R&R front brake pads, now I have less braking power AND rear wheel(s) lockup easy - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-18-2011
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R&R front brake pads, now I have less braking power AND rear wheel(s) lockup easy

I posted about this in the other thread that gives the how-to on changing the front brake pads, but I don't think anybody saw it because it was an old thread. Hope it's ok to post it again here in a new thread....

Ok, so I changed the front brake pads on the ranger, a 2000 3.0 2wd model. The old pads were screeeetching when stopping, so I knew it was time, however the truck did seem to stop fine before. Easy process, have changed brakes on my f150 couple times so I knew the process. The only thing I did differently was I didn't open the bleeder when I compressed the pistons, but according to that how-to thread, that is an OK thing to do.

Now... I've driven it to town a couple times, and it seems like the front wheels aren't getting any braking assistance (or not as much as usual) and the rear brakes are doing most of the work. When I go out and drive the truck at first, if I lightly tap the brakes, the rear wheel(s?) will lockup just for a second. No rain around here lately, drought in Louisiana, so the pads were dry I'm sure.

Another thing, when I get back home from a 20mi trip, the front rims are VERY hot, hot enough that I can't leave my hand on for more than a couple seconds.

The pedal isn't spongy at all, but I did take the tires back off and bleed both front brakes some, didn't see any air so figure that's not the problem.

I wonder if it could be the calipers? Could both go out at one time, or maybe just one is out? I can say that when I suddenly jam on the brakes, the truck does try to go to the right side a little and I have to catch it and steer left just a little to keep straight.

I feel like this is gonna cause me to have a wreck cuz I can't stop fast enough like it should. Any ideas what I should check? Are there ways to check the calipers?

Thanks for any help..
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Old 08-18-2011
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After the new pads were installed, were the calipers easy to slide over the rotors? Only way I can foresee the front getting hot is if the pads were either too tight (i.e. the caliper went bad and won't release far enough for new pads) or if the piston for some reason got extended to far.

Seems odd that you can get the rears to lock up at all. That doesn't seem like an issue with the front calipers but something with the lines maybe. Have you tried bleeding all 4 lines (doing the whole start furthest away from master cylinder).

I've never seen my front wheels get hot. Had my back wheel get hot when my e-brake got stuck on once.
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Old 08-18-2011
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After installing the pads, I used a big C-clamp to compress the caliper pistons back into the caliper. I had to compress them back in nearly all the way until they were nearly flush with the rest of the caliper so that they would fit over the new pads. The pistons seemed to go back in with the clamp pretty easily. I had to keep an eye on the fluid bottle as it raised quite a bit cuz the pads were so worn down and somebody apparently had been adding fluid to keep it topped off. I had to take out quite a bit of fluid after compressing both front tire calipers.

I haven't tried to bleed the rear tires at all. I suppose tomorrow I'll go out there and start at the farthest and work up to the front drivers tire.

I thought it was weird for the wheels to be that hot. Even in this hot louisiana weather, the front tires are way hotter than the rear, which aren't really hot at all.

Thanks for the reply.. gotta get this figured out somehow!
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Old 08-19-2011
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Update:

Ok so before I did anything else on these brakes, I lifted the entire rear end up on jacks and cranked up the truck and put it into gear with my foot on the brake pedal. As I slowly lifted my foot off the pedal, the left rear tire would slowly start to spin while the passenger side tire was still. As I continued to lift the brake pedal, the right tire would start to spin and the left tire would slow down, and when I let off the brakes all the way, the right tire was spinning and the left was still.

Ok, so then as I started to apply the brakes again, slowly, all of a sudden, the passenger rear tire would BAM and lockup real fast, as if the brake was engaging all of a sudden with all of the pressure from the pedal in one quick action.

I also noticed that with the rear end lifted up and tranny in neutral, I could spin the rear tires, but they were hard to spin. So I pulled the pass. rear tire and drum, then the driver rear tire would spin much better. So anyways, I just barely adjusted the nut (star nut?) on the pass. brake assembly until it would spin freely. Put it all back together, and that tire doesn't lockup any more, and this seems to have fixed the problem with little braking power and with the truck steering to the side while braking. I don't know if this is a permanent fix or if it will come back.

Any reason why that brake would have been locking up like that? The whole assembly inside the drums was nasty looking, needed a good cleaning but I didn't have any brake cleaner, so maybe another time. Maybe it just wasn't releasing cuz of all the dirt and rust in there?
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Old 08-19-2011
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nasty like how? it wasnt wet inside the drum was it? May be a good time to throw 20 bucks and replace the springs.
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Old 08-19-2011
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What kind of front pads did you buy?
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