Frozen brakes

Tiny
CSC
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 ISUZU TRUCK
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 144,000 MILES
My brakes are frozen on my 1991 isuzu pickup what do I do?
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 4:49 AM

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Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Which brakes are frozen, front, rear, all, or just one? Can you explaine what is happening?
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 5:24 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
Are they locked from sitting and it is bad enought that the truck will not move?
Or, are they locked after pressing the pedal?

The reason I ask is that rotors will normally rust from moisture and they can get bad enoguh where they can impede the trucks movement and will damage the pads. If the problem is that the caliper is frozen, meaning the pedal has been pressed and the brakes are stuck on, then that is different.
The Master cylinder could be at fault if none of the above is true. Sometimes the seals on the pluger fail and bind the cylinder in place and the pedal will not return. Usually you will see fluid leaking inside the truck near the top of the pivot for the brake pedal. Look for the roid that goes into the mater cylinder and look for fluid around it. If that is the case replace the master cylinder. If not, I am assuming the calipers are rusted so continue with the below instructions.
Either way there will be some possible sacrifices to free up the brakes.
In both cases you will need to get WD-40 or I prefer PB Blaster to break up the rust and corrosion. If the rotors are rusted, spray tehm down and periodically wipe them off and repeat the process. If the caliper is frozen, jack the truck up and remove the wheels. Put jack stands under the frame, soak the piston area and outer edges of the brake pad area, wipe clean periodically and repeat the process.
Either way the pads will probably need to be replaced if enough WD or PB gets on them, but they are not any good after this anyway.
If the caliper is stuck, also soak the mounting hardware so the caliper can be removed later. In both cases really soak the rusted area. After spraying the caliper or rotors and soaking it far a day, get some brake cleaner and spray the brakes down and wipe them off. In the cse of the rotors being the casue, see if it is enough that the rotor can spin free and then replace the pads ASAP. In the case of a frozen caliper, clean off w/brake cleaner and try to remove the mounting bolts for the caliper. If they are hard to turn, spary then with PB again and wait a while longer. Eventually they will break free, you might have to use some force but be careful not to strip off the head of a mounting bolt as caliper hardware is toguht to remove once stripped. Before taking the caliper off, move it back and forth on the rotor to press the piston into the capliper. As you do this, if possible clean the piston with brake cleaner as pushing the piston in will take some of the corrosion into the caliper. Also, spray PB or WD on the pins whcih the caliper moves on. They will be part of the mounting bracket and the caliper can be removed from the brakcet as it "floats" on these 2 pins.
It is hard to say if the calipers will need replacement. The best bet is to get as much of the corrsosion off of the piston before pushing it into the caliper. You will have to do this to make room for new pads. After everything comes aprt, clean and inspect all and grease the pins with high temp grease, make sure the caliper moves freely on the pins. Replace the pads and then get a quart or 2 of brake fluid. The brake system will need to be flushed sompletely. Go to the hardware store and buy some clear hase that fits snugly on the bleed screw, which is another thing to soak in PB and make sure you don't break or strip, and place a 3 or 4 foot length with one end in a bottle to collect fluid and the other on the end of the bleed screw. Have the hose routed over the shock so it is higher than the caliper. Put some axle grease around the threads of the bleed screw. Have someone help you by pumping the brake pedal and holding it. With the pedal held, loosen the bled screw and fluid should start to flow into the tube. Repeat this process and check the master cylinder reserviour frequently and keep it full. If ti empties the system will get air in it and bleeding the sytem will take longer. Once the fluid goes over the highest point in the hose you can have your helper continue pumping and leave the bleeder just loose enough for fluid to flow. Keep the Master Cylinder full and continue until the fluid is clear. Once the problem calipers are done repaeat this for all calipers starting from the passenger rear, then driver rear, then passenger front and lastly driver front. This is flushing the farthest caliper from the master cylinder and workgn towards the closest.
This is the best chance you will have at saving the calipers. Keep an eye for leaks coming from the seals around the pistons.
Hope this helps and be patient with the soak and clean process as it will save time and money to remove rusted Hardware.
Let me knwo how it goes.
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 5:32 AM
Tiny
CSC
  • MEMBER
We are having a storm in washington state I drove it yesterday and its the drivers rear brakes
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 5:49 AM
Tiny
CSC
  • MEMBER
Its the rear drivers side and we are having a storm in washington state
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 5:50 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
WHat you need to do is safely lift and secure the rear wheel. Remove the tire and brake drum. Check for leaks from the axle, wheel cylender. Also, check for broken retaining springs.

