Mechanics

FRONT BRAKES SMOKING

1998 Toyota Camry • 4 cylinder FWD Automatic • 150,000 miles

Yesterday installed front brake pads on my 98 Camry. I did not change the rotors. The driver's side went smoothly. But the passenger side calipers would not go on at first. The rotor was rusted on. I couldn't get it to budge. After spraying it with PB cleaner and hitting with a hammer on wood and a long time for the PB cleaner to work in, it finally broke loose. Then I was finally able to get the caliper on. But it was still very tight. Today I drove about 5 or 6 miles and the passenger side brakes were smoking.
Any suggestions on how to remedy this or is it not a big deal as the brakes are trying to seat to the rotors?
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C4him
May 30, 2011.




Why did you work so hard to remove the rotor if you didn't replace it? If the piston pushed in really hard or couldn't be pushed in by hand, there is probably crud built up behind it. That will make it difficult to make room for the pads to fit over the rotor. Also, it won't release after applying the brakes. The clue is when it is locked up and smoking, if you open the bleeder screw it still won't release. If it does release, we have to look further to find what is blocking the fluid from releasing back up to the reservoir.

Caradiodoc
May 30, 2011.
Thanks for your quick reply. I forgot to mention that the piston pushed in easily with a c-clamp. It was flush with the caliper housing, but it was still very tight to put the caliper on.

The reason I worked so hard to free the rotor was I thought that it would give room to put the caliper on. Which it did, but, like I said, it was still very tight.

Tiny
C4him
May 30, 2011.
If the caliper piston is flush with the housing, there is no reason for the calipers to be tight except for the following.

1. Wrong thickness of rotor.
2. Wrong thickness of brake pads.
3. Too may pad shims(plates) used.

Rotor shoud turn freely when caliper is in. Recheck if the piston is really flush. When internal part of caliper is full if dirt, the piston cannot return freely.

The other reason for the piston not to return fully would be rust/dirt etc stuck to piston and not allowing the piston to return easily.

KHLow2008
May 30, 2011.
Thanks again for a quick reply.

I was just wondering how thick the pads should be. Is there a spec for this?

Tiny
C4him
May 30, 2011.
No, there isonly a limit to the wear but no standard thickness specification that I can find.

KHLow2008
May 30, 2011.
Ok, Thanks!

Today, I took the Calipers off again. The brake line had a slight twist in it. It wasn't kinked though. I straightened that out and I straightened a shim that was crooked. When I went to put the caliper back on, it went on easily. Although, when I tightened the caliper retaining bolts, the calipers and rotor seemed tight again. I put the the tire back on and went for a 4-5 mile drive. The brakes were still smoking by then.

I'm at a loss. Any other ideas?

Tiny
C4him
May 30, 2011.
Check the slider bolt alignment. If any of the slider bolt is bent, tightening them would cause the calipers to stick. When tightnening the slider bolts, tighten a little at a time for each bolt alternately and retest. If the slider bolts are tightened one before the other, it can be stiff.

Remove the brake pads and install the slider bolts. Pull and push the caliper inwards ans outwrds onto the slider bolts and ensure move ment is smooth and light.

Did you clean and lubricate the slider bolts?

KHLow2008
May 30, 2011.
Do the slider bolts have a rubber boot on them like a mini cv joint? If so, the bottom one is frozen. I tried to move it, but it won't budge. The top one moves freely. Do you have any suggestions on how to free it? I was afraid to break it and I didn't know if wd40 or PB cleaner would penetrate past the boot.

Tiny
C4him
May 30, 2011.
Yes they do for each slider bolt. If the sliders are not moving freely, you would need to get it moving by hook or by crook.

WD 40 might not be good enough. Try it ans slowly twist the bolt to and fron till it loosens up. While twisting, might take quite some time, pull the slider outwards.

KHLow2008
May 30, 2011.
Thanks.

When the brakes cool down, I'll try to get that slider bolt freed up.

If that doesn't work, the only other thing that I can think of is to get the rotor off and look behind it to make sure that nothing is keeping it from seating properly.

Thanks again for all your help. I'll let you know how things turn out.
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Tiny
C4him
May 30, 2011.

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