1995 Ford Taurus 95 Taurus rear disc brake drag

Tiny
DWHEELER7676
  • 1995 FORD TAURUS

Brakes problem
1995 Ford Taurus 6 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 112500 miles

My '95 Taurus has a rear disc brake drag problem, as indicated by excessive heat and odor, smoke and/or pad/rotor wear/discoloration (and likely mileage), obvious when driven more than a few miles, right (R)side is more noticable than left (L), but both sides are similarly affected. I have seen very few posting on web about such a serious/annoying performance problem.

I have replaced the following without any effect: L&R side flexible brake lines (new), R side caliper (rebuilt), caliper bracket and slide pins (new), parking brake return spring (new), L&R rotors and pads, as well as the load sensing proportioning valve (salvaged). All with no change.

When jacked up and the road wheel removed, the rotor hub may be turned by hand with slight drag (deemed 'normal'), however if foot brake is depressed
the brakes are 'locked' (deemed 'excessive') until caliper is wriggled by hand.

What can account for this, how do I debug it and what is the cure? The car will soon be used for two new drivers about to enter the driving world so safety/reliability is a primary concern, but cost is also a consideration.

o-Brake fluid flush/replace?
o-Master Cylinder test procedures?
o-ABS test procedures?
o-TSB or known issues?

Please advise.

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Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 AT 10:58 AM

18 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
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Are you saying when the service brake is applied then released, the rear brakes stay locked? Does the piston noticeablr retract? If yes the slide pins need to be replaced and thoroughly greased with silicone brake grease.

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Wednesday, May 28th, 2008 AT 12:43 PM
Tiny
DWHEELER7676
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Thanks for your reply. Per my original post, all pins are *new* (and properly lubed). Yes, when testing with rear end jacked up and road wheel(s) removed, after the service brake is depressed, the rear brakes continue to drag, even after foot pressure is released - unless the caliper is manipulated. (During regular operation it is difficult to detect drag unless car is driven long/far enough to heat up and/or cause odor/smoking, and even more difficult to manipulate caliper to see if doing so helps eliminate the drag).

Your response raises two additional questions, however:

One about the pins, in that they fit quite loosely in the pin guides (which are part of - pressed into - the fixed bracket.) This is very noticable when test fitting the pins into the guides dry, and they still seem 'loose' to me when properly lubed with (silicone) grease. Since my pins and R side bracket are all new, should this be the case? (I.E, Have you verified this to be the case on functioning rear disc brakes?)

Another question about brake pad movement. Since the amount of movement a brake pad makes when going from 'applied' to 'released' is minimal, should you even be able to notice it (i.E, should the brake pad pull *visibly* away from the rotor)? If so, what causes this retraction (internal master cylinder return spring, fluid pressure)? I cannot say I have ever seen this to be the case in any disc brake application I've worked on in the past.

Thanks again. Please advise.

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Thursday, May 29th, 2008 AT 10:12 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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If your calipers have the parking brake levers, make sure the notched in the inner pad sits in the groove in the piston, or drag will occur, second, the pins should be snug, and there should be a thin 1/2 wide plastic strip wrapped around them. And the lever for the parking brake should be fully relaxed. Now if all these are OK make sure the front calipers pads and hoses are good, this car as in all front drives, has diagonal braking system meaning left front and righr rear are paired off the master cylinder. The same is true for the opposite side.

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Thursday, May 29th, 2008 AT 1:16 PM
Tiny
DWHEELER7676
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Thanks, good info! I'm as sure as I can be when sliding the caliper/piston assy over the pads that the notches/bumps line up (check visually before, wiggle afterwards to feel).

Now, your reference to a "1/2 thin plastic strip wrapped around them" has me puzzled, it was not on any of the [original] pins I removed, was not included with the new bracket and pins I purchased from a local parts jobber, nor does it seem to appear in the drawings I referenced online (gif hopefully attached). All I see are the pins (#12) and the collapsible rubber boots (#10). Is the plastic strip intended as a sleeve? (The pins I have are all metal, with grooves for the rubber boots at the outer end, and three machined 'flats' [presumably to prevent hydraulic or pneumatic lock?] Running for some length along the inner end.) Should I go to the dealer for a more accurate parts list/drawing?

Thanks again. Please advise.

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Thursday, May 29th, 2008 AT 2:53 PM
Tiny
DWHEELER7676
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Here's gif I referenced in previous reply:


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/195089_95TaurusBrakeExplodedView_2.jpg

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Thursday, May 29th, 2008 AT 2:59 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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These will be an extra if your pins are loose! If they are too loose get new calipers, the holes have spread, and may be allowing the caliper to cock and missalign itself.

