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Brakes are pulling to the left... again.

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Old 03-17-2010, 09:57 PM
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Brakes are pulling to the left... again.

I thought I had it fixed with the "upgrade" caliper slide pins. I guess not. It's doing it again. It's worse the faster I go. My wife called me and told me today while I was at work and she was driving our truck. "It's squealing really bad and pulling to the left really hard."

The pads were replaced ~18,000 miles ago. The caliper slide pins were "upgraded" ~8,000 miles ago. Is this a constant annoyance with these calipers? I have never owned a vehicle where the caliper slide pins seized or pull to one side. It's getting old. Does Ford have "upgrade" calipers for these trucks?
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:36 PM
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My guess is you need a new caliper. It's probably stuck so it's not releasing the brakes. I did that on one side a while back, and just did the left side a few weeks ago. It would pull really hard to the left, but when I hit the brakes, it pulled to the right.

Went to O-reilly's, $100 some odd dollars, returned the core for $50 back.
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Old 03-17-2010, 10:47 PM
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Is it best to do both sides at once, or just one?

It doesn't appear to pull any direction until I hit the brakes. The faster I go and harder I hit the brakes, the more significant it pulls to the left.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:33 PM
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mine did that last time i was home, got so bad that it though the pad smooth out. not to hijack the thread but where can i get some upgraded slide pins?
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:02 AM
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Your local dealership. http://www.frontiernet.net/~jmray/F250CaliperPins.htm
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mechelement View Post
I thought I had it fixed with the "upgrade" caliper slide pins. I guess not. It's doing it again. It's worse the faster I go. My wife called me and told me today while I was at work and she was driving our truck. "It's squealing really bad and pulling to the left really hard."

The pads were replaced ~18,000 miles ago. The caliper slide pins were "upgraded" ~8,000 miles ago. Is this a constant annoyance with these calipers? I have never owned a vehicle where the caliper slide pins seized or pull to one side. It's getting old. Does Ford have "upgrade" calipers for these trucks?
Jason, do you happen to have one of those infrared thermometers? Might be a good idea to make a good run, then hop out and take some readings of ALL four rotors. (backs can cause pull too) If it is sticking on the front, I'll bet your problem is on the RIGHT side.

Also not to hard to do some rudimentary testing by pulling the wheel and see if you can manually slide the caliper with your hand. Should require effort, but be possible to move the caliper. Then you can go back in the truck, give the brakes a good application again, and repeat the test. A few times and you should get an idea if it requires about the same amount of effort to move each of the calipers, they should all be close. If you don't like changing parts, and you find a caliper that is "sticking", bench test it to rule out the brake line before running out and buying a new caliper.

Last thing, while I did all of the above years ago, I wound up replacing the calipers on the front of my truck two times before it was finally right. Both times were OE Ford calipers. (Apparently my originals had some composite pistons or some crap) Good luck.

-C
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:44 AM
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Thanks for the info.

I know what rear brake pull feels like and this doesn't feel like it. I've had the driver's side caliper pin dry out so bad it stuck once before. That expedited the caliper slide pin upgrade. I don't have an infrared thermometer and I have been meaning to pick one up over the past couple of months.

Are you talking about sliding the caliper or spinning the rotor to see if the calipers are sticking? Do you think the passenger side isn't grabbing enough?
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:00 AM
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Harbor Freight has the thermometer on sale through today for about $25. I just picked one up this weekend.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:00 AM
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Do you have the ability to rebuild both calipers, they may have developed an accumulation of crud on the inside.
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Old 03-18-2010, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by mechelement View Post
Are you talking about sliding the caliper or spinning the rotor to see if the calipers are sticking? Do you think the passenger side isn't grabbing enough?
You could spin the rotor, but better to grab a hold of and "slide" the caliper, it won't move much, but a little. Really your looking for two characteristics, 1)Can you move it, 2)How much force is required to move it relative to the other one(s).

If you have equal clamping force on the front, and say one side is ~500* hotter than the other because it's dragging, the cooler side will exhibit greater braking force. That's why if "sticking" is what you're suspecting, you'll probably want to look at the side that isn't pulling. Also want to inspect the condition of your brake fluid. If it gets to much water in it, the boiling point goes DOWN, and greatly impacts the calipers ability to "clamp" on top of accelerating corrosion.

I haven't done my brakes in a while, when you replace the front pads, did they also come with new hardware (clips and stuff?) I can't even recall if the fronts have much (I know the backs do), but if there is hardware, and it wasn't replaced.... I've seen that cause a "pad" to drag even though the caliper wasn't sticking, there was still a pull and rotor warpage due to the heat build up.

-C
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:44 AM
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I saw that thermometer in HF's most recent publication.

I believe I have the ability to rebuild calipers. I've never done one before, but I've read the procedure for older calipers and it didn't appear to be really difficult.

I'll give the caliper pull test a try. The last time my stock pin started to stick, the driver's side front wheel was hot and the caliper/rotor assembly was hot as hell. I had to let the caliper and rotor cool down for quite a bit before I could work on it. The brake fluid is new as of last summer. I did a complete flush.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:11 AM
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Probably going to be the hose or brake line. I just went through this with the wife's truck. Replaced driver side caliper which was sticking and still no fix. Best way to check this is jack up that side, pull the wheel, and pump up the brake. If the caliper is sticking, try opening the bleeder. If that frees up the rotor. it is the hose. Another way to check is to pump up the brakes until it gets stuck or drags, then let it sit for five minutes. If that frees it up then it is likely the hose/line. A stuck pin or caliper will not un-stick itself.

I know this does not make any sense and is not even mentioned in the manual. Our truck was doing the same thing and got worse the faster I went. Got hot and smelled. New hose and good as new. Seems the inner lining can collapse and keep pressure on the caliper. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:29 PM
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What hose did you replace? The rubber one from the hard line disconnect to the caliper?
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenn01PSD350 View Post
Probably going to be the hose or brake line. I just went through this with the wife's truck. Replaced driver side caliper which was sticking and still no fix. Best way to check this is jack up that side, pull the wheel, and pump up the brake. If the caliper is sticking, try opening the bleeder. If that frees up the rotor. it is the hose. Another way to check is to pump up the brakes until it gets stuck or drags, then let it sit for five minutes. If that frees it up then it is likely the hose/line. A stuck pin or caliper will not un-stick itself.

I know this does not make any sense and is not even mentioned in the manual. Our truck was doing the same thing and got worse the faster I went. Got hot and smelled. New hose and good as new. Seems the inner lining can collapse and keep pressure on the caliper. Hope this helps.
Been following the thread to learn more. This is excellent info, reps given!

Stewart
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mechelement View Post
What hose did you replace? The rubber one from the hard line disconnect to the caliper?
Yep, that was the culprit. Seems the parts guy was smarter than I gave him credit for. He asked me if I was sure it wasn't the hose when I bought the caliper. I thought he was full of it. Turns out he has learned a thing or two along the way behind that counter. I was too embarassed to go back there for the hose and bought it at another store.

Thanks Stewart.

EDIT: a few notes here if you are going to change the hose. Spray the fittings with some PB Blast now. Then later, then before you remove it. I also needed some heat for the fitting on the line side opposite the caliper. I used a propane torch on low and slowly heated it until I could break the connection. I did this because I didn't want to boil the brake fluid or melt the rubber inside the hose even though I was replacing it. I removed the caliper side first to give the fluid someplace to go. Also, per the guys at our garage, I replaced both front hoses because as they said "if one is bad, the other one probably isn't far behind." That same fitting on the other side needed heat too. Good Luck.
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