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I purchased my 2001 diesel excursion in March; 55000 original miles. The rear pads were nearly new. From the start, the right rear caliper was sticking causing a very strong brake odor. The rim was much warmer than the others. I ended up replacing both rear calipers, both rear brake hoses, (the rubber ones), and the left rear brake line, (the metal one). Before starting any job, I try to have all the replacement parts on hand. For this job, I even had the new brake lines before I started, because I was unsure if I could disconnect the rubber brake line from the metal brake line without twisting/cracking/damaging the metal line. As it turned out, I was able to free the right rear, but not the left rear. I also took the opportunity to replace the entire volume of brake fluid in the system.
I have replaced countless brake pads and brake shoes, but before this maintenance task, I have never broke into the wet lines. The job was easy, and since I had the metal brake line on hand, I wasn't frustrated when the one line broke.
I elected to replace the rubber brake hoses because I wasn't sure if the caliper was sticking or if the hoses were collapsing internally after the brake pedal was released and not allowing the fluid to leave the caliper and return back towards the reservoir. The additional cost is minimal, (including the special brake line wrench), and once you break into the system, you might as well take the time to do it right. As I mentioned before, the hazard of removing the rubber hoses is that you might damage the metal line in the process. The replacement brake line is straight when purchased. I carefully made the bends and curves to match the original. Just be careful not to kink the line during the process. I made the radius bends in the line bending it against a tomato soup can.
When replacing the fluid, I removed nearly all of the old fluid from the reservoir before adding the new stuff. Just be sure not to let the reservoir run dry as you pump the brakes with the bleeder valve open, and I was told by an old ford mechanic, not to pump the pedal all the way to the floor during the process. Start the bleeding process with the wheel that is furthest from the reservoir, and bleed the other three calipers working your way closer to the reservoir. Add new fluid to the reservoir as needed; do not let the reservoir run dry. This would be the bleeding order; right rear, left rear, right front, left front. I thought it made it easier to use a clear glass jar to catch the old fluid. That way I could see when the new fluid started coming through.
The end result is now the brakes work flawlessly.
I hope I haven't lectured you on a subject you are already are familiar with.
On the other hand, you may have installed a pair of aftermarket pads that are a tad larger than OEM. I installed a pair like that on one of my old Chevys. Once they burned in, they were fine by the end of the day.
Last edited by the ponz; 09-20-2011 at 06:42 AM.