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Frozen caliper? Or did I mess something else up?

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by mikefrommaine, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. 1999 f350 v10 4wd

    I thought the passenger side manifold was leaking and I had to do the dreaded stud removal. Turns out the two nuts holding the manifold to the y pipe had rusted away. So two new nuts and five minutes later my exhaust leak was gone.

    Should have stopped when I was ahead

    Decided since I had a free morning I would replace the axle seals and spindle bearing on the passenger side since I needed to repair a vacuum leak on that hub to get the shift on the fly four wheel drive working again.

    I got it all back together and the four wheel drive is working as it should.

    Problem started when I test drove it.

    It is now pulling hard to the left when doing 25 plus. When I step on the brakes it pulls to the right.

    After i stepped on the brakes firmly there was a shudder in the steering wheel.

    The right front brake is hot and smoking. The rotors are showing even wear.

    Prior to my 'repairs' the truck sat for a couple weeks. It also had an occasional shudder in the steering wheel when doing 45+


    So I'm thinking I have a Frozen caliper. Or could I have done something wrong in replacing the axle bearing/ seals to cause this to this trouble?

    Thanks
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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I've had the front end apart many times for different things on my 2000 F350. The bearings are unit bearings and pretty hard to screw up. First thing is to jack up the wheel and spin the tire, should barely be any resistance if everything is right. Then remove the caliper and with your hands or a tool, try and push the pistons back into their bores. They should move pretty easily. Then remove the little slide pins and make sure they are well lubed and free. Before putting the brakes back on, spin the wheel and note how nice it spins without the brakes on it.

    You know what else might have bit you? The early 1999 model has a different bearing assembly than the other super duties. Are you certain you got the right part? The difference is that the rotor will be in the wrong place and rubbing the caliper. I bet you got the late 99-03 part.
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Oh and just chuck those stupid ESOF hubs and put some manual milemarker hubs on instead. The vacuum system is not dependable and fails to engage when you need it most, then fails to disengage after you're on the road again.

    Not many folks would swap a unit bearing as a matter of maintenance. They're expensive and take some effort.

  4. It's an early 99. Didn't change the whole assembly. Just the axle seals and the spindle bearing. It's only 8 bucks and I had the one on the other side go bad.

    http://www.frontiernet.net/~jmray/F250NeedleBearings.htm

    I just jacked up the driver side, which was smoking even though i hadnt touched that side, but the wheel spun freely.
    So I test drove it again. And everything seems fine now. I'm wondering if I didn't get the passenger side rotor back on the hub in the same position. Which caused the pads not to engage on that side until driver side wore down some? Not sure if that could cause such a pull to the left though.


    I have had good luck with the hubs. It wasnt working because the vacuum fitting on the hub had rusted away and broken off which allowed dirt to clog things up. The 4wd is working now.
  5. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Super Duty brakes suck. That's why when you to buy a caliper, they want to sell you a 'loaded' caliper, complete with pads and new slider pins, in a mounting bracket. Two bolts and the brake line, then bleed them and you're done. The last time I put pads on, I had to put new slider pins in, and I screwed around FOREVER getting the old pins out.

    I had a caliper seize, then work fine for weeks, until it seized again. Then the other side seized shortly after. If it was me, I would replace both calipers now, while the weather is nice, and before getting stranded someplace.

    I, too, have had no problems with the ESOF hubs. I did get stuck once when they wouldn't engage. Coincidently, or not, the a/c quit working at the same time, so I put new vacuum hoses on. I haven't been able to turn them manually for years.
  6. The calipers are original to the truck and look pretty crusty. Probably overdue for replacement. Hopefully its just the caliper sticking from sitting. If I hadn't just taken apart the other side I wouldn't have any doubt that the caliper is the problem.

    I will drive it a little more tomorrow and see how it goes.


    Every time I locked the hubs manually and they were hard to turn I sprayed the outside of them with lubricating oil or silicone. Frees them up to turn easily.
  7. homebrewz

    homebrewz Minister of Fire

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    That might not be the issue here, but I have seen people use IR thermometers to check for a sticking rotor.
  8. semipro

    semipro Minister of Fire

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    "Sounds like the left caliper is seized up. This can be the piston or the caliper slides seizing.
    The right front brake is doing all the stopping which is why its getting hot.

  9. I actually wrote that backwards the left front was smoking. Just drove it again after about five miles it started pulling to the left again. I stopped jacked up the front left and the tire will not spin. So I'm going to replace both calipers tomorrow and see how it goes.

    What's been confusing me is I didnt do any work on the left front. Guess its just coincidence that it is sticking right after I did the work on the right front?
  10. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    The left side was jealous. I've got a pside unit bearing that is starting to fail, it rumbles when making turns while loaded.
  11. Replaced both Front calipers and all is right again!
    PapaDave likes this.

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