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LEFT FRONT BRAKE LOCKED UP

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by MR.GADGET, Jun 7, 2002.

  1. MR.GADGET

    MR.GADGET Registered Member

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    Driving to worked and the truck started to pull to the left then a little later it locked up. After cleaning out my drivers seat I looked at it and it was red hot. It looked like the piston in the caliper was locked up!! It was very hot on both sides (the pads) so I think the caliper was moving ok left and right, but the piston was stuck out. New pads and flushed the system 6 months ago. I had it towed and when I got it home and jacked it up the tire moved free and brake worked good. So after that heat I will not take a chance, and I will put new calipers, pads, and hoses, then look to turn the roters and repack the bearings. Anyone have this problem and could it be anything else other then the piston being stuck? Do the calipers stick like this a lot? What would you do? Its a 89 K-5 w/10 bolts and stock Braking system.
    Thanks
    Jon
     
  2. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    i've never heard of that happening. sounds scary though.
     
  3. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Are the pads really worn? If you extend the piston out too far, it can get cocked in the bore, but usually, that is way past the position where it ever be in normal operation. These are the right pads, right?

    Take a look at the caliper and the problem may be obvious. Sometimes a little rust develops between the piston and the bore. If your seal around the piston is damaged, this is likely what caused your problem.

    If the heat was all in the rotor and caliper area, then it was definately the brake, but if the heat could have come from somewhere else, a bad wheel bearing can act like a locked up brake. Probably not what happened, but if so, it's likely that your spindle is hosed.
     
  4. MR.GADGET

    MR.GADGET Registered Member

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    Pads are almost new and wheel bearing are good I jacked it up and they sound good and the brakes worked good after I got it home. I cant take a chance on it I'm going to redo it all!
    I was close to Rolling it and I dont like the tires up thing.!!!
    Jon
     
  5. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    Also check the clearance between the caliper and the mount on the side you need .005- .012 on each side of the caliper to mount. If not enough you file the mount.
     
  6. Blazinaire

    Blazinaire 1/2 ton status

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    I had the exact same thing happen to me, not only was the rotor glowing red, but there was smoke billowing out of there too! It was just a siezed caliper so I replaced it. But I figured that all that heat may have caused some problems for the wheel bearings, so I was gonna repack them, since I had to take the hub/rotors off to clean all the old grease out I went ahead and turned them, and what the hell... why not replace the pads and not have to think about my brakes for a while! No problems since!
     
  7. MR.GADGET

    MR.GADGET Registered Member

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    UPDATE
    What I found after getting it apart was Rust and trash under the boots of the caliper.
    The rust locked the caliper down and caused the brakes to stick.
    I did a brake job a few months back and didn't do the calipers or check under the dust boot
    but everthing else was good so I said what the hell and finished up.
    What I was always thinking was how old is the caliper and I had the truck 2+years so should
    I have put new calipers on it. A friend told me about his $100 caliper and so I thought, no I will keep
    what I got. After all the problems I found that Auto Zone sells them for 12.95 each and lifetime warr.
    SO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If I would have done it the first time I would not have had the problems......

    Jon
     
  8. MudbogAD

    MudbogAD 1/2 ton status

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    Calipers should last a long time without replacement. I have the originals from 79 and mine are in perfect working order. Yours just got rusted and screwed up.
     
  9. Fierospeeder

    Fierospeeder Banned

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    i know u found your problem

    but another thing to look at is a swelled brake hose,
    oil will contaminate the rubber and cause it to prevent the brake fluid from returning to the resevoir.

    so never use any type of oil on the brake system except brake fluid, and dielectric grease is suppose to be safe also.
     

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