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Unread 01-20-2009, 01:54 PM   #1
Briandl
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WJ Sticking Brake Caliper

So I had the common warped rotors and my pads were getting low so I decided to replace them both. I did not replace the calipers with the newer Akebonos because I am not planning to keep this Jeep much longer.

Everything seemed fine but after driving for a while my drivers side caliper started to stick.

I didn't know it at the time, I just smelled something similar to the smell when electronics burn, but once I got home I noticed the drivers side wheel was much hotter than the passenger side (we're talking front brakes for the record). I took the wheel off and I could not turn the wheel hub by hand.

It seems the pistons won't go all the way back in. I was able to push them in with a c-clamp and drive the vehicle, but again after hours of driving, and probably over seventy miles the brake locked up again.

So to sum everything up:

New Pads
New Rotors
Drivers side caliper is sticking (It seems after the fluid has warmed up)

The advice I've gotten was to replace the caliper so my questions are:

Does that sound like the right advice?

Also, in regards to bleeding, do I have to bleed anything other than the two wheels where I replace the calipers?

The only other thing I'm going to check is to make sure both rotors are the same.

TIA

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Unread 01-20-2009, 02:04 PM   #2
CanadianZed-J
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You can either clean out the piston on that caliper or just get a new one. I've replaced a few of them on other Jeeps since for $30 (for a TJ caliper) I can be bothered to clean out the old one. The Dub has a dual piston so I'm assuming it'll be more expensive.

After replacing it you'll only have to bleed that one corner.




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So I installed the flux capacitor but the Jeep just won't do 88 mph.

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Unread 01-20-2009, 02:04 PM   #3
Greeeeenberg
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I would replace especially if you have it for a DD. Always try to clean it. Yes you have to rebleed everything.



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Last edited by Greeeeenberg; 01-20-2009 at 02:05 PM.. Reason: Beat me too it
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Unread 01-20-2009, 02:12 PM   #4
Briandl
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A rebuilt caliper runs about 50.00

What are the thoughts on replacing calipers in singles rather than pairs?

I can spend the additional 50.00, but if I don't have to I won't.
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Unread 01-20-2009, 02:15 PM   #5
Greeeeenberg
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Don't fix it if it anit broke. Id replace just the one. Its really not gonna matter if its new or not cause its all controlled hydraulically so it will be fine
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Unread 01-21-2009, 07:29 AM   #6
Turbonut
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Better check for an internal collapse of the brake line first.
It will inhibit the return of fluid so the pads stay hard against the rotor, but after a period of time the fluid will slowly bleed back and the brakes will work once again. Normally a frozen piston(s) wil be just that, the pistons will freeze in their bore and not move so the pads are in heavy contact with the rotor continuously.
You can try and push the pistons back into their bores, if difficult, open bleeder, if they then move freely, brake line problem.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 10:13 AM   #7
Briandl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbonut View Post
Better check for an internal collapse of the brake line first.
It will inhibit the return of fluid so the pads stay hard against the rotor, but after a period of time the fluid will slowly bleed back and the brakes will work once again. Normally a frozen piston(s) wil be just that, the pistons will freeze in their bore and not move so the pads are in heavy contact with the rotor continuously.
You can try and push the pistons back into their bores, if difficult, open bleeder, if they then move freely, brake line problem.
The pistons aren't hard to push back in, they just won't go all the way back in themselves, they seem to go about 95% back in but not the last 5%

Also, as far as I've seen the brakes won't unlock no matter how long I let them sit.

Thanks for the suggestion, that's the only two things I've heard it could be.

I'll look into it more, do you have any other suggestions on how to check for a collapsed brake line?

Any idea why it won't do it until the brakes have been used for a while?

I'm still getting some people that tell me to replace both calipers, and some that say it's ok to only replace one (if that's the problem).
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Unread 01-21-2009, 10:37 AM   #8
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If you didn't clean and regrease the caliper slide pins, you probably should get that done.

