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Anti Lock Brake Problem

1032 Views 16 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Ramblin Wreck
I have a 99 Dodge Dakota that is mysteriously engaging the front brakes while travelling down the road. This happened first when Son #2 borrowed the truck, but since I wasn't in the vehicle (and he breaks things...a lot) I just assumed he had abused something. After the first episode, I replaced all the brakes, the master cylinder, and the calipers. It worked fine for a few weeks, but the same problem happened to me yesterday. It just started engaging the brakes and lugging the truck down. My guess is that something is wrong with the anti lock brakes, but that is just a guess. If any of you are aware of how I could confirm this, one way or the other, I'd appreciate the pointers. Also, if it is the anti-lock brakes, can they be easily disengaged or would this affect the rest of the braking system?
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Pull the ABS fuse and that will disable the abs system... but if there is a mechanical problem in the ABS pump (sticking check valve etc) that may not resolve it. But that would the first thing I would try.

Does it engage the brakes suddenly or does it just gradually happen? Are there any sounds like you hear when the ABS is working during a stop on slippery surfaces (whirring, clicking etc)?
Ramblin, from your description, I don't think it's the ABS. I had a similar problem on a chevy caprice. One caliper was hanging up slightly, and it would drag and get hot, which would cause it to drag more, get hotter, etc. Eventually I'd have to pull over and let it cool off, once had the rotor get glowing red hot and smoking.

When you replaced the calipers, did you take care to lubricate the slide pins and make sure they operated smoothly? On some vehicles they tend to get corroded and can seize up.

When it does it agian, get out and feel (carefully, might be really hot) the wheels so you can find out which break is dragging. Does the truck pull one way or the other when it happens?
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