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I have a 1997 F150 4x4 Super cab that is giving me a hard time with the front brakes. I had installed new pads , rotors and hoses up front. But when I took it down the road it feels as if the brakes are being applied. I know how to install the items correctly so I know that is not the problem. I am wondeing if I should be lookingn at replacing the calipers or can there be a problem with the ABS. The ABS light is on but I don't think it should be causing the problem.
When I got the truck back in the drive way I jacked it up and was unable to spin the front tires by hand. I then took the wheels off and cracked open the driver side bleed this allowed both tires to spin. Some one locally told me that it is not my calipers. But I am unsure.
Was this a routine brake job, and how long has the ABS lite been on? If the front pads were gone and ruined the rotors from this same condition of not releasing, check the push rod clearance from brake booster to master cyl. A simple way to do this is to do just like you did to free the front wheels. But instead of bleeding of hydraulic fluid, loosen the two nuts securing the master cylinder a couple of turns and slide the master cylinder away from the booster. If this releases the hydraulic pressure, then maybe the push rod adjustment has changed. I'm still wondering why the ABS lite!
Sounds like you have/ had rust in the piston bores. When you pushed the pistons back in over the rust to install new pads, once you applied the brakes the piston seized in the bores of the calipers and would not allow then to release. What does the fluid look like coming out of the bleeder? clear or rusty? Original calipers with a ton of miles?
First off I want to say thankls to you guys that are taking the time to try and help me out with this problem. As for the fluid it is rusty in color and not clear. And I would bet they are original calipers to. They have almost 150,000 miles on them. I ll say this the pads were worn down enough that they ruind the rotor. My wife drove the truck to and from work and she told me the truck was makibng some noise for a while. So I jacked it up and sure enough the driver side back pad was worn to nothing and ruined the rotor due to the slider pin. So i went down and replaced all the pins the pads and the rotors. When I was finished the truck began to act up. I was told that my hoses must be bad because I let the calipers hang rather than tying them up. So i took the older gentlemens advice and went down and bought new hoses. This has not help in anyway. I am just wondering can it be anything other than the calipers. I plan to go down and buy some new ones this weekend. The thing is I rather spend the money on the right part to fix the problem. I have also been told today by another older guy that it may be my proportioning valve. But isn't that part of the ABS unit?
1997 XLT here and I just fixed a similar problem at 138,000 miles. My OEM brake hoses (the rubber ones) were nearly plugged trapping pressure in my left front caliper causing it to drag and ruin the rotor. It also caused the application of the brakes to be very slow. I replaced all three brake hoses and my brakes are better than they have ever been since this truck was new.
My gas mileage just went up by 2 mpg also. With the 5.4 and tow package I couldn't tell my brakes were dragging except for the excess brake dust on the left front.
The one hose was so bad I couldn't hardly force air through it. All of them were partially plugged compared to new hoses.
If your fluid was brown that's moisture in the fluid not necessarily rust. Flush until it's clear.
Your problem might be that your caliper piston is hanging up due to corrosion. When you pushed it back in the bore to accomodate the new pads the piston might be riding in a rusy area now and not retracting properly. I thought that might have been my problem at one point. Good luck sorting it out.
Last edited by terrydwaters; 05-18-2008 at 07:49 PM.
Reason: Additional information
Hey, Terry, read your comment about the brake hoses and slow braking. This interests me, I have a 02 and my brakes lines are steel braded that attached to the calipers. Are these the same lines you are referring to only upgraded to the newer model? I just installed a brake booster for this strange pedal pressure, I seem OK now but am concerned. Thanks.
I'm a rookie here , and have little to no mechanical experience. Economic situation has led me to learn. My dad always said you don't know what you can do until you have to do it. Well I'm starting to learn what I can't do... I've got a '97 F150 xlt v8. Brakes in bad shape. I replaced the shoes in the rear and the rotors and pads up front. Still grinding like crazy and it sounds like the pads are loose and rubbing lightly as I drive. I only went about 2 miles after changing them. Any suggestions?
I got my problem all fixed. I had to replace the ABS unit, because I replaced everything from the pads, rotors,hoses and calipers and still had problems with it. I then went to the local junkyard and purchased a used ABS from a low mile truck. My ABS light went off and the brake problem was solved. So don't rule out the ABS on these trucks especially if the are high miles. My truck has 160,000 + miles on it. Thanks to all of you for the help and suggestions.