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Thursday, May 29th, 2008 AT 3:59 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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Never mind on the plastic, thats a different model, you pins slide into the mount, and altho they should move freely, they should not be loose, the mounting brackett may be worn out...


http://www.2carpros.com/forum/automotive_pictures/62217_Brackett_1.jpg

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Thursday, May 29th, 2008 AT 4:08 PM
Tiny
DWHEELER7676
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So, I've had a busy weekend. After reading a post about problems with the master cylinder [orifices being blocked], I replaced it with a rebuilt master cylinder from a local auto parts store, and while there, swapped the rebuilt right side caliper [which was still dragging] for another rebuilt one.

Upon reassembling and bleeding the system all seemed fine. Initial testing, with the rear end jacked up and road wheels off, indicated no brake drag after releasing the service brake pedal. My first road test however, was horrible. After only a five mile trip down a highway and back the smell of overheated brakes was evident, and now the LEFT wheel is the one affected, too hot to work on and visibly smoking.

So now what? Should I have the entire system flushed before proceeding further? If this were a common problem, I'm sure I would have read about it elsewhere. I'm seriously considering dumping the car, even after all this work and expense.

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Sunday, June 1st, 2008 AT 10:58 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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You still havent said if you looked at the fronts. Diagonal brake system. And if the ride hieght valve is set wrong you can get this, the is a pressure gauge used to measure the rear brake pressures, your must be too high, try re-adjusting the valve. Open the bleefer on that left caliper, does it spin? Three things back there that can cause drag, Hose, caliper, and parking brake cablee too tight, (pulling lever)And in your case, the hieght valve.

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Monday, June 2nd, 2008 AT 5:17 AM
Tiny
DWHEELER7676
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The front brakes (pads and rotors) have always looked and operated fine, no discernable heating, dragging, or abnormal wear. Despite 'diagonal' braking circuits, only the rear brakes have ever been problematic (dragging/heating), both similary affected at about the same time(?).

My latest endeavour was to replace the only items on the rear I had not; the Left Rear caliper and its bracket. This "seems" to have fixed the Left Side dragging for the time being, and I am now running cool on both sides so far.

I still do not understand the failure mechanism which affected only the rear brakes (never the front), gradually, over time - manifesting itself as heat and drag - with the only visible defects initially being the aging rear flexible brake lines (softened, outer layers cracking, but never leaking). Brake fluid, while bleeding lines throughout all this, always ran clean, never appeared to be discolored or to contain any foriegn particles of any kind.

In summary, I replaced both rear side pads, rotors, calipers, brackets, pins, flex lines, and parking brake return springs in order to "cure" this problem. In addition (and I suspect it was not absolutely necessary to), I replaced the load height proportioning valve and the master cylinder (out of frustration and desperation).

Thanks again for your input[s]. (And for keeping your fingers crossed over the next few weeks). I would still be interested how extreme, or common, the steps I took were to fix this, from someone with more experiance in these matters.

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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 12:00 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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Any time the flex hose is craked or dry rotted, replace em, the reson is on the inside, if a piece peels loose, it will act like a one way valve, pressure can go in, but not out!

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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 1:33 PM
Tiny
DWHEELER7676
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Not to beat a dead horse, but the dragging kept up even *after* both those hoses were replaced (which was the *first* I did to address the problem).

Would you dare to venture a guess that something like that could happen *elsewhere* in the system (like in the caliper, or master cylinder), despite liberal 'flushings' due to bleeding each brake circuit repeatedly (with no visible discoloration, crud, or particles ever seen in the recovery glass jar)?

Would a good brake flushing be advised in a situation like this, as a first step, and/or possibly have saved me some of my 'plug and play'? (For the next time.)

(Regardless, I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.) Thanks again!

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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 2:34 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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If it's not caliper mounts, and not calipers or hoses, it IS either contaminates brake fluid, oil or tranny fluid added to master, causing swelling of the rubber seals, then it will be brake cables, or hieght sensing valve allows too much pressure on rear brakes, so try driving wth the parking brake cables disconnected. As a test, Or have Ford test the and adjust the valve! You need a pressure gauge to do it!

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Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 AT 4:14 PM
Tiny
BGUNDERSON
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Did you ever figure out what the problem was? Or what fixed it? We are having the same problem with our 1995 Taurus. It is at the mechanic right now and they don't know what it is either.

