2000 Ford Mustang New brakes WILL NOT cool off

Tiny
RUNNIKEE
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 FORD MUSTANG
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 85,000 MILES
I just changed the brake pads on my 2000 Mustang GT, along with the brake fluid. After driving to set the brakes, the brakes were EXTREMELY hot and remained that way for quite some time. Even with the gel put on the brakes, the pads were literally smoking after a short 10-mile drive. A few days later I took the car out for a drive through the country with little braking and when I got home I could smell the brakes (I could towards the end of the drive also). The brakes and callipers remained hot to the touch for nearly an hour after the short drive (less than 30 minutes with minimal braking). I cannot feel the brakes rubbing as I drive but they obviously are. Any reasons why they would be doing this? Do they need a break in time? Did I forget to do something when I changed them? I did re-set the callipers with a C-Clamp but have read that some of the Fords need to turn the callipers. Were the 2000 Mustang GT's like this?

Thank you for your help,

Nolan
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Monday, April 5th, 2010 AT 10:11 AM

5 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Hi Runnikee. I think your last comment might be the key. You should never HAVE to use a c-clamp to push the pistons in. If a ring of dirt or rust has built up around the pistons, they wil stick on the seals and won't release properly.

Try stopping on a slight incline to see if the car will creep ahead on its own in neutral when you release the brake. If it does not, crack open the steel lines at the master cylinder and see if they release. (You might want to put a block of wood in front of one tire so you don't look funny chasing your car down the hill, like happened to me once). If that doesn't help, try opening the bleeder screws on the calipers. (No block of wood needed. The car will stop when it tries to run you over! :)). If that doesn't help, the calipers will have to be replaced or rebuilt. In the '80s, we rebuilt calipers with every brake job, but today professionally rebuilt calipers with a warranty are so inexpensive, it doesn't pay to do it yourself unless you're "emotionally involved" with them and want to keep the original parts.

The calipers are most suspect since the problem started when the pistons were pressed in to make room for the new, thicker pads. If, however, you had to replace the pads because the brakes were staying applied, cracking open the hydraulic system at the master cylinder or bleeder screws will point towards a constricted hose, (unlikely to have two at once), or brake fluid contamination.

Caradiodoc
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Monday, April 5th, 2010 AT 2:59 PM
Tiny
RUNNIKEE
  • MEMBER
How do you compress the pistons back until they are fully seated without using a C-clamp? If you don't do that, how are you going to get the new pads back over the rotor? I've read some of these pistons need to be twisted with a special tool as opposed to being simply pushed down. Do you know if this is the case with the 2000 Mustang GT?

Thanks again for your help and quick reply.
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Monday, April 5th, 2010 AT 10:20 PM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I like to pry the pistons in with a flat blade screwdriver before I unbolt the calipers. If they don't go in that way, there is a restriction in the hydraulic system or the pistons are sticking. Open the bleeder screw. If the piston goes in now, the hose could be constricted or the brake fluid is contaminated with petroleum product.

Hose constriction is more common on Chrysler products that use a metal anchor bracket in the middle of the rubber hose. Rust buildup inside where that bracket is crimped around the hose pinches it off. The brake will apply with heavy pedal pressure but will take a long time to release, (potentially hours). The pedal will be higher and harder than normal too. The fix is real easy and just involves using a large pliers to open the crimp a little. Another hint is the brake won't release when cracking open the line at the master cylinder.

If the piston will pry back after cracking the steel line at the master cylinder, fluid contamination should be suspected. Petroleum products, such as power steering fluid, engine oil, and transmission fluid causes rubber parts to swell. The clue is the bladder seal under the reservoir cap will be greatly expanded and mushy. The lip seals in the master cylinder also grow past the return ports and trap the fluid. As the brakes heat up, the heat transfers into the fluid which expands and since it can't flow back into the reservoir, it applies the brakes harder.

On Fords, it's more common to simply have rust pits or dirt on the pistons causing them to stick. You will not be able to pry them back even with the bleeder screw open. The c-clamp will get the piston to go in, but that rust or dirt will be under the square-cut seal. The way the seal is supposed to work is it tends to stick to the piston when fluid pushes the piston out to apply the brake. By sticking to it, it deforms or bends a little. When you release the pedal, the seal wants to straighten out. That's what pulls the piston in just enough to release pressure on the pads. As the pads wear down, the piston moves out a little further. The seal can only bend so far, so the piston slides a little through it. That's how it self-adjusts. When dirt or rust is on the piston, it will stick applied and refuse to release.

As for screwing the pistons in, that only applies to GMs and Fords with the parking brake built into the rear calipers. Once they are screwed in and the pads are installed, they will only come out by applying the parking brake. Regular use of the parking brake is required to keep the rear calipers in adjustment. Chryslers have always used a drum parking brake inside the rotors when the rear uses disc brakes. Some newer Fords are going that way too. It is a much simpler and more reliable design.

Caradiodoc
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 AT 1:34 AM
Tiny
RUNNIKEE
  • MEMBER
Thank you very much for all of your help and the great information. Hopefully I'll have time this week to open it up again and look for restrictions to solve the issue.
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Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 AT 7:13 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS LINSEY
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Thank you for using 2CarPros. Com. We appreciate your donation and look forward to helping you in the future.
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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 AT 1:45 PM

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