'05 Dragging Rear Brake (revisited)

A little over 4 months ago I took my '05 XLT back to the dealer I bought it used from because the right rear brake was occaisionally
dragging while starting out or very slowly creeping in traffic or at a stop light. They said they did not find anything wrong and replaced both rear pads and rotors.
All was well for a little while then it started happening again. Last week I took it back to them and this time they replaced the pads, sanded the rotors and also replaced the caliper on the right rear thinking that it must be defective. Well, since then I have heard the right rear brake dragging again three times, each time when I first started off after not driving the vehicle for a bit...ie. first thing this morning it happened again. I only hear that brake dragging when I am starting out and once I get above about 10 mph, the dragging noise stops.
Since they replaced the caliper and the dragging continues, what else could be wrong?
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Bob wrote:

First I would try to confirm what you hear. See if you can jack up both rear wheels off the floor and try to turn the wheel. If its dragging, it could be the emergency brake that's dragging and not the disc brakes. The e-brakes are internal inside the rotor. It is basically shoe brakes that can be adjusted with the star wheel adjustment tool or a screwdriver. Try pulling on the e-brake cable underneath the truck to ensure its not hung up someplace.
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: :Bob wrote: :> A little over 4 months ago I took my '05 XLT back to the dealer I :> bought it used from because the right rear brake was occaisionally :> dragging while starting out or very slowly creeping in traffic or at a :> stop light. They said they did not find anything wrong and replaced :> both rear pads and rotors. :> :> All was well for a little while then it started happening again. Last :> week I took it back to them and this time they replaced the pads, :> sanded the rotors and also replaced the caliper on the right rear :> thinking that it must be defective. Well, since then I have heard the :> right rear brake dragging again three times, each time when I first :> started off after not driving the vehicle for a bit...ie. first thing :> this morning it happened again. I only hear that brake dragging when I :> am starting out and once I get above about 10 mph, the dragging noise :> stops. :> :> Since they replaced the caliper and the dragging continues, what else :> could be wrong? : :First I would try to confirm what you hear. See if you can jack up both :rear wheels off the floor and try to turn the wheel. If its dragging, :it could be the emergency brake that's dragging and not the disc :brakes. The e-brakes are internal inside the rotor. It is basically :shoe brakes that can be adjusted with the star wheel adjustment tool or :a screwdriver. Try pulling on the e-brake cable underneath the truck to :ensure its not hung up someplace.
Thanks. Unfortunately, I don't have any way to jack up both wheels...my workshop/tool resources are very limited. What I don't understand if it is something with the e-brake, then why it is dragging because I rarely ever use the e-brake...and I can say for sure that I did not use the e-brake between last night when I drove the vehicle and it was not dragging and this morning when I heard the dragging noise again.
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If I might be so bold as to make a suggestion....
I get the feeling that you are going to the dealer and stating that you have a dragging brake concern when, in fact, you really have a noise concern....
Modern people are basically lazy... when unsupervised, they can be tremendously slothful. Acting on your complaint of a dragging brake, I'll bet that nobody has verified the complaint... it is much easier to keep fixing things that very well may not be broken.
The best thing is to state what your concern is rather than your impression of what the cause is... Include any information that will allow the tech to recreate the concern consistantly and easily. After all, the idea is to get the truck fixed in a timely fashion.....
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:If I might be so bold as to make a suggestion.... : :I get the feeling that you are going to the dealer and stating that you have :a dragging brake concern when, in fact, you really have a noise concern.... : :Modern people are basically lazy... when unsupervised, they can be :tremendously slothful. Acting on your complaint of a dragging brake, I'll :bet that nobody has verified the complaint... it is much easier to keep :fixing things that very well may not be broken. : :The best thing is to state what your concern is rather than your impression :of what the cause is... Include any information that will allow the tech to :recreate the concern consistantly and easily. After all, the idea is to get :the truck fixed in a timely fashion.....
I appreciate the suggestion Jim. However, in both the cases of my going back to the dealer, they have observed that the pads and rotors were in fact burnt/worn abnormally, and in my own experiences, I have smelled "brakes" on numerous occaisions after a drive, and on at least two occasions I have seen smoke coming from the questionable wheel after applying the brakes. To me, that is pretty good evidence that the problem lies in the brake area somewhere. Also, the dragging, historically, with the exception of the past few days, has not been very predictable. If the problem persists and is predictable, then sure, I will take it back to them and do as you suggest, otherwise I'm afraid they will not experience it themselves in a reasonable amount of time and I cannot afford to be without a car for more than a couple days.
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Bob:
I have not followed all of your posts on this, but has the dealer replaced or at least checked the right rear brake hose? I have seen hoses swell on the inside while looking normal on the outside. The swollen hose keeps brake fluid pressure from returning to normal, thus causing the brakes to drag on the affected wheel.
Steve F.
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sf/gf wrote:

