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Posted: 9/14/2008 12:18:08 PM EST


The front brakes on my '89 Bronco have been dragging.

It was due for new pads on the front anyway, so I put on a new set this afternoon & put some anti seize on those cheap stamped things with the rubber in between that hold the caliper to the spindle, so that the caliper would be able to shift from side to side as it needed to.

Well, they still drag. Is this because of Ford's cheesy design, or am I missing something here?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
Link Posted: 9/14/2008 1:42:48 PM EST
Did you bleed the brakes?

When is the last time you changed the brake fluid?
Link Posted: 9/14/2008 1:43:06 PM EST
Its 20 years old, It isn't a cheesy design.

Do the calipers move when you apply the brake? (meaning the pistons inside the calipers)

jack up the front end and see if your fronts a locking up, open the bleeders and see if the calipers release.
Link Posted: 9/14/2008 2:14:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/14/2008 2:19:32 PM EST by Gone_Shootin]
mattimeo,

No, I didn't bleed the brakes, allthough that did occour to me. I have a good firm pedal though, so I figured I got lucky & didn't have to do that.

I don't know when the fluid was changed last. I bought the Bronco a year ago.


Gary_P,

I guess I'm used to the GM design (a truly free floating caliper)

Yes, the pistons work. When I put the new pads on I pushed the pistons back into the calipers with a c-clamp. After I buttoned everything back up, I gave the pedal a few pumps & she firmed right back up.

They were doing the same thing before I swapped in the new pads & I can tell that they are dragging again, because I let it coast down in neutral (5 speed manual) & it slowed down faster than it should have & stopped like I had been applying light brake pressure. When I got done with my test drive I confirmed it by touching the calipers & rear drums, the front calipers were warm & the rear drums were cool as a cucumber.

ETA:

I'll have to try the bleeder thing next weekend & possibly bleed those brakes.
Link Posted: 10/12/2008 5:43:59 PM EST
I thought I'd give an update, just in case it hepls anybody else.

I found out that Ford (and probably other manufacturers) used a phenolic/fiberglass piston in the calipers. And over time they tend to stick. So, that's what the problem was.
Link Posted: 10/13/2008 5:36:48 AM EST
Did you end up changing the caliper then?
Link Posted: 10/14/2008 10:33:46 AM EST
Drive it around without using the brakes much. Jack the front end up and see which one it dragging. Loosen the bleed screw and see if that releases it.

You may have a brake hose that has come apart on the inside, acting like a fish hook keeping the brake fluid stay in the caliper.

If it does not release, you have a seal in the caliper sticking and you will have to replace or rebuild it.

Which ever it is, replace both sides at the same time.

Actually, brake calipers and brake hoses are cheap, as old as they are I would replace the calipers and hoses.
Link Posted: 10/14/2008 10:40:06 AM EST

Originally Posted By Gone_Shootin:
I thought I'd give an update, just in case it hepls anybody else.

I found out that Ford (and probably other manufacturers) used a phenolic/fiberglass piston in the calipers. And over time they tend to stick. So, that's what the problem was.


That was actually quite a problem back in the early 90's for the 80's cars. I remember there was a recall on chryslers for it.
Had one stick all the way engaged. I had to power it off the road and it started smoking the brake pad to where I thought it would catch fire.
Link Posted: 10/19/2008 12:50:19 PM EST
To answer some questions above:

Both calipers have been replaced. I didn't think about the hoses though, good point.

It has a 5 speed, so I can let it coast to see of anything is dragging. Nothing is hanging up anymore & It coasts like is should.

I also drove it to Fargo, ND yestarday (about 50 miles one way) & the brakes worked just fine.
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