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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hey guys, newbie here
I just bought my 2002 Dodge Ram Van (extended cabin) 3500 - 5.9 liter with 40k miles.
I got few questions/concerns and will start with the most pressing.

Braking - it pulls to the left when braking hard, I looked at both sides and noticed the Right disk would turn very hard when on jack-stands. Left side turns fine. Also notices right side disk is likely warped.
So I'm suspecting Right frozen caliper... but On the highway if I pump the brakes I get way better breaking. then when I come to a stop and let off the brakes the van will not roll. So I tap the gas and the vehicle rolls and I feel the breaks "un-freeze" and let the vehicle go. There's still some drag being felt though as I drive. Feels like no drag in the morning - but gets worse as i drive. But if the caliper was frozen I should get all or no breaking right?
Strange... any suggesting?

MPG - I'm doing less then 10mpg combined (I suspect the braking drag is not helping) - I noticed some good articles here with other suggestions on improving mpg so I'll try some of those.

BTW I want to change the air filter - is it true that I have to get to it via the center console?!

Lastly, I'll be doing the oil change, change the belt, and other minor adjustments.
 

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Not sure what exactly your problem might be, but I do know the rubber hoses on the front brake lines break down from the inside screwing up fluid pressure and can cause weird braking and sometimes prevent the caliper pistons from releasing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
it kind of makes sense what you're saying - and I did read on the web that the lines corrode from the inside - I thought they meant the metal ones.
It makes sense to me to be the line because I do have breaking - and when I pump the breaks I get good breaking - just that they won't release easily, and even when they let go there's still a drag.
So makes sense to be the lines - assuming debris inside doesn't allow the brake fluid to flow back and forth easily, hence the stubbornness of the caliper.

What about the air filter - I have to go through the dog house to get to it?
I mean I can see it from the front, but an electrical box and other cables/lines are in the way.
 

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Yep -- You'll have to pull the doghouse to get to the air filter. Fifteen to twenty minute job, and I'm old and move slow.

Also, brake fluid turns to mud and sludge after so many years. It might be a good idea to flush your entire brake system. Replacing the front lines and flushing the system with new brake fluid would be a start. Hopefully that will solve your problems. Otherwise, if you have to replace the calipers, you may as well replace the rotors at the same time.
 

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:) thanks for such good info - now all I have to do is wait on the weather to get above the teens and single digits - too cold to do any work on it.

I did notice the rotor on the side that drags the most was warped so I will replace that. But if the caliper is not bad then I'll hold off on it, I'll change the lines to it only.
Bleeding the breaks' gonna be fun...

Just wondering, did you hear anyone doing anything about the turning radius on these vans. Can it be improved? Or too much hassle?
 

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New Jersey is not the place I would want to be right now -- especially working on a van.
Good luck.

Don't really know anything about changing the turning radius - I think you're pretty much stuck with what you have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
haha I never though I'd be so happy seeing temps in the 20's - and yes, I will not complain compared to Boston. that must suck so bad.
Ohh and the funny thing.... I bought this van in Boston :D 4 months ago
 

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:) thanks for such good info - now all I have to do is wait on the weather to get above the teens and single digits - too cold to do any work on it.

I did notice the rotor on the side that drags the most was warped so I will replace that. But if the caliper is not bad then I'll hold off on it, I'll change the lines to it only.
Bleeding the breaks' gonna be fun...

Just wondering, did you hear anyone doing anything about the turning radius on these vans. Can it be improved? Or too much hassle?
Take both of your rotors to your local parts house and have them turned. The parts store should be able to measure them and see if there is enough meat left to turn them back to true. This won't solve your sticking issue, but will give you better braking performance and make the pads last a lot longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you txwooley - I got a new rotor for the right side, and I will take your advice to turn the left rotor then cuz I am putting in new pads so..

Question - what type of oil do you recomend for this van? With the summer season ahead of us
 
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