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Brake Service Philosophy

Brake Service Philosophy

Problem:

One of the major problems and concerns with servicing brakes is the issue of comebacks.

Cause:

The root cause of this problem can be traced to not applying a consistent philosophy to the brake service problem.

free-brake-check-stop-here-if-you-can

Solution:

We have come up with a solution to help you alleviate the issue of brake service comebacks.

At the core of success in the brake service industry is the belief in 2 core philosophies. Always being aware of these ensures that when you are involved in brake service, the best possible job will be done.

Here they are:

“I would rather be paid for something today than have to give it away tomorrow”

Translation: If I do not perform a proper inspection and it results in me missing something that later causes the vehicle to return with a comeback, I lose. Spending a few extra minutes making sure to check everything necessary will have a twofold positive effect.

  1. More legitimate profit will be generated on a daily basis.
  2. The shop will have less comebacks.

“If I am charging a customer to perform brake service I am going to do the steps necessary to keep the car away from my shop as long as possible”

Translation: If I shortcut to many things it may very well cause the customer to come back prematurely with a problem. When this happens everyone involved in the process loses. The shop loses because a bay is tied up with a nonpaying job, the technician loses because most warranty jobs don’t pay, and the customer loses because they had to comeback for a service that should have been done correctly the first time they came in.

Follow these two philosophies and beliefs and you should not only see a reduction in brake service comebacks but in other services that you perform.

Nobody likes comebacks and it doesn’t take that much to eliminate the majority of them.

The Basics of Rotor Run-out

The Basics of Rotor Run-out

We have been traveling to various customers and trade shows and have neglected our Tech Tricks Tuesday postings. We are two days late this week and will do our best to be better in the following weeks. Because of this, we are giving you an entire blog post with no interruptions.

Many people believe that disc brake rotors can warp during normal service. Tales sometimes, even told by OE Dealerships, will state that you should not apply your brakes. They will also tell you not to drive through a deep puddle when it’s raining because if the rotor is hot from hard application and then gets drenched, it will warp. One national brake trainer’s daughter was actually told this when she brought her new, under warranty, vehicle in because of a pedal pulsation problem.

ROTORS DON’T WARP or at least they don’t under any type of vehicle operation that would enable the vehicle to be safely driven.

What does happen is that rotors will have excessive run out or wobble because they are not operating a right angle in relationship to the hub face. What this means is that every time a portion of the rotor comes around the rotor makes some contact with the pads and wears the rotor thickness away at that point. After this happens for a while and the brakes are applied you feel a pedal pulsation as the pads follow the rotor thickness variation. The pads move in and out causing the pedal pulsation. Changing the rotor with a new one only delays the reoccurrence of the problem. Replacing rotors isn’t solving the problem.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 01

Basics of Rotor Run Out 01

When you apply the brakes you may sometimes feel a pedal pulsation. This condition may be felt under light, medium or hard braking or any one of them. It’s not when the pulsation is felt that is important, it’s the fact that it is present at all.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 02

Basics of Rotor Run Out 02

Sometimes the condition that causes the pedal pulsation, rotor run out, is so severe that you can actually see a portion of the rotor that has been rubbing the pads. Note the rather large area on this rotor that is shinny. This is the spot that is high and rubs the pads when the rotor rotates.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 03

Basics of Rotor Run Out 03

There are specifications published that identify the allowable amount of rotor run out but any run out that causes a pedal pulsation condition is excessive.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 04

Basics of Rotor Run Out 04

The start of the process to identify the cause of the run out condition is mark one stud and the rotor hole that goes over that stud. This is done so you can place the rotor back on the hub in the same place after it is removed for rotor hat inspection reasons.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 05

Basics of Rotor Run Out 05

After removing the tire/wheel and marking a reference stud location next install washers or special pre-load load distribution cones as shown, then torque down the lug nuts to seat the rotor against the hub face. Nest set up a dial indicator as shown and rotate the rotor one full turn. Note the amount of run out shown on the dial indicator. Compare this reading against the specifications published.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 06

Basics of Rotor Run Out 06

This is a close up of the special pre-load spacer. Note the cone shape which accepts the tapered lug nut and the flat outer shoulder that is placed against the outer surface of the rotor hat. Failure to use these spacers or at least large flat washers will lead to improper rotor pre-loading and inaccurate rotor run out measurements.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 07

Basics of Rotor Run Out 07

As part of the identification process of the overall condition of the rotor you should also take thickness measurements in 8 places around the rotor. This established “thickness variation” reference readings that are compared against the specifications published in the brake spec book. If you have rotor run out you usually will also have thickness variation at least in one spot on the rotor.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 08

Basics of Rotor Run Out 08

After you have obtained your run out and thickness specification readings remove the rotor and check the inside of the rotor hat. Rust and scale can easily build up at this location and be the cause of the run out error and accompanying pedal pulsation.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 09

Basics of Rotor Run Out 09

The hub face must also be clean of rust and scale. Use a tool such as the one shown to clean the hub face. Don’t use anything that will remove metal or you may create a condition where you have a rotor run out.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 10

Basics of Rotor Run Out 10

Many technicians along with others recommend applying some grease or anti-size to the hub face to help prevent future rust and scale build up. Some OE manufactures do and have used a lubricant at this location for years while others do not.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 11

Basics of Rotor Run Out 11

It’s a good idea to also clean the outer surface of the rotor hat but remember don’t use anything that will remove metal or you are creating a condition where the wheels clamping force may cause a rotor parallelism or run out condition when the wheel is torqued down to specifications.

Basics of Rotor Run Out 12

The cause of pedal pulsation shouldn’t be a mystery. In addition to checking the rotor run out and rotor thickness variation it is also recommended that you set up your dial indicator and take run out of the hub face. This is easier said than done as the studs make setting up the dial indicator to take a hub run out reading all but impossible.

Hub face run out can be the root cause but the most common condition causing the problem is rust and scale between the hub face and the inside of the rotor hat.

This concludes our Tech Tricks Tuesday Blog Post on the Basics of Rotor Run-out and we hope that you found it useful. If you have any comments, please let us know.

How To Bleed Brakes on a Hybrid Vehicle Part 3

How To Bleed Brakes on a Hybrid Vehicle Part 3

This is part 3 (the final portion) of our Tech Tricks Tuesday on how to bleed brakes on a hybrid vehicle. If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here.

Last week we covered:

  • The history of the Prius used in this write-up
  • Where the master cylinder reservoir is and how to remove the cap
  • The importance of the master cylinder cap
  • A brief overview of the brake system
  • How to properly prime the reverse brake bleeding tool
  • How to get started with reverse bleeding on the hybrid vehicle
  • How to proceed with bleeding the system

This week we will cover:

  • Reason to not shy away from bleeding a hybrid system
  • Potential reason why the fluid is lower in the master cylinder
  • A “best practices” of bleeding using a Phoenix Systems Reverse Bleeder
Hybrid Bleed 22

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 22

 

Step 22

As before, the master cylinder fluid level rose after bleeding each individual wheel. This is proof that we are achieving fluid flow with the Phoenix bleeder from the wheel hydraulics upstream to the master cylinder.

Hybrid Bleed 23

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 23

 

Step 23

Some folks shy away from bleeding a brake system on a vehicle when it has a logo on it as shown. Don’t automatically do this. Many hybrids are fairly simple to bleed when using the Phoenix bleeder.

Hybrid Bleed 24

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 24

 

Step 24

The next vehicle we selected to try bleeding on was this late model Ford Fusion. This vehicle has never had any brake work done on it.

Hybrid Bleed 25

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 25

 

Step 25

Note the level of the fluid in the master cylinder. It’s lower than it should be. What is the reason? Only two logical possibilities. One it has a leak which it doesn’t and two the friction is worn allowing the pistons to move farther out in the caliper bores which lowers the visible fluid level in the master cylinder. This car is in a fleet and is driven a lot of miles each month by multiple drivers. It’s used daily sometimes for extended trips.

Hybrid Bleed 26

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 26

 

Step 26

As with most vehicles today the bleeder valves or at least the front wheel bleeder valves are easy to access.

Hybrid Bleed 27

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 27

 

Step 27

This image shows a rotor on this hybrid with a unusual amount of glaze and material build up (transfer layer). If this wasn’t a hybrid, this may be of some concern but hybrid vehicles use regenerative braking as their primary braking system so the actual wheel brakes really don’t do that much braking.

