front end scraping noise

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  #1  
Old 10-09-17, 12:04 PM
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front end scraping noise

My 98 2wd Ranger started having a light scraping noise coming from the front end when I'm driving. Can notice it most when going slow like 10 mpg or lower, probably just because less engine noise then. Seems kinda like the noise a brake shoe/pad might make if was making contact with the disc (rotor?) while making kind of a gritty or grinding sound, although not particularly pronounced or real loud. It doesn't just happen when the brakes are applied, but even when not applied. I got the whole front end up onto jack stands and spinned each front tire, to listen for the noise. One side I noticed the noise while spinning the tire, but not really the other. I continued to spin the tire that made the noise but the noise seemed to go away. I took off the tire and looked at the pad (or shoe?) and it's still fairly thick maybe a little less than a quarter-inch thick. When I spinned each front tire/wheel with the front end raised and no brake applied, they don't really continue to spin freely; there is some slight resistance but I don't know if that's normal or I if I should expect the tires to continue to spin freely. The brake pad/shoe on the one side that I've looked at so far seems like it's touching the disc (rotor?) even without the brakes applied, although I suppose I could try to take something thin to check if there's any actual gap there but not sure if there should be and if so how much.
Also, of course, the noise could probably be from something else not the brake at all, but from the above info I'm hoping for comments in regard to my uncertainty about whether the wheels should spin really freely or not and whether the pad/shoe should be making any contact the disc (rotor?) with the brakes not applied... thanks.
(I also should mention I did grasp the top and bottom and both sides of each of the tires with the front end of the ground and tried to wiggle them back and forth to feel for much in the way of looseness which apparently might indicate worn wheel bearing(s) but didn't detect any play...)
 
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Old 10-09-17, 12:07 PM
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Sounds like you are in need of brake pads. Possible rotors if pads completely worn out. Take tire off scraping side.
Need some paragraphs there very hard to read.
Did you look at the inner pad? Caliper piston may be sticking and inner pad worn out.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 12:23 PM
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Many cars and trucks have a thin sheet metal backing plate or dust shield behind each caliper and rotor, and depending on how flimsy the material its made out of, it may get bent by snow or road debris, or just simple brush. On a 1998, it could even be a piece of rusted material being shed.

If you glance at each side of the front wheels while it;s up in the air, you may see this shield . . . . but it may not rub while the weight is off the vehicle;; but will start again once the wheel has weight placed on it again.

These noise makers can be a little elusive !

Here's hoping it's something that simple.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 12:49 PM
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When was the last time the bearings were packed? Unless it's been recent I'd pack the wheel bearings paying attention to their wear along with everything else. Good chance you'll figure out what's worn and needs replacing or adjusting by the time you are done.
 
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Old 10-09-17, 03:00 PM
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they don't really continue to spin freely; there is some slight resistance but I don't know if that's normal.
Yes, resistance is normal and if the pads are less than 1/4" thick your due for new pads.
 
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Old 10-15-17, 12:28 PM
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I'm at a point now where I might want to be trying to diagnose for a sticking caliper before removing the caliper. I found a video on youtube where the guy shows during his procedure how he crimps the brake line hose, squeezing it closed using a needle nose vice grips as can be watched beginning at about the 3:10 point in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UqTgYgd0Mk

My brake hose, however, (pictured below) looks different than what is shown in the video, and I tried squeezing it a little with just a pair of pliers just to see how "squeezable" it might seem, but am kind of reluctant to try squeezing/crimping it as shown in the video with the vice grips, wondering if indeed my portion of the brake hose/line there is just flexible squeezable rubber material or whether it might have rigid line within it there that could be damaged if I were to attempt squeezing it shut as shown on the video. Any comments appreciated in that regard... thanks.

 
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Old 10-15-17, 02:08 PM
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Do not squeeze hose with anything. Hose can collapse internally. To check if a sticking caliper or bad hose.
Jack up front end. spin front wheels ( should turn freely.)
pump brakes do not hold foot on pedal spin wheels if both spin free you are ok. if one or both are not turning crack bleed screw. this will let pressure off If wheel turns free now hose is bad, if still stuck caliper is sticking.
 
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Old 10-16-17, 03:18 AM
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I found a video on youtube where the guy shows during his procedure how he crimps the brake line hose, squeezing it closed using a needle nose vice grips
Wow! It's a shame those self help videos don't have to pass some sort of competency test before they can be published. The only time I'd ever consider pinching off a brake line/hose would be if it broke and I was trying to limp it home.
 
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