1997 Ford F-250 front pads dragging on rotors

Tiny
TMFROMGV
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 FORD F-250
Brakes problem
1997 Ford F250 V8 Four Wheel Drive Automatic 126K miles

Same problem as other Ford owners have experienced that I read about on your site. Dragging pads on front rotors still after the following part replacements: NEW master cylinder, new front lft rotor and caliper assembly, new front brake hoses, new Bendix pads ( both wheels), checked wheel bearings for wear/play. Left side drags worse than right side. Re- bled system twice( when I bled the r.A.B.S. Valve, the fluid in it was very milky) Lubed caliper bolts and checked booster rod clearance before installing new master cylinder. Third set of pads and two rotor changes in 6,000 miles! Dagging seems to be worse after this round of repairs! There is only two parts left in the system I have not replaced yet- The booster and /or the r.A.S.B. Valve. Not sure if they are part of the solution?
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Monday, December 8th, 2008 AT 6:03 PM

8 Replies

Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
If you were to go out right now and crack a bleeder on one of your calipers, would you get a "spurt" of fluid, or just a dribble (especially on the left side)? Please advise.
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Monday, December 8th, 2008 AT 8:17 PM
Tiny
TMFROMGV
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Thankyou for responding. I cracked open the left side bleeder valve and got a minutia of dribble. Thankyou.
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Monday, December 8th, 2008 AT 8:54 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
This is a "toughy". Try disconnecting the power booster and plugging the vacumm line and see what happens. We get more problems with Ford "rear" brakes than we do with front. Most common problem with the RABS is locking up the rears when stopping. Let me know. Keep in mind, your pedal is giong to be hard.
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Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 AT 11:34 AM
Tiny
TMFROMGV
  • MEMBER
Mr. Weizel, Thank you for you're response to my dillema.I am assuming that you want me to drive the vehicle with the booster disconnected to see how it brakes. Please note that I did not mention on my original complaint, that the front right caliper is still the original part, since we've owned the vehicle.I bring this up, because when I returned the core of the left one I just replaced, I happened to relate my problem to the owner of the parts store. He suggested my dragging problem and the imbalance of new caliper on left with original caliper on right, could be a contributing factor in this puzzle. The last two pad changes, I observed that the left set of pads wore down visibly greater than the right side of pads, (approx. 1/8") difference, but equally worn, inner and outer. That is why I never bothered to replace the right front caliper, since I could see that the pads were worn equally, althougth thicker than the left side pads. His reasoning for the unequal wear was that perhaps the left side brakes were "working harder" to compensate for the right side brakes. He could not however explain the dragging problem. Thankyou.
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Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 AT 9:50 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
First of all, my dad was Mr. Weizel, I'm just plain Jim. We're going to back up here just a little bit. Re-reading your first posting, you mentioned "two rotor changes". Is that, two rotors on one side or two rotors on both sides? Also, when you step on the brake, does the steering wheel pull to one side, if so, which side? And, when you installed the new pads, did one caliper re-compress harder than the other that you can remember?
The psi going to the front calipers is going to be the same. The only thing that would make it different between the two would be a stuck caliper. If a caliper is sticking(dragging), that side will "fade" and the opposite side will brake more than the fadeing side. Bear with me. You are my eyes and I'm trying to visualize this. Please advise.
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Wednesday, December 10th, 2008 AT 10:23 PM
Tiny
TMFROMGV
  • MEMBER
Thank you again Jim The answer to your question is as follows: Replaced RH rotor and pads @ 113K. Replaced LH rotor, LH caliper and pads @ 123K. Replaced LH rotor, caliper and pads, front brake hoses and master cylinder, all NEW parts, @ 126K.
I took the truck out about an hour ago and made several stops. Some at 30mph, regular braking, hands off wheel w/ no pulling. Some hard stops @ 35+mph, hands off wheel- Pulls to LEFT. As far as I can remember when I replaced the pads, I don't recall any difference between left or right when I compressed the calipers. I hope this helps?Thanks1
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Thursday, December 11th, 2008 AT 10:31 PM
Tiny
JAMES W.
  • MEMBER
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I had some technical problems. BUT, I was laying in bed last night and I think I figured out your promlem. I do this sometimes on difficult problems, It's a bad habit, but sometimes it works. I believe your front brakes are working just fine, but they're working too hard 'cause your rear brakes aren't working. If I remember right, the rear ABS system actuator is attached to the frame and releases brake pressure as the body rises. I can't find anything in diagrams to substantiate this, but if I'm correct, you should be able to lengthen or disconnect the RABS to prove my theory. As a rule, on a vehicle, you should rear out 2 sets of front pads to 1 set of wear shoes. Check this out and let me know.
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Friday, December 12th, 2008 AT 3:54 PM
Tiny
TMFROMGV
  • MEMBER
Thanks James for your help on this braking problem. I took your advice and began to focus my attention on the rear brakes, starting @ the rear wheels. Took the drums off and checked for leakage @ the wheel cylinders, polished drums and shoes, bent/ kinked lines, etc. There was dust in the drums as evidence of rear brake usage, but very little shoe wear for having more than 10K miles. All checked out otherwise, so I next focused on the RABS actuator on the frame. Since I had no way to trouble shoot it, I replaced it w/ a new unit and re-bled the entire system again (saturday 12/21). Road tested the truck and found that the front left caliper was still dragging, but the right side was intact. On Sunday, I replaced the left caliper again, re-bled the front, drove the truck for several miles and then once again checked the front- No more dragging caliper!
Here is my final summation: As you suspected, the front brakes were working fine at one time, the rears not receiving the full alloted pressure due to contamination in the RABS actuator, which @ some point, the front brakes were doing more of the work than necessary to compensate for the lack of pressure to the rears. This extra work on the front brakes caused the overheating problem, first to the pistons of the calipers, (which to my surprise were pnelolic and not metal). I believe the calipers, once overheating, started dragging on the rotors while the truck was in motion, causing the rapid wear on the pads and rotors. I believe the left side overheated always faster than the right, because of the short distance of line between the left wheel and the master cylinder.
In any respect, a very, very expensive and frustrating lesson to learn! Thank you so very much and have a wonderful Christmas! I hope that my situation can be useful to your cause! THANKS
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Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008 AT 9:38 PM

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