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Brake caliper bad?

31
46
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Clarksville, TN
I have a track event this weekend and in preparation I installed new pads up front. I went for a test drive, just a couple miles on some back roads. I have not done the bed in process yet.

I noticed the passenger front smelled like it had been under heavy braking, which it had not been. I checked the temps and the driver-side front got up to barely 110 deg F, where as the passenger-side got up to 450 deg F.

A buddy of mine told me the caliper is bad. I picked one up last night and am gonna install tonight.

How does this happen? They are stock calipers, the rotors are PowerStop and I have a back up set from Auto Zone.

I'm thinking about getting the Cobra R fronts in the near future after I order my grip box from MM.
 
1,128
1,099
In the V6L
I have a track event this weekend and in preparation I installed new pads up front. I went for a test drive, just a couple miles on some back roads. I have not done the bed in process yet.

I noticed the passenger front smelled like it had been under heavy braking, which it had not been. I checked the temps and the driver-side front got up to barely 110 deg F, where as the passenger-side got up to 450 deg F.

A buddy of mine told me the caliper is bad. I picked one up last night and am gonna install tonight.

How does this happen? They are stock calipers, the rotors are PowerStop and I have a back up set from Auto Zone.

I'm thinking about getting the Cobra R fronts in the near future after I order my grip box from MM.
It's hard to comment without knowing which type of caliper it is. Clearly, it's stuck, but that's all there is without more information. Here's what would be helpful:

- what type of caliper is it? Is a single-piston floating slider or is it a two or four piston fixed caliper?
- what make is it? The car is 22 years old, so it may not be a genuine Ford caliper. If not, all bets are off.
- were there any problems replacing the pads? Did the piston(s) retract easily?
 

TMSBOSS

Spending my pension on car parts and track fees.
6,960
4,277
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Illinois
Age, dirt, corrosion, a leaking seal all contribute to this failure. I slight leak held in by the dust cover is hard to see. Swap it out and consider doing the same for the other side when time and budget allows. Both sides likely see the same use/abuse.
 
Last edited:
If you're replacing 1 caliper I would do both to be safe. The car's a 2000- who knows if they are original or when they were replaced. For the extra 50 bucks it's worth the piece of mind, safety and potentially preventing the early end of a HPDE day or weekend early.
 
31
46
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Clarksville, TN
It's hard to comment without knowing which type of caliper it is. Clearly, it's stuck, but that's all there is without more information. Here's what would be helpful:

- what type of caliper is it? Is a single-piston floating slider or is it a two or four piston fixed caliper?
- what make is it? The car is 22 years old, so it may not be a genuine Ford caliper. If not, all bets are off.
- were there any problems replacing the pads? Did the piston(s) retract easily?

Thanks for the questions, for clarification.

It's the stock ford caliper. I believe they are two-piston floating calipers.

It's a 2000 Mustang GT.

No issues with replacing the pads, very simple and strait forward and I had no issues retracting the pistons prior to installation.

A friend of mine has a lot of experience with the SN95 platform and said this is a common issue. The caliper I picked up at Auto Zone is identical to the one I have on the car, just new.
 
1,128
1,099
In the V6L
Thanks for the questions, for clarification.

It's the stock ford caliper. I believe they are two-piston floating calipers.

It's a 2000 Mustang GT.

No issues with replacing the pads, very simple and strait forward and I had no issues retracting the pistons prior to installation.

A friend of mine has a lot of experience with the SN95 platform and said this is a common issue. The caliper I picked up at Auto Zone is identical to the one I have on the car, just new.
Thanks for clarifying - you're getting good advice from everyone else, so I'll be brief - check the slider mechanics - pins, etc. If the slider gets stuck it'll cause the problem you have. If the pistons are free in the bores, there isn't a lot else that can go wrong.
 

Dave_W

Cones - not just for ice cream
619
730
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Connecticut
Just to cover all the bases, though it's probably not the cause in this case, the brake flex hose could break down internally and develop a "flapper" that acts like a check valve, so when you let off the brakes the flapper is keeping the fluid pressure in that caliper.
 

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