Hybrid Bleed 28

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 28

 

Step 28

As shown previously, the tech places his finger over the bleeder valve end of the Phoenix bleeder and compresses the bleeders handle to assure a solid column of fluid prior to putting the rubber end over the bleeder valve and bleeding the system.

Hybrid Bleed 29

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 29

 

Step 29

This image shows “best practices” of bleeding a wheel using the Phoenix bleeder. The bottle containing the fluid is suspended by a cord and is the lowest component in the system. The bleeder is pointed slightly upward while being used. While not absolutely necessary, some tech feel this assures a solid column of fluid under all bleeding conditions.

Hybrid Bleed 30

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 30

 

Step 30

This may look like a complex rear caliper/brake system and may also have an electronically actuated parking brake but the system bleeds out like any other caliper system. In the case of most calipers, wheel hydraulics are wheel hydraulics. There is seldom anything very special about them.

Hybrid Bleed 31

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 31

 

Step 31

As before, you know you had fluid movement upstream by the rise in the fluid level of the master cylinder.

After completing the bleeding of any vehicle check the master cylinder level and adjust the fluid level accordingly. Set the fluid level according to now only the full mark the full hot or full cold mark. What is hot and cold. Use some common sense. If you can touch anything in the engine compartment with any problem it may be considered cold but if you can as you wouldn’t be able to if you just shut it down after a trip it is considered hot.

Can all hybrids be bled without any special procedure or tools? That is a unknown at this time. The thing is that we decided to check out two common hybrid vehicles to see if our bleeder would work on the systems and the answer was found to be yes.

Click here to purchase your Phoenix Systems Reverse Brake Bleeder on our website or at any online retailer.

How To Bleed Brakes on a Hybrid Vehicle Part 2

How To Bleed Brakes on a Hybrid Vehicle Part 2

This is part 2 of our Tech Tricks Tuesday on how to bleed brakes on a hybrid vehicle. If you missed last week’s post, you can read it here.

Last week we covered:

  • The history of the Prius used in this write-up
  • Where the master cylinder reservoir is and how to remove the cap
  • The importance of the master cylinder cap
  • A brief overview of the brake system

This week we will cover:

  • How to properly prime the reverse brake bleeding tool
  • How to get started with reverse bleeding on the hybrid vehicle
  • How to proceed with bleeding the system
Hybrid Bleed 10

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 10

 

Step 10

Fill the bleeder bottle from a clean unopened container of the correct type of brake fluid. In this case the vehicle specified DOT 3.

Hybrid Bleed 11

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 11

 

Step 11

Next, put the cap containing the pickup tube onto the bottle.

Hybrid Bleed 12

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 12

 

Step 12

After tightening the cap, install the return line onto the open cap connection.

Hybrid Bleed 13

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 13

 

Step 13

Next, prime the hoses by pumping the bleeder handle until you have a solid stream of fluid flowing.

Hybrid Bleed 14

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 14

 

Step 14

After filling the hose with fluid, attach a bleeder valve end to the hose.

Hybrid Bleed 15

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 15

 

Step 15

With the bleeder ready to go, loosen the bleeder valve on the first component in the bleed sequence.

Hybrid Bleed 16

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 16

 

Step 16

Squeeze the handle of the bleeder slightly to be sure the hose and bleeder end is full of fluid then place your finger over the bleeder end.

Hybrid Bleed 17

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 17

 

Step 17

Place the bleeder valve end of the hose over the bleeder valve, which has been opened and will allow fluid to flow through it.

Hybrid Bleed 18

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 18

 

Step 18

Pump the handle of the bleeder which forces fluid from the filled bottle through the bleeder and into the hydraulic circuit for this specific wheel.

Hybrid Bleed 19

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 19

 

Step 19

After bleeding the first wheel in the bleed sequence, the fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir was checked and it was noted that the level was increased from when starting the bleeding. This was proof positive that the fluid was flowing upstream through the system.

Hybrid Bleed 20

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 20

 

Step 20

The remaining wheels were then bleed flowing the bleed sequence stated in specifications. On the drum brake rear wheels the wheel cylinder bleeder valve was opened and the same procedure as on the front was applied.

Hybrid Bleed 21

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 21

 

Step 21

After tightening the bleeder valve, the rubber cap was reinstalled. This is important as it prevents moisture from entering the center of the bleed valve and corroding the seat area of the bleeder valve.

This covers this week’s post. Come back next week to discover how to finish up with the bleeding of the hybrid vehicle.

How To Bleed Brakes on a Hybrid Vehicle Part 1

How To Bleed Brakes on a Hybrid Vehicle Part 1

Some people automatically think that bleeding the brakes on hybrid vehicles is difficult, causes secondary service problems, or that doing so requires special OE tools and procedures including special scan tools.

While this may be true in some instances, it is not always true. In an effort to see just how simple or difficult it is to bleed some hybrid vehicles, we recently had the opportunity, on a limited basis, to use the Phoenix Systems Reverse Brake Bleeder on a few hybrid vehicles from a fleet we obtained access to. This fleet has a variety of hybrid vehicles and we chose a first generation Toyota Prius (Gen. I Prius) and a late model hybrid Ford Fusion to work on.

Why these vehicles? Because they are perhaps the two most likely that you may be servicing. The Gen. I Prius has been around long enough to be needing front brake work and the Ford Fusion by it’s shear numbers will be into your shop for brake work sometime in the future.

We were able to use the Phoenix Systems Reverse Brake Bleeder attached at the bleeder valves at the wheels to bleed these two vehicles without doing anything special or using any special procedures. What we did was drive the vehicles into the shop, shut off the vehicles and close the door after removing the keys, lift the vehicle on the lift and attach the Phoenix Systems Reverse Brake Bleeder at each wheel and bleed (move new fluid from the caliper/wheel cylinder) at the wheel up stream to the master cylinder.

You will see that this was successful as the fluid level in the master cylinder was raised after each wheel was bled. Simple, effective, and successful. Will this work on all hybrids? Stay tuned as we continue to expand testing doing service work such as flexible hose replacement, caliper replacement etc. that will allow air into the closed system. What we did prove is that there is a straight fluid flow from the wheels upstream to the master cylinder and that we can move fluid (bleed) from the wheels upstream to the master cylinder on these two types of vehicles.

This week we will cover:

  • The history of the Prius used in this write-up
  • Where the master cylinder reservoir is and how to remove the cap
  • The importance of the master cylinder cap
  • A brief overview of the brake system
Hybrid Bleed 00

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 00

 

Step 00

This Gen. I Prius has over 250,000 on it. All local in town driving and it’s only on its second set of front brakes. The master cylinders fluid level when it came into the shop was very low. The reason for this was unknown. Also, the fluid appears to never have been tested for corrosion or changed. This alone would be reason do perform a fluid change and bleed out the system.

Hybrid bleed 01

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 01

Step 01

The master cylinder on the Gen. I Prius is located approximately at the 11 o’clock position in this photo. It’s about the only part of the hydraulic system that is easily visible. All other components of the hydraulic braking system are buried and difficult to see.

Hybrid bleed 02

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 02

Step 02

This is not the master cylinder on a Prius. Stupid statement? You may be surprised to learn that some folks think it is and then add “you know what”.

Hybrid Bleed 03

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 03

Step 03

Removing the master cylinder cap is easy. Simply place your fingers under the rubber cap lip and pull out and upward. The reservoir is a white plastic container and has molded in fluid minimum and maximum markings on it.

Hybrid Bleed 04

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 04

Step 04

The fluid level in the master cylinder was below the minimum mark and the bellows on the cap had expanded as designed. The bellows was pushed back into itself as shown.

Hybrid Bleed 05

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 05

Step 05

Two things are important to understand about the master cylinder cap on this vehicle. One is that the specifications for the type of brake fluid are molded into the top of the cap. The other item is that you should realize that this cap is not a direct vent type of cap. The bellows which is part of the assembled cap separates the brake fluid from the atmosphere. This is the reason the bellows expanded into the master cylinder when the fluid level dropped. This feature prevents the brake fluid from constantly being in contact with air which contains moisture which would be absorbed by the brake fluid.

Hybrid Bleed 06

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 06

Step 06

The calipers are conventional in their design and have a standard bleeder valve located at the highest part of the caliper.

Hybrid Bleed 07

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 07

Step 07

This vehicle had the rubber caps on the bleeder so it was a safe bet they would open easy. Place a six point socket on the bleeder valve and open it with a ratchet.

