Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pads

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chrisshara
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Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pads

Post by chrisshara » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:26 am

I have had this issue for quite awhile. And I have tried to resolve this issue by replacing the following items: left front caliper, right front caliper, front brake pads, front brake rotors, master cylinder, left front brake hose, right front brake hose, left rear brake hose, right rear brake hose, ABS modulator.

No such luck.

I'm beginning to think I might need a L/F knuckle / spindle.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:29 pm

When you replaced the caliper, did the caliper guide pins get replaced as well? Are you using a good grease on the caliper guide pins? When you check the caliper after it "sticks" does the caliper come apart easily or are the guide pins stuck?
Josh

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silver03
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by silver03 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:57 pm

I agree with Josh. When you replaced the calipers you did not mention if they were new or not, so sticking guide pins could very well be culprit. I have come across some that were so stuck it took heat to free them.

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:58 am

Yes, I replaced the complete caliper with the brackets and guide pins. The guide pins were pre-greased. It's definitely not the caliper. I also have experienced sticking pins, very common on Honda and Toyota. My girlfriend just had (1) sticking pin on her '04 Matrix which led to a spongy and sinking brake pedal. The brake pin grease that I use is a green Permatex Ultra Disc Brake Caliper Lube. The first brake pad I went with was Wagner Thermo Quiet. The second brake pad I went with is Akebono Pro Act pads. Pads shouldn't make a difference if they drag, as long as they fit loose enough in the bracket to release.

I replaced both front calipers. Both calipers are NAPA Total Eclipse calipers.


Thank you again for the replies.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:56 pm

Hmmm, yeah I'm not sure. As long as the new calipers are still good, then knuckle or some other component is to blame.

How much clearance is between the caliper and wheel?
Josh

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:36 pm

I'm not really sure. But I do have stock brake calipers and rotors and stock OEM wheels (those 14" mesh wheels). It has to be the knuckle or wheel bearing. Because I replaced everything else that could cause a front caliper to hang up. Unless its from the front differential. I could pop my axle out and stomp on the brakes a couple times and see if the wheel spins more freely.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 6:23 am

I'd be cautious about even doing that with the axle out since the axle tensioned against the knuckle holds the bearing together.
Josh

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chrisshara
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Tue Dec 25, 2012 5:07 pm

I wouldn't be driving the car. Just rolling the wheel by hand, up in the air, on my lift. The only time I notice this dragging is when I roll the wheel while the vehicle is up in the air. But I do experience an issue with warping front rotors all the time. So I think this might have something to do with it.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:49 pm

Oh...ok, yeah that should be fine.

I think the combination of this and your "warped" rotors could potentially be caused by bad wheel bearings which are allowing more brake movement & run out than should be.
Josh

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:16 am

This is very possible. When I have the car up in the air, the wheel bearing does not present any looseness or play.

I did replace my right front wheel bearing for a very minor humming. I am not getting any noise from my left front wheel bearing. But I am running out of components to question and refresh.

I started this topic in hopes of a quick fix. I thought I was overlooking something. I'm going to price out a new left front spindle and make a decision on if I should gamble with replacing my left front wheel bearing or press the new bearing into a brand new spindle and be more thorough about it. Can't wait to share what has been causing this. Since it's something that's not common, I'm thinking the spindle took some abuse at some point in its life.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:28 pm

Would you want to consider a used spindle? That may be another option, but I can understand if you don't want to put a used one in and have an additional variable in the mix.
Josh

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:24 am

Is this used spindle you speak of on a car presently? If so, do both of the front wheels have the same amount of resistance when you rotate the wheels by hand, when the vehicle us up in the air ?

My left front wheel has just enough drag to tell me something is not quite right. This resistance, or drag, that I'm experiencing is not god awful. But when the wheel is spinning at 60 MPH, I have reason to believe that his minimal amount of drag is causing my left front rotor to warp; over time.

I am not opposed to installing a "known good" left front spindle. My test to determine "known good," in my opinion, would be as long as the person who has this spindle can rotate both front wheels by hand, and can honestly say that they both rotate freely. Or start the engine with the vehicle on the lift, put it in gear. If the left front wheel is at a stand still and the right front wheel is rotating, then that's not the used spindle for me. If both wheels spin freely while the vehicle is up off the ground with the engine running and in gear, then that, to me, is a spindle that is in better condition than mine.

