Putting the Brakes on Things... - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-25-2010, 12:29 PM Thread Starter
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Putting the Brakes on Things...

I tow a lot with my '03 EB 4x4 and I have found that nothing is quite as sure-footed as this beast. About three weeks ago I was towing my 6,000 pound travel trailer (5,200 without provisions, but who ever travels without provisions?). I was cruising down I-75 toward Atlanta and at about 70 mph tapped my brakes to slow to match traffic. Imagine my surprise when my truck tried to jump into the lane to the left. Imagine the surprise of the Corolla already occupying that same lane!

I corrected the wandering and let the X bleed off some more energy until I was in the slow lane. As luck would have it a Rest Stop appeared before me and I pulled into one of the Tractor-Trailer pull through parking spots.

As I tapped the brakes again, again it pulled to the left. It wasn't that it wouldn't stop, it was just the pull that was different. I got out and inspected my tires and as best I could, my brakes but they looked fine. I went ahead and drove the rest of the way home. Once I unhitched the trailer the problem became much less pronounced. Since I don't use the X much in Atlanta traffic (those that live here will understand), I didn't drive the beast for another week and sort of forgot about it.

Yesterday I had to use the Excursion to pick up a package too big for my Honda CR-V. As I drove it I experienced the pull again. This morning I took it to the shop for diagnosis. Well friends, BOHICA.

My right front caliper has seized and of course, ground the pads and Rotor into dust. The heat build up has caused the old caliper piston to melt, literally. The strain on the left side has resulted in asymmetric brake wear that smoked that caliper and rotor as well. The back pads were pretty much gone but I managed to save the rear rotors.

Right now the bill is just over $1,000. I don't know for sure what the lesson in this is, except to suggest I should have paid more attention to the warning sign. I'm not sure it would have saved me any money as the damage was pretty much done by the time I felt the symptoms, but it could have prevented me from operating a potentially dangerous piece of equipment on the highway.

Reverie

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2003 Eddie Bauer, 6.0 Oil Burner, 4x4
Hardened Studs, 4" Magnaflow, Uprated Brakes, Everything MacNeil Makes for My Truck, Monster Stereo Setup, SCT Tuner

Towing like it isn't even back there!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-25-2010, 02:41 PM
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Mine initially pulls a little to the left under braking as well, but then straightens out just fine. It's just that first touch. I figured it had something to do with the unknown lift kit and potential alignment issues. Going to have to take a look at it a little closer once the weather warms up I guess.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-26-2010, 07:25 AM
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Heres a question?

How are the brakes in the rain? Touchy or normal?




A quick thing to try would be to swap the rotors around, see if the pull follows the rotors or not. Some fords are flipping touchy when it comes to rotors, so swaping from one side to the other may help/hurt the braking problem.


Try that out.

2003 Ford Excursion 6.0L
Stock For now!
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post #4 of 7 Old 04-05-2010, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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The rotor on the right side was completely gone. The thing that amazes me is that this happened to me as I am very, very brake aware. I was a Sears mechanic for several years, and over time all those screwed up, neglected brakes made me acutely aware of my responsibilities when it comes to brakes. Check them often, be aware of their noises, never assume something is "just normal" if it doesn't sound normal. Don't overload your rig. If you tow, use trailer brakes whenever possible. Think. Think. Think. Typically I do my own brakes.

Reverie

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2003 Eddie Bauer, 6.0 Oil Burner, 4x4
Hardened Studs, 4" Magnaflow, Uprated Brakes, Everything MacNeil Makes for My Truck, Monster Stereo Setup, SCT Tuner

Towing like it isn't even back there!
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-05-2010, 07:31 AM
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Mine was doing this a month ago. It pulled left while driving and then I could get in the turn lane by just pushing the brakes. Jacked it up and spun the passenger tire by hand and it spun free, same thing to the driver side and when spun it stopped immediately. Caliper was sticking, replaced it and now it drives and stops straight
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-05-2010, 08:18 AM Thread Starter
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Wish I Had Been As Smart as Mikey

...cause I wouldn't have blown my budget on brakes...

Reverie

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2003 Eddie Bauer, 6.0 Oil Burner, 4x4
Hardened Studs, 4" Magnaflow, Uprated Brakes, Everything MacNeil Makes for My Truck, Monster Stereo Setup, SCT Tuner

Towing like it isn't even back there!
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-05-2010, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverie View Post
...cause I wouldn't have blown my budget on brakes...

Reverie
Well it was the quickest cheapest fix I have had in a while. I think I was just lucky more than smart
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