Hybrid Bleed 08

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 08

Step 08

The rear brakes on the Prius are drum brakes. The bleeders also opened easy as they also had the OE rubber caps on.

Hybrid Bleed 09

How to Bleed a Hybrid Step 09 

Step 09

A Phoenix Reverse Brake Bleeder and a couple cans of the correct brake fluid is all that was needed to bleed out this Gen. I Prius.

This will cover our portion this week. Come back next week for more information on bleeding a Gen I Prius with a Phoenix Systems Reverse Brake Bleeder.

Read part 2 of our blog post by clicking here.

How to Remove a Rusted Bleeder Screw

How to Remove a Rusted Bleeder Screw

How to Remove a Rusted Bleeder Screw

If someone says “Pin It”, you may think of a web site that folks sell things on. Nothing could be farther from the truth for our meaning of the term “Pin It”.

What we are talking about is “pinning” or filling the hollow center of a brake bleeder valve when removing it. Why would you want to do this? The answer is simple. This is done to help keep the rusted bleeder screw from breaking when it is “frozen” in the caliper and you are trying to loosen or remove it.

BrakeFree 01

Image 1

 

Image 1

If you take a straw, hold one end, and twist the other end of the straw the center of the straw will twist around itself. Think of a hollow bleeder valve with the bottom of the bleeder valve rusted into the caliper. Think of what happens to the bleeder valve when you apply force with a wrench trying to loosen it.

BrakeFree 02

Image 2

Prevent Future Rusted Bleed Screws with the Phoenix Systems USA Made bleed screw caps.

Click Here to Learn More about the bleeder caps

4x4-bleedscrew-cap

Image 2

Now fill the straw with sand or water and repeat this twisting test. You will find that the entire straw now moves. In other words, the straw doesn’t collapse inward onto itself. Pinning a hollow bleeder valve creates the same effect.

BrakeFree 03

Image 3

 

Image 3

Note the amount of rust and scale on the bottom seat area of this bleeder. Bleeder valves freeze up not only on their threaded area but also on the tapered seat at the bottom of the valve.

BrakeFree 04

Image 4

 

Image 4

As mentioned, this is what usually happens to a frozen bleeder valve when it is attempted to be removed. First, the hex flats stripped off then when a locking pliers was used the bleeder collapsed inward on itself breaking in two. The result required caliper replacement to handle the problem.

BrakeFree 05

Image 5

 

Image 5

You can use most anything to fill the center hold of a bleeder valve but a piece of soft welding rod (aluminum welding rod) works very well. Cut the piece slightly longer than the hollow center length.

BrakeFree 06

Image 6

 

Image 6

Insert the “pin” into the bleeders center and tap it downward as far as possible. Don’t worry if it’s a bit long. The idea is to fill the center completely. The soft welding rod will simply flatten itself onto the end of the valve.

BrakeFree 07

Image 7

 

Image 7

Obtain a Phoenix Systems “Brake Free” air hammer tool and place a socket on it of the correct size to fit the bleeder valve. Note: If you use a shallow socket you will apply more force onto the frozen threads and seat than with a deep socket.

BrakeFree 08

Image 8

Free any rusted or frozen bleed screw with Phoenix Systems USA Made BrakeFree Tool

Click Here to Learn More about the BrakeFree Tool.

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 1.24.07 PM

Image 8

With the “Brake Free” tool connected to an air hammer insert a #2 Phillips screwdriver or other similar tool through the hole of the “Brake Free” tool. Push downward firmly on the air hammer while pulling the trigger of the air hammer and apply left hand rotational force to the “Brake Free” blade through the Phillips screwdriver.

BrakeFree 09

Image 9

 

Image 9

If you use heat to try to free up the bleeder valve the heat will travel into the caliper body itself and will reach the area housing the caliper square cut seal. This heat may easily cause the seal to have problems. It is never a good idea to heat a bleeder valve to try and free it up. Don’t do it. The negative effects can be safety related.

By using a “BrakeFree” tool along with a good air hammer and a #2 Phillips or other similar drift along with “Pinning” a bleeder screw before applying any force to it, you will find that you will be successful in removing most frozen bleeders.

Granted, you will have to replace the bleeder as it’s almost impossible to get the pin out but that is a small price to pay for successfully remove a frozen bleeder rather than having to replace the entire caliper. We hope that you enjoyed our post on how to remove a rusted bleeder screw.

The “Brake Free” tool can be ordered on our website in our Specialty Tool section.

Prevent Future Rusted Bleed Screws with the Phoenix Systems USA Made bleed screw caps.

Click Here to Learn More about the bleeder caps

4x4-bleedscrew-cap

 

 

 

Brake Hose Service Ideas Part 4

Brake Hose Service Ideas Part 4

We are now on Part 4 of our brake hose service ideas and if you missed part 1, part 2, or part 3, here is a quick recap:

  • How to tell if a brake hose is still able to continue in service or not
  • What cracks mean on a brake hose and if it is serviceable when cracked
  • Is the pull on the vehicle from the brakes or from the brake hoses?
  • What to do with a caliper when servicing the vehicle
  • What heat does to brake hoses
  • Comparison of a crimped hose
  • Petroleum saturation and what happens with that
  • What happens when the wrong brake hose is put on a vehicle
  • Using a valve stem to plug a hole in a caliper
  • What to do when “pinching off” a hose

Idea 17

Another design of a hand tightened line lock. This unit is simply smaller in design.

Brake Hose Service Idea 17

Idea 17

 

Idea 18

This is NOT a proper tool to pinch off a flexible brake hose. This type of tool should never be used and even if you put padding such as a piece of hose over the tools jaw area this tool may easily damage a hose.

Brake Hose Service Idea 18

Idea 18

 

Idea 19

If a hose is pinched off as shown so no fluid and flow through its small internal passage area with a tool as shown damage usually occurs.

Brake Hose Service Idea 19

Idea 19

Idea 20

Note the internal damage from using clamping pliers such as that shown in Pic. 19. This hose will no longer allow the same volume of fluid to flow as the hose on the opposite side of the vehicle. This may give a pull upon initial brake application among other problems.

Brake Hose Service Idea 20

Idea 20

Idea 21

This hose has an internal “flapper valve” type of issue. Brake fluid will flow through the “flapper” but will not easily flow back the other way. This may prevent fluid application or hold fluid onto the caliper depending on the direction of flow in relationship to the “flapper” direction. Was this problem initiated by someone once improperly clamping a flexible brake hose? You don’t really know but it could easily be the cause of the problem.

Brake Hose Service Idea 21

Idea 21

Brake hoses are really not complicated items but a large dose of common sense and understanding must be applied to brake service situations and problems when the brake hose may be the cause of the problem. It is also commonly recommended to replace brake hoses is pairs as if one hose has a service problem the other, unless it was changed individually, may soon follow as its service life has been the same. Pay attention to the tips and recommendations in the previous images and be successful in your brake hose service.

 

 

 

Brake Hose Service Ideas Part 3

Brake Hose Service Ideas Part 3

We are now on Part 3 of our brake hose service ideas and if you missed part 1 and part 2, here is a quick recap:

  • How to tell if a brake hose is still able to continue in service or not
  • What cracks mean on a brake hose and if it is serviceable when cracked
  • Is the pull on the vehicle from the brakes or from the brake hoses?
  • What to do with a caliper when servicing the vehicle
  • What heat does to brake hoses
  • Comparison of a crimped hose
  • Petroleum saturation and what happens with that
  • What happens when the wrong brake hose is put on a vehicle

Idea 12

Note the unusual twist of this hose. Previously when the caliper had been removed and reinstalled the caliper had been rotated 180 degrees when reinstalled. This puts a sharp twist into the hose. Note the end of the hose attached to the caliper and how it appears at the right angle bend.

Brake Hose Service Idea 12

Idea 12

 

Idea 13

When you remove a caliper from a hose attached by a banjo hose fitting use a valve stem to plug the hole. This prevents brake fluid from dripping all over the place and excessive air from entering the brake line.

Brake Hose Service Idea 13

Idea 13

 

Idea 14

No matter what method of pushing the caliper piston back into the caliper bore you use you should open the bleeder and pinch off the fixable brake hose. This prevents the pushing of any contaminants from the caliper back upstream into the brake system components such as ABS control units, a brake valve or the master cylinder.

Brake Hose Service Idea 14

Idea 14

 

Idea 15

Even when you simply push the pads backwards to allow their easy removal from a rotor you should open the bleeder and pinch off the line.

