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Front brakes overheating...just replaced pads+rotors


Old 05-03-2004, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 57
Front brakes overheating...just replaced pads+rotors

My truck, a 1998 F150 4x4xlt ext cab, which I brought to the shop for new rotors and pads over the weekend is having serious trouble with the front drivers side brakes overheating. I can't even touch the rim to the wheel without burning my hand. I had the truck towed to the shop (after I noticed a stinky smelling steam pouring out of the brake caliper) and they removed the new rotors and ceramic brakes and calipers and replaced them again (at no charge) and appologized for not knowing what caused it. However today, I noticed it still is getting very very hot after normal driving (but I didn't notice any smoke). I squirted some water at the rotors and the water evaporates instantly and the rims feel warm. I've read on prior posts that sometimes master cylinders go and the hose lines can close shut. Is there a way for the shop to check this when I bring my truck back to them? Everything seemed fine before I brought it in to the shop for new pads+rotors. Any ideas are appreciated. -Thanks. Matt

Last edited by mscruton; 05-03-2004 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: So. California
Posts: 755
sometimes if you let the calipers hang from the brake hoses when you do the brakes you can cause damage to the inside of the hose. This damage causes a restriction that holds over fluid pressure. This would be like driving with your foot resting on the brake pedal. Since you only seem to have the problem on one side I would not normally suspect a master cylinder prob.
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Old 05-03-2004, 01:20 PM
APT is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Commerce Twp, MI
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A couple ideas:

The sliding caliper isn't sliding causing one side to work very hard with a lot of heat as a byproduct.

Probalby it is just the new pads being worn in. Either the pistons were not pressed in all the way, or the new pads are just a bit thicker than they should be. If the excessive heat does not stop after a few hundred miles, then go back to the brake shop.

Also, note that ceramic pads work better at higher temps and do not disipate heat as quickly as carbon metallic.

Oh, yeah. Don't spray cold water on your hot wheels and brakes. The quick temperature change can cuase warping of the rotors.

Last edited by APT; 05-04-2004 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 05-03-2004, 05:16 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 57
Thanks, I'll tell the shop to look at those items and to make sure the rotors didn't warp when I tried "cooling" them down with cool water. I thought cooling them would help, but I didn't think about the possibilty of them warping. Thanks for your advice! Matt
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:31 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Wilmington,NC
Posts: 3,846
Brakes do get very hot when you brake! However, when you replace the pads you should lubricate the slides on the caliper, especially if you live in the north where they salt the roads that cause rapid corrosion. If you don't lubricate the sliding surfaces, the calipers may not slide back when you release the pedal and the brakes will overheat.

A few yrs. ago, my neighbor had a brake overheating problem with his Ford truck. The fronts were overheating. He had replaced the master cylinder. He couldn't figure it out and he took it to a tire store that did brake jobs and they couldn't figure it out. They just used a c-clamp to press the caliper pistons back in to temporarily fix it. He asked me for suggestions. I reasoned that it had to be something common to the front wheels since both front brakes were overheating. That left the proportioning valve or the master cylinder. I suggested he replace the new master cylinder again. He did and that fixed it.
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