Brakes grabbing on the left front

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Columbia,SC., Sep 4, 2007.

  1. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    I have a 1986 GMC Vandura 1 ton box van that a few of you may remember me asking about a while back.
    My new trouble is that the right front brake gets hot and it starts to wobble after some city driving. Not a big deal under 35 MPH but if I leave the city and hit the open road it wobbles like crazy for a few miles due to the heat the caliper is causing. I replaced the master C. about a year ago and the problem started and is getting worse after about the first 3-4 months. Today it was crazy bad and I need to fix it. Do I need to bleed that caliper on that wheel or what should I do? I thought maybe a brake line may be soft but I am not sure. When I step on the brakes it pulls to the left, after they get hot it pulls to the right while driving. the right is the main concearn.
    Thanks.
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Change the brake hose (flexible line) on the right side. Flush the wheel cylinder on that side also.
     

  3. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

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    May need to replace the rotor, or get it turned,

    Tighten the wheel nuts with a torque wrench, improper tightening of the lug nuts can warp the rotor,

    and some times you can have a soft rotor that will wear a slight gouge and give it the feel of wobble, or pulsation.

    check the wheel bearing, make sure the wheel is not wobbling,

    If there is brake fluid leakage it may cause grabbing problems,
     
  4. raymilosh

    raymilosh Well-Known Member

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    I'd think the inside of the flexible brake hose at the front right is swollen shut inside. Pressurized brake fluid can make it past there to apply the brake, but it can't get back out, so the brake stays on. The asbestos on front right brake pads is probably "glazed" from getting so hot....like it has been fired and it is now shiny and hard. When you apply the brakes, the van pulls left because the front left brake is working because the asbestos on the left is soft and grippy and grabs well, but the right side is hard and slick and doesn't grab well. The wobble is probably because the right brake is on while you're driving and you're feeling a warp in the rotor.
    You can determine if the brake hose is the problem by removing it and seeing if you can blow through it. If the hose is clear, then I'd suspect the piston inside the caliper is getting cocked inside its cylinder. I have had luck with rebuilding calipers. They can be dissassembled, cleaned have new gaskets and seals installed and begin to work well again. Rebuild kits are cheap if they're available. If the inside of the cylinder in the caliper has grooves in it, though...just buy new ones. To determine if the rotor is warped, look at it and you'll see that high spots on the surface where the brake pads ride on it are "blued" from getting so hot that the steel has become discolored in shades of blue and black.
    I recommend you definately replace the brakes and replace the brake fluid no matter what and replace the hoses if necessary and turn both rotors if one is warped. Do everything in pairs with brakes.
    I don't fool around with skimping on parts when dealing with brakes. It's not that big a deal if a vehicle doesn't go, but it is a big deal if it doesn't stop.

    good luck. be careful. If you doubt your abilities, ask someone who is experienced to help you.
     
  5. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    thanks everyone,
    I called arround for parts today and did not drive the truck due to the rain in the area.
    This truck only has 77,000 miles on it so I am sure it needs a brake job along with a few other things. Thanks, I will keep in touch with progress-
     
  6. Ford8N

    Ford8N Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a combination of a bad wheel rotor and perhaps a sticky caliper. The rotors may be able to be resurfaced but it sounds extreme by your description so it will most likely need to be replaced. The rotors and calipers must be replaced in pairs. You may be able to find factory rebuilt calipers. It is easy to change the flexible hoses when you change the calipers.
     
  7. crafty2002

    crafty2002 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds likem the rotor to me. Even if the caliber was sticking, unless the rotor was warped, it should only pull to the right.
    With it wobbleing it means the rotor is touching the pad part of each rotation and not on the rest of each rotation.
    I would have it turned or replaced. To be truthful with you, unless your money is as tight as mine is right now, I would buy a new one. I have never liked a turned rotor and it isn't a lot of difference in the price.
    I have had them turned a few times because I couldn't afford to do better, but as soon as I could I replaced them with new ones.
    The front end of a car, or truck in your case wears out real fast if it isn't right. Ball joints, tie rod ends, etc.,. They go down fast if it isn't correct.
    Until you get it right, keep it as slow as you can, and if or when you can afford it, get the front end aligned.
    Like the guy on TV used to say, Pay me now, or pay me latter. And the longer you wait, the more it will cost.
    JMHO Dennis
     
  8. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    I replaced the brake line going to that wheel tonight and bled that brake, I noticed the fluid was brownish,, I guess from getting hot. I replaced most of the fluid and I will try it out in the morning.
    Thanks again
     
  9. Columbia,SC.

    Columbia,SC. Thats MR. Redneck to you

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    Let me just say a BIG ole' THANKS! I replaced the flex. brake line and this truck is a JOY to drive again!!! After driving it 2 times the distance that would cause trouble the right was as cool as the left. HAPPY DANCE!
    agmantoo, raymilosh, I give y'all a big shout out, you hit it on the head!!
    I am going to keep an eye on the fluid and the rotor, but as of today everything is doing great.