Brake Hose Service Idea 15

Idea 15

 

Idea 16

When pinching off a hose to block fluid flow you should use a properly designed “line lock” type of tool such as the tool shown. Note the tightening is done with a hand turned wing nut, not a hex bolt.

 

Brake Hose Service Idea 16

Idea 16

Keep coming back each week for more tips on our Tech Trick Tuesday posts. We will be finishing up with part 4 next week.

 

Brake Hose Service Ideas Part 2

Brake Hose Service Ideas Part 2

Just in case you missed part 1 of our Brake Hose Service Ideas from last week, we covered:

  • How to tell if a brake hose is still able to continue in service or not
  • What cracks mean on a brake hose and if it is serviceable when cracked
  • Is the pull on the vehicle from the brakes or from the brake hoses?
  • What to do with a caliper when servicing the vehicle
  • What heat does to brake hoses

Idea 7

This is the end result of what happens when too much heat reaches the crimped end portion of a flexible brake hose.

Brake Hose Service Idea 07

Idea 8

This is a comparison of a crimped hose end compared to one that has separated because of being heated with a torch.

Brake Hose Service Idea 08

Idea 9

This hose is an example of petroleum saturation and damage. It received, from a leak, a constant soaking of power steering fluid or some other lubricant and over time simply became soft and deteriorated.

Brake Hose Service Idea 09

Idea 10

Note the length of this hose and its position very close to the upper control arm. Putting the wrong hose on a vehicle or allowing a hose to slip in its mounting bracket by allowing a caliper to hang on it can cause interference issues between the hose and a suspension part or even the wheel.

Brake Hose Service Idea 10

Idea 11

Note the abrasion wear area of this hose. It was too long or mis-positioned and was rubbed against the tire/wheel during turns.

Brake Hose Service Idea 11

We will have more of ideas on brake hose service next week in our Tech Tricks Tuesday post.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

Brake Hose Service Ideas Part 1

Brake Hose Service Ideas Part 1

Here is to a new year in 2015. We hope you had a great 2014 and that your 2015 will be even better. We want to continue to help you with our Tech Trick Tuesday Blog posts and would love to hear from you on what you would like to learn about. This month, we will be covering brake hose service ideas and the do’s and don’ts of brake hose service.

Brake hoses are a highly misunderstood component of the brake system. There are many incorrect beliefs about brake hoses and even more incorrect service procedures done to them.

The following service and informational pictures along with their descriptive text will make you aware of some service and repair issues regarding flexible brake hoses.

Idea 1

Is this brake hose good or bad? Can it continue in service or not. You can’t fully diagnose the serviceability of a brake hose by its physical appearance. This hose may have an internal restriction or rust build up on the inside of the bracket. You need the full story of any brake problem to help in the analysis.

Brake Hose Service Idea 01

Idea 2

This front brake hose is obviously cracked but is it unserviceable? The general conscience in the aftermarket repair world is that if a brake hose is cracked the recommendation is that it should be replaces “soon” as it wouldn’t be getting any better. The outer layer of the hose protects the inner layers and cracks in themselves don’t dictate an immediate replacement as long as it’s only the outer layer that is cracked.

Brake Hose Service Idea 02

Idea 3

This vehicle has a pull. Is it caused by the brakes themselves or by a hose problem? In this case there is substantial rust and scale build up on the inside of the mounting bracket which is pinching the hose and decreasing its ability to move fluid. The vehicle is pulling to the side that has a non-restricted hose as that side receives more fluid when the brake pedal is applied.

Brake Hose Service Idea 03

Idea 4

To establish that it was mounting bracket rust build up issue the crimp on the bracket was opened up with a hammer and chisel. The vehicle then had a decreased brake pull. Hose replacement (both sides were replaced) solved the problem.

Brake Hose Service Idea 04

Idea 5

Never allow a caliper to hang by a brake hose. This is especially true if the hose is old and no longer as flexible as it was when new. If brittle enough or if it has been in service long enough the hose might actually separate from its crimped end if there is a sudden pulling force applied such as when a caliper falls from the upper control arm and is caught by the attached hose.

Brake Hose Service Idea 05

Idea 6

Heat is a prime enemy of brake hoses. If you use heat to free up a frozen flare nut on a steel brake line to flexible hose attachment point plan to replace the hose. If you heat the crimped end of a hose hot enough it will suddenly “explode” separating itself from the crimp. This will also spray very hot brake fluid all over the place.

Brake Hose Service Idea 06

You can read part 2 here.

We will have more of the story on checking for brake problems next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

How To Check for Brake Problems Part 4

How To Check for Brake Problems Part 4

Part 4 will be the last of our Tech Trick Tuesday blog posts for the year. If you missed part 1, part 2 or part 3, on checking for brake problems, you can read them on our Blog.

Step 13

Next the top anchor was measured to determine its diameter.

How to check for brake problems 13

Step 14

A socket with the same diameter was identified to be used to simulate the top anchor of the backing plate.

How to check for brake problems 14

Step 15

The shoes were put into the drum with the socket acting as the top anchor. The star wheel, do not change the adjustment found at the time of disassembly, was installed in its normal location at the bottom of the shoes.

The star wheel adjustment was found to be correct and the shoes showed that they are straight and should be making full contact with the drum.

What is the problem then? Remember the hold down spring, the nails they are installed on and the brake shoe return springs that didn’t “feel right” when they were removed.

This vehicle has the wrong spring/hardware kit installed on it. The shoes are not being kept seated against the backing plate so they can just be moved outward engaging the shoes into the drum. Instead they are being cocked causing the lack of full contact of the shoe into the drum and hence the locking brake problem.

Sherlock would be proud and would say that “indeed you were smarter than the thing you were working on”.

How to check for brake problems 15

We will be taking a break next week and will start back up with Tech Tricks Tuesday in 2015.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and until 2015.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

How To Check for Brake Problems Part 3

How To Check for Brake Problems Part 3

Part 3 of our coverage on checking for brake problems is already here. You can read part 1 and part 2 if you missed them.

Step 9

Another item that is important to check is the parking brake equalizer rod. Grasp it with your fingers and wiggle it. If it’s not lose check to see if it’s frozen onto the shoe or if the parking brake cable is excessively tight or frozen in the applied position.

How to check for brake problems 9

Step 10

The brake shoes on the LF while not perfect in their contact area are far better than the shoes on the RR. There is perhaps a 50% plus difference in the barking force of the two rear wheels. This is a major difference and makes the condition of the LR locking up understandable. Note: The actual root cause to the problem stated has yet to be identified.

How to check for brake problems 10

Step 11

The brake shoes are now removed from the vehicle and something surprising was noted when the hold down pin spring and end retainer was removed. It took very little pushing in to remove the end retainer and even less inward pressure required to reinstall it. You have just identified a major clue to why the shoes were wearing incorrectly but you still haven’t found the complete answer.

How to check for brake problems 11

Step 12

The primary and secondary shoe return springs were removed next. The person doing this brake work is extremely experienced and noted the spring tension just didn’t seem right on these springs.

How to check for brake problems 12

We will have more of the story on checking for brake problems next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

How To Check for Brake Problems Part 2

How To Check for Brake Problems Part 2

Moving to part 2 of our coverage on checking for brake problems. If you missed part 1, you can read it here.

Step 5

On dual servo brake system like the one shown, grasp the star wheel at the bottom of the shoes and swing the brake shoes right and left. You should be able to move the assembly easily and without any clicking or catching. If it doesn’t move easily after disassembly check the shoe pads on the backing plate for groves or the system for the wrong hardware kit.

How to check for brake problems 5

Step 6

Carefully check the top anchor to shoe contact area. The shoes must be fully seated against the anchor pin as shown. Also note if the return springs are installed correctly.

How to check for brake problems 6

Step 7

A quick glance at the rearward (secondary) brake show on the RR brake shows it is only making contact with the drum on the outer 10-15% of the shoe. This obviously is a problem but what is causing it?

How to check for brake problems 7

Step 8

The RR front (primary) brake shoe has a higher percentage of shoe contact area but still has a problem with improper shoe to drum contact area.

Note: Further examination will determine that the LR wheel lock up problem is not caused by any brake function of the LR but rather by lack of equal braking of the RR wheel. You obviously always need to stop and when all four wheels aren’t doing their share of the braking the wheel opposite the one not doing it’s share may appear to have a pull or lock up problem.

How to check for brake problems 8

We will have more of the story on checking for brake problems next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

How To Check for Brake Problems Part 1

How To Check for Brake Problems Part 1

For the month of December we will be covering how to check for brake problems. This is a pretty common concern for most people and we want people to know how to correctly check for brake problems.

