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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/30/2005 8:14:28 PM EDT
Ok my wife called today and said the suburban's brakes are acting weird. She brought it over and I drove it and here's what's happening;

The brakes feel pretty spongy, but the brake fluid reservoir is full. The brakes kind of feel like they are pulling to the left a little. When I press the brake pedal, most of the times it starts to slow down but sometimes it makes a "klunk" noise and it feels like the brakes are grabbing.

it almost feels like the left caliper is grabbing and the right isn't engaging but then suddenly it fires and grabs and makes that klunk noise.

It's also making a squeaking noise a little when I turn corners a little.

This is a 97 Chevy Suburban with anti-lock brakes and it's a 1500 1/2 ton with the 350 vortec.

Any ideas you guys? is this a master cylinder issue or is there some sort of sensor failure in the ABS system I need to look at? I reached around the wheel and the calipers don't feel like they are wobbling or anything. I am at a loss here!
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 8:24:57 PM EDT
Cracked or loose brake pads? If you hear a "clunk" it sounds more like calipers.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 8:27:02 PM EDT
When is the last time you checked them, sounds as if the pads backing plate is eating into the rotor. Not good.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 8:29:05 PM EDT
I would tend to agree that you might have worn down the friction material and the metal backing plate is contacting the rotor. Makes a Godawful noise.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 8:47:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2005 8:48:09 PM EDT by crashburnrepeat]
I replaced the front pads a little less than a year ago and put new rotors in at the same time. I guess it could be a cracked pad but I doubt they're worn down.

I'll go look at them though....

I have worn pads out though and they make a gosh awful squealing / grinding noise, this just makes a loud KLUNK! and then the braking action increases dramatically.....
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 8:53:47 PM EDT
Sound like the brake caliber has come loose and is riding on the rotor. Personally I wouldn't drive it at all before checking them out.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 9:15:59 PM EDT
OK,

crawled under the truck and pulled like a mother on the calipers, they don't seem to be moving around at all. The disconcerting thing is that I can't really see the calipers clamp down on the rotor at all when my wife pushes the brake pedal, on EITHER front wheel.

I am assuming that I should see the calipers clamp down when she hits the brake but maybe the outer pad is already resting against the rotor and the inner one is clamping as that's where the piston is.


At this point I think the MC is screwed up, any holes in this theory?
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 9:31:37 PM EDT
Check the wheel bearings.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:30:38 PM EDT
liquidsunshine: not wheel bearings, you would raka-tak sound, like a drugging a link chain behind your car.


To me, it sould like it could be the rear brakes hanging up on the backing plate. I wouldn't let your wife drive the vehicle until you get the sound checked out.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:32:36 PM EDT
suspension component is damaged
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 10:37:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 11:47:11 PM EDT
And for a nother completely different idea. If the brakes check out ok, check out your differentials especially if lockers or semi-lockers.

Those we check everything places usually don't check the differentials (or transfer cases) even if they say they do on the paperwork.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 11:53:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/30/2005 11:54:11 PM EDT by desertmoon]

Originally Posted By twonami:
suspension component is damaged




I agree, suspension or driveline component. Possible that you have two problems at once. This has always happend to me with GM...kinda wierd. I wonder if your Power brake booster has some issues. Also check the U joints on your drivline and on your U joints ( or is it CV joints these days? ) on your IFS axel shafts.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:06:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 12:07:34 AM EDT by MikeG23]

Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
The disconcerting thing is that I can't really see the calipers clamp down on the rotor at all when my wife pushes the brake pedal, on EITHER front wheel.



Then jack the front end up and see if you can spin the tire.

ETA: Since you've got the tires off the ground you may as well see if everything is tight.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:19:25 AM EDT
General Motors just issued a recall on thousands of trucks and SUV's for brake related problems.
Although I believe the recall is for 1999 though 2002 so your vehicle may not be affected.
The recall was announced on the evening news. You may want to call your dealer for more info.

