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Wheels, Tires & Brakes

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2010, 09:54 AM
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brakes pulsating

1997 ford f-150 4x4 4.6 l

1st off my brakes, well when i go to brake my brakes feel really soft and they pulsate while pressing them all the way down and its hard to stop unless i really slam them on the abs light is on also and ideas?

2nd off my 4x4 manual shifter on the floor will not budge the 4 wheel drive has worked in the past but hasnt been used in 2 or 3 years seems like its jammed or something.
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  #2  
Old 04-12-2010, 10:16 AM
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Location: Minnesota
Vehicle: 2004 Ford F150
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Pulsating brakes will be warped rotors. Soft brakes with abs light on - I would start with checking the fluid level. If it's full flush, the system, It could have air in it. You may have other problems too, ie faulty abs sensor. good luck
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  #3  
Old 04-12-2010, 10:38 AM
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Actually, you may want to do the fluid flush first. There's no telling when the last time it was done on a truck that old. If you're running 13-year-old brake fluid, it would feel soft even if it was full to max. And the pulsating when you're fully engaging the brakes could just be the ABS working properly. If the ABS light is still on after you replace the fluid, disconnect the battery for 10+ minutes to reset the warning.

If the light comes back on, check out the ABS system. Like norseman said, it's probably the sensor, and hopefully not the controller. Get this fixed, and if it's still pulsating, then look at the rotors. No use replacing rotors with a messed up brake system; it could just warp them again.

For warped rotors you'll have to either get them turned, or fully replace them. Since Ford put thin rotors on our generation trucks, having them turned will probably only buy you another 30k, at best. Replacing them is probably more cost effective, especially if you can do the work yourself. It doesn't require a lot of "know-how" on 4x4s, but it does require a lot of force and elbow grease to break through the rust. Make sure you get new pads for the new rotors and bed them in properly for the best results and longest life. Search these forums, or pick up a good Haynes manual for directions.

As for the 4x4 lever, you should post in "transmission" or "other drivetrain" to get better help on that.

Good luck!
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Last edited by ucfperspicere; 04-12-2010 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Edited order of things to diagnose.
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  #4  
Old 04-12-2010, 11:30 AM
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Ok i know what bad rotors feel like the rotors and brake pads are fine the pulsating is in the fluid there are really soft squishy and it feels like there's air in them i will try and bleed them what scares me is the abs light is on, could it be my master cylinder, brake booster or something?
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  #5  
Old 04-12-2010, 01:35 PM
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Don't scare yourself too much up front. You know there's a problem with the fluid. The idiot light might just be reacting to that. I don't know. But the light could indicate a problem with any part of the system. It's a pretty general light, just like the CEL for an engine problem.

If it were me, I'd do the most basic and cheapest stuff first, and work until the problem is solved. But that's just me.

Or, you could take it to a professional brake shop. If it's complicated and they know exactly how to fix it, that could end up being cheaper in the long run. But sometimes the shops are just guessing, too.

Last edited by ucfperspicere; 04-12-2010 at 01:37 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-12-2010, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garnbill View Post
1997 ford f-150 4x4 4.6 l

1st off my brakes, well when i go to brake my brakes feel really soft and they pulsate while pressing them all the way down and its hard to stop unless i really slam them on the abs light is on also and ideas?

2nd off my 4x4 manual shifter on the floor will not budge the 4 wheel drive has worked in the past but hasnt been used in 2 or 3 years seems like its jammed or something.
Mine are the same dam way on my 2003. They do not brake well at all, and as for the pulsating brakes mine pulsate whenever im closer to being stopped, with more pressure applied. They also squeak. And i just replaced them maybe a month ago? Of course i am stopping 37' tires.
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  #7  
Old 04-12-2010, 08:43 PM
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Vehicle: 2010 Ford F150 XLT
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I had that same problem with my '97...it was the hoses going to the calipers. Even though they looked fine on the outside and didn't leak I changed them and good as new.
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  #8  
Old 04-13-2010, 12:55 AM
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Had a similiar issue on my 2001 i replaced the calipers and everything is great now. Havent had any issues.
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  #9  
Old 04-13-2010, 11:50 PM
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Does anyone know where i can get a 10mm round socket?....hehehe.....Ok well i tried to bleed them and some idiot before me rounded off the bleeder i mean its a perfect circle and its rusted on there pretty good i let it soak with some pb blaster all night and then tried heating it up and got some vise grips on it and it wouldn't budge so im back to square one now....im thinking my only other option is to buy new wheel cylinders. but then im looking at possibly breaking the break line that goes into the wheel cylinder i have break line wrenches but its not really helping any ideas?
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2010, 12:27 AM
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My brakes pulsated like that when they were close to the floor - it was the abs sensor. I just took out the main abs fuse, and the problem disappeared. I have the "ABS" light on my dash constantly, but i'm not a huge fan of abs anyways. I'm fine without it (one year plus, no problems).
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  #11  
Old 04-14-2010, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garnbill View Post
some idiot before me rounded off the bleeder i mean its a perfect circle and its rusted on there pretty good i let it soak with some pb blaster all night and then tried heating it up and got some vise grips on it and it wouldn't budge so im back to square one now....
Is there enough of the bleeder screw exposed that you can drill a small hole through it and use the drill bit as a T-handle to try to turn it? If you try this, make sure you use as strong a bit as possible for best chance of success.
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2010, 12:34 PM
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well i put vise grips on it and locked on and it still wont budge so im not sure if a drill bit t handle will work but yes there is enough exposed
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2010, 12:45 PM
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Location: Matthews, NC
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I had pulsing and "spongey" brakes a month ago on my '00 150 4X4. I replaced the ABS sensor, and it didn't help. I then realized that my front wheel hubs where SHOT. I replaced both front hubs, flushed the brake system. And all my issues are completely resolved. To check if your wheel hubs are bad, get one tire completely off the ground. And then try to move the tire up and down (without moving the suspension). You can do this by grabbing the tire on the bottom and pull to you. IF the tire, wheel, rotor, etc moves but suspension doesn't then you need new wheel hubs. Chances are, if one is gone the other ones won't be very far behind it. I would also have your ABS sensors checked. If one is out you need to replace that sensor, and this could be where all your issues are coming from. Hope this helps.

Just as an FYI, what happens when your hub goes out, the metal shavings will destroy the ABS sensor which will cause your brakes to pulse when trying to stop. And IF you hear some strange noise coming from the front end, and you are sure it is not coming from the engine. Chances are that your hub is shot.
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Last edited by Da Wolf; 04-14-2010 at 12:48 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-22-2012, 10:47 PM
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i know this is an f150 site but this is the only thing ive found thats close to the problem im having, i have a 2002 explorer and if i dont press the brake all the way down they work like normal but if i have to stop faster than doing that can do the brake pedal shakes and doesnt want to stop at all, i think it might have something to do with the cold because it started doing this about 4 days ago and it snowed for around 5-7 seven inches that day the first real snow we have had all year, so i parked it in my garage hoping it would warm up and the problem would stop but it hasent, pleas if anyone can help id really appreciate it...
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:47 PM


 
 
 
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