2002 Dakota heavy payload brake smell?

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I am not a truck person so I apologize if I don't make much sense. Either way..... I have a 2002 Dakota V6 4x4 (SXT) that I got used about 6 months ago. One time I overloaded the truck. When I got it
home, a smell of burning brakes(?) was coming from it. Although I haven't done that again, when I am carrying anything of a decent weight (400+ lbs) I smell that smell again to a certain extent.
1. What's going on? 2. What did I do? 3. How do I fix it? What do I tell the mechanic to check?
Thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

smell the same. If it is brakes, take them apart and see what they look like. Are the pads glazed? the rotor scorched and blued? Dirt and oil on the drums?
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.boB
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It is an automatic, so no clutch. It's the same type of smell though.
Another thing that I notice is, the heavier the payload, the less travel I have on the brake pedal. I don't know if that is a safety feature (reduction of brake time/making the brakes more sensitive).
Thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Hmmm, that's a tough one. No built in safety feature like that. The only real differance between empty and loaded is the height of the suspension. Check and see of a line is pinched (doubtfull). Also check the emergency brake cables. See if they are getting stretched when loaded. That would activate the parking brake.
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wrote:

I would also look at the rear axles and bearings.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving



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LOL! Love the tag at the end!
I like the parking brake idea mentioned as it would fit the smell issue. Now I will show real ignorance here.... Would issues with the axles/bearings cause a smell when put under stress? I would think not, but I don't know.
Regarding axles/bearings....anything I should look for?
And since we're at it... Like I said, I am new to trucks as a whole? Besides getting a Chilton guide for this truck, is there any book that anyone recommend I get? I don't want to be the next Dodge guru, but I would really like to know more about my ride.
Thanks!!!
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It is not the bearings that are making the smell but if they are on the way out, the hub could be shifting due to the weight and changing the alignment between the drum and the shoes causing them to drag and cook. Granted, this cousl be a real reach but it is a possibility.

Make sure that they still move freely and that there is no play or shifting of the hub. I would also look for what Tom suggested because if you have one, that would be your most likely cause of your problems.

The Factory service manual is your best bet there. Once you learn how to follow the damn thing, it can be your best friend when it comes to the nuts and bolts of your vehicle.
--
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Possibly. That's kind of a stretch, but certainly not impossible.

Make sure you have enough fluid in the diff. Jack up the rear and shake the tires. They shouldn't be loose.

Chiltons isn't bad. But I bought the factory service manual. More expensive, but much more detailed.
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wrote:

I would not waste time with axles and bearings. It simple sounds like user uses brakes aggressively and when extra weight is in the truck it takes more brake friction to stop it and this results in more heat which can overheat brakes and cause odor. The solution is get a bigger truck, install bigger brakes, carry less load or brake more conservatily when carrying extra weight. Do not waste time witch hunting for other problems (like axles and bearing) that is not likely your problem anyway because it only does it overloaded. (if bearing were bad and axles leaking it woul effect braking all the time. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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The user....being me...doesn't hit the breaks too hard at all when carrying a heavy load. The last time this occurred, I was carrying no more than about 400 1lbs in the bed. I could definitely feel the travel reduced in the brake pedal, even with that load being what it was.
However, to your point, I only notice the smell when I have a decent amount of weight in the back (over a few hundred lbs). When the bed is empty or there is minimal weight, there's no smell and brake pedal travel seems normal.
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I'll agree with Snoman (to a point) about suspecting the e-brake. Simple test... with the truck loaded, jack up the rear (just one wheel if you have an open diff - if you have a limited slip, you'll need to raise both rear tires), and with the truck in neutral, see if the rear wheels will turn freely.
Or, you can simply disconnect the e-brake cable at the adjuster (along the driver's side frame rail, about half-way between the cab and the rear axle). Loosen the adjuster nut until you can disconnect the cable. Tie it up so it doesn't drag, and test-drive the truck. You can also crawl under the truck and take a good look at the e-brake cable, then have a few friends jump in the bed, and see if the cable tightens up or is otherwise fouled.
As for the comments about getting a bigger truck (no doubt with a big-block gas engine, and super-low gearing in the rear axle), well... ignore that part. An '02 Dak is more than capable of hauling 400lbs. of cargo.
Another thought... does your truck have a load-sensing proportioning valve? Follow the flexible brake hose from the rear axle up to the frame rail. If there's a valve mounted there with an arm, and a rod that runs down to the axle, that's a proportioning valve. If you do have one, I'd also throw some suspicion that way (and, in fact, that's the more likely culprit than an e-brake cable getting hung up). That valve's job is to sense the amount of weight in the bed, and allow progressively more brake pressure to the rear brakes as the load increases. It's possible that this valve is holding residual pressure in the system, and causing your rear brakes to drag.
Of course, if you don't have the valve described above, ignore the comment.
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On Thu, 9 Aug 2007 15:54:11 -0400, "Tom Lawrence"

If this dakota has oversized tires, brake capacity is in fact reduced and would take less weight to overload brakes. Also brakes are not that genrous on some models because small SUV's do not have the same federal braking standards as cars. My 89 4x4 burg has always had what I consider to be marginal brakes since it was new. If you use brake gentely it is not a problem but if you have to set it down hard from speed the brakes complain. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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So where did you read that he has oversized tires?

Yet another example from over 15 years ago.

Right - like the OP stated he did

And if your aunt had balls.... why don't you stop inventing all kinds of scenarios, and stick to the facts? This is the second time you've recommended that someone tradein their vehicle. The first was someone with a bad rear wheel speed sensor, and now it's a guy with a 1/2-ton truck trying to haul 400lbs. of cargo.
And you wonder why you're held in such contempt around here??
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Okay! Ya both have me on this. WTF is a "burg"??
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In response to Roy 's post. I thought everyone should know:

a suburban....
im ashamed to say that i was able to follow his trash though
--
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On Fri, 10 Aug 2007 15:39:06 -0400, "Tom Lawrence"

You realy act like a child somethimes looking to start something

And....
Toadya trcks are more car than truck so do not even start to argue with me that it is built tough and 400 lbs is a piece of cake for it

I am held in contempt by insecure persons like yourself that are offended when somebody goes against their current. Some like you never seem to grow up. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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wrote:

You are held in contempt by people in every news group you post on! Why? Because you have a history of posting dangerous information, wrong information, outdated information and just plan mindnumbing nonsense.
Now WTF is a "burg"???????????????????
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I think he meant a Suburban (just guessing... I'm not very fluent in Snoese). What I want to know is, WTF is a "Toadya trck"?
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In article

Damn, BMTI...
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In response to Tom Lawrence 's post. I thought everyone should know:

taking a stab but maybe a toyota truck?
still dont know what the hell a toyota has to do with a dodge dakota but heck he probably could tell the diff if he got hit by each of them.
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