Rear caliper piston lock-up possible? | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Rear caliper piston lock-up possible?

Recoil Rob

Well-Known Member
April 5, 2008
Reaction score
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLT
Some of you may have seen my thread about my rear brake job, I changed out the rotors, pads and parking brake shoes, I used EBC rotors and pads.

No problems for the first 100 miles but last nigh about 3 miles from home I smelled something burning. I thought that it may be the pads still breaking in since this was the first time I had driven it with the windows open.

When I got home I saw smoke coming from the left rear wheel. I thought perhaps I had adjusted the parking brakes shoes incorrectly and they were dragging. I let it cool off and jacked up the rear, the left side was hard to turn but no problem with the right.

When I pulled wheels off I could see that it was actually the paint on the pads (EBC color codes their pads) that had burned. I got in touch with EBC (excellent customer service) and they asked for some photos which I emailed. They said the pads were definitely in contact with the rotor. The rotors came right off so it wasn't the parking brake shoes.

I didn't think a caliper piston could stick like that. Don't they only apply pressure when the pedal is pushed sending hydraulic pressure to the piston? Isn't the pressure released when the pedal is released?

With the caliper off I stepped on the pedal twice and the piston came out a bit, I was able to push it right back in with my C clamp. There's no return mechanism for pistons so what could have caused this to happen and what should I do about it?



Have you checked your caliper slide pins to make sure they are not seized?