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Old 07-07-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Sterling
Posts: 22
Braking force to hold truck still

I got my 99 ranger a few weeks ago. It is a 4.0 Litre with the 5 speed automatic and 4 wheel drive.

The one thing which I find different is that it seems to require a fair amount of pressure on the brakes to keep the truck from moving when it is in drive. On other automatic transmission vehicles I have driven it only requires a small amount of force on the pedal to keep the car from moving, or to stop when idling along.

So, is this just normal? The service records I have show new calipers and pads 2-3 years and just a few thousand miles ago, and rear brakes, and lines about a year ago . Is the torque converter engaging at a low rpm? Is something wrong with the brakes? The parking brake holds the truck very firmly.

The only other time I drove a ranger was 16 years ago when I was thinking of buying one new, but it was a stick, so I have no basis of comparison.

Thanks for any thoughts you might have.
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Old 07-07-2016
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 7,615
What is the warm engine idle RPM?

Should be 750-800rpm in gear

Torque converter is locked or unlocked, but always engaged if engine is on, if it was locked the engine would stall as you slowed and stopped.

Could be power brake booster is losing vacuum so less assist.
After shutting off the engine wait 30 seconds then press brake pedal down, and release it, you should "feel" power assist for 3 pedal pushes before vacuum reserve is gone, then pedal will get hard to push

Last edited by RonD; 07-07-2016 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 07-08-2016
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Sterling
Posts: 22
The warm engine idle is 750-800 as you describe. It seems like the behavior is more pronounced before the truck warms up. I did the booster check and had 3-4 pumps before the pedal got hard, and I could feel the "boost" come back holding the pedal down and starting the engine.
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Old 07-08-2016
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: WA
Posts: 83
Not sure if this will be helpful but I had this very same problem in my Lexus. Come to find out the rear calipers had rusted on the slide pins so only one side of the pad was contacting the rotor when braking. I replaced the rear pads and calipers and that fixed the problem.

I know the '99 Rangers don't have rear discs but perhaps only one brake shoe is contacting the drum?

Or perhaps the brake lines need flushing extremely bad? Or a rear wheel cylinder has failed after the brakes were replaced?
Or something is coating the brake shoes with grease/fluid?
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Old 07-08-2016
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 1,667
Take a look around the lines, calipers, and pistons to check for leaks. If any leaks are present, fix 'em.

I've noticed a lot of new stuff. It's possible there's some air trapped in the lines somewhere or in the calipers, which would explain why it takes so much force to brake effectively. I'd recommend going around 'em with a one man bleeder and check for air in the lines.

Of course, the braking system is only as good as the pads and rotors you have. Pop the calipers apart and pull the rear drums off, then give all the pads and shoes a quick scuffing with some sandpaper, around 500 gritt or so. That should remove any contamination or glazing if any is present. Of course, if they're worn, replace them with new pads/shoes.

Also, make sure there's no kinks in the lines either.

One last thing. Ensure the caliper guide pins are well lubricated. If they can't move easily then the calipers themselves will have a difficult time doing their job. I'd strongly recommend either silicone or a packet of the caliper guide pin grease you can find at auto parts stores, as true petroleum based grease will rot the rubber over time.
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