Just bought a Level II - and already have problems!!! - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 09-20-2007
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Icon4 Just bought a Level II - and already have problems!!!

Hey all, I've been lurking on the forums for awhile trying to get a feel for these vehicles. I recently purchased an '04 Level II Ranger, but I've ran into several problems so far (got raped by a dealership and nothing was fixed, but that's a different story).

The main problem I have is that the rear brakes lock up under sudden stops. I have no ABS light warning and a brake shop and Pep Boys say that it's a problem with the ABS or the master cylinder. They found no sign of leakage or anything, but I was wondering if you guys knew of a way to discriminate between the master cylinder malfunctioning and the ABS/electrical proportioning system.

Basically, their advice was to bleed the brake system ($49), then replace the master cylinder ($???), then the ABS module if that doesn't fix it. I purchased an extended warranty which should cover the last two, but not both at once (unless it can be proven they were both malfunctioning).

This thing is getting unsafe to drive (not to mention the synchros giving me heartburn as well). I hope I didn't buy a lemon...

Thanks for any help!
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Old 09-20-2007
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WOOHOO! FINALLY!!!

not to sound like a ahole, but my truck had the EXACT same problem. and all it had was 5,000 miles on it.... sudden stop in the rain = hard locking of rear wheels. Dealer fixed this by replacing all the innards of my driverside rear drum. However, truck has never stopped since then, and ABS has been a phuckin nightmare in anything but dry pavement.

Many on these forums veiw these trucks ABS system adequate. However, there are a handful of us who do NOT think the ABS in our trucks is even safe, let alone adequate. Put simply, if ur in a wet slippery situation, and u jam on the breaks with ABS, its pure skill on your part if you avoid an accident.

anyways, it could also be your tires, when kinda tires are on it, and how many miles it got, and wtf are the pics?!

edit: oh ya, and dont trust pep boys, go to a real mechanics shop. no national chain.... or go to another dealer and ask them to look at it
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Old 09-20-2007
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Here's of pic:



The tires are essentially new and are M&S tread 31"X10.5"R15's. It has just under 60k on the odometer.

I took it to Pep Boys and they said it was either the Master or the ABS - no charge and recommended I take it to a dealer.

I take it to Rich Ford (which sucks big time) and also mention to them that I think my synchros are bad (notchy, hard to shift). They replace my slave cylinder which doesn't fix the problem (I pay $100 deductible) and "inspect" my brake system telling me I am down to 40% on the pads (I pay $89 for brake inspection fee!!!!!) They say that they can't properly diagnose my brake problem until I have my drums machined and brakes adjusted - they want $180 for that crap! I say go to hell and save myself $100 (or get raped $89)!

Then I take it to Brake Masters and they tell me it's either the master or the ABS/proportioning system. No charge.

I'm definitely writing a letter to the Dealership stating how badly they plugged me and how I'm getting ready to pull the trigger on a new Mustang at their rival dealership. Bastards!

/Rant
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Old 09-20-2007
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Just to make sure, does the ABS light in the cluster come on for a few seconds when you key up the ignition? If not, it's possible that the light and the ABS itself could have been disabled.

On the other hand, if the light comes on during the self check and goes out in a few seconds, then the ABS is functioning. Assuming that it does, then I suspect that your problem lies in the mechanical parts of the rear brakes, not the ABS. The ABS does not apply the brakes, the driver does. The ABS can only reduce the line pressure when it senses impending lockup. Since it seems completely unable to prevent the lockup by reducing the pressure, it would seem that the problem is in the brakes themselves, not the ABS.
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Old 09-20-2007
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Well, the brake guys seem to think that it's a hydraulic issue, not a mechanical issue at the rears. I'll double check, but I do remember seeing the ABS light come on at startup.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 09-20-2007
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Fords are known for having grabby brakes in the rain. humidy gets in there
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Old 09-20-2007
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This happens on dry pavement. I live in NM, so humidity is not an issue.

Anytime the shop guys get in the truck, the first thing that happens when pulling out of the parking lot is they lock 'em up. I'm telling you, these things are basically full lock or full open. Very annoying and dangerous to boot.
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Old 09-20-2007
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Sorry a little off topic...What push bar is that if anyone knows?? Is it a Go Rhino 3000? I've been searching for a long time...:(
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Old 09-20-2007
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well can you go to the dealership where youre thinking of buying the mustang? also see if you can get hold of a regional service guy who works for Ford threaten him that youre going to buy a toyota or something foreign that gets their attention
but nice pic of your truck
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Old 09-20-2007
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Also check your rear drums. My rear drums were locking up when my star adjuster wheel broke and lodged itself in the pads. It felt normal-ish except when braking.

