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Rear brakes somewhat fu- but not quite yet -bar

James Morse

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There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
My rear brakes, specifically, the left rear, locks up way easy, I mean on a wet road you hardly touch the brakes and it's sliding. Sure I can leave extra room in front of me but man that's not right and it's kind of dangerous. I have to think it's something bad with ABS but it's not throwing any lights or anything. I ALWAYS set the park brake just in case that was a question. What should I look at? It seems like it's always that side. On dry road you don't really notice it so much but obviously something isn't right about that. Would appreciate any help.
 


Uncle Gump

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Does the brake pedal seem low?

This has been discussed many time here... should find several hits.
 

19Walt93

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It's not the ABS, it's caused by moisture getting in and rusting everything up. You likely need a thorough brake job with new hardware, and to inspect the cylinders and parking brake cables for sticking. Then seal all the openings in the backing plates with silicone sealer and it shouldn't happen again. There was a TSB years ago to address this problem. I sealed the backing plates on my 2004 when I did the PDI and it never had a brake locking problem.
Also, nothing can be somewhat fubar. (F##ked Up Beyond All Recognition)
 
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Northidahotrailblazer

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when is the last time you did rear brakes? On my 92 explorer my rear brakes always were more grabby when wet. I ended up backing them off some and that helped a lot. When you don't have weight in the back, it doesn't help the 4 wheel stopping very well.
 

James Morse

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There are two trucks. Both are sorted. Probably selling the '99.
Pedal travel seems fine. I never worked on them because I only had truck a few months and never was hard on brakes or drove much in rain so am just discovering this. I am going to check / do things you all mention and THANK YOU.

ps let's just say fubar then or else not quite fubar but getting close to it!

yeah brakes is super important

what does it mean 'backing them off' apparently there must be an adjustment... I'll read more on the TSB and the hits here thanks again
 

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I meant to reply properly to this post but I was on my phone...

Here is what I had to say in a previous post about brakes locking up. I'm not one to back off the brakes... in my experience it amplifies the problem. But yes... drum brakes are adjustable to get proper clearance.

This is my cut and paste ...
You sure there is no contamination on the drums/shoes? Drums look good... no hot spots?

These trucks are prone to locking the rear wheel(s). In part due to the rear of the vehicle being so light. There was a TSB that addressed water intrusion. Had you seal up any open points in the backing plate.

Very important that the park brake is not hung up too. With the park brake struts in place... the tops of the primary and secondary brake shoes must be fully seated on the backing plate anchor pin. If not... address the park brake adjustment so they do seat on the anchor pin fully.

I have a theory that having the rear brakes adjusted to loose will cause a rear brake to lock up...

Under normal drum brake operation... when you apply the brakes fluid is sent to the wheel cylinders and pushes each piston equally and pushes the primary and secondary shoes out to contact the drum. Rotation of the drum causes the drum brakes to self energize. Meaning the primary shoe will react to drum rotation and force the secondary shoe back to the anchor pin. The fluid that was holding out the secondary shoe is now displaced back onto the primary shoe wheel cylinder piston. So the theory is that the further amount of distance the shoes have to travel... the greater amount of fluid that gets displaced onto the primary shoe during self energization. Thus locking up the brakes.

I always favor the tighter side of the rear brake adjustment for this reason... and it has worked well for me for many years without locking up my rear brake(s). Once you get them adjusted... pumping the rear brake pedal several times while rolling backwards will keep them adjusted properly.

Here is the link to the entire thread I got my cut and paste....

Rear brake on driver side engage TOO MUCH - 1989 Ranger | The Ranger Station
 

rubydist

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That is one of the main reasons I converted my Ranger's rear brakes to disc - no freezing up from moisture in the winter and no grabbing from being wet whenever it rains...
 

superj

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mine does that every once in a while too. i just thought it was from being so light in the back.
 

55trucker

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Well, to disagree with you all, the (rabs) rear brakes under my 98 Splash XLT have been trouble free all of its life. Regardless of the weather moisture conditions the rear brake system has never caused issues. The truck being soo light at the back end does cause the ABS to engage in wet conditions but the only other time when there indeed was an issue is when the axle seal (one side) began to fail & leaked fluid into & onto the linings. Then the condition of what you are experiencing appeared & I had to replace the rear seals to cure the problem.
 

19Walt93

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A leaky axle seal is definitely a possible cause and worth a look.
That is one of the main reasons I converted my Ranger's rear brakes to disc - no freezing up from moisture in the winter and no grabbing from being wet whenever it rains...
I hate rear disc brakes, if you're braking hard enough to get any benefit from their extra braking, all the weight is being thrown onto the front wheels any way. I used to pull the drums off my 04 every spring for inspection, dump out the brake dust, and put them back together. When I traded for one of our last 2011's, I had spent zero dollars on the rear brakes. I had to disassemble the discs on the 2011 every spring, grind the rust off the slides, pivots, and rotor edges, then relube everything. I replaced the pads and rotors before 40,000 miles. Disc brakes always run under light pressure and drums can be adjusted for practically no drag. If you submerge them in water or heat them up under heavy braking/towing/hauling, drum brakes lose effectiveness until they dry out or cool off, that's their only disadvantage.
 

Uncle Gump

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I'm with Walt on this one. I know I've been driving Rangers for over 30 years... never once did I ever say I sure wish I had rear disc brakes.

@55trucker you don't have to disagree with me. I think if you keep up maintenance/adjustment on a 10 inch drum brake... it's an adequate trouble free braking.
 

55trucker

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Mine is fitted with the *9's*, they are more than enough to aid in slowing the vehicle, I can't seeing the fitting the rear of the truck with discs, an alternative proportion valve would need to be fitted to prevent premature lock up, can't speak for the regular box trucks but the Splash models are sooo damned light at the back end the brakes ABS comes into play every time the roads are wet & one brakes moderately hard. :huh: During the winter mths I've got soft compound winter tires & 240lbs of weight over the rear axle just to aid in some grip.
 

superj

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i am fine with drums. i have had them on all four corners with no issues in past vehicles but i like discs on the front way more. but i would not swap drums on the back to discs just for the heck of it.
 

mikkelstuff

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I did the Mustang rear disk brake upgrade to my 2002 4WD Ranger XLT. So glad I did. What ever you may dislike about rear disk brakes they are way better than non-functional rear drum brakes!
 

Ranger850

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First thing I would check is the adjustment on the side that is locking up. If it's good, move on to looking for a blockage of fluid in the cylinders, then move on towards the MC checking every junction for flow.
 

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