Because when I have my car up in the air and I engage any gear, the left front wheel will end up coming to a halt and the right front wheel absorbs all the velocity through the differential.

I appreciate all the help and patience Josh. You put one heck of an effort into critical thinking and thought process on this forum. You have more patience than I do, for this stuff. Then again, you have more experience with these older Subie's, than I do.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:24 pm

I don't necessary have a used spindle, but I was just throwing it out there as another option.

Since the front diff is an open diff, what happens if you put some drag or stop the right wheel, does the left wheel start spinning with the same amount of speed?

I do think the spindle is probably the next best option.....that will hopefully take out the bearing and bent spindle possibilities.
Josh

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by rallyak » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:11 pm

What happens if you remove the breaks and turn the wheels by hand? If they spin freely it's not the spindle. The spindle I don't believe should have any control over brake pads dragging.
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chrisshara
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:49 am

If the mating surface on the spindle, where the caliper bracket mates with the spindle, is untrue and / or if those ears (where the caliper bracket bolts to the spindle) are bent, then the caliper will not mount square to the rotor.

If the previous owner experienced the "all to common" seized caliper pins, then it's possible a previous hack mechanic whaled on the old caliper with a hammer to gain some free play to get the caliper off.

If the car got into the hands of an inexperienced tech, then this tech will do whatever it takes to get the caliper off. He may have thought he had a frozen caliper. It's a possibility that the car did have a frozen caliper at one point in the past.

All it takes is one tech, having a bad day to take a hammer to a caliper and it's possible that I could have a tweaked spindle at the caliper mount.

It's possible that the car was in an accident that mashed the left front caliper? I did replace the left front fender, as the previous owner banged up the left front fender. Perhaps there was more damage to the left front that was repaired to get the car back on the road again ?

I can tell you that it's not the master cylinder, it's not the left or right front brake caliper, it's not the brake pads, and it's not the front or rear brake hoses and it's not the ABS modulator. Because all these items have been replaced and did not correct the situation. If I remove the brake caliper it does spin freely.

Trust me, if a brake caliper is not square to the rotor, the brake pads can not and will not retract the way Subaru designed them to retract. And if your pads don't retract to manufacture specs, then there can be brake pads dragging in addition to other symptoms such as spongy brake pedal, excessive pedal travel, inconsistent brake pedal, uneven pad wear (in which I do experience uneven pad wear at both the left front and right front) etc...

Josh, if I stop the right front wheel the left will spin. Then eventually the left will stop and leave only the right spinning. I think we're on the right track with the spindle and or wheel bearing.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:03 pm

Ok, well keep us posted when you replace the spindle and/or wheel bearing.
Josh

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by rallyak » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:38 pm

Well if it was hammered on could be possible,But that would take a big hammer. But let say it could be bent, you can measure each ear where the caliper bolts to with a dial indicator with it mounted to the hub.

Also to verify, the pads both wear out on the front edge on both the inner and outer pad.
Charles

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chrisshara
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:31 am

I'm at the stage where I've replaced every component of the entire front brake system, minus the steel brake lines.

I've given the L/F steel brake line a thorough visual inspection. I'm 99.8% certain that the issue is not the brakes.

Would you agree that if you installed a brake caliper bracket with a washer between the caliper bracket and the spindle, with this washer on only (1) of the (2) caliper bracket bolts, putting the caliper on an awkward angle. Do you think it would cause the brake pads to drag?

When you squeeze a brake caliper piston back in, while performing a brake job, you understand that it requires a very specific degree of force to drive that piston back in. And if you do not provide that engineered sum of pressure while squeezing, then the piston will not budge.

Same rules apply to a brake caliper that is not square to the rotor. It's a similar scenario as a frozen brake caliper pin. A frozen pin causes at least (1) brake pad to bind. And if my caliper is mounted imperfectly (un-square to the rotor), then it will not release as designed by Subaru.

The pads wear unevenly, top to bottom, which is a direct symptom of either a caliper that is not square to the rotor, or a rotor that is not square to the caliper. Either way, both the rotor position and the caliper position are maintained and controlled by the steering spindle and the wheel bearing.

Josh, I will keep everyone posted. This might take awhile as new parts for these cars are not cheap anymore, if it's even available. In the past I've just been replacing my pads and rotors once a year, because I get tired of the warped front rotor(s).
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:50 pm

Like I said, you may want to try and find a "good" used spindle.