That sort of thing would be consistent with the symptoms. Or say a kinked hose, or dented in rigid brake line- the high pressure in the line during braking would force its way thru to the caliper, but maybe some residual pressure would remain when the pedal is released, keeping the piston in the caliper pressing the brake pad against the disc.
So the lines from the right rear to where they join with the left rear should be inspected inch by inch.
-Paul
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: :sf/gf wrote: :> Bob: :> :> I have not followed all of your posts on this, but has the dealer replaced :> or at least checked the right rear brake hose? I have seen hoses swell on :> the inside while looking normal on the outside. The swollen hose keeps :> brake fluid pressure from returning to normal, thus causing the brakes to :> drag on the affected wheel. : :That sort of thing would be consistent with the symptoms. Or say a :kinked hose, or dented in rigid brake line- the high pressure in the :line during braking would force its way thru to the caliper, but maybe :some residual pressure would remain when the pedal is released, keeping :the piston in the caliper pressing the brake pad against the disc. : :So the lines from the right rear to where they join with the left rear :should be inspected inch by inch. : :-Paul
Great comments, guys...thanks very much. The dealer, to my knowledge, has not inspected or replaced the right rear brake hose. Getting them to do so without coming across as suggesting that is the problem might be a tough thing to do if I follow Jim's advice on simply stating the symptoms rather than suggesting a solution. I'm really at a loss here on how to properly deal with this.
The dragging noise happened again this morning and I applied the e-brake slightly and did not hear any change in the noise (I was hesitant to apply it too much though). What is odd is that I have to back out of a parking stall and I don't hear it when I am going backwards to back out, only when I am out and move forward, and again, I only hear the noise for a short time until I get above 5-10 mph.
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Well, I will stand "somewhat" corrected..... You must realize, though, that I am present (far too many times) with a customer request to do one thing or another.... even though it is readily apparent that what they ask will not affect their concern...
With the information you have added, I will take it a step further.... once we see that there is an abnormal condition, such as the evidence of overheating that you state, it is important that the tech doesn't simply replace parts in the manner that you indicate... the root cause of the concern needs to be established otherwise it will simply manifest itself again. Stiff/sticking caliper pins are easy to discover.... retracting the caliper pistons would show any binding (if the caliper isn't leaking or binding or otherwise obviously damaged, why would we replace it?).
When faced with a brake that is obviously overheated, the concientious tech will do some testing to try to find out why.... Something as simple as applying the brake hard while still on the hoist and then giving the suspect wheel(s) a spin by hand immediately after can be quite telling... Any brake work demands a comprehensive post repair road test.... if signs of overheating were seen at the time of the repair, it would be a simple matter to hand check each wheel to compare apparent temps with each other... all of this should be a no-brainer for the tech....
FWIW, in your case (no matter how the concern is expressed), all that is happening is someone is treating the symptoms and not treating the "disease"....
wrote:

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:Well, I will stand "somewhat" corrected..... You must realize, though, that :I am present (far too many times) with a customer request to do one thing or :another.... even though it is readily apparent that what they ask will not :affect their concern... : :With the information you have added, I will take it a step further.... once :we see that there is an abnormal condition, such as the evidence of :overheating that you state, it is important that the tech doesn't simply :replace parts in the manner that you indicate... the root cause of the :concern needs to be established otherwise it will simply manifest itself :again. Stiff/sticking caliper pins are easy to discover.... retracting the :caliper pistons would show any binding (if the caliper isn't leaking or :binding or otherwise obviously damaged, why would we replace it?). : :When faced with a brake that is obviously overheated, the concientious tech :will do some testing to try to find out why.... Something as simple as :applying the brake hard while still on the hoist and then giving the suspect :wheel(s) a spin by hand immediately after can be quite telling... Any brake :work demands a comprehensive post repair road test.... if signs of :overheating were seen at the time of the repair, it would be a simple matter :to hand check each wheel to compare apparent temps with each other... all of :this should be a no-brainer for the tech.... : :FWIW, in your case (no matter how the concern is expressed), all that is :happening is someone is treating the symptoms and not treating the :"disease"....
And I could not agree more...
Bob
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Bob wrote:

That's interesting- drum brakes do work better in the forward direction than in reverse. I think your mechanic really needs to rotate that wheel by hand to figure this out. -Paul
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Try going in reverse and hitting the parking brake a few times. Thats how the drum brakes self adjust themsleves. Another thought, could it be the ABS module? Maybe it is pressurizing that wheel's line just enough to drag. Try disconnecting the fuse for the ABS and see if it still drags.
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Sounds to me like it might be a pinched brake line...
When you apply the brake it works but doesn't allow the pressure to release

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:Sounds to me like it might be a pinched brake line... : :When you apply the brake it works but doesn't allow the pressure to release
Thanks. I think I have it narrowed down to the e-brake because if I gently apply the e-brake while hearing the dragging noise, the same sort of dragging noise gets louder (as you would certainly expect) but from both rear wheels instead of just the right rear. Then when I release the e-brake, the noise goes away.
I'm still finding it odd that the noise only seems to occur after the car has sat for a while, such as overnight, and not in the middle of the day.
:
: :> :>> That's interesting- drum brakes do work better in the forward direction :>> than in reverse. I think your mechanic really needs to rotate that :>> wheel by hand to figure this out. :>> -Paul :> :> Try going in reverse and hitting the parking brake a few times. Thats :> how the drum brakes self adjust themsleves. :> Another thought, could it be the ABS module? Maybe it is pressurizing :> that wheel's line just enough to drag. Try disconnecting the fuse for :> the ABS and see if it still drags. :> : :
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Bob wrote:

One possibility is that a little rust forms overnight, which is polished off after you drive a short distance. I was noticing visible rust on the discs of my Explorer lately. It's been raining a lot, and I park it outside. Parking brakes have even been known to stick to the drum if left set overnight in wet conditions. Driving away pops 'em loose.
So what you need is to have the star wheel adjustment for that wheel loosened a bit. See if that makes a difference. -Paul
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Bob wrote:

Sounds like you've zeroed in on the right rear. I was initially thinking it might be the parking brake, which is a separate drum brake inside the rotor. The rotor is shaped like a hat, with the brim being the disc brake, and the head portion of the "hat" being the drum. But you say you don't use the parking brake, so it doesn't seem likely to be the cause.
Well, they replaced everything except the part I would suspect- the caliper. If that is sticking, it could cause your problem. -Paul
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: :Bob wrote: :> A little over 4 months ago I took my '05 XLT back to the dealer I :> bought it used from because the right rear brake was occaisionally :> dragging while starting out or very slowly creeping in traffic or at a :> stop light. They said they did not find anything wrong and replaced :> both rear pads and rotors. :> : :Sounds like you've zeroed in on the right rear. I was initially :thinking it might be the parking brake, which is a separate drum brake :inside the rotor. The rotor is shaped like a hat, with the brim being :the disc brake, and the head portion of the "hat" being the drum. But :you say you don't use the parking brake, so it doesn't seem likely to :be the cause. : :Well, they replaced everything except the part I would suspect- the :caliper. If that is sticking, it could cause your problem. :-Paul
Thanks Paul. You did not include it but in my original message I go on to say that I took it back to the dealer last week and they did replace the right rear caliper this time. But since then I have heard the dragging on at least 3 occasions, each time when the car has not been driven for a while, such as first thing in the morning, and the dragging noise stops as soon as I get above about 5-10 mph.
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Bob wrote:

Oh, sorry, I missed the bit about replacing the caliper too. So that was essentially everything EXCEPT the parking brake. You could try this- pull away slowly and push the parking brake on a bit while listening to the dragging noise, then release the parking brake. See if that makes the sound change. From that you should be able to get some idea if it is the parking brake dragging. Each parking brake has a star wheel to adjust it which is accessed thru a hole in the backing plate, possibly the right one is too tight. When you have them worked on again, the mechanic could also jack it up and rotate the wheel by hand, listening for the dragging noise and zero in on the cause that way.
This is a strange one. -Paul
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