-Smiley
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 3:28:51 AM EDT
i learned a long time back...when i put brakes on my suburban change the flex brake line going from the fender well to the caliper<sp it only cost a few bucks more,and it saves alot of trouble shooting later............JMO
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 4:33:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 4:41:25 AM EDT by HELtEr]
BALL JOINTS !!!! have you lifted front end off ground yet? Lift your front end off the ground and grab wheel and try to move tire and wheel in and out if it moves thats the problem.

I noticed you said when you turn wheels a certian way it clunks, the clunk could very well be a lower or upper ball joint that is shot. That would also explain why one brake is working better than another.
One side is giving and other isnt.

That clunk when applying brakes could be the whole assembly (spindle, caliper.and rotor) moving with the torque of the brakes being applied. when you let off the brakes the whole assembly will fall back into place on the ball joints.

DONT DRIVE IT TILL YOU KNOW, it could come off the a arms and lose control of vehicle.

my 2 cents

PEACE

HELtEr
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 4:52:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HELtEr:
BALL JOINTS !!!! have you lifted front end off ground yet? Lift your front end off the ground and grab wheel and try to move tire and wheel in and out if it moves thats the problem.

I noticed you said when you turn wheels a certian way it clunks, the clunk could very well be a lower or upper ball joint that is shot. That would also explain why one brake is working better than another.
One side is giving and other isnt.

That clunk when applying brakes could be the whole assembly (spindle, caliper.and rotor) moving with the torque of the brakes being applied. when you let off the brakes the whole assembly will fall back into place on the ball joints.

DONT DRIVE IT TILL YOU KNOW, it could come off the a arms and lose control of vehicle.

my 2 cents

PEACE

HELtEr



Good two cents worth!!!! I second helter!
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 10:08:18 AM EDT
Do you have drums on the rear? Sounds like a rear wheel cylinder is leaking fluid on the brake shoes causing them to grab. You'll also suck some air back into the line for that spongy feel.


Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
I am assuming that I should see the calipers clamp down when she hits the brake but maybe the outer pad is already resting against the rotor and the inner one is clamping as that's where the piston is.



You assume wrong. Both brake pads actually rub against the rotor 24/7 and just squeeze a tiny amount when you press the pedal. The actual distance the pads move too small to see.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 10:10:16 AM EDT
+1 ball Joint.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 10:30:53 AM EDT
Ball joint or some other suspension component. My 97 Jeep Grand Cherokee does it too...I just haven't had the time to get it fixed...okay, okay...I'm just lazy and trading it in soon so I just don't really care...
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 4:37:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JavaMan:
Do you have drums on the rear? Sounds like a rear wheel cylinder is leaking fluid on the brake shoes causing them to grab. You'll also suck some air back into the line for that spongy feel.


Originally Posted By crashburnrepeat:
I am assuming that I should see the calipers clamp down when she hits the brake but maybe the outer pad is already resting against the rotor and the inner one is clamping as that's where the piston is.



You assume wrong. Both brake pads actually rub against the rotor 24/7 and just squeeze a tiny amount when you press the pedal. The actual distance the pads move too small to see.




Bingo! Javaman wins the diagnostic prize. I was at work today and the wife was going to take it in to be looked at as I didn't have time to take it apart.

By the time she got there the brakes were totally gone.

They took it apart and the REAR cylinders were shot and blew all the fluid out on the way to the store.
They charged 385.00 to put new cylinders in and bleed out the brakes and turn the drums. IS that high? Sounds really high to me for two cylinders on the back wheels and new pads but at least I didn't have to do it.


But they also said something else, they said the whoever put the pads in there put them in there wrong (yeah, that was me about two months ago) and that because of that that's why the cylinders failed and that the rear axle needs it's axle seals replaced as soon as possible and new drums.

is this possible? How could putting brake pads in wrong affect the axle seals? Not to mention I had detailed digital pictures of the brakes before I ever touched them and right after I re-did them and they matched EXACTLY so they must have been like that before I got in there.

It sounds like a scam by the store (it's a new repair shop to us so I don't trust them yet.) was this crap they fed my wife cause she went in there alone to try and jack up the bill or is it possible to mess up the axle seals with a bad rear brake install?
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