Sticky Front Brakes


Old 09-19-15, 09:10 AM
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Sticky Front Brakes

I have a 1988 Thunderbird with 80,000 miles on it. I only drive it occasionally. I know the worst thing you can do to a car is not drive it, and I am paying for that now as the front disc brakes are not releasing properly and they have to be repaired or replaced. My service center says "replacement" is my only practical option money wise if they do it. If the slides are sticking I don't know why I couldn't take them off and lubricate them. but I have no experience with the pistons if that is the issue. What would you guys do in this case first?
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Old 09-19-15, 09:24 AM
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Generally a rust ring will form on the pistons and prevent inward travel when the brakes are released. Sometimes removing, or allowing the pistons to travel outward a little will give you enough space to sand off the offending rust, then lubricate them. BUT, since you will already have the calipers off and the pads off, check the rotors for uneven wear and have them turned and replace the pads if necessary.
Old 09-19-15, 12:39 PM
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It's a Ford. It'll be the right front caliper sticking.
I don't know why it's always the right front but it is.

Every Ford vehicle I've had..... ALL my vans have had at least one and sometimes two RF calipers. No other ones.
Old 09-19-15, 01:49 PM
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If the caliper is sticking don't try to fix it. Replace it. If it's a fiber piston it's swelled and cannot be fixed. If it's steel it's not worth the effort. Besides it may also be the cylinder that is corroding. Changing out the caliper is not hard. The hard part is bleeding the breaks. Have it done professionally.
Old 09-19-15, 04:46 PM
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Sometimes it's not the caliper, it's the rubber hose. It collapses on the inside & can not be seen.
Old 09-19-15, 08:58 PM
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Easy way to see it caliper is sticking, Jack up car and use jack stands. Pump brakes let off pedal and try to trun wheel by hand if free nothing sticking. If frozen crack bleed screw and see if wheel will turn. If it does the hose is bad if still won't turn caliper frozen.
Old 09-19-15, 09:03 PM
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Theoretically, that would work. Spray the bleeder screw, with PB Blaster every day for a week or two before you try it.
Old 09-20-15, 10:40 AM
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And do NOT use an open end wrench on the bleeder!


If you don't, you risk stripping the flats on the bleeder and a busted knuckle.

And YES, the hose can be the problem. I've seen it myself a number of times.
Old 09-20-15, 11:03 AM
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I second using a 6 point wrench or even a 6 point socket to break it loose! Failure to do so often means you'll have to use a vise grips with replacement being the best option. It's been my experience that most of the time it's brake hose instead of the caliper.
Old 10-04-15, 01:15 PM
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Price a seal kit then price a caliper there is very little difference.

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