Let me know what you find.
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 5:57 AM
Tiny
CSC
  • MEMBER
Cant do anything till tomorrow cause of the storm lol ty for your help
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 6:40 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
Since it is the rear brake I would consider the parking brake as prt of the things to look at.
Also, since it is the one side that leaves the master cylinder out too.
I went to Washington State University for a while.
I lived in a trailer on a wheat farm. It was cold and boring.
I remember it started snowing around September and would get pitch black dark at like 4PM.
And, believe it or not, I swear on the great Palouse, I had a Rodeo that I shared with my girlfiend. That thing got me to seattle and back through 6 feet of snow at 60mph no problem. Great truck. It is also known as the Honda Passport.
Quite an adventure.
When you get the chance, let me know a thing or 2 before you go at it as I know working on stuff in that weather is a whole different game.
Is there a possibility that the wheel got packed with snow and ice, then sat and froze?
Also, try pulling the parking brake and releasing it back and forth with the, (can't rmember if its handle or pedal), release button or handle pulled to work off any possible stuff that could be making it stick.
Just a thought.
If not that, then you will need to pull the wheel.
Let me know how it goes.
I will check the post for your reply.
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 7:04 AM
Tiny
CSC
  • MEMBER
Its a handle one and I am starting to wonder if it broke or wont release arrg
and the truck sat for 24 hours in this stupid storm
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 7:20 AM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
So the parking brake pedal is on and is not releasing or moving up at all?
I am thinking that snow got in there and the truck being warm let sluch get somewhere that then froze and lock the cable or some part of the parking braske system up. Get a bunch of dry gas and start throwing on anything you can get too. That stuff is great and will work as emergency gas in a pinch.
It takes a lot to break it and the release is just a spring loaded latch that drops in a ratchet tooth. The cable is tough and since its locked up, I doubt it broke. Knowing Washinton State. It be froze solid like my contacts did one day walking to class in -20 windchill. Luckily corneas heal fast and it gave me an excuse to go home.
DAmn, maybe just running the truck for a while and letting the exhaust heat up stuff might melt something and let it loose. Just a thought.
Let me know what happens.
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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010 AT 7:36 AM
Tiny
CSC
  • MEMBER
Just thought I would thank everyone for their replies. My e-brake was not the problem just my brake on the driver rear. We jacked it up started it and I put it in gear drove it for about 15 min and it unstuck. Yeaaaaa its because we are so darn cold at the moment but again ty
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 AT 1:01 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
It happens.
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 AT 3:15 PM
Tiny
DRCRANKNWRENCH
  • EXPERT
There is one thing that concersn me that will be a safety hazrd and could lead to some costly repair.
Since the brake froze, it is bound to do it again and it is not even near the coldest part of the year.
Brake fluid is one of those things that never get serviced because few problems occurr unless the vehicle see harsh conditions or high mileage.
After time, brake fluid collects water which can casue a few problems. First the boiling point of the fluid drops and this can cause break fade issue which on a truck in the snow covered steep grede mountains of Washington, can be a safety problem. Always know where the emergency gravel traps are. Ha!
The other thing is that it is likely to happen again. The other thing is that the brake fluid does have water in it if it has never been flushed. It may or may not be what froze the caliper, but if you thik the parking brake was not the reason, the piston was not returning and either frozen water or heavily contaminated fluid probably was the casue.
$30 for a quart or 2 of brake fluid, a 4-5 foot piece of clear hose and a soda bottle are all you need to flush the system.
The procedure to flush the system is in the gigantic hard to read message I sent you originally.
It is not hard to do and could save you some oney in the long run.
Anyway, I hope the information helps.
I am always checking for post replies so if you need anything at all, plase let me know and I am more than willing to help.
I am glad it broke loose and is working again.

Take care.

Dr. C

Go COUGARS----
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Thursday, November 25th, 2010 AT 12:05 AM

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