More on the brakes issue...

Well, I know I need to take The Truck in to get the brakes done. As is my usual M.O., I'd like to get some opinions from here as to what work might need to be done. There's more going on than just the sticky
caliper, but the other stuff was so intermittent and seemingly that I wasn't really bothered until now. Now that I'm paying very close attention to my brakes during commutes, I'm starting to put two and two together, to form a better picture.
Again, 2001 Dodge Dakota SLT 4x4, 4.7l v8 engine. ABS Brakes. No codes from the computer.
Back in July, I had the brake pads and rotors replaced. The rotors were rusty and worn, and had previously been replaced less than 5 years ago. Truck had just under 70k miles, and this was the first time the pads have been replaced. Due to some of the intermittent issues, I asked them to look closely at the entire braking system, but they didn't find anything else wrong.
Most of the intermittent stuff has been happening before the replacement. No new symptoms happened after it. I brake gently, and use the engine to slow down when it's appropriate. I never stab the brakes unless I need to. They feel normal and stop well.
1. Twice on rather rainy days in the spring, I guess the calipers stuck after I released the emergency brake when leaving for work in the morning. They released within about 20 feet, suddenly and with a clunk, then gave no further problems. This has not happened again.
2. Periodically, and with no relationship with the weather, the brakes will make a clunk sound when I'm braking, usually just before I come to a stop (maybe 5-10mph). Braking feels normal, but there's this very distinct clunk. Usually this might happen a time or two during a drive, then stop. It doesn't seem to affect the play of the brake pedal itself (ie, it doesn't stop or sink more during the clunk)
3. I sometimes feel a "gravelly" sensation in my gas pedal. I never connected that to my brakes, but maybe that's the calipers?
4. There's a very faint feeling of "drift to the left" right at the end of braking. Actually, this may have started (or just gotten more noticeable), after the last brake work.
5. Often after I brake, and mostly when the weather is warm, the brake pedal might sink very slightly a few seconds after I've come to a stop. Master Cylinder I think was checked ages ago and found fine, I remember being told this might just be a slight flexing of the frame.
6. I checked all 4 wheels after my commute yesterday (about 20 miles) - had the gravelly feel and the just-before-stop clunk. The front wheels felt only slightly warm, back wheels were cool.
7. And of course, the Event I mentioned in my previous post - caliper(s?) sticking hard after slowing for a light, including inability to accelerate properly (engine roaring), and burnt brake smell. Released when I stopped to figure out What The Heck Happened.
8. Before the brake work, when starting the truck the ABS light would stay on an extra couple of seconds, ding, then go off. That was one of the things the shop checked & couldn't find anything. Since the work, it's only done that a couple of times.
I'm aware some of these might be unrelated, but I'm a troubleshooter by trade (tech support) and know that sometimes things that seem unrelated are the key to solving an issue...
Any advice is welcome. Also, I do trust my current mechanic, but for this would it be better to take the truck to someplace that specializes in brakes?
jmc
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Suddenly, without warning, jmc exclaimed (11/19/2009 6:59 PM):

Oh, and they're VERY grabby when I first start out when it's wet. That seems to be something that got worse after the work was done. Problem seems to go away once they dry out or warm up.
jmc
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Before I started ripping things apart I'd opt for replacing the pads only, with pads of a different material. Unless of course inspection of the removed pads show a failure of a caliper.
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I wouldn't consider this to be related to any problem. Personally, I've never driven a vehicle whose brakes DIDN'T seem grabby at first when wet. I can't necessarily explain it, but I would consider that to be normal. I guess that doesn't really resolve you problems, but it should give you one less thing to worry about!
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JMC, I can speak with experience about a brake caliber sticking. I had one stick on a 1994 Mazda B2500. It would release shortly after I started rolling. When it first started, I smelt burnt pad but could not seem to locate which wheel. I even thought it might be the clutch. It got worse when it rained but once it warmed up it was better. Suddenly one day the caliber just locked up and would not release and I was able to get it to a mechanic shop by driving the truck about two blocks.
Having seen and experience a stuck brake shoes on a 1972 GMC C6500, I figured it was not the brakes as I would have seem smoke coming from the brake area like the rear drums on this truck did.
I also had a 2000 Chevy 2500 that I paid to someone to do a brake job both axles (disc and drums) since I was working 7 days a week for 3 months. After my wife pickup up the truck, she told me the brakes were not right. The shop had turned the rotors, changed pads to the front axle but could not turn the drums on the rear so they only changed the shoes. The reason they could not turn the drums was due to the machine for that size drum was broken. I then test drove the truck and it vibrated bad and brakes had a horrible sound. I had the wife bring it back and they discovered that the drums were out of round and they had to either be replaced or turned. Their machine was still broke so they sent the drums to NAPA and had them turned. Brakes worked fine after that.
When I first test drove the truck, I though it was going to be something wrong with the front brakes and not the rear. The shop owner drove the vehicle and immediately knew what it might be. So your suggestion of bring it to a specialty shop might be your best answer but not your best price.
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