I suggest that you bleed the lines to all the wheels, especially the line to the sticky caliper. As you probably know, brake fluid is hydroscopic, and old brake fluid may have a significant amount of water in it. That reduces the boiling point of the fluid. As it heats up some boiling may occur and increase the pressure in the brake line. A pressure increase could be what holds the pads against the rotor.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 10:39 AM   #9
QuadraTokn
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FWIW, I had a JY ship me some Akebonos for a total of $60
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Unread 01-21-2009, 02:00 PM   #10
Briandl
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That's what I've heard, it's either the caliper, the line, or the old fluid.

What would be the most likely culprit in a situation where the other three calipers all work fine and where the problem seems to get worse as the fluid heats up?

Just another update if it makes any difference: After having sat for two days, the wheel with the sticking caliper still spins less than the other wheel when jacked up. The wheel that works fine spins around an entire revolution more than the other.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 02:13 PM   #11
Briandl
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Also, should I be using DOT 3 or DOT 4?
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Unread 01-21-2009, 02:13 PM   #12
CanadianZed-J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briandl View Post
...What would be the most likely culprit in a situation where the other three calipers all work fine and where the problem seems to get worse as the fluid heats up?...

I think heat would be generated from the caliper sticking slightly, then as you drive the rotor heats up and expands making it tigher, as well as the fluid (with water in it?) heating up and expanding.

Each time this has happened to me, it would gradually get tighter and tighter as I drove. At first it wasn't even noticeable, but after a mile or so the steering would pull to that side, and a mile after that it would start smoking and really get hot. Pull it over, let it cool down and it always released. One time in particular it was my only vehicle and I had to drive it 6-7 km to the parts store to get a new caliper. On the way there I stopped once to let it cool. On the way back I was too impatient to stop again so just drove it. Be careful though, overheating the rotors can cause them to warp, and you said yours are new so you don't want to have to replace one already.




CZJ.
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So I installed the flux capacitor but the Jeep just won't do 88 mph.

-'99 WJ Limited, 4.7, Patriot Blue, 2" BB, 31" Mall-Terrains, Pavement Princess
-'97 TJ, Stone White, 4" Superlift, 33" SSRs, lunchboxed rear, 12K Titan winch, and 2.5 litres of exhillirating performance.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 02:20 PM   #13
rm2001wj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briandl View Post
Also, should I be using DOT 3 or DOT 4?
Either would be fine since you don't plan to keep the WJ very much longer. DOT 4 has a higher boiling point than DOT 3 and would not be as sensitive to absorbed water. Bleeding is not guaranteed to fix the problem, but it is relatively easy and not very expensive to do.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 02:32 PM   #14
Briandl
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I didn't think bleeding alone would fix the problem, but no matter what I do, replace the line, caliper, or the fluid I'm going to need some brake fluid so that's why I asked.

I'm still not exactly sure what I should do.

Is it safe to say that since one side isn't locking up it's either the line or the caliper? I know the fluid should probably be replaced (I've had her for two years and who knows if it's ever been replaced before that) but if it was a fluid problem you'd think both sides would lock up.

Also, she sat for two days and there is still drag when I spin the wheel in question, does that help to rule out a brake line or should I do further testing?

Also, I never had this problem before I replaced the rotors and brakes.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 03:00 PM   #15
CanadianZed-J
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50 bucks says it's the caliper that's sticking and the line is fine. But rather than betting me and losing, just spend the 50 bucks on a new caliper. And no, there's no reason to replace the other side caliper too. On my TJ I've replaced the passenger-side caliper twice and the driver's side never.





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So I installed the flux capacitor but the Jeep just won't do 88 mph.

-'99 WJ Limited, 4.7, Patriot Blue, 2" BB, 31" Mall-Terrains, Pavement Princess
-'97 TJ, Stone White, 4" Superlift, 33" SSRs, lunchboxed rear, 12K Titan winch, and 2.5 litres of exhillirating performance.
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