Any car guys here?

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by gunnut, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. gunnut

    gunnut Member

    My 99 Ford Explorer is having some issues in the braking department. I changed the rotors and pads all the way around two weeks ago. I did so because it was vibrating really bad (felt like a warped rotor). After replacing the parts, it still does it. It's only when braking though. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. JMcDonald

    JMcDonald Member

    Id first go with a wheel balance issue or an alignment issue.

    However, with new pads and rotors, it is sometimes good idea to "break in" the front ones by lightly holding the brakes for a couple miles. This insures that the first few layers of "loose" pad don't leave deposits or uneven surfacing on the rotor. Its like breaking in an engine. Ive never personally done this but Ive heard of it.

  3. hobo

    hobo Guest

    Contrary to popular belief, alignment or wheel balance won't cause a vibration only under braking. Now that that's out of the way.

    Knowing nothing else about your situation I have a few questions, one of which will almost certainly lead you to your problem. In no particular order.

    1. Where did you purchase the rotors? If your answer is Autozone, take them back and get a pair somewhere else. AZ stocks their rotors vertically, which will create lateral runout (warpage) sitting on the shelf.

    2. Were your rotors spotlessly clean before installing the pads? If the has greasy fingerprints or shipping preservative on them, your pads are now contaminated, causing your problem.

    3. How are the front end components on your vehicle? Exploders are very susceptible to front end vibration under braking due to worn/damaged tie-rod ends, rack bushings and ball joints.

    4. What is the condition of your front tires? Occasionally, a front tire starts to come apart internally and the first sign is vibration under braking and is only noticable under braking load.

    5. If the Exploder is 4WD, were the hub mating surfaces properly cleaned and the front wheels properly torqued? A piece of rust or dirt .001" at the hub turns into about .006" lateral runout at the rotor, which is twice the allowable limit. And incorrect/overtorqing the wheels will tweak the rotors as well.

    Based on experience, if the answer to #1 is no, then #3 is the next most likely cause. Good luck and let me know.
  4. A.C.P.

    A.C.P. Member

    Hobo has all the bases covered on this one. We always cut/tru up NEW rotors as most of them are pre warped. +1 on the antirust coating they also apply, need to use brake clean to dissolve it (not carb cleaner).
    Hobo is also right on the front end parts, Ford trucks are bad for this.
  5. gunnut

    gunnut Member

    I did buy them at Auto Zone. Should I just return them or try to have them turned? It was barely noticable after I first repalced them, but it has grown to the same manitude as before. My poor son is getting rattled to death in the back.
  6. hobo

    hobo Guest

    Well, that's a tough one to answer. You've already laid out between $35 and $55 a piece depending on if they're 2WD ABS/non-ABS or 4WD. It'll probably cost you $12-$15 each to have them resurfaced. Plus, you won't be able to drive the Exploder for however long it takes. If it was me*, I'd go get some rotors from someplace else and the do a defective return at AZ. Don't worry, they have to take them. I know the system.

    But before I did that, I'd certainly make sure the problem doesn't exist elsewhere. IF the the problem is not the rotors and IF replacing them with parts from somewhere else doesn't fix it, you'll be pissed that you didn't explore all possibilities before doing the additional work.

    * If it was me, I wouldn't buy ANY brake parts from Autozone to begin with.
  7. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    I have an 02 f150 4x4, prety much the same except body. Had similar prob. it was from the ABS System. The fluid was in poor condtion and needed flushed,
    As the ABS tryed to do it thing the poor fluid condition caused the system to Function at less than ideal. The braking was rough and would almost feel as if the tires all lost allighnment and the ball joints failed at the same time. Not to mention the harsh side to side pull on the steering wheel. NOT huge just half an inch or so. But enough to make driving suck.

    After a flush and fill the truck would brake normaly, The diagnostic tests came out fine so I had no other ABS problem IE failed sensor or what have you.

    Also After changing pads and rotors it is a wise Idea to bleed the brake system with new fresh Quality fluid.

    I hope you find the root cause and get it worked out. Good luck

    Side note, did you add sylocon or what ever that crap is to the back of the pad were it contacts the Piston? Failing to do so will cuase Slight vibrations. Nothing tearible I would think though??