Someone once said that you need to be smarter than the thing you are working on in order to repair it successfully. Nothing could be more true when diagnosing brake problems. Many time the source or cause of a brake problem is right in front of you but you may not immediately see it. By understanding how a system works and what makes it work you will make you far more successful in your repair efforts.

The “street rod” shown in these photos feature has a mid-70’s Ford rear end in it. It uses a very common drum brake system but not a system that has only one set of component parts or hardware. By know this fact and understanding how to do basic brake work you can successfully diagnose and repair the problem present.

The brake issue on this “rod” was that under moderate to hard braking the left rear wheel would lock up and start to skid. At speed this problem is safety related while at very low speed it’s embarrassing. While it would have been an easy repair to simply slap on a complete new rear brake system it is really far better to know what you are fixing and why you are fixing it.

Step 1

When you have a brake problem on a street rod such as described above it’s best to perform a visual inspection of the complete rear brake system. Because of the large contact patch of the rear tires the problem is even more evident.

How to check for brake problems 1

Step 2

Don’t try to just do a basic brake adjustment on the wheel on the opposite side from the wheel locking up. Plan to remove both rear wheels and brake drums.

How to check for brake problems 2

 

Step 3

Remember it’s ok to remove lug nuts with an impact but the installation tightening should be done with a torque wrench. This is true even when the wheel is used on a drum brake system. “Wheel Off” issues are serious and usually happen because of improper lug nut torque on wheel installation.

How to check for brake problems 3

Step 4

After removing the wheel try to rotate the brake drum. If you can’t rotate it figure out why. If you can’t remove the drum by hand is it because the drum is stuck around the center hole or on the brake shoes?How to check for brake problems 4

 

We will have more of the story on how to check for brake problems next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

When to Change Brake Fluid Part 3

When to Change Brake Fluid Part 3

This week we will be covering part 3 to When to Change Brake Fluid blog posts for November. You can read part 1 and part 2 on our Blog.

Step 15

One item you really cannot test for is brake fluid grit or dirt contamination. This caliper piston has wear marks on it where it contacted the square cut caliper body seal.

When to change brake fluid 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 16

If you put your finger into the fluid in this caliper body and rubbed it against your thumb, you would feel grit. The problem was that when a new caliper was installed the old fluid which was contaminated with grit was not serviced or flushed. The old fluid was then forced into a new clean caliper causing this abrasive wear.

 When to change brake fluid16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 17

Another item to always be aware of is petroleum contamination. Whenever you remove a master cylinder cover of the style shown look at it for any rubber gasket distortion.

When to change brake fluid 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 18

If the rubber gasket is “puckered” as shown in the two examples shown it indicates petroleum contamination of some type. It could be power steering fluid, transmission fluid or a myriad of other fluids.

When to change brake fluid 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 19

If you find such a condition suck out the fluid in the master cylinder and place it in a clear jar or empty water bottle. Let it sit and the petroleum contamination will separate from the remaining brake fluid. This is not the only test for petroleum but it is a quick and easy initial test.

 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 20

Another simple test for petroleum contaminated fluid is to put it in a Styrofoam cup.

When to change brake fluid 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 21

Petroleum contaminated fluid will generally eat through the Styrofoam cup at the fluid level line. This test will not work on cups with any degree of plastic mixed into their makeup.

 When to change brake fluid21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember the most important thing to do is to test brake fluid on a regular basis and test more often when the copper content reading is 100-200. Failure to service brake fluid when required can lead to serious and expensive brake problems.

We will have a new blog post on a new topic next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday. You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

When to Change Brake Fluid Part 2

When to Change Brake Fluid Part 2

This week we will be covering part 2 to When to Change Brake Fluid blog posts for November. You can read part 1 on our Blog.

Step 8

Place the end of the test strip with the test medium on it into the master cylinder brake fluid.

When to change brake fluid 08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 9

Keep the end of the test strip submerged in the brake fluid for a few seconds. Remove the test strip and compare the color of the test pad on the strip to the rating system chart on the container or customer card.

When to change brake fluid 09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 10

The individual two strip package contains the identical test strips. It just has two strips per packet and is intended for individual testing by consumers.

When to change brake fluid 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 11

As before, insert the pad end of the test strip into the brake fluid for a few seconds.

When to change brake fluid 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 12

Compare the color of the pad end of the test strip to the printed rating system chart. If the color indicates 200 -300 ppm brake fluid service is required.

When to change brake fluid 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 13

Failure to service brake fluid when needed can lead to many undesirable situations such as the restrictive fluid flow problem shown in the ABS valve body in this image. This vehicle had never had the brake fluid serviced and was a commercially used rear wheel drive passenger vehicle.

 When to change brake fluid13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 14

This is the ABS valve body filter screen for the valve body shown in Step 13. ABS braking operation most likely would have been curtailed because of the inability of the brake channel to pass fluid through it in an ABS controlled stop.

When to change brake fluid 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will have more of the story on When to Change Brake Fluid next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

When to Change Brake Fluid Part 1

When to Change Brake Fluid Part 1

Many people think that brake fluid is like air in their tires; as long as it’s not low there, is little cause for alarm. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Many, many years ago when a discussion about brake fluid took place the buzz was about moisture content and the lowering of the boiling point when a certain percentage of moisture was present. About 15 years ago when standards were being developed for brake fluid change sequences it was validated that the real service issue with brake fluid was not the moisture content of the fluid but the dissolved mineral (copper) content of a vehicles brake fluid. A high level of dissolved minerals (copper) in a vehicles brake fluid can cause corrosion of brake and ABS component parts, allow the build-up of sludge and can be a leading indicator that the basic additive package such as rust inhibitors, anti-corrosion and lubrication additives are depleted.

The following photos depict a realistic testing of a vehicle’s brake fluid. Remember it’s not how long the fluid has been in the vehicle, how many miles are on the vehicle or how the brake fluid looks that determine if the fluid is still serviceable or not. It’s what the test results of the BrakeStrip Copper test shows that is important. This is a valid test to know if a brake fluid exchange is needed and an excellent way to extend the service life of brake systems internal components.

Picture 1

Is the brake fluid in this vehicle with over 150,000 on it good or bad? The fluid never has been completely or deliberately changed. Fluid has been added to top off the master cylinder infrequently. In the 150,000 it has had one front reline and warranty rear shoe replacement at 15,000.

When to change brake fluid 01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic 2

Some shops during an oil change would look at the fluid level of the master cylinder, not even open the master cylinder cap and say everything look ok but is it really?

When to change brake fluid 02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic 3

The fluid in this glass container looks very black and you may assume it no longer good. Don’t judge brake fluid by it appearance. This fluid will pass all specification tests. Remember there is no specification for appearance and in the past some OE manufactures did not add an additive that stopped premature discoloration of brake fluid.

When to change brake fluid 03

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic 4

Take a moment and wipe off the top of the master cylinder before removing the cap. It will help prevent any containments from entering the brake fluid.

When to change brake fluid 04

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic 5

After removing the cap, look at the fluid side before setting it down. Look for signs of contamination or a plugged vent hole if so equipped.

When to change brake fluid 05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic 6

The BrakeStrip test strips come two different packages. The tube shown is the shop version and contains a bulk quantity (100) of test strips. The individual consumer pair pack is shown in Pic. 11

When to change brake fluid 06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pic 7

Remove one BrakeStrip test strip from the container  and ……………

When to change brake fluid 07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come back next week because we will have more of the story on when you should change your brake fluid for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

How To Lubricate Brakes Part 4

How To Lubricate Brakes Part 4

This week we will be covering part 4 to our brake lubrication blog posts. You can read the other three parts on our Blog.

Step 21

The normal amount of movement between the pads shim and caliper piston will accelerate and wear and corrosion that occurs. Many feel the contact point between the caliper pistons pad contact area and the pad/shim should be lubricated.

Brake Lubrication 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 22

Note that the shim where it contacts the outer caliper bracket ears is partially eaten through from corrosion. Also not the amount of rust flaking present on the system. Most likely the outer pad is restricted in its movement by the corrosion and flaking. Outer pad restricted movement usually causes taper outer pad wear.

Brake Lubrication 23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 23

The bellows seal for the caliper mounting pin looks ok and the caliper pin will most likely allow normal caliper sliding movement but the rust and corrosion on the pad mounting ear area will restrict pad movement. All areas of a sliding caliper must allow the caliper and pads to move freely during brake operation.

