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Partial Brake System Failure


The_Epsicle

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Hello everyone, it's good to be posting here again, though I wish it were under different circumstances.

This is for my 1994 Ranger extended cab, 4.0, auto 4x4, auto tranny, dana 35 front, ranger 8.8 back with 3.73 gears, everything is stock. I recently did a total brake system overhaul on the rear end, I replaced everything: drums, shoes, self adjuster, wheel cylinder(I bled the system with the two man method), and every spring. That fixed a myriad of issues I had with the rear brakes which included the drivers side wheel locking and lack of stopping power. I also replaced the front rotors, pads, wheel bearings, caliper pins(I greased them), and when I got the truck I replaced both rubber brake hoses on the front because they exploded, after all this work I bled the MC and the entire brake system.

I took a break between classes today to go to the nearby city to run some errands, the brakes worked well the whole way(about 30 miles) there and while I was running the errands (about 5 miles), but on the way back I had to slam on my brakes and my steering wheel pulled HARD to the left, let me re-emphasize that the steering wheel and the vehicle pulled HARD to the left, it ripped the wheel out of my hands, if I had been going much faster than 30mph I would've rolled my truck and I nearly did at that speed, it's important to note that there is no hydraulic leak and the pedal remained stiff. I took it home going about 25mph, probably not my smartest idea but I made it. My first thought is my passenger side caliper seized and it needs to be replaced(in a pair of course), I don't have a lot of time to think about this issue with my classes, and I can't jack up my truck in the campus parking lot right now(I may be able to do that later) so I wanted to see if you guys think I'm on track to figuring this out. Any other ideas like things I may have damaged/forgotten about during my brake overhaul please let me know. Thanks in advance guys, I've always appreciated this forum.
 


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97RangerXLT

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I would tend to agree that your passenger caliper has seized. Look at the caliper closely where the new bolts go in. There might be something in the bolt holes that is binding on the new bolts.

I would replace the calipers and be done with it.

AJ

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enjr44

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A suddenly freezing caliper is rare. Putting the brake back together wrong, not so much!!

Jack up the right from wheel and get a helper apply the brakes. You spin while helper applies the brakes. Look and listen for something unusual (like it doesn't lock up wheel). Do the same for the other side.

My 91 (RIP), did the same thing a very long time ago and it was the driver's side locking up, instead of the pass side not working.
 

The_Epsicle

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I would tend to agree that your passenger caliper has seized. Look at the caliper closely where the new bolts go in. There might be something in the bolt holes that is binding on the new bolts.

I would replace the calipers and be done with it.

AJ

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My caliper is held on by slide rails, I think the bolt design started in 95. Other than that your thought process is the same as mine, thanks for the input.

A suddenly freezing caliper is rare. Putting the brake back together wrong, not so much!!

Jack up the right from wheel and get a helper apply the brakes. You spin while helper applies the brakes. Look and listen for something unusual (like it doesn't lock up wheel). Do the same for the other side.

My 91 (RIP), did the same thing a very long time ago and it was the driver's side locking up, instead of the pass side not working.
You'd think that'd be a fairly obvious procedure to do but it actually hadn't occurred to me, thank you.

I'm starting to wonder about possible contamination of the disk but then again, contamination with what? I thought I was fairly careful in applying the slide rail grease, maybe not I don't know. I'll take a look tomorrow since I've got a lot of free time and no homework :icon_thumby:

Thanks for the input guys!
 

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Another thought is that you still have a large air bubble in the passenger side line...

AJ

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AllanD

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More often than not a frozen brake caliper has a somewhat different effect...

A frozen caliper won't release completely, that will lead to it causing the brake to fade out
then later when the brakes are applies later one side works and the other doesn't...

I had an event several years ago where the steering wheel tried to jerk itself out of my hands... What happened was the High pressure P/S hose blew out of the pump and on a 2.9 engine the HP outlet basically shot the entire fill of P/S fluid was basically shot directly at the brake air-scoop for the left front brake, lacking being oil soaked the right side front brakes worked perfectly...

Now considering that when it happened I was driving on I-81 doing 75mph during a nasty
thunderstorm (a down-pour) made it a major pucker factor moment

fortunately I could simply cut the P/S belt to get home...

