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Front Brake Calipers Dragging


TwinCamFan
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:mad: So I've dealt with a bunch of brake issues on the TC's, soft pedal (bad ABS pump) hard pedal (insufficient voltage thru the ABS relay due to bad fuse) Heck, I even upgraded to the 11.25" RT brakes on the yellow car. This dragging problem is on my 89 red/ginger car, was driving 2-3 times per week so it hadn't been sitting forever... Went out for a drive to Cars and Coffee last Saturday morning and noticed it was taking a little more throttle to make the car go down the road.:confused: I was actually thinking I was down on power, you know, usual culprit, a vacuum line popped off somewhere or something similar. 2-3 miles into the drive I smelled hot brakes. Get out and check, sure enough both front wheels are hot and the rotors are blueing. They had been lightly(moderatly?) dragging the whole time:(

Any ideas what I am looking for, I don't believe both calipers would sieze overnight on a regularly driven car in a non-rust state? Immediately I suspect and issue in the overly complex and less than beloved Teves system...

Alan

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Not a lot to go on, but have you ever changed your fluid?

Two things come to mind. First, although you are in a non rust state (and I cannot conceive not seeing rust on cars) corrosion still takes place in one form or another. I would check, clean and lubricate all the brake slides and pads. I do this every year with my vehicles to prevent possible sticking of the parts. Some may say this is overkill, but it works for me.

The other item is corrosion from the inside causing pitting inside the cylinders (calipers). This is caused by the brake fluid absorbing water over time. This corrosion will jam the rubbers and prevent the pistons from retracting when activated and cause a drag on the brakes. The only cure is replacement.

Let us know how you get on.

Bob

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The caliper slides "maintenance" is a good idea, especially if you can do it yourself. Seems like there's a specialized lube for just that purpose?

The rubber/flex lines can degrade internally and form a one-way valve with the flap of internal rubber that's come loose inside. This can mean that during flushing, things appear normal but the particular wheel's brakes will not release. Usually, this is a one-wheel situation rather than both of them at the same time, but it might be time to replace both of them anyway.

The other thing which can affect wheel-pairs of brakes is the inadvertant addition of a "foreign fluid" to the particular section of the master cylinder reservoir. When this happens, a "tell tale" side issue can be the great expansion of the rubber seal on the inner section of the master cylinder's cover.

Several years ago, a car was towed into our shop (at the dealership). The complaint was that the car started slowing down all by itself, even with increasing throttle input. The lady was able to get it to the side of the multi-lane highway before it stopped completely. The brakes were self-applying. When the tech pulled the cover off of the master cylinder to check the fluid level, the rubber gasket/seal was about 4 times its normal size. Seems that she'd been to a quick oil change place and they put something other than brake fluid in the master cylinder to top it off. Luckily, a careful inspection revealed that the contaminated fluid had not gotten to the ABS system valves, so that was good. A new master cylinder and a brake system flush fixed that one.

Considering the age of the vehicle and that you apparently drive it reasonably often, it might be good insurance to replace both of the front flex lines and also the one for the rear brakes.

Please keep us posted on what you find.

Just some thoughts,

NTX5467

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id go with the flex lines are degrading and not letting the fluid back. ive changed enough of them on my cars when calipers would appear to be seizing up on short drives and id be cooking the rotors. wouldnt happen the first few miles, but after parked it would return to normal when cold. id change the flex lines first because the price on them is slightly cheaper than the loaded calipers and honestly replacing the calipers and not 22 year old flex lines just seems stupid to me.

Edited by 89TC-16V (see edit history)
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Alan, what I learned about changing flex lines. Cut the line and coax the 1/2 loose from the steel line. After the old flex line is loose, play with the fitting on the steel line. They seize up. If you try the fitting on the steel line and force it, you will twist the steel line.

I figured this out after twisting the steel line.

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Good sugestions, I did think of a crimp or bad line but both at the same time seems unlikly:confused: Yes, the fluid has been changed as has the accumulator. Previous owner was pretty good about maintanance as well so the fluid was was closer in color to tea than coffee(a good sign IMO;)) when I got the car. Thought I would be delving into it today but there are never enough hours in a weekend:o

Not sure I follw about Cindy waiting for a call from me Tim? I do know that every time I'm on the phone with her I end up spending too much on fancy new parts:D

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I had the same situation with my TC and the problem turned out to be what Bob suggested - corrosion built up on the pistons in the calipers. Although I'm not a mechanic I went down to the local parts store, bought decent quality calipers, pads & rotors, then followed the instructions in the FSM very carefully and have had perfectly functioning brakes ever since. - Nile

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