Front brakes smoking

Tiny
C4HIM
  • 1998 TOYOTA CAMRY
  • 4 CYL
  • 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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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 3:49 AM

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Tiny
CARADIODOC
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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.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 5:00 AM
Tiny
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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.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 12:23 PM
Tiny
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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.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 1:01 PM
Tiny
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Thanks again for a quick reply.

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

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 1:13 PM
Tiny
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No, there isonly a limit to the wear but no standard thickness specification that I can find.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 1:30 PM
Tiny
C4HIM
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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?

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 2:51 PM
Tiny
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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?

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 3:19 PM
Tiny
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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.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 3:45 PM
Tiny
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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.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 5:02 PM
Tiny
C4HIM
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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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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 7:45 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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If the rotor is rusted tight, it is seated properly. Nothing got behind it while it was bolted in place with the wheel.

One thing to be aware of is while many people use c-clamps to push the pistons into the calipers, that should never be necessary. If that is the only way to get the piston in, there is a rust or scale problem that is going to cause trouble. If the pistons are clean and free, they will slide in easily by prying them in with a flat-blade screwdriver as a lever before you remove the caliper.

I think you guys found the problem with the slides. Once they're freed up, use a high-temperature brake grease to lubricate them. "Rusty Lube" is one trade name I'm familiar with but there are many other good products. If you get any penetrating oil on the pads or rotors, be sure to wash it off. Once the brakes get hot, any grease or oil will soak into the linings and cause a squeal.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 9:44 PM
Tiny
C4HIM
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Thanks for everything guys. I got it fixed. It was the slider bolt on the bottom. Once I got it freed up, the caliper went on smoothly and there was play in the rotor. I just took the car for a 9-10 mile ride and no smoke. I still smell the brakes a little bit, but I think that's normal.

Again, thanks for everything!

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Monday, May 30th, 2011 AT 10:41 PM
Tiny
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You're welcome.

Have a nice day.

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Tuesday, May 31st, 2011 AT 3:55 AM

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