2000 Mustang Pulling to the Left

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  #1  
Old 01-06-09, 01:11 PM
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2000 Mustang Pulling to the Left

I have a 2000 Mustang on which I replaced the front brake pads recently - premium Monroe ceramic pads were gone after 12,000 miles! The thing is they were totally gone on the left wheel (both worn almost completely) but the right wheel still had maybe 30-40% left on both pads. The caliper pistons were working fine as were the sliders. I removed, cleaned and re-lubed the sliders just in case. Then placed new Monroe pads on just like the ones I removed.

My wife normally drives the car. I just took it out for a spin today and noticed that it was pulling to the left. If I let go of the steering on a straight and level road, it would go the left about 2-3 feet over a distance of about 50-100 feet!

So my question is this. Could whatever caused the brake pads to wear out more on the left than the right wheel be causing this steering problem? What could that be? Or, do I just need a wheel alignment? Any and all ideas will be appreciated.

TIA,

Quickcurrent
 
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Old 01-06-09, 02:28 PM
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Your caliper needs to be replaced or rebuilt. It's sticking onto the rotor.

Jack the car up and spin the wheel. It should not stick.
 
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Old 01-06-09, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
Your caliper needs to be replaced or rebuilt. It's sticking onto the rotor.

Jack the car up and spin the wheel. It should not stick.
OK, so you think that the piston isn't releasing after I let go of the brake pedal? It's possible, but when I depressed the piston to insert the new pads, the sucker seemed to go back fairly effortlessly! It wasn't stuck at all. I've replaced the two calipers on the back end a few years ago because the pistons were so frozen I couldn't budge them to replace the pads, but not his one. If it's the piston, that would explain why the pads were worn much more on the left wheel than the right. I'll do as you say to check then, HotinOKC.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-07-09, 05:38 AM
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If it has them, could possibly be something with the antilock brakes? If it doesn't do it at first, try starting the engine and stepping on the brakes a few times, and then check it with the engine running?
 
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Old 01-07-09, 06:39 AM
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it could possibly be the brake hose itself holding pressure,also since your wife drives the car most of the time,check the brake pedal to see if it is worn on the left side like she might be riding the brake.
as far as the drift goes try swapping the tires right to left and see if the pull follows the tire
 
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Old 01-07-09, 05:59 PM
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Thanks guys, I think I've found the problem. The wheel does have some resistance when I turn it by hand, so it looks like the caliper piston is the culprit. It must have been like that for quite some time leading to the premature wear of the last set of pads on the left side, yet when I tried to push it in with the C-clamp it went easily. Go figure. Anyways I've picked up a new one and need to replace that old one.

BTW, gregtech, neither my wife nor I are brake riders. I just hate it when people do that. I'm often tempted to give them a taste of their own medicine by switching to my brights when I am following someone doing that at night, lol. I have two sets of tires, one for summer and one for winter and both look pretty evenly worn, that's the reason I suspected something other than the alignment, but I'd never come across calipers behaving this way before yet pushing in easily when replacing the pads, in decades of doing my own brakes!
 
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Old 01-07-09, 06:25 PM
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A c-clamp produces ALOT of force, so if the c-clamp had trouble, then that piston has to be welded..lol
 
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Old 01-07-09, 07:04 PM
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I was just thinking that it might be a tire pull instead of an alignment issue
 
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Old 01-08-09, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by HotinOKC View Post
A c-clamp produces ALOT of force, so if the c-clamp had trouble, then that piston has to be welded..lol
Yeah, I could not move the pistons with a C-clamp on either of the back calipers a few years ago. They were totally seized up. It was easy to determine to replace those. But this one was different. But, I suppose with gunk build-up on the piston it's conceivable that something is preventing the piston from releasing thus causing the pads to rub on the rotors continuously and prematurely wearing them out and causing the car to pull to the left. I'll be doing the job a little later today.
 
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Old 01-08-09, 09:05 AM
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the rear calipers need to be screwed in on this car they do not just push in
 
  #11  
Old 01-09-09, 08:25 AM
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It's been a while since I did my rear wheel calipers gregtech, and I don't remember just how I installed them. Those are doing fine now.

I just replaced the front left too and now the car is driving well again.

This is the first of all my cars from cradle to grave (or very close to it) that required any caliper replacements! Three have now gone and the car has only about 50,000 miles on it! I have also replaced a wheel cylinder on a different car but never a caliper! I don't know if it's a sign of the times, Ford, or just plain bad luck lately.
 
  #12  
Old 01-10-09, 01:51 AM
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I haven't seen calipers go bad that many times in such a short period on any newer Mustang. When was the last time you flushed the brake fluid?
 
  #13  
Old 01-14-09, 09:33 AM
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I've never ever flushed and replaced any brake fluid on any vehicle. I've only topped it up as needed.
 
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Old 01-14-09, 02:23 PM
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I've never changed my brake fluid either. Some say too because over time the fluid can brake down and then have a lower boiling point...blah blah blah.
 
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Old 01-14-09, 02:31 PM
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I'm sure with a car that is HiPo or roadraced or similar..it would be advantageous. I have sucked all the old dirty stuff out and refilled with new, but have never done a flush. Maybe I should, just to see if it makes a diff in feel?
 
  #16  
Old 01-15-09, 12:06 AM
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Brake fluid, whether in a race car or everyday grocery getter, will abosorb water over time. Let's say you need some brake fluid. You go buy a bottle but only use a little of it so you close it back up and put it on the shelf in the garage. If it sits there for a year before you need it again I wouldn't use it.

Same thing happens with the fluid in the car. It abosorbs water over time and lessens the capability of the fluid. Also, it can get very dirty and this can cause problems with modern ABS systems.

It's a good idea to flush the brake fluid at least every 18 months or so. this will keep the system clean and working properly.

Flushing the system is just bleeding the brakes for a good while. Basically you just start at the tire furthest from the reservoir and bleed the brakes until you get clear new fluid coming out. then work your way towards the reservoir. NEVER let the reservoir go empty while bleeding. This can introduce air into the lines and with the modern ABS systems it can be a major ***** to get the air out of the lines.
 
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