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Smoking Hot Right Brake!! Update.. Problem Solved.
Posted 19 September 2005 - 08:29 PM
I just replaced the front rotors and pads on my trusty Subaru. Here's the problem: The left side installation went perfectly, no hitches, everything fit the way it was supposed to.
When I got to putting the right side back together, after I put the pads on the holder and rotated the caliper down into position, it would not slide all the way into position. It was getting hung up on the bottom caliper pin bushing. I was desperate to put the darn thing back together, so I removed one of the new pads and replaced it with a thinner worn pad that had prevoiusly been on there. The caliper would go down into position, but it was a bit tight. I got it reassembled and took it out for a test drive.
I was cruising down the road, and I made a few high-performance braking runs, like you are supposed to when wearing in new pads. I noticed a burning pad smell that I thought was a bit strong for the braking I was doing. It was a short ride. When I got back, I found that the right brake was smoking, but the left only seemed hot, like usual.
The question is, why doesn't my right brake caliper want to go into position? What is causing the interference on the bottom pin bushing? Are these bushings adjustable? could one of them be protruding too far ? Any help is appreciated.
P.S. I have replaced pads only many times before, and never had any problems. I think it is the combined thickness of the new rotor and pads is what is exacerbating this problem. The pads and rotors are from Advance, the relatively cheap ones, but the right ones for my car.
Posted 19 September 2005 - 08:43 PM
What condition were the pads that you removed in?
Posted 19 September 2005 - 08:44 PM
You might want to check that the slide pin and bushing at the bottom of the caliper bracket is not seized or partly seized. The rubber bellows seal often gets torn/worn allowing water to get into the pin and bushing. Also, the top and bottom pins are different, making it hard to find a good junkyard doner. I say this because my dealer told me the only way to get the bellows seal was to order a new caliper bracket for 150.00 cdn and a hardware kit for another 45.00 cdn. I used a valve guide reamer, lots of grease, modified a pin and fit a used bellow rubber all for about 1/2 hr of time and less than 5.00 in parts. Good luck
Flat Four Fuji
01 Legacy GT sedan
2-1975 VW beetles
Posted 19 September 2005 - 08:53 PM
I remember when I put the right side back together the outer pad was really tight and difficult to slide into place. I will take it back apart tomorrow, and clean it up again, making sure the pad fits better on the "rail."
I still can't understand why I was unable to get the caliper into position. The piston was fully compressed, the rotor was held firmly on the hub with a few lug nuts, the pads were seated firmly on the rotor.
The area that was making contact and preventing the caliper from going into position was at the bottom of the caliper. There is a metal bushing that the bottom pin slides thru. There are dust boots on both sides of this bushing. There is also a bushing on the caliper bracket, and a threaded hole that the pin threads into. The face of the bushing on the bracket was hitting the bushing on the caliper. There was some overlap. When I removed the pads, I could easily put it into position, of course.
I am wondering if the bushing on the caliper bracket is supposed to be flush with the surface. it was definitely protruding, maybe 1 or 2 mm. If I have to, I will take the left side apart again tomorrow to compare..
Posted 19 September 2005 - 09:04 PM
I'm not sure about the pin sticking out, I want to say it shouldnt be, but I am not 100% postive. Best thing to do is look at the good side and see if it is flush or not.
Posted 19 September 2005 - 09:11 PM
Posted 19 September 2005 - 09:44 PM
Posted 19 September 2005 - 10:39 PM
Maybe this is why yours are binding. Slightly over size new rotors AND slightly over 'thick' new pads? Are there any sources for dimensions of new OEM parts to compare?
Posted 19 September 2005 - 11:50 PM
Posted 20 September 2005 - 10:43 PM
Actually, there were two problems.
Problem 1: The outboard brake pad was sticking in place, instead of being loose enough to slide back and forth on the mounts. I cleaned the two anti-rattle clips, and it still wouldn't fit right. It was not a problem with the pad, because when I switched the inboard and outboard pads, the inner one fit, but the outer one still did not. I had to take some sandpaper and sand the mounting surfaces a little bit at a time (they were rusty) until there was enough clearance to allow the pad to fit properly.
Problem 2: The lower caliper pin bushing was rusted and stuck in the caliper. I loosened it with some penetrating oil, removed it, cleaned it and buffed it with steel wool, and replaced it. Now it moves freely again, and the caliper fit back together properly even with the thick, new pads and rotor.
I greased the pins, bushings, and pad mounting surfaces with disc brake caliper lubricant.
Now the brakes are working normally. I wish I would have known that the bushing was supposed to be movable last night. I just assumed that it was supposed to be stationary, as I didn't notice any movement on the left side. As it turned out, the left side bushing was able to move, but just barely, so I disassembled and re-lubricated that one too.
Tell all your friends to check the bushing on the caliper, and remove, clean, and lubricate it if you have to. If I would have paid attention to that area in the past when I have checked the brakes or changed the pads, it never would have gotten the chance to seize up. It is tricky becaue the caliper still slid on the pin just fine, since I had always lubricated the pin, but never knew about the bushing...
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