But tell them you want them you are going to complain to ford blah blah they should stop draining your money.
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Interceptor944
Sorry a little off topic...What push bar is that if anyone knows?? Is it a Go Rhino 3000? I've been searching for a long time...:(
It is a Go Rhino, not sure of the model. I bought it this way, so I'm no help here...

I guess I'll have to go to one of the other stealerships in town...
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2007
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I'm also bs-ing about the Mustang, just figured feeding them a lie would get their attention. I'm actually waiting on my engine to come back from the machine shop - I just bought a 1998 Cobra with Kenne Bell supercharger, fresh engine with built internals, viper spec T-56 and tons of Steeda components. Can't friggin wait!
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2007
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I would blame the rear brakes. I had an 85 Dodge Ram, and the rear brakes (one or both) would lock up under medium braking or heavier braking, even on dry pavement. If it had rained or whatever, the rear brakes would lock up if you just barely touched them until after the first little bit they were used. I came to the conclusion that it was posibly the porportioning valve that could have been adjusted to fix the problem. Keep in mind, it didn't come with ABS.

I think the ABS on my ranger is great.
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2007
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My ranger doesn't do that, but my Bronco does that BAD. Though when it does, if I let them lock up hard, they won't do it again until its parked.
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  #15  
Old 09-21-2007
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All right, try this.

Drive in a parking lot ~20 mph and gradually apply the parking brake. You can feel smooth or grabby rears that way. Do this 3-4 times with varying pressures and stay ON the gas once or twice. Describe the result.

After doing all that, try the normal brakes, repeatedly. If they improved, you had rusty drums and scraped some off. Your rears may need adjusted/replaced/at least LOOKED at with the drums off. Your $89 brake inspection SHOULD have covered that. It also should have judged how well they are adjusted.

I also wouldn't rule out the VSS on top of the rear axle. IF you don't find a mechanical problem, I'd replace that VSS, just cause it's cheap, easy, and it "could" be the culprit. I'm more confident there is a rear shoe issue tho', especially if the brake tech didn't pull the drums off. You never know unless you watch them work.
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  #16  
Old 09-21-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl43P
All right, try this.

Drive in a parking lot ~20 mph and gradually apply the parking brake. You can feel smooth or grabby rears that way. Do this 3-4 times with varying pressures and stay ON the gas once or twice. Describe the result.

After doing all that, try the normal brakes, repeatedly. If they improved, you had rusty drums and scraped some off. Your rears may need adjusted/replaced/at least LOOKED at with the drums off. Your $89 brake inspection SHOULD have covered that. It also should have judged how well they are adjusted.

I also wouldn't rule out the VSS on top of the rear axle. IF you don't find a mechanical problem, I'd replace that VSS, just cause it's cheap, easy, and it "could" be the culprit. I'm more confident there is a rear shoe issue tho', especially if the brake tech didn't pull the drums off. You never know unless you watch them work.
Thanks for the info. I'll give this a try later today.
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Old 09-21-2007
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my vote is the rear drums as well.
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  #18  
Old 09-23-2007
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ya its possible they put the shoes on inccorectly,or the drums have a large lip causeing the side to grab and apply the brakes or even brken adjuster/spring but an inspection and adjustemnt would have found this.. not to mention that if its "cirtified" and you just bought it then its thier problem it should have some kind of cirtification guarentee.. you can request or you should have the inspection sheet. check it out and compare the shoe thiknesses if thier off alot they ddint even inspect them and then youll have them by the... shoes ahah

and i belive that the newer abs systems Do apply the brakes at least it looks like my truck has a pump on it (2006 fx4) and does the abs activate when the wheels lock up?? if you dont know what it feels like its like this.. youll hear a noise and the pedal will go down

JOSH
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  #19  
Old 09-24-2007
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my old 88 ranger stx 4x4 always locked up in the rain when i had it. i think by pushing the parking brake down to hard it bent the spacer between the 2 shoes out back. i never did replace it but my friend who who worked for a garage bent it back to shape. i would replace all rear brake parts and cut the drums to see it that helps. mine would skid all the time and people thought i was driving to fast.
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  #20  
Old 09-25-2007
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also rich ford sucks
u might wanna try bob turner. I had or still have the syncro problem when shifting to second or third unless i really rev itthe dealer has had my tranny out 3 times and had to replace parts.
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