Brake Lubrication 24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 24

Draw filing is one of the best ways to clean up a caliper mounting brackets pad contact area. By using a file you prevent any possible grooving or unparalleled alignment of the pad ear areas which can occur is you use a small disc sander.

Brake Lubrication 25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 25

Whenever doing brake reline work use new abutment or pad ear contact shims. The old shims get rusted, lose their tension and may not hold the pad in its correct alignment after many miles of service.

Brake Lubrication 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 26

This assembly was inspected and re-lubricated then returned to service. In some parts of the country this type of service may be needed every year or two if the winter is harsh and the salt usage or de-icing liquid usage is high.

Brake Lubrication 27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This post concludes our October edition of our Tech Tricks Tuesday. In November, we will be discussing BrakeStrip in a little more detail than we have before. Stay tuned and come back.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

How To Lubricate Brakes Part 3

How To Lubricate Brakes Part 3

We are already to part 3 of our “How To Lubricate Brakes” Tech Tricks Tuesday posts for October. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 on our Blog.

Step 14

This picture shows a typical cast caliper/pad mounting bracket with a factory installed wrap over pad mounting shim. This design works well but the issue arises when rust, corrosion and the accompanying scale forms between the wrap over shim and the bracket. Even if the coating on the shim holds up and doesn’t allow the shim to rust the bracket will still rust. This becomes a major issue in any area where road salt (including ocean salt water) residue is present.

Brake Lubrication 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 15

This vehicle had two winters of driving on it. The scale build up moved the shim upward and prevented normal pad (application and release) movement.

Brake Lubrication 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 16

Replacing the shim is the ideal way to service this condition but if the part is only available as part of an expensive hardware package some may choose to clean the scale, lubricate and reuse the part.

Brake Lubrication 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 17

Even if new you should lubricate the area that contacts the bracket. Use a sliding brake lubricant and apply without going to extremes.

Brake Lubrication 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 18

Also lubricate the caliper mounting/pad contact bracket with the same lubricant. In this case, you are using the “brake grease” for corrosion prevention not lubrication.

Brake Lubrication 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 19

You should have to gently tap the shim into position. If it fits on by just pushing it with your fingers, it doesn’t have the correct amount of indexing or holding pressure on the end taps.

Brake Lubrication 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 20

When you start brake work and see a system looking like this (note the heavy flaking corrosion on the parts), you can figure you are in for a service experience on a severely rusted brake system. Even if during the original brake reline service everything was lubricated correctly after a few years, the lubricant is gone and rust and corrosion starts.

Brake Lubrication 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will have more of the story brake lubrication next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

How To Lubricate Brakes Part 2

How To Lubricate Brakes Part 2

This week we will be covering part 2 of how to lubricate brakes. You can read Part 1 here.
Step 8 Frequently a thickness range of abutment clips comes with new pads. This allows a tech to select the correct thickness to still allow sliding movement while prevent rotational movement.Brake Lubrication 08
Step 9 The abutment clips are all stamped with their thickness so once you install a low value or base line clip you can then step up in thickness in a controlled manner.Brake Lubrication 09
Step 10 Install the lowest value abutment clip on the pad.
Brake Lubrication 10
Step 11 Then install the brake pad on the bracket. Test for excessive movement. If it feels to loose install the next thicker clip and test again. Continue until you install a clip that restricts movement then move back one thickness.Brake Lubrication 11
Step 12 Be sure that the caliper bracket ears that engage the pad ends are clean. Many techs will use a wire wheel, wire brush or a small abrasive pad on an air tool to clean the bracket contact area. While this may work there is a better way.Brake Lubrication 12
Step 13 By using a file and “drawing” it across the caliper bracket you are assured of not having an angled or dished pad mounting area. If this surface is not straight and smooth the pad will not slide correctly during brake application and release.Brake Lubrication 13
We will have more of the story on proper brake lubrication next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.
You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.
How To Lubricate Brakes Part 1

How To Lubricate Brakes Part 1

If you have ever wondered how to lubricate brakes, look no further than this month’s Tech Tricks Tuesday as that is what we will be covering.

The terms brakes and lubrication at first glance may not seem to go together but they really do. Lubrication of brake components where there is metal-to-metal contact points is critical. Failure to have these points lubricated, with the proper type of lubrication, can be the cause of noise, brake pad or shoe restricted movement, irregular pad or shoe wear, chattering and other brake issues and problems. The brand of brake lubrication you use on the metal-to-metal contact points is not as important as the specifications of the product. It must be a brake lubricant listed for brake components, specifically metal to metal contact points.

This information block covers only metal to metal brake contact service points. Caliper guide pins which are usually a metal pin and an EDPM busing or O-ring will be covered in a different web presentation.

Step 1

If this brake assembly were inspected in a shop, most techs would be concerned about the pad thickness and little else. Pad thickness is important in a brake inspection but so is proper caliper and pad movement.

Brake Lubrication 01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2

The pads on this vehicle still have a large percentage of their life left but the amount of corrosion on the sliding pad and caliper components is restricting brake operation. (Note: When tested on a dynamic drive on brake tester, a 15% decrease in this wheels brake operation was documented).  Look at the rust and scale at the pad ears to bracket mounting points.

Brake Lubrication 02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3

Some techs choose to lubricate the pad backing to caliper piston or pad backing to outer pad caliper bracket area and some don’t. It’s a matter of personal choice.

Brake Lubrication 03

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4

Failure to lubricate the pad backing plate ears will lead to restricted movement and possibly tapered or irregular pad wear.

Brake Lubrication 04

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5

This pads contact tension arm is another mandatory lubrication point as it is a metal to metal contact point (the arm to the caliper bracket).

Brake Lubrication 05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6

Lubrication must be used sparingly and sensibly. This is an example of excessive lubrication.  About 1/3 or less of the amount of lubrication shown would have done the job.

Brake Lubrication 06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 7

Even though contact points are properly lubricated they may not be the source of noise. Pad ears to bracket excessive movement because of excessive wear can be eliminated by shims supplied by the pad manufacture. If when installed the pad has excessive movement when apply hand pressure there is frequently a solution.

Brake Lubrication 07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will have more of the story on how to lubricate brakes next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 5

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 5

This week we will be covering part 5 (and final for this month) to our front brake relining and rotor service blog post feature for September. You can read the other 4 parts of this blog post on our Blog.

Step 32

This close up shows the rust and corrosion that was present before filing. Failure to clean up this area correctly may restrict pad movement and cause irregular wear of the pads.Reline 32

Step 33 Lubricate all metal-to-metal contact points with approved sliding (metal-to-metal) caliper grease.
Reline 33
Step 34 Before pushing the piston back into the caliper bore so you can install the pads, have the loaded caliper slip over the rotor use a proper tool and pinch off the flexible brake hose. This prevents back-flow of the brake fluid when pushing in the caliper piston.Reline 34
Step 35 After opening the bleeder valve, use a proper tool to push the piston back into the caliper bore. After pushing the piston inward, close the bleeder valve.Reline 35
Step 36 After pushing the caliper piston inward with the inner pad installed and the outer pad placed in the bracket, slip the caliper over the rotor.Reline 36
Step 37 Everything is done and the wheel is ready to be installed. After installing both wheels, start the vehicle and pump the brake pedal a few times to move the pistons against the pads and the pads against the rotor. Check the fluid level and test drive.Reline 37
This is the final post for our Tech Tricks Tuesday on front disc relining and rotor service. You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.
Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 4

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 4

This week we will be covering part 4 to our front brake relining blog post feature for September. You can read part 1 and part 2 and part 3 on our Blog. The next weeks we will specifically cover the disc pad replacement and rotor service portion of our September feature.

Step 25

One way to extend the life of your lathe bits is to clean off the rust ridge that is normally found on the far outer portion of the rotor before you run the lathe bits across this area. The easy way to do this is turn on the lathe and hold a file against this area.

Reline 25

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 26

Position the bits midway onto the pad contact area of the rotor. Adjust each bit so the bits just make contact with the rotors surface. Zero the adjustable dials to establish a base reference point.

Reline 26

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 27

After making a scratch cut by the bits contacting the rotor surface, run the bits inward and set the adjustment to remove a predetermined amount of material when you engage the lathe.  Always use a vibration band or damper. A conventional edge rubber weighted damper is shown.

