Front brakes dragging, what is the cause? - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
 
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#1 Old 04-19-2007, 02:16 AM
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Question Front brakes dragging, what is the cause?

My Mom just bought a 91 Dodge Dakota Sport 4x4 with 5.2L V8 from a neighbor. After fixing a few bugs here and there (pitman/steering and oil sending unit/switch), I noticed the truck was a total dog. It felt like I was pulling a house behind me.

So today I start looking for the cause. I noticed the front end would shake some while going down the road at 45mph, like when you hit the brakes hard and the rotors are warped. When I got about 25 miles from home, I noticed the truck would come to a complete stop if I let off the gas. I could also smell hot brakes on the front. When I tried to take off on a hill once, the truck wouldn't go and did a brake stand for a second, and then went like I had 4000lbs behind me.

When I got home, I could put the brakes on, let off, and hear a 1-2sec delayed plop noise at the front. When I hit the gas right after that, I'd hear a pop like the brake pads were stuck to the rotors or like a tie rod pop in the front and then it would go. Also, right before you come to a complete stop, you can hear the brakes squeak; this may be the front and bake brakes, but I cant tell.

At one point, I got out of the truck to confirm the brakes were stuck, put it in neutral, put the transfer case in neutral, and then I tried to push the truck and it wouldn't move. It was stuck tighter than if it were in park as it wouldnt even rock back and forth.

So all that said, do you guys know what would cause this and how to fix it? Im thinking its the master cylinder since both front brakes are doing this, but Im not 100% sure.

Im a pretty competent wrench, but Ive never owned or worked on a Dodge, so if you guys know of any known brake problems or fixes, let me know.

FWIW, My experience is in Ford trucks and Mustangs.

Thanks,
John
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#2 Old 04-19-2007, 01:51 PM
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It's possible the brake fluid is contaminated and caused the seals in the master cylinder to swell up.. Loosen the bleeders to see if the fluid is under pressure, if it is this is the most likely problem.
Also the booster or pedal may not be adjusted correctly or be sticking... As a diagnostic, loosen the master cylinder nuts about a turn and it might free the brakes. If it does the problem is in the linkage or booster.
It is possible that both calipers are seizing do to corrosion from bad fluid or damaged due to bad seals and abusive 4x4 usage.
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#3 Old 04-19-2007, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-300
It's possible the brake fluid is contaminated and caused the seals in the master cylinder to swell up.. Loosen the bleeders to see if the fluid is under pressure, if it is this is the most likely problem.
Also the booster or pedal may not be adjusted correctly or be sticking... As a diagnostic, loosen the master cylinder nuts about a turn and it might free the brakes. If it does the problem is in the linkage or booster.

It is possible that both calipers are seizing do to corrosion from bad fluid or damaged due to bad seals and abusive 4x4 usage.
--B-300--
Thanks fro the info and help.

I can eliminate the bad brake fluid and abusive 4x4 usage, though. The lady owner has never driven it off-road, and I have every maintenance receipt - which I can tell you it's very well kept. I checked the brake fluid and it's clean as water, so that indicated it's been changed recently. I'll check back through the old maintenance records and receipts to see when it was last done and what brake work was done later.

I can add the truck has sat for the last few years being driven only a few times a year just to keep the battery charged up.

I'll check the stuff in bold later and see how it goes. Thanks again for the help.
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#4 Old 04-20-2007, 12:25 AM
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Remove the wheels on the front and check it out. You'll need new rotors and maybe new calipers. With the wheels off you should be able to see whats going on. Have a freind push the breakes and watch to see if the calipers are releasing.

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#5 Old 04-20-2007, 03:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopar Guy
Remove the wheels on the front and check it out. You'll need new rotors and maybe new calipers. With the wheels off you should be able to see whats going on. Have a freind push the breakes and watch to see if the calipers are releasing.
I'll jump in and check it out today and report back with my findings.
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#6 Old 04-20-2007, 09:59 AM
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Most likely the calipers are sticking. Brake fluid absorbs moisture as time goes by even if it isn't driven. The rotors probably be ok if they haven't been very hot. When disc brakes was first introduced to the U. S. on imported cars one of the recommended services was to flush the brake system every year.

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#7 Old 04-21-2007, 03:11 AM
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OK, this is wired, but...

I took the caps off the brake fluid thingy and pumped the brakes hard. I saw a few bubbles and it spit some fluid out. I topped it back off and took it for a test run. The brakes on the front were still real hot from the 35 mile trip with them locking up, but they were still sticking.

I get in the truck today after it sitting and cooling off and take it for a spin. It seems to coast, and not grab like it was. I got out and checked the brakes and this time only the passengers' side front brake was hot and popping while cooling off. The other three felt warm, but not real hot like that one.

