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Old 08-20-2014
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Trouble with brakes

Hi everyone, I really needs some help. I don't know Fords too much, and know even less about ABS, so I don't have a clue what to do. This is actually my wife's truck, it is a 98 4x2. Intermittently, when braking, there is a "vibration" or fast clunking that occurs. It is definitely not rotors, pads, drums, or shoes, I have checked all of that, and it doesn't behave like a warped rotor/drum, and like I said, it is intermittent. I am almost positive it is a problem with the ABS system. So, as of today, she is taking my truck so I can drive hers to try to come to some kind of conclusion as to the problem. So, I was driving about 30, and applied the brake. There was a cluck, and some lurching. I initially thought it might have been something in the front suspension, but later, It did the same thing, except more of it, and I noticed a clicking noise, and also determined that the clunk came from the rear end, and I think the clicking did as well. It feels like the brakes aren't braking as much as before the clunk. Oh, and no ABS light at all (except when I start the truck.) I have read a few threads about the sensor on the differential, could that be it? Also, where exactly is it located? Thanks a lot for your help. Mike
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Old 08-20-2014
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If your absolutely sure the rear drum brakes are completely operational (no binding, no broken springs, drums are "round"), then you may want to have the rear end housing/gears checked, or perhaps the rear wheel bearings on one or both sides have excessive play.

Also, could the e-brake be binding?

Last edited by bucko; 08-20-2014 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 08-20-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucko View Post
If your absolutely sure the rear drum brakes are completely operational (no binding, no broken springs, drums are "round"), then you may want to have the rear end housing/gears checked, or perhaps the rear wheel bearings on one or both sides have excessive play.

Also, could the e-brake be binding?
The brakes appear to be new, like they were just redone before we bought it (about a year ago.) Actually, I am very impressed with the wear on the rotors, it is very uniform. I know nothing is warped. I don't think the e-brake is binding, just doesn't feel like that.

So you don't think it is the ABS then?
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Old 08-21-2014
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Originally Posted by texashale View Post
The brakes appear to be new, like they were just redone before we bought it (about a year ago.) Actually, I am very impressed with the wear on the rotors, it is very uniform. I know nothing is warped. I don't think the e-brake is binding, just doesn't feel like that.

So you don't think it is the ABS then?
I just did some googling on ABS working with drum brakes. It does look like ABS works with drum brakes:

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/i...6210240AABtczZ

I looked to see if there was a seperate rear ABS sensor at the rear for the drum brakes; the only sensor I'm finding is the VSS (vehicle speed sensor), located at the top of the rear differential housing which also works as the rear ABS sensor. It's a magnetic sensor that picks up the gear teeth of the exciter ring on the rear differential. It will never be a cause of any codes, so if its faulty, I'd suspect speedometer failure as well, as the 98 and above Rangers went to this sensor to operate the speedometer (no more cable driven speedometers).

I also ran accross this link when googling Rangers and ABS:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/11...r-problem.html

It talks about a 2002 Ranger owner who disconnected this rear VSS to test a "brake stutter". He unplugged it, and the ABS light on the dash stayed on, but the brake "stutter" stopped. Perhaps this is something you can try. However, he replaced the sensor with a new one, plugged it in, and the brakes continued to stutter. By unplugging the rear sensor, the ABS system was disabled, so it does indicate the problem (in his case) was ABS related that caused his brake stutter.

I'm not one though that will recommend tossing parts at a problem to fix it. Sooner or later you do fix the fault, but at a large expense.

If RonD or other don't chime in, send RonD a PM and ask him to reply here. He's very knowledgable, and could perhaps offer some good advice.

Last edited by bucko; 08-21-2014 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 08-21-2014
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Thanks, Kevin. I appreciate the help. The stupid thing about it, is that I cannot get it to do what my wife says it's doing. She says she is going to get in a wreck, because it is so bad. I have not been able to duplicate it. I think it just doesn't like her... :-)
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Old 08-21-2014
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Or, she doesn't like it (the truck)!

Try this: go out this weekend in the truck, and let her drive while you are in the passenger seat. See if it duplicates what your wife is experiencing.

If it happens, unplug the rear VSS/ABS plug at the top right (drivers side) rear differential. Try the drive again. If it goes away (but the speedometer will not work and the ABS light in the cluster will be on), you will know it's ABS related; but not nessesarily the rear sensor as being the culprit. Removing this plug simply disables the ABS.

If you find out it is ABS related and it appears to not be all the time, it may be some dust or dirt on the front ABS sensors. Remove the front wheels to get a closer view of them. See if they are dirty or broken, or ??? Maybe a blast of cleaner at their tips will solve the problem (again, if it's ABS related).
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