Originally Posted by T-J
98 ZJ 4.0L I6. Laredo. Runs and drives just fine.
I've been getting ****ty mileage. About 13mpg around town. A few times I've noticed a burnt rubber smell when getting out. It seemed to come from the rear. Today I poked my fingers through the spaces in the wheels and touched the rear brakes. They were hot enough that I reflexively pulled my hand back, but not so hot that I was burned. Same on both sides. I'm thinking the might be dragging lightly.
Parking brake lever does nothing. I can hear the cables moving under the Jeep when I cycle the lever, but no brake engages. They could be out of adjustment. The hardware could be missing. I haven't owned it long, and haven't looked into it yet.
Is break dragging common on these?
Anything I need to know before pulling the wheels for brake inspection?
The brake rotors themselves will get very very hot under use. However, the wheel itself will warm up but, if a caliper is dragging, the wheel may get so hot you cannot handle it. This is due to the heat from the caliper dispersing through the caliper, to the wheel hub and eventually into the wheel. Too much heat cannot dissipate quickly.
If you smell brakes, see smoke, have very hot wheels then you likely havge a caliper problem.
The rear parking brake system is an internal brake shoe with rotors that act as drums. the rotor hat has a brake drum machined into its inside. Parking brake shoes can become dislodged or stuck or improperly installed and may be dragging.
get it on jack stands, remove the rear wheels when it is cooled down and see if you can spin the rotors. If one or both are too tight to spin then you have a problem. If you can proceed then remove the calipers and pads and then remove the rotors.
If all of this sounds like Chinese to you then take it to a shop. What I have described is basic brake maintenance so if its not familiar to you then you need a good manual or you need a professional to check it out.