So last night I am driving home from work and the X all of the sudden starts to pull to the right, then when I press the brakes it makes a dramatic pull to the left. For about 2 miles on the way home it went back and forth, accelerate-pull right, brake-pull left. When I got home and got out of the truck, I noticed right away that the front right wheel/brakes smelt like something burning.
I am having a guy look at it tomorrow, what should I know before hand?
One of your calipers is siezing up which makes one side have the brake applied all the time, when enough heat is created that side will "boil" the fluid and now those brakes are not able to function, and all the force is burdened back to the other side making them pull back the other way. Long story short, get new front calipers.
Yep, could have been a sticking caliper slide pin- but if a caliper got that HOT, I'd replace them both for good measure. You also need to change the brake fluid, since overheating leads to moisture contamination (and its prolly OLD anyway!!).
I strongly recommend getting the best brake pads you can afford. There is really nothing 'over the counter' I will consider anymore. I have EBC pads on both my PSD's now and they are soooooo much better than anything I've ever run its crazy. More braking power, no warped rotors and less brake fade - the margin of safety is well worth the money!!
Check out their website to decide what you need (Yellowstuff are AWESOME) and call Clay at Riffraff! Alot of people swear by Hawk LTS pads as well. I use lifetime warranty calipers and rotors from O'Riellys.
Add checking/lubing caliper slide pins to your routine maintenance list. I do this at least every other tire rotation. I just remove bolt and squish the slide pin in - if its not 'stuck', its good! If it feels dry or sticks, pull the pin out and lube. I use dielectric grease - its a high temp silicone-based grease and seems to last longer than 'caliper lube' or anti-seize.
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Get good rebuilt calipers from someone like Bendix. I pulled some off my F-350 that had similar problems and the rebuilders had actually sand blasted the bore of the calipers and it was as rough as cast metal. Ford probably has good rebuilds but you are going to pay for them. Phenolic pistons are better than aluminum but are sometimes blamed for a stuck piston. I don't buy that. Phenolic is better because it does not conduct the heat to the brake fluid causing it to boil. When it boils you have NO BRAKES AT ALL. I would check the slide pins first. If the caliper is ok you should be able to compress the pistons back in the bore with a big c-clamp. If you don't know your rebuilder pull the pistons and inspect the bore to make sure it was done right. I have also heard of the line collapsing and acting like a one way valve where fluid gets in but it can't get back out. That causes your brakes to stay on all the time.
2000 Excursion V10 4x2 Limited 98k miles
1995 Ranger 2.3L 5 speed 210k miles
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