Disc Brake locking up on Right Front

My 2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab has always had a vibration throughout the entire truck when braking. I was always told it is the roters. Today the right front disc brakes overheated while driving at highway speeds
on level road. Is this a common problem or rare? I did not experience any pulling or drag, however the brakes got so hot that they began to smoke. Luckily there was not a fire. I was able to free the brakes from the rotor to drive home, but the rotor was still getting hot. What do I need to do to fix this??
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Sorry to sound simplistic, but figure out what's causing it to hang up. Remove the slide bolts from the caliper, and see if one (or both) is dry, scored, etc. It could be a bad caliper, and the piston is sticking. In this case, just replace the caliper. It could be a deteriorated brake hose, acting like a check valve and maintaining pressure on the caliper. Replace the hose if this is suspected.
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Yep that sounds pretty good Tom. Can't hurt to try one more thing. The time you noticed they are locked tight and hard to turn. Simply crack the bleeder screw. If the drag is gone the master cylinder is malfuctioning and not allowing fluid to return to the master cylinder. You stated that both sides are hanging so I figure this could hurt to try.
SCOTT

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One brake system disaster I know a little about happened to my son's fiancee a few years ago. The brake fluid reservoir was low and someone added power steering fluid to it. Everytime she drove it she could get only 10-15 miles and the brakes would lock up on all 4 wheels. Only way to get the truck (F150) to move was wait an hour or so for it to cool down or pick it up and tow it with dolly wheels.
First guy to look at it (Brake Check) had no clue but replaced the 1 rear wheel cylinder that was leaking and replaced both rear shoes. Of course 10 miles down the road it's locked up again. Back to Brake Check, still no clue, but replaced the master cylinder and, in the process, replaced the fluid. Ahhhh... now we're getting someplace.

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Yes, but also, when you remove the caliper, see if you can wiggle the hub. A bad wheel bearing can also put pressure on the pads/disc. LD

hose,
Replace
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Tom,
I am positive the caliper is sticking. I was able to free the brake by putting presure on the pins with a screw driver. After the brake was free I test applied the brakes and everything worked well. I have driven it several miles with consistant stop and go braking with no problems since. Should I go ahead and replace the caliper or drive it until it does it again? Is there a safety concern to worry about if I continue to drive it? I know the rotor will need to be replaced due to the overheating or at least turned, but cost is an issue at this point. How hard is it for a novice to replace the calipers, brake pads, and rotors at home? I checked pricing and O'Rielly's Auto Parts can supply all the above parts for less than a brake & rotor job at a brake shop. Please advise.
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Replace caliper and slide bolts... very cheap compared to the alternative.

Yep
Only if it's warped (which it could be, but possibly not).

Well, pads and rotor changes are pretty much a no-brainer. Replacing the caliper is pretty simple as well, it just gets a little messy since you'll be dealing with brake fluid. Start by topping off your master cylinder resevoir, then putting the cap back on. Remove the caliper from the mounting bracket by backing off the two slide bolts (could be 3/8" allen head, could me a Torx head - not positive on Dakotas). Apply a thin coat of hi-temp brake grease to the flats on the steering knuckle where the caliper slides back and forth. If you're putting on a new rotor, now would be the time. Make sure to spray down and wipe off the new rotor with brake cleaner and a clean rag, since there's an anti-rust coating applied from the factory.
Now, get a small jar that you don't mind getting gunked up. Unbolt the brake hose from the caliper, and stick the end into the jar. It will leak, but shouldn't be too bad. Mount the new caliper (with new brake pads in it - most times you can just buy a 'loaded' caliper, meaning it comes with pads), install one of the slide bolts loosely (just enough to hold the caliper). Find the two new copper washers that came with the caliper. Take your banjo bolt (that was holding the brake line to the old caliper), put a washer on it, put it through the end of the brake hose, put another washer on the other side (sandwiching the brake hose mounting block between copper washers), and re-install into the caliper. Tighten this bolt securely (somewhere around 20-25ft.lbs. - if it leaks, make it tighter). Now take a breath.
Apply a thin coat of hi-temp brake grease to the other slide bolt, and install it. Remove the first slide bolt (that you stuck in loosely), grease it, and install it. These should torque down to about 35 ft.lbs.
Take the cap back off your master cylinder resevoir. If you don't want a mess, attach a rubber/plastic hose (maybe 1/4" ID) to the bleeder screw, running back into the jar (or you could let the brake fluid dribble out, and just cclean it with brake cleaner later). Now, loosen the bleeder screw on the new caliper. Wait for it to start leaking fluid out the top, then tighten it back up. That will let all the air purge out of the caliper, and if you didn't run the master cylinder resevoir dry (when you stuck the brake hose in the jar), then no air ever got into the the rest of the brake system. Pump the brakes until they firm up (seating the new caliper/pads), then crack the bleeder screw one more time.
Re-check that everything's tight again, have a helper pump the brakes hard, and make sure the point where the hose connects to the caliper doesn't leak (tighten the bolt some more if it does), spray everything down with brake cleaner, and re-mount your wheel.
Pick up a Haynes manual for your truck at the auto parts place while you're at it... for $11 (or so), it will give you lots of help on this, and other, repair jobs - including the specific torque values (instead of my guess-work :)
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Bostik Never-seez works well on the caliper slides
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I can send you a copy of the pages out of the factory Dodge Dakota 02 manual. It will be a MDI file and you will need to have Microsoft Office 2003 on your computer to read it. I'm unable to send it as a PDF file. One more thing it will be 4-5MB, so if you don't have broadband it will take some time to download.

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Ok I now have it in PDF. file form, all you need is Adobe Reader to read this file. If you don't have it you can it free at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html just follow the instruction at the bottom of the page. My file is around 1MB. If you have a slow dial up it will take 30-45 minutes to download. Just e-mail when you are ready snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com

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On 16 Apr 2005 15:52:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

I had the same thing happen on my dodge van. You need to replace the caliper with a rebuilt one. According to the maintenance manual they stick when the seals go bad. IIRC a rebuilt caliper is only like $25.00.
beekeep
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