Reline 27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 28

After a rotor is turned, it should have a non-directional finish put on it. This helps the pads seat in and establishes the correct surface finish (roughness average Ra). Two sanding blocks are shown being used to establish the RA on this rotor.

Reline 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 29

One of the best ways to get the correct Ra on a turned rotor is to use a tool such as the one shown. By using a battery powered drill you remain within the speed range of the effectiveness of the tool.

Reline 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 30

After a rotor is turned, it must be cleaned. Use soap and water along with a stiff scrub brush to clean the rotor then rinse if off with clear water. Dry with a clean rag, or air, and install.

Reline 30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 31

The area of a caliper mounting bracket, where the pad ears are installed, must be clean, smooth, and especially rust free. The best way to clean this portion of the caliper bracket is to use a flat file.

Reline 31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will have more of the story on disc pad replacement and rotor service next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 3

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 3

This week we will be covering part 3 to our front brake relining blog post feature for September. You can read part 1 and part 2 on our Blog. The next weeks we will specifically cover the disc pad replacement and rotor service portion of our September feature.

Step 19

When you have a rotor that uses tapered roller bearings, be sure to completely wash out the complete hub. Don’t just wipe it out and say “good enough”. Likewise, most techs don’t believe in putting in any extra grease into the center hub area. Some will put a light coat of grease into the center hub area but don’t glob in handfuls of grease. It does no good whatsoever.

Reline 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 20

Wash the roller bearing until they rattle. At that point, continue to brush into the cage of the bearing from the open face while you rotate the bearing assembly. This will allow you to quickly wash out all the old grease.

Reline 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 21

After the bearing has been washed, blow through the assembly. Do this from the larger end to the tapered end. DO NOT allow the bearing to spin when blowing through it.

Reline 21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 22

When mounting a rotor on a lathe, be sure to use an alignment spacer such as the one shown with the black band in the middle. This is actually a multi-piece spacer that allows for equal pressure to be applied to the mounting cones.

Reline 22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 23

When tightening the spindle nut on the lathes arbor shaft, spin the rotor while initially tightening the spindle nut. This will help in maintaining proper rotor mounting.

Reline 23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 24

Always check a rotors thickness before turning it. By checking before turning, you quickly know if the rotor has enough material on it to be able to be turned.

Reline 24

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will have more of the story on disc pad replacement and rotor service next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 2

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 2

This is part 2 of our Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service blog posts. You can catch up on part 1 here.

Step 10

Note the inner pad still in the caliper mounting bracket. The irregular wear is from rust build up on the rotor. Don’t simply knock out the pad from the bracket. Do a visual inspection first and note any problems present.

Reline 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 11

It took a lot of force to knock out the inner pad from the bracket. This was because of the 10 years and 135,000 miles of driving and lack of lubrication on the truck from the factory. These brakes had never been serviced since new. It’s quite remarkable that the brake system didn’t have more problems than it did seeing its age and lack of periodic service.

Reline 11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 12

Once the pads are removed, use a small pocket screwdriver and lift off the abutment clips. These should be replaced when new pads are installed.

Reline 12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 13

Removing a dust cap can be easy or hard. The tool shown is far superior to a channel lock type of pliers.

Reline 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 14

On a tapered wheel bearing type of hub, such as the one shown, wipe off the excessive grease as you find it. In this case wipe off the grease found under the hub dust cap. This saves a lot on parts washer fluid and cleaning time.

Reline 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 15

After removing the cotter key and spindle nut, wiggle the hub assembly and the outer bearing will move forward and out of the hub.

Reline 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 16

After removing the outer bearing, put the spindle nut back on. Next, gently pull the rotor outward allowing the inner wheel bearing to drop down and follow the taper of the spindle. When the inner bearing contacts the nut, push inward slightly then pull out ward sharply. This will extract the inner bearing from the hub along with the grease seal.

Reline 16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 17

Again, wipe out the excessive grease if it is found inside the hub. It’s quicker than trying to dilute it with parts washer fluid.

Reline 17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 18

Place everything, the rotor/hub assembly, both bearings and the spindle nut and washer in the parts washer and get ready to thoroughly clean them.

Reline 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will have more of the story on how to properly perform a front disc brake reline and rotor service next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 1

Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service Part 1

I hope you all had a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. We are in a new month, which means a new topic for Tech Tricks Tuesday. This month we will be tackling Relining Front Disc Brakes and Rotor Service. I hope that you find this Blog informative and helpful.

After you have inspected a vehicle and determined what is needed the next step is to replace the worn parts and service the system as required. Over the next month we will cover “disc pad replacement/rotor service” procedure on the 2004 Toyota Tacoma truck shown in the previous inspection sections.

Step 1

No matter how old and tired a vehicle looks, go by what you found during a brake inspection and not by a judgment call from how the vehicle looks.

Reline 01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 2

While technically not part of relining the front brakes, the fluid level in a master cylinder should always be checked whenever doing any brake service. If it hasn’t been checked and fluid added for some time, it may be low because of the outward movement of the caliper pistons when the pads wear.

Reline 02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3

Don’t just take off the wheels. Unless you are also rotating the tires, mark a wheel lug hole to a stud and return it to that position when reinstalling. It may not be a big deal but then again it may have been matched mounted to eliminate a vibration issue. Why chance it?

Reline 03

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 4

The appearance of this rotor is completely normal. The brakes on this truck have over 135,000 miles on them and what you are seeing is the transfer layer of material from the pads. When new pads are installed, the rotors should be turned so a new transfer layer of material from the new pads can be established. Using new pads on non-turned rotors with a transfer layer on them may cause noise or altered braking.

Reline 04

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 5

Removing the caliper mounting bolts is the first step in the disassembly process. After removing the caliper mounting bolts, inspect them immediately for corrosion, contact wear or any other condition that would indicate that replacement would be necessary.

Reline 05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 6

Without exception, always hang or support the removed caliper by some approved method. Do not simply place it on top of the control arm or another location and hope that it will remain there during brake service. Most likely it will not.

Reline 06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 7

When you remove the old pads sight down the friction edge looking for uniform thickness or taper wear. If you have a used pad with taper wear, you have a caliper slide issue. Pay close attention as if there is taper wear, you must locate the cause and correct it when relining the brakes.

Reline 07

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 8

When doing the next step of removing the caliper mounting bracket, first try a box end wrench. Because of their location it’s frequently very difficult to use an impact with a socket to loosen them.

Reline 08

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 9

Once you have loosened the caliper bracket bolts, use a ratcheting box end wrench to remove them. This will save you a lot of time. Don’t try to initially loosen the bolts with the type of wrench shown. It just doesn’t have the heft to initially loosen these very tight bolts.

Reline 09

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will have more of the story on how to properly reline front disc brakes and perform a rotor service next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection Part 4

Front Wheel Brake Inspection Part 4

This is our fourth, and final blog post, on front wheel brake inspections.  If you have missed the previous posts on this topic, you are able to find them on our Blog.

Step 27

Notice that this pad is very worn yet the wear indication is still a few thousand miles from starting to contact. Don’t just rely on wear indicators to tell you when your customer’s pads need replacement. Pad thickness should be visually checked at least once a year and more often when the pads are in their last 20-30% of their life.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 27

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 28

If you find the inner pad to have substantially more material on it than the outer, it’s an indication that the sliding function of the caliper is stuck in the outward pad apply mode. Likewise, if the inner pad is worn more, it’s an indication that the caliper is not sliding and applying the outer pad.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 29

Inspect the pad mounting hardware. Don’t just pop it out and throw it away. Look for bent tabs indication improper pad installation and spread tab clips indicating reuse of old hardware on a previous pad replacement.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 30

The rust and corrosion alone on the bottom side of this hardware clip is reason for its replacement. New hardware is coated with a rust preventive coating but it usually doesn’t last the life of the pads. This is why many techs coat the hardware clips with sliding caliper grease. It lubricates and prevents rust and corrosion for forming.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 31

The bolts holding the caliper bracket itself usually have some type of thread locker (Loctite) product on them. For this reason, an impact is the tool of choice to remove them. Remember to put some thread locker back on the threads when reinstalling the bolts.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 32

Caliper mounting brackets can become worn in the area where the pads are mounted or they can require replacement for other reasons. Caliper brackets are frequently available through a wide range of brake suppliers. They are no longer just O.E. items.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 33

This caliper/pad mounting bracket requires cleaning before it is reused. New pads installed, even with new hardware, will be restricted in their movement because of the rust and scale present in the pad ear mounting area.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 33

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 34

Removing a dust cap is really a reflection of your level of professionalism. Use a proper tool, which is not a hammer or a hammer and screwdriver. Properly removed and reinstalled, a dust cap should not have a mark on it.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 35

Looking at the nut and cotter key under the dust cap you get an indication that the bearings are most likely in good condition. The grease is clean, not broken down from overheating and there is no evidence of anything but previous professional service.

