Edmunds Answers

Voted Best Answer

  • avatar sonofadocker 04/25/10 8:40 am PST

    Here in Jersey we have tool rental stores.
    You can rent the power brake bleeder for 15.00 plus deposit.
    You can find them on ebay too.

    like i said before - old school is open up the bleeder valve on the right rear wheel cylinder - put on a plastic hose on the nipple use and empty container and pump the brakes until nothing come out.

    after closing that bleeder valve refill the master cylinder. go back to the right rear - have someone pump the peddle till its firm. open up the bleeder valve until all the air comes out and then steady brake fluid. close the bleeder.

    go to the left rear wheel - do the same.
    right front wheel - do the same
    left front wheel - do the same.

    check the master cylinder after each wheel so you dont suck air in again - top off with new brake fluid as needed.

Answers

  • morin2 04/24/10 10:46 pm PST

    Even if the diagnosis is correct, the price seems very high to me. This is one of those times when a second opinion should be sought. Its possible that the place feels that you are stuck there and will pay anything. Do you have towing coverage on your insurance policy, or AAA, or some other auto club? Look into how far they can tow you and then research an independent shop within that range. You don't have to have this done at a national brake chain. Any competent mechanic should be capable of this repair.

    If you don't know a good independent shop, you can try cartalk's mechanic's file at:

    http://www.cartalk.com/content/mechx/fi
    n...


    I used this site to find an outstanding mechanic for my son when he went to college far from home, so it worked for me. If you don't have towing coverage, many independents have their own rollback trucks. A mechanic closest to me charges only $35 for the first few miles.

    For more info, post details of how they are arriving at such a high estimate.

    And Good Luck!

  • carrmag0417 04/25/10 1:33 am PST

    Regarding the suggestion of insurance and AAA towing, well there is a bit more to my story. I forgot to include that after approx. 45 mins. or so, the calipers released the pads/shoes--whatever they're referred to-- enabling me to drive it home from the highly over priced and presumptuous Briscoe Alignment and Tire in Denton, TX.


    So, carefully, trying to run as many stop signs as possible, thereby avoiding using the brakes, unless absolutely necessary, I made it home.

    When all hope seemed lost, an old acquaintance, (a know-it-all) mechanic type, dropped by and my 1998 Ford F150 brakes (which was the ONLY thing on my mind) was the topic of conversation.

    He, knowing it all, said the 'diagnosis' was ludicrous. He then proceeded to tell me what the real problem was and how to fix it, using his 'technical' lingo, I just nodded and smiled, thinking...HOW MUCH$$$

    We purchased at Auto-zone (his favorite place??) 2 new brake lines one for the left and the right front disc brakes....which BTW I assisted installing. :-) 2 @ $19.95 each. We reassembled everything and test drove the new and improved F150. Did this fix the problem? Nope, the rubber/brass brake lines was not the problem.

    OK, by know I am thinking that the old married couple that was the sole owner of the truck, prior to April 14, 2010, wanted to make some quick cash and saw a poor sucker (me) w/only $2400 in her 'buy a vehicle' fund, and rooked me.

    The would-be brake technician/acquaintance continued the trouble shooting, clearly on a mission now, and proceeded to diagnosed that both calipers need to be replaced. This is the entire kit and not just the bracket or the pistons, but the whole housing. Because these parts (at Auto-zone of course) where priced at $65 each, which I most definitely do not have at present, he called one of his "Acquaintances".

    This guy sells or parts out the cars that people use for trade or 'cash for clunkers' and said he had what he needed 2 for $30. OK, great, but..if it sounds too good to be true....

    We just finished with the disappointing installation of the, in my opinion, worse looking than the ones we took off, calipers Did this fix it? Nope.

    So, because it was getting dark and impossible to see anything, we are putting off any more trouble shooting until tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm continuing the search for a REAL second opinion.

    Thanks for your comment and suggestions, please accept my apologies for not including all these gory details.....I'm so depressed. :-(

    I found the answer at this website, so if anyone experience a similar breaks steaming and locking up, HERE IS THE ANSWER: http://www.automedia.com/Power-Bleeding
    _Brake_Systems/ccr20050501pb/1

    I hope my troubles and hopefully my solution/s will help others.. have a lovely day/week/weekend.

  • sonofadocker 04/25/10 7:37 am PST

    dot 3 dot 4 dot 5 fluids for the brakes are the almost the same. dot 3 & 4 attract water naturally. dot 5 is synthetic and does not attract water and they all have different boiling rates. wtaer or moisture in the brake fluid is bad over time.

    your truck - like my dodge ram - have terrible front brakes. it does not make sense that they wrong fluid make the front calipers freeze. my brother has the same truck you have and he changes the rotor and caliper now with his eyes closed. since you lost both front breaks at once - who tightened both the front bearings to tight that caused all that heat and the front brakes to fail.

    id get a second opinion - all brake fluid is the same. i think it is more likely that you have heat damaged the brake fluid - i would have your helper open up a rear bleeder valave and pump the system empty with the brake pedal - add new fluid and re-bleed the air out.

    my dodge ram weights 8,800 lbs empty. i have switched some of the front bakes parts away from dodge to chevy one ton brake parts - so far it has been working - i tow a trailer and a car many times a week. your ford like my brothers - eats up front brakes - most likely a weight and design issue. his front rims are never clean like just washed - always black with brake pad dust.

  • carrmag0417 04/25/10 8:08 am PST

    Once again, I must apologize, for leaving out info on the truck that comes into play.