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Friday, August 8th, 2008 AT 1:59 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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If it has traction control, and all else has been checked, try pulling the ABS fuse and driving it, or if your car has a shutoff switch for the trc control, turn it off. Just a thought!

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Saturday, August 9th, 2008 AT 5:55 AM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
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Here is some info on testing the traction control when ABS dash light is off. PINPOINT TEST J - POOR VEHICLE TRACKING DURING ANTI-LOCK FUNCTION, LIGHT OFF 1. Verify condition exists. Bleed brake system. If vehicle still does not track properly, go to next step. 2. Turn ignition off. Disconnect connector from ECU. See COMPONENT LOCATIONS. Connect breakout box and adapter. Raise and support vehicle. Ensure wheels spin freely. Connect jumper wire between pins No. 19 and 34 at breakout box. Connect another jumper wire between breakout box pins No. 2, 20 and 60. Apply moderate pressure to brake pedal. Ensure left front wheel does not rotate. Turn ignition on. Left front should rotate freely with ignition on. If wheel rotates freely, turn ignition off. Disconnect jumper wires, and go to next step. If wheel does not rotate freely, ensure wiring and connectors between ECU and solenoid valve block assembly are okay. If wiring and connectors are okay, replace solenoid valve block assembly. 3) Connect jumper wire between pins No. 19 and 34 at breakout box. Connect another jumper wire between breakout box pins No. 21, 38 and 60. Apply moderate pressure to brake pedal. Ensure right front wheel does not rotate. Turn ignition on. Right front wheel should rotate freely with ignition on. If wheel rotates freely, turn ignition off. Disconnect jumper wires jumper wire from breakout box pins No. 21, 38 and 60, and go to next step. If wheel does not rotate freely or if brake pedal drops, ensure wiring and connectors between ECU and solenoid valve block assembly are okay. If wiring and connectors are okay, replace solenoid valve block assembly. 4) Leave jumper wire connected between pins No. 19 and 34 at breakout box. Connect another jumper between breakout box pins No. 18, 55 and 60. Apply moderate pressure to brake pedal. Ensure right rear wheel does not rotate. Turn ignition on. Right rear wheel should rotate freely with ignition on. If wheel rotates freely, turn ignition off. Disconnect jumper wires, and go to next step. If wheel does not rotate freely or if brake pedal drops, ensure wiring and connectors between ECU and solenoid valve block assembly are okay. If wiring and connectors are okay, replace solenoid valve block assembly. 5) Connect jumper wire between pins No. 19 and 34 at breakout box. Connect another jumper between breakout box pins No. 36, 54 and 60. Apply moderate pressure to brake pedal. Ensure left rear wheel does not rotate. Turn ignition on. Left rear wheel should rotate freely with ignition on. If wheel rotates freely, turn ignition off. Disconnect jumper wires and breakout box and reverify symptom. If wheel does not rotate freely or if brake pedal drops, ensure wiring and connectors between ECU and solenoid valve block assembly are okay. If wiring and connectors are okay, replace solenoid valve block assembly. DO NOT leave ignition on more than one minute for this test. Page 1 of 1 ANTI-LOCK BRAKE SYSTEM -1995 Ford Taurus LX 8/9/2008

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Saturday, August 9th, 2008 AT 6:13 AM
Tiny
PLAYDOH
  • MEMBER

I've been working on a 96 forever, and I've had the same problem with the rear brakes. The drivers side rear-caliper was dragging, yet I'm not certian I aligned the notches in the caliper piston when I installed the replacement caliper.

However the first caliper was faulty, and the replacement only dragged until the pad wore down enough, due to the improper adjustment.

I now have the 'special tool' to turn the cylinder in, and I no longer bother with used brake parts.

I have my suspicions that the ABS might have something to do with this cars issues, but I'm not expert.

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Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 AT 2:19 AM
Tiny
VOLARE REPLACEMENT
  • MEMBER

I too have a 96 Taurus GL with 4 wheel discs. My hydraulic lines rusted and burst and while under there I noticed that the rear pads are worn for the 3rd time in 35,000 miles. A year or so ago I had replaced the emergency brake cable only to find out that the right rear caliper emergency brake lever was frozen. Replaced both calipers with new pads and a year later here we are again with worn pads (and a groovy rotor). I have found a place on-line called classictube. Com. Their site is down right now but they have an 800 number. They allegedly make OEM brake lines. Will save me time and or money against attempting to make them myself. Already got the replacement pads and rotors in place. I will keep you advised on my progress and hopefully the real deal solution for the excessive pad wear.

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Sunday, October 5th, 2008 AT 11:10 PM

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