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Rotor/Caliper smoking and undesirable scent.

Discussion in 'Stock 1991 - 1994 Explorers' started by MistahYebba, April 22, 2016.

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  1. MistahYebba

    MistahYebba Active Member

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    Soooo.

    Pretty straight forward. Driving today out on the town..

    got some smoking from the driver's side hood/tire area.

    Hopped out and gave it a looky and could see the origination of the smoke was coming from behind the tire, right around the rotor/caliper area.

    Also was experiencing some pretty crappy driving.. pulling a lot to the left, as well as when I would come to a stop, the wheel would automatically turn like... ALL the way right.

    Whatever. I made it to work with a 'tude.

    On the highway though, on the way there, I was dealing with the fact that my steering/alignment was all off due to this caliper sticking... (my guess).

    Then all the sudden, I heard a 'lil relieving click and everything straightened out again.

    Guessing that was my caliper UNsticking..

    but... probably should look into replacing that, no?

    Should I replace both front calipers while I'm at it to keep it even?

    Additionally... could this be anything else, or am I most likely on track with a stuck caliper?

    After all, those things are older than me! I've replaced a lot, but never the calipers, so I'm sure it's time.
     
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  3. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    Most would say replace both. Same mileage both sides, correct? ;)

    Check the NAPA Eclipse semi loaded rebuilts including brackets. Local availability with no core return shipping charges and lifetime warranty. Easy bolt on solution. Hard to justify replacing seals and refinishing anymore, especially for $27 each. Replace ALL hardware, clean contact surfaces thoroughly, lube with specific brake grease, and do a complete flush. GL

    http://www.napaonline.com/napa/en/s...terchange=false&text=&catId=3.13&catIndex=App
     
  4. Wolfie_85

    Wolfie_85 Active Member

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    I would do both. You COULD also just need to clean up and grease the slide pins or the clips that hold the pads, too. Worth a look. :)
     
  5. 2stroke

    2stroke Elite Explorer

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    Its rare the calipers themselves stick. More often than not, its the slide pins. They have to be greased, and often the grease doesn't last as long as the pads. I re-grease every year or so. I've used lithium grease before, but the stuff does bake on, and doesn't last long. I use sil-glyde grease now, and it seems to last.

    Another possible cause is bad brake lines. I bleed all the fluid every few years. Fresh fluid has a higher boiling point, and lower moisture content. Steel brake lines can rust from the inside (and that rust can cause sticking caliper pistons), also the rubber lines can degrade and break apart causing similar issues.

    I would never buy a cheap caliper unless I was in the middle of nowhere. I cheap out on a lot of things (people go overboard with Motorcraft on here), but the three things I never skimp on are brakes, belts, and fluids. That doesn't mean I always buy the most expensive or name brand either. I have rebuilt calipers before, and its worth it. Its just a couple seals and a dust boot.

    I personally don't think the caliper is your problem, but if you do buy new ones, you don't need both sides, just the one. I would go for a premium brand. NAPA, BrakePerformance, or even Motorcraft on RA. They run around $50-$60 a caliper, while the rebuild is $5 a set (both sides). The choice is obvious for me.

    Grease/replace your slide pins, if no improvement replace your brake lines. Brake lines are cheap, and its not that hard to do. All it takes is a flaring tool and a little time.
     
  6. MistahYebba

    MistahYebba Active Member

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    I really appreciate all of your answers.

    Particularly 2stroke. Thank you for putting the time in to open my eyes on the possibilities.

    I am all for saving money, doing things myself, and feeling comfortable knowing the quality of what I am putting in the truck that I rely on every day.

    I will give it a look this weekend when I'm out of work and see if it's not just a loose or un-greased slide pin over there, or anything else..

    I was simply jumping to conclusions thinking about just throwing money at parts.
     
  7. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    NAPA left - OEM right (Bosch calipers)
     
    Last edited: April 22, 2016
  8. Rhett

    Rhett Let Them Eat Cake Elite Explorer

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    swshawaii -- those don't look like 1st gen calipers, unless there's a pin conversion I don't know about floating around out there.

    Ours have rails for the slide pins, the ones pictured appear to have bolts and dust boots for a later gen. ??
     
  9. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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    Those pics were from my ST. Here's Gen 1 NAPA front caliper pics from their web site.
    Regarding 1991-94 caliper pins seizing, I can see how this design can be trouble prone.
     
    Last edited: April 25, 2016
  10. natenkiki2004

    natenkiki2004 Blue Bomb!

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    Yea, they're not like modern slide pins that are internal and have a rubber sealing boot. They're external stainless pins that act kind of like a roll pin to hold the calipers in place. VERY easy for dust, salt, water and all manner of contaminants to get in there. Being stainless, they last a long time. However, the knuckle and caliper are both cast iron and very much prone to rust which will bind the slide pins up.

    I'd echo everything 2stroke said. Do an inspection and it's very cheap and relatively quick to remove the slide pins and clean the grooves then grease them. People have different preferences. I've had luck with the CRC synthetic brake caliper grease. It's Molybdenum, graphite and teflon. Thick but slick. I did mine in September of 2014 and haven't been in there since and they still work great.
     

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