    The owner stated that the vehicle had not been driven for quite some time. The truck ran fine, no brake dust on the wheels until after it rained. (I put 200+ miles on it since 4/14/10)

    I live in the country and drove it across a muddy field, through the puddles in the driveway, could this be the reason for the lock down? And I dont think the bolts/nuts where too tight. I do not know who did the last oil and lube check/change. Besides, wouldn't I have seen/felt break problems right away,or shortly after, and not 200+ miles later?

    Presuming the original owner kept it in the garage and not subject to water in the air absorption or something along those lines, it would stand to reason that the truck's new, and less hospitable outside garage-less home would make it easier for the rain water to enter where it's not welcome.

    I'm guessing the steam, and the scorch-like smell-which I thought was the radiator leaking or the motor over heating, was from my brakes and the watered-down brake fluid in the lines, combined with high temp, and normal friction.

    Question: If the brake fluid in the reservoir was not 'contaminated' with water it collected on its own, then where did the steam come from?

    Your suggestion for "open up a rear bleeder valave and pump the system empty with the brake pedal - add new fluid and re-bleed the air out." Is exactly what I need to do.

    Do I need to buy anything additional to do this? For example, in the pictures on the weblink I posted earlier, had a mechanic using a couple tools I didnt recognize, is this something I will need???

    Thanks for the input/suggestions.

  • sonofadocker 04/25/10 8:40 am PST

    Here in Jersey we have tool rental stores.
    You can rent the power brake bleeder for 15.00 plus deposit.
    You can find them on ebay too.

    like i said before - old school is open up the bleeder valve on the right rear wheel cylinder - put on a plastic hose on the nipple use and empty container and pump the brakes until nothing come out.

    after closing that bleeder valve refill the master cylinder. go back to the right rear - have someone pump the peddle till its firm. open up the bleeder valve until all the air comes out and then steady brake fluid. close the bleeder.

    go to the left rear wheel - do the same.
    right front wheel - do the same
    left front wheel - do the same.

    check the master cylinder after each wheel so you dont suck air in again - top off with new brake fluid as needed.

  • carrmag0417 04/25/10 8:51 am PST

    Sounds like the same thing the website-link I found said to do, less the tools, equipment and $$.

    I would love not to have to pay $65 or $130+tax for new calipers if I don't freakin' need too. I feel like we didn't even need to spend the $40 on the new breaklines that connect to the calipers, if the solution was this simple and FREE.

    So, empty the entire system, not allowing air into the master cylinder while doing so, then refil with new Dot 3,4,or 5 brake fluid? How do you empty hoses completely of all fluids and not let some air in? Wouldnt the lines, or hoses collapse in?? That may be a stupid question, but oh well, I'm ignorant.

    Thanks,
    Carrie

  • sonofadocker 04/25/10 9:27 am PST

    ok - old school method should get 99% of the old fluid out.

    the four lines that could collaspe you know go from the steel line on the frame rail to the brake caliper and the rear wheel cylinders - if they are so soft that they close - they need to be changed. they should not be rock hard and riggid and not so soft that you can pinch them closed.

    as i mentioned before - my ram 2500 did the same thing yours ford did - always on the right front caliper - the shop insisted the rubber brake line was closing during braking and would NOT let the brake fluid return to the system there for keeping the brake applied or dragging.

    he changed the rubber lines and swapped my rear wheel cylinders with GM one ton cylinders after i showed him the info i found on a mopar truck site. this larger better rear wheel cylinder made the rear brakes work quicker and took some of the load off the front brakes.

    it was work i would do myself but there was some mild rust and time issue with the repair...murphys law.

  • carrmag0417 04/25/10 10:40 am PST

    from the steel line on the frame rail to the brake caliper

    This is the $19.95, 12 +/- inch 'brake line' I referred to in an earlier reply, that we replaced yesterday on the front 2 brakes. Which was fairly simple to do, but unfortuneately was not the solution. Then we switched to the calipers being to blame, put two very used (in my opinion) calipers from salvage yard.
    Between u and me and the other readers, I am not all that confident in my "Helper". I just spoke with him and he is insisting its the calipers. He said that Autozone-now has them for $45 each, yesterday they were $65. Hmmmm. He said that "Last night we pretty much drained the system, I put damn near 3qts in the system." Well I can tell you that he had been a little 'buzzed' if you get my meaning, and I am not sure that the 3qt measurement is all that accurate. So, I may have to become ugly and demand he do my solution first, then...we'll see. $90+ is still $90 I don't have.

    I'm wishing I hadn't been so informative and discussed the weather when he dropped by. :-)

    Anyway, I am convinced you are correct, if not I will keep you posted on the outcome of today's repair adventure.

  • carrmag0417 04/25/10 5:43 pm PST

    4/25/2010

    Problem with Brakes locking up when hot... FIXED!

    1. Replace both the driver and passenger side calipers with new one's from O'Reilly Auto Parts. Total for 2 $90.91
    2. Bled front brakes only, freed from small amounts of air. Total cost $0.00
    3. Prior purchase and self install of brake hose/line from calipers to something or other(??) Total cost for 2 $40.75
    4. Oil, and filter self change $24.00

    Total cost for brake fix only: $131.66 Compared to Briscoe alignment and tire's quote: $4500 to replace entire braking system.

    Total spent on 1998 Ford F150 this weekend: $155.66 this doesn't include cost of fuel needed for extended test stops and goes and stops and goes and stops and goes.

    Total grief relief when said issue finally resolved w/out selling blood to pay for it.....

    Priceless...(?)

    Thank you so much for your help and suggestions. And happy motoring.

    xoxo
    Carrie

ADVERTISEMENT

Top Brakes Experts View More

Rank Leader Points
1. MrShift@Edmunds 2410
2. karjunkie 2170
3. zaken1 690
4. texases 620
5. Stever@Edmunds 530
6. tony78 510
7. docj 505
ADVERTISEMENT