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    Here's a simple fix cut out the floor boards when you need to stop have EVERYONE jam their feet into the ground and drag [like the Flintstone's] Boots and sneeakers are much cheaper then all the parts for these newfangled cars-trucks anyways :wink: :lol:
  9. hobo

    hobo Guest

    I hate to have to keep making corrections, but this is my area of expertise.

    1. The Exploder has rack and pinion steering and your F-150 has recirculating ball steering. Your F-150 is full size and the Exploder is "mid" sized. About the only thing they have in common is four tires and a blue oval.

    2. "Sylocon", or silicone as it's sometimes known, will dampen minor vibrations that will only be identified as brake noise or squeal. You could put five pounds of silicone on the pad backing plate and not eliminate a vibration like he's talking about.

    3. Bleeding the system when replacing pads is in fact a good idea... But I bet not for the reason you think. For most DIY mechanics, bleeding brakes, especially on an ABS equipped system, is likely to cause more problems than it cures.
  10. Thayldt21

    Thayldt21 Senior Member Member

    AH, haha. hobo you are correct, Brain cramp, Explodition is what I had in mind.

    Bleeding the ABS is not something I did, I took it in, Had much contamination in the lines, Ran threw deep water, Not on purpose sometimes you take a wrong turn leaving the ORV Park.
  11. Not sure if this would work, but it's cheap... tried flushing all the brake fluid out?
  12. Hobo hit many of the important points. Myself, been in Ford repair at a dealership for 14 years now.

    You said the brakes were fine for a bit after you replaced them? A couple things to consider. First off did you torque the lug nuts to the proper specs in an alternating fashion? Improper torque and uneven sequence can and will cause a new rotor to warp. Second thing to consider. You may have a caliper hanging up causing the new rotor to overheat and warp. This is normally easy to find as the offending rotor will have bluing on it from excessive heat. One can be led to the proper wheel by taking a decent test drive and then feeling the wheels after you stop. If one wheel stands out as very hot, inspect that wheel.

    For the fellow that always has to machine a new rotor to true it up. Stop buying the junk rotors! A good rotor is hardly anymore than the warped crap some places sell. I've had people try to peddle us these cheap rotors before. I'm showing them the door before the first sentence is complete. I HATE shoddy parts and repairs!

    Good luck gunnut, please don't hesitate to ask questions. E-mail me if need be, I check it routinely through the day and can normally reply in under an hour.

    FWIW in the 14 years I've been with Ford not once have I seen a brake fluid flush do anything to cure a brake vibration. Fluid does need to be flushed, yes. But only because as it ages it collects moisture. That moisture then boils on heavy braking and causes the brake fade we all know and hate. Secondly the fluid will damage the hydraulic valves in the HCU portion of the ABS. That becomes an issue only if the ABS needs to activate. Just clarification.
  13. gunnut

    gunnut Member

    We aren't a very tall group. I'm towering over my wife at 5'6". I probably couldn't even reach the ground. Good thought though.
  14. Bam Bam

    Bam Bam Guest

    Hobo and wildman are right on with their advice. I too am in the business. Ford trucks are prone to worn components such as worn ball joints and tie rod ends which will just make things like warped rotors feel much worse.

    I also second the advice "Don't buy anything from Autozone", time and time again I have had customers bring me parts to put on their cars from Autozone (which I hate to do) only to find they usually don't fit or don't work properly. I would buy from Napa or O'Reilly if you can, thats who we use at our shop. If you stick to hobos and wildman's advice you should be fine, oh and mine too :lol: . Good luck and please report back as to the fix! Thanks

    Bam Bam
  15. p7196

    p7196 Guest

    Here is a simple lesson for everybody. Don't buy autoparts from A**oZ**e. The parts are crap. I worked for a friend part time as a mechanic. We had people coming in with new az parts and them be bad. One guy would not let us put a good alternator on his car because our price was $12 more than az. Instead he bought their part . 9 days later he paid us to change it . He took it to az got another and we put it on. 2 weeks later the same thing. I finally asked him since this was his 3rd trip to az for the part about wheat he spent in gas. He estimated about 15bucks. I told him it would have been cheaper to buy ours. After that he never bought his parts anywhere else. We used Napa parts . Theirs are not always perfect but I only changed out 3 items in 5 yrs.