So does this point to sticking calipers? Bad fluid? Air in the system?
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#8 Old 04-21-2007, 03:34 AM
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I would pull the calipers off and rebuild/replace them, install new hardware kits and lube the sliding surfaces with the proper disk brake lube. Sounds like new rotors and pads are in order also.
Does that have rear disk brakes or drums?
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#9 Old 04-21-2007, 03:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chump
I would pull the calipers off and rebuild/replace them, install new hardware kits and lube the sliding surfaces with the proper disk brake lube. Sounds like new rotors and pads are in order also.
Does that have rear disk brakes or drums?
It has drums on the rear.
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#10 Old 04-21-2007, 04:00 AM
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I'd be willing to bet that things are just bound up from not being driven too much. Plus a good flush would help.
Be aware that the pins/bolts that hold mount the calipers can sieze and be a real PITA to get out!



Front Caliper Mounting/Steering Knuckle - Thread Repair
NUMBER: 05-03-99
GROUP: Brakes
EFFECTIVE DATE: Apr. 23, 1999
SUBJECT:
Front Brake Caliper Mounting To Steering Knuckle Thread Repair
OVERVIEW:
This bulletin involves repair of the threads on the steering knuckle or brake caliper mounting adapter that are used to install and retain the front brake caliper housing in its correct operating location.
MODELS:
1986 - 1999 (AN) Dakota
1998 - 1999 (DN) Durango
DISCUSSION:
A Brake Knuckle Thread Repair Kit has been developed to repair stripped threads on the front brake caliper mounting attachment making it no longer necessary to replace the front steering knuckle/brake caliper mounting adapter when encountering stripped threads. The following information provides the repair procedure for using the Brake Knuckle Thread Repair Kit.
DIAGNOSIS:
1. Place the vehicle on an appropriate hoist.
2. Remove the front tire/wheel assembly.
3. Remove the brake caliper housing assembly by loosening the mounting bolts.

NOTE: IF HIGH TORQUE IS ENCOUNTERED DURING THE MOUNTING BOLT REMOVAL, IT IS LIKELY THAT THREAD DAMAGE WILL OCCUR OR HAS OCCURRED.
4. Remove the caliper housing assembly and hang the housing on the frame of the vehicle using an appropriate wire hanger.
NOTE: DO NOT ALLOW THE CALIPER HOUSING TO HANG BY ITSELF FROM THE BRAKE HOSE AS DAMAGE TO THE HOSE MAY RESULT.
5. If the vehicle has a bolt-on brake caliper mounting adapter, remove the adapter. If the brake caliper mounts directly to the steering knuckle, remove retainers on the wheel studs and remove the rotor.
6. Inspect the mounting bolts and knuckle threads for damage. If either is damaged, it is likely that damage to the other has occurred as well. If damage has occurred to the threads in the form of knicks, thread pulling, or cross-threading, perform the Repair Procedure.
PARTS REQUIRED:
AR (1) 05016156AA Insert, Heli-Coil, M9 X 1.25
AR (1) 04886075AA Bolts, Caliper Housing Mounting
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:
AR (1) 05016155AA Kit, Brake Knuckle Thread Repair
Includes:
23/64 Drill Bit
M9 X 1.25 Tap
Heli-Coil Installation Tool
Heli-Coil Tang Break-Off Rod
(25) M9 X 1.25 Stainless Steel Heli-Coils
REPAIR PROCEDURE:
1. Using the 23/64 in. drill, drill through the brake caliper mounting attachment hole keeping the drill perpendicular to the knuckle.
2. Using the M9 X 1.25 tap, tap the drilled hole ensuring to tap the hole entirely through.
3. Install a Heli-Coil insert onto the installation tool (tool number 3747-9). Be sure the tang is properly engaged into the driving contour of the tool.
4. Install the Heli-Coil into the drilled/tapped hole by rotating the tool and exerting slight pressure onto the tool/Heli-Coil and into the drilled/tapped hole. Continue to rotate the tool until the insert is located 1/4 to 1/2 turn below the steering knuckle surface.
5. Back the Heli-Coil installation tool out of the installed Heli-Coil. Then, remove the tang from the Heli-Coil by breaking the tang off using the tang break-off tool. Place the break-off tool into the assembled insert until it rests on the Heli-Coil tang. Holding the tool squarely, strike the tool sharply with a hammer.
6. If the vehicle has a bolt-on brake caliper mounting adapter, install the adapter. Refer to the appropriate Service Manual for information regarding proper brake caliper adapter mounting information. If the brake caliper mounts directly to the steering knuckle, install the rotor.
7. Install the caliper using new mounting bolts p/n 04886075AA in any location that had a Heli-Coil installed. Tighten the bolts to 30 - 35 N.m (22-26 ft. lbs.).
8. Install the tire/wheel assembly.
9. Lower the vehicle.
POLICY: Reimbursable within the provisions of the warranty.
TIME ALLOWANCE:
Labor Operation No:
05-80-20-93 Brake Caliper Mounting Support Thread Repair,
Left Side 0.4 Hrs.
05-80-20-94 Brake Caliper Mounting Support Thread Repair,
Right Side 0.4 Hrs.
05-80-20-50 Brake Caliper Mounting Support Thread
Repair, Each Additional Same Side 0.1 Hrs.
FAILURE CODE: XX - Service Adjustment
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