AD
 

The_Epsicle

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Okay, I'm procrastinating on some homework right now. I checked out the rotors earlier today and, from what I could see on the outer side through the wheel, the passenger side rotor(the one I suspect is at fault) has some decent scratches on it; but the drivers side looks like the brakes have never been applied. So there is a difference in wear that is very noticeable and now this is confusing me greatly...

I found the cheap jack that came with the truck in 1994, it seems sturdy enough for popping the wheel off/on; so tomorrow me and a friend will be visually inspecting and testing the function of both sides on the front brake system.

Another thought occurred to me: would it be possible that my front brakes have completely failed, and the reason I'm pulling to the left is from an issue with the rear? After typing that out it seems like a silly idea resulting from studying too long, I'm posting it anyway because you guys might need a laugh.
 

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Do you leave the tailgate up or down when this happens? Typically, when the tailgate is up, it acts like the flap on an airplane and causes the front end to lift up. If it is down then this acts like the flap on a boat (trim tab) forcing the nose of the truck down...so the pulling left and right is most likely due to an internal struggle between good and evil.
 

enjr44

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Okay, and the reason I'm pulling to the left is from an issue with the rear? After typing that out it seems like a silly idea resulting from studying too long, I'm posting it anyway because you guys might need a laugh.
A rear brake can cause the truck to pull one way or another; but, that would not cause the steering wheel to jerk to one side. More like a gentle pulling action would be felt at the steering wheel.
 

Denisefwd93

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Check, bypass Or replace RABS VALVE my calipers were dragging warping rotors, the rear drums were always hot, its fixed now!
 

The_Epsicle

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Do you leave the tailgate up or down when this happens? Typically, when the tailgate is up, it acts like the flap on an airplane and causes the front end to lift up. If it is down then this acts like the flap on a boat (trim tab) forcing the nose of the truck down...so the pulling left and right is most likely due to an internal struggle between good and evil.
Quite possibly, but I have a topper to avoid that issue.

I got a couple weird looks from security today working on my truck in the parking lot, but nobody stopped me. There seemed to be some contamination that was either dried grease or brake dust on both rotors, that's the only issue though. The calipers move perfect on the rails, there is no seized piston, and both sides work immaculately.

Now I'm down to a hydraulic issue, RABS comes to mind since my ABS has never worked(Sorry, probably should've mentioned that. The dash light is off.) I'm going to check and bleed the entire system again when I get a chance. In the meantime my friends don't mind driving me around.
 

Mark_88

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I've done enough roadside repairs over the years that have been pretty amazing...not the repair but the response I get from others...ever since 9/11 way back when...people are just more willing to stop and help someone out on the side of the road or parking lots with the hood up or wheels off...

I wanted to ask...did you change the flex lines? Ever?

Mine were causing the brakes to lock up...only not as severe as you experienced...mine wouldn't release and they were binding until I replaced the flex lines...
 

enjr44

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Did the 94 have front ABS? I know the 93 did not. Jerking the wheel makes me believe it is a front brake problem.
 

The_Epsicle

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Did the 94 have front ABS? I know the 93 did not. Jerking the wheel makes me believe it is a front brake problem.
The 94 only had RABS. I'm looking for someone to give me a jump so I can take it for a short test drive, my battery is on it's way out on top of all this.

I wanted to ask...did you change the flex lines? Ever?

Mine were causing the brakes to lock up...only not as severe as you experienced...mine wouldn't release and they were binding until I replaced the flex lines...
Do you mean the rubber hoses on the front? I changed those back in December 2014 because they exploded.



I looked at the connections on the rear wheels, I didn't check out the actual hardware but considering I replaced it less than 3 weeks ago I don't think I have an issue there, yet. I'm thinking it has to be a hydraulic issue at this point.
 

The_Epsicle

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I learned something new today, If you're unsure if your brakes are clean after you've greased your bearings, clean them again. I cleaned the rotors one more time and tested the brakes, no more pull left or right; I must've touched the rotors with my greasy hands during my big brake replacement job. Thanks for all the help, this issue is resolved.
 


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