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Musky_Madness

Brake Caliper Stuck?

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If you don't know, I have a 97 F150 4x4 and while coming home from running errands for the wife this afternoon, I noticed a strong metallic smell. When I pulled into my garage just a few blocks down the road, my front drivers' side rotor/pad/caliper was smoking and strong smelling. Obviously it needs to get fixed, but is it safe to bring to the local brake shop? I'm scared to drive it now and know that I am possibly causing further damage in doing so. Any brake tips? (When will my auto problems end!?)

Thanks

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There are two common things that cause this. Either one or both of the slides have frozen or the pads are frozen in the brackets. If the slides are frozen the typical repair is to replace the caliper. If the pads are frozen the brakets can be cleaned up and there good as new. As far as driving the damage is already done. If it gets hot enough it can boil the brake fluid and your braking efficiency will be GREATLY reduced. Your call!?!?!?

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A collapsed break line can also cause this. If I recall, I did see a couple (kind of rare) collapse in those years. If you find the pads locked against the caliper (I assume in any way you will), crack the bleeder and watch for a pulse/spray of fluid and a release of the pads against the rotor.

I think you would be fine to drive to the local shop (keep the distance short. I would suggest under ten miles if at all possible). The only damage you are doing is wearing the pads out right now and possibly warping the rotor. Long distance driving might cause a pad to be thrown and the caliper piston turning into the brake pad. If that is the case, a new caliper would be added into the repair cost and a guaranty of a new rotor(s) (replace them in pairs is always a great idea). If you have not had the rotors turned down before, they might be able to just turn the rotor when fixing the issue and replacing the pads. If it feels really bad, a tow is great for piece of mind wink When in doubt, tow it out! grin

Good luck!

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Sorry Jer, I was thinking Pro-Cut or on car lathe. These model Ford's have made Pro-Cut what it is today grinwink

Ya, these rotors never fall right off.

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Well took it in this AM with no problems getting there and they ended up replacing both calipers. The driver's side one had seized up at one point and was running red hot basically. They also replaced a ball joint and had a running total when I left of $1100.

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I've owned it since June 07 and haven't had any major repair bills since the alternator in the fall of 07. So I suppose it was due! Guess I'll be saving up to replace the other 2 ball joints that need work and a new set of tires in the next year. ick

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ouch, did both front calipers on the ol mans truck. if i remember right each one was right around 100 bucks. sure beats doin it yourself than payin a grand!!

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I know. Usually I tinker by myself but I have no brake experience and didn't care to mess that up near the beginning of fishing season. It's amazing all the fees that shops will add on now for the environment and "supplies" and whatever else. Just incorporate it in the part price. But I suppose I am in the minority. There are probably just as many that want to see every nickel in there as well.

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