Other thing to note about the "warped" rotors. I'd suggest reading this white paper about the myth of warped rotors

http://stoptech.com/technical-support/t ... ther-myths

Also, I have found that deep cryo treating rotors will drastically improve their toughness/durability and improve their resistance to Disc Thickness Variation (DTV) commonly referred to as "warped rotors".
Josh

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:26 am

I suspect that I am getting (DVT) also known as warped rotors, and vice versa, because I am 100% positive that I am experiencing "uneven pad contact with my front rotors, as Caroll Smith explains here, "and an untold number of discs with pad material unevenly deposited on the friction surfaces - sometimes visible and more often not. (FIGURE 4)."

I have already admitted that my pads in the left front are hanging up and dragging and I have already mentioned that my brake pad wear is uneven from the top of the pad to the bottom of the pad. Uneven pad wear goes hand in hand with pad material that is unevenly deposited.

I understand that my rotors are warping due to uneven contact at the rotor.

The only reason I started this topic was to see if there was some common flaw with these older Subaru's that I was not aware of. I am to the point now that I understand that I am dealing with something that is not common and possibly caused due to an accident in the left front of my car.

There is no need for anyone to steer me in the direction of, "it must be something with the brakes, if you remove the caliper..." I have replaced the entire front brake system.

While I appreciate the help of all. I'm feeling like this is going too far and those who are trying to help are not reading all of my responses above.

I'd appreciate it if we left this topic alone and I'll figure this one out on my own. It's getting insulting to me.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:09 am

Chris,

I meant no disrespect or to be insulting. I think you've done a good job of narrowing down things, so it's just a matter of finding the parts and replacing them to verify your theory.
Josh

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:49 am

Had my car up in the air today. Threw it in gear to get the wheels spinning. And now the left rear wheel is binding. I suspect that this "sticking wheel" thing might just be the brake pads binding up on the caliper bracket. There is no denying that my front brake pads have worn funny / unevenly in the past. I have replaced my front brakes using a different brand of brake pads recently. This time I used Akebono pads. If these brake pads wear evenly, then I'd say I had something going on with my brake pads, multiple times in a row. But if the Akebono pads wear unevenly, then I'm back at the beginning, suspecting spindle. ...But as far as my issue with (1) wheel binding, I'm now thinking it was binding brake pads.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:52 pm

What brand brake pads were you running previously?
Josh

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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by chrisshara » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:34 am

I want to say Wagner Thermoquiet or NAPA Adaptive ONE. I've had baad experiences with both and I'm trying to move away from these pads, but it's hard to move away from them because these are the premium grade brake pads that my local parts stores stock. I installed the HAWK HPS pads on my girlfriend Matrix and I could immediately notice that the HAWK pads require less pedal pressure to stop the car. I just need to better prepare in advance, to do brake work, as no one local to me stocks HAWK pads.

The bad experiences I've had with the Wagner Thermoquiet's: brakes squeaks and binding pads (on cars other than mine)

The bad experiences I've had with NAPA Adaptive ONE's: The inner brake pad wears excessively faster than the outboard brake pad. (my friends '00 Honda Accord had 7 mm. on the outboard brake pad and 0 mm. and grinding on the inner pad. Brake caliper slide pins were not stuck at all and the calipers were not seized) I have used the NAPA Adaptive ONE's multiple times and this was the first time I had seen this. But once was enough. And the Adaptive ONE's are a dual compound brake pad set, where the inner brake pad uses a different pad material formula than the outboard brake pad. The idea is to have both the inner brake pad and the outer brake pad wear at the same rate, taking into consideration that the inner brake pad normally wears quicker than the outboard pad on floating caliper set-up's. I installed some Beck Arnley's once on a Toyota, and they had the exact same markings of the OEM pad I removed. I was impressed by that.
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Re: Left front brake caliper is hanging up / dragging the pa

Post by Legacy777 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:39 pm

Another brand if you want to give them a try is EBC's red stuff pads. They used to not be as good as they are now. I've been running them on my Impreza for some time. They do tend to wear a little quicker than some other pads, but I like how they stop and feel.
Josh

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1990 Legacy (AWD, 6MT, & EJ22T Swap)
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