to reset the rear drum brakes. Surprisingly i noticed a difference, i could feel that my rear brakes were more effective than before. Also, I notice that when my brakes get wet and then they dry, they are very touchy.
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Old 03-14-2009
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Well yes they will be since he has a 4wd. The sensors and wheel bearings are one piece. You're slipping Shane.
the sensor unbolts from the knuckle... it goes into a hole on the knuckle...having done 3 superlifts, I'm familiar with that little bastard thats held in with a tiny az 8mm screw. lol.
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Old 03-14-2009
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I noticed that my brakes were also kinda crappy and several people suggested that i go in reverse at about 15 mph and slam on the brakes several times to reset the rear drum brakes. Surprisingly i noticed a difference, i could feel that my rear brakes were more effective than before. Also, I notice that when my brakes get wet and then they dry, they are very touchy.
That's exactly how I adjust my rear shoes.....reverse at speed then slam on brakes. Cycle that a few times and your rear shoes are set.
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Old 03-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
the sensor unbolts from the knuckle... it goes into a hole on the knuckle...having done 3 superlifts, I'm familiar with that little bastard thats held in with a tiny az 8mm screw. lol.
i broke that screw lol
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Old 03-17-2009
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I found out what that metal on metal sound was. The bottom spring in the brakes was broken. I guess it was lodged somewhere and dragging on the drum. So i bought a spring kit and replaced everything on both sides. Also, in a previous thread I mentioned my park brake seizing. I broke it loose that time (passenger side), so while the drums were off i tried to figure out what was stuck. Couldn't fix it, and I couldn't get it to release (and therefor couldn't get the drum back on). So i ended up just taking the cable right out of the one side. Pulled it right out of the drum and right now its zap strapped along the inside of my frame. I'm not sure if the other side is working properly or not, but it released this time, and I wasn't going to try again and have to do the same thing.

My brakes also seem to work a little better. I think because the park brake was seized a bit it was constantly dragging. Which was pulling me to the right. Also I don't think the other side was engaging properly because the spring was broken, and therefore the truck was braking more on the right side. I've only taken a short trip home from where i was working on it, but so far it seems to be working better.
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