After removing the cotter key and nut catch the outer bearing in a rag and wipe if down. Look at the rag for any indication of bearing failure, small metal particles or other foreign material.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 35

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 36

On this vehicle there was an ABS light that would occasionally come on. No codes were ever found. Looking at the tone wheel on the inward side of the hub you can see a possible reason. The teeth of the tone wheel are covered with grease residue and brake pad material. This in a very possible reason for the occasional ABS light.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 36

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was out last installment on our Front Wheel Brake Inspection.

Next month for our Tech Tricks Tuesday, we will cover Relining Front Brakes.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection Part 3

Front Wheel Brake Inspection Part 3

This week we will continue from where we left off last week in our Blog post which is dealing with front wheel brake inspections and how to properly perform them.
Step 17 After removing the sliding caliper mounting pin, inspect it carefully. This pin has adequate lubrication on it; it is not rusty or corroded and can be simply wiped down, lubricated and reinstalled.Front Wheel Brake Inspection 17
Step 18 On this style of caliper once the lower pin is removed, the caliper can be swung upward and slid back off the other mounting pin. If you cannot easily swing the caliper upward, check why. Movement should be smooth and easy.
Front Wheel Brake Inspection 18
Step 19 Note that the second caliper pin does not have to be unscrewed from the caliper. Also, inspect this pin for corrosion, lubrication and proper alignment.Front Wheel Brake Inspection 19
Step 20 Whenever you remove a caliper, carefully inspect the piston’s dust boot. Don’t just glance at it. Run you finger around the bellows of the boot looking for tears or cracks. Any tear or through crack should mandate caliper replacement as contaminates will have gotten into the
piston’s bore area.
Front Wheel Brake Inspection 20
Step 21 Inspect the flexible brake hose for cracks, deterioration, twisting or abrasion wear. Hoses do not just leak; they can fail for the above reasons also without leaking.
Front Wheel Brake Inspection 21
Step 22 Always support the caliper by hanging it from a hook or wire that is carrying the weight of the caliper. Do not just place it on top of the upper control arm and hope that it will stay there during brake service.
Front Wheel Brake Inspection 22
Step 23 With the caliper removed, you can now remove and inspect the pads and pad installation hardware.
Front Wheel Brake Inspection 23
Step 24 What is shown is fairly normal for a vehicle driven in a rust belt area. Rusty shims and corrosion is to be expected. This shims effectiveness has been decreased because of its rusted condition. Front Wheel Brake Inspection 24
Step 25 Unlike the other pad on this wheel this shim has maintained it integrity fairly well. There is very little rust and scale between the shim and pad metal backing. Front Wheel Brake Inspection 25
Step 26 Always check used pads for taper wear. If one end of the pad is worn more than the other, it is an indication of a caliper slide issue. When you find a pad or both pads with taper wear, you find frozen caliper slides or pads restricted in their mounting ear area.
Front Wheel Brake Inspection 26
We will have more of the story on how to properly perform a front wheel brake inspection next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday. You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.
Front Wheel Brake Inspection Part 2

Front Wheel Brake Inspection Part 2

If you remember our Blog post from last week, we introduced front wheel brake inspection on a used and abused 2004 Toyota Tacoma Pickup.  This pickup had not been treated as it should, therefore, it had a lot of issues with brakes.  We covered Rear Drum Brake Inspections in a 4-part Blog and started the front brakes last week.

To “pickup” where we left off last week, here is Step 10:

If the bleeder valve is frozen and cannot be opened with a hand wrench or 3/8” battery powered impact, there is an easy solution to the problem. With a tool (Phoenix Systems BrakeFree is shown) such as the one shown bleeders can be quickly and easily be opened. Take the tool out of the shipping/storage plastic sleeve.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 10

Step 11

Place the tool into an air-hammer as shown.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 11

Step 12

Put an appropriate size 3/8” socket on the end of the air-hammer tool. Be sure to use a 6-point socket.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 12

Step 13

Place a #2 Phillips screwdriver through the hole in the air-hammer driver and, with the socket over the bleeder valve, push downward while turning the tool with the Phillips screwdriver. The shocking action from the air-hammer, combined with the turning force you apply, usually frees up even the most stubborn bleeder valve. After opening the bleeder valve, close it and continue on with the inspection process.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 13

Step 14

Next, loosen and remove the caliper mounting bolt. This can usually be accomplished by using a hand wrench. In some cases, a box end wrench is the only tool you can get on the caliper mounting slide bolt because of the brake line or other obstruction.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 14

Step 15

This shows a totally unauthorized use of a combination wrench when something is tight but it works and is commonly done. This caliper bolt is hard to get anything on to loosen it so this method was chosen even though the wrench manufactures hate it.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 15

Step 16

If you do choose to use an impact, don’t just put the socket on the bolt head and hit the wrench for all it’s worth. Use moderate trigger pressure and “feel” the removal process. It the caliper mounting bolt was stripped or not previously installed correctly, you want to discover it now, not when you go to reinstall it.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 16

We will have more of the story on how to properly perform a front wheel brake inspection next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection Part 1

Front Wheel Brake Inspection Part 1

If you remember last months’ Tricks Tuesday Blog posts, we covered Rear Drum Brake Inspections.  This month, we will cover front wheel brake inspection.  It will broken into several posts and will feature the same 2004 Toyota Tacoma pickup as you can see below.

Step 1.  Place your vehicle on a lift, host or jack stands so that the front end is elevated and you have easy access to the brakes.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 01

Step 1

 

Step 2. Wheel bearing problems can sometimes show up as low brake pedal problems. With the vehicle on the hoist the wheel is right in front of you, so grasp it as shown, and check for bearing play or looseness before any actual disassembly takes place. You should also spin the wheel assembly to check for bearing roughness.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 02

Step 2

 

Step 3.  Also, grasp the wheel, in this case the RF, at the three and nine o’clock position and shake it inward and outward. This check is really for steering system looseness but if there is a steering issue or looseness, you would want to catch the problem now and alert the customer rather than after you repair the brakes. Spending money on a complete brake job and then hearing about another issue isn’t the way to keep customers happy.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 03

Step 3

 

Step 4.  Loosen the lug nuts as you normally would but after they are removed, don’t just take off the wheel and put it on the floor.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 04

Step 4

 

 

Step 5. First, mark which stud a specific wheel hold was on.  The purpose of doing this is to be able to return the wheel to exactly the same position if needed.  Why would this be needed?  A shake after reinstallation is the most common reason.  If you don’t mark the assembly, you have no way to eliminate wheel mounting as a potential issue.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 05

Step 5

 

 

Step 6. Also, mark the location of where the tire/wheel was removed from. By doing this, you can be sure to put it back in the same position or knowledgeably rotate it as you wish. Tires can easily be stacked when off a vehicle or placed next to each other and be mixed from where they were removed.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 06

Step 6

 

 

 

Step 7. The first test in a disc brake inspection is to check the caliper to see if it slides freely. Simply grasp the caliper, as shown, and attempt to move it in and out. If you can’t get any movement out of it at all, it’s an indication that it’s frozen or partially frozen. This will frequently lead to accelerated pad wear, either inner or outer pad wear, depending if it’s frozen inward or outward. 

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 07

Step 7

 

 

 

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 08

Step 8

Step 8. You might not think that checking a bleeder valve is part of a brake inspection but it really is. If the bleeder valve is frozen and you can’t open it to flush the brake system after a reline, even if the calipers were not replaced, you have a problem. Checking the valve to see if it can be opened before doing any actual work is the smart thing to do. It’s not suggested that you break the valve attempting to open it but go to the point just before it breaks before saying the caliper needs replacement for a frozen bleeder valve reason.

Step 9. Use common sense when attempting to open a bleeder valve. The minimum you should do is use a six point wrench such as the special bleeder wrench shown. The new 3/8” drive battery hammer impacts with a six point socket also work very well.

Front Wheel Brake Inspection 09

Step 9

 

We will have more of the story on how to properly perform a front wheel brake inspection next week for Tech Tricks Tuesday.

You can also follow us on Social Media to know more of what we are up to and to get even more tips and tricks.

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