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calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
10-31-2013, 10:58 AM
Post: #1
calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
My front brakes were dragging so I did a complete brake job myself. New front rotors, calipers, shoes, pins, pin brake grease, fluid, master cylinder.
Front brakes still drag. now the abs light is on, however this might be due to another matter.
Brakes are heating up when I drive. i put on another set of shoes and pressure flush the brake fluid.
still drags.
What else is causing problems. Maybe a ABS pressure modulator valve?
Need advise. Wheels are hot and fairly hard to spin when they are on a jack.Sad
Thanks
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10-31-2013, 11:15 AM
Post: #2
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
One very common cause for the brakes dragging is the Rubber line from the frame to the caliper. It can pinch shut and not allow the fluid to return to the master cylinder. One way to test this to have the car jacked up and properly supported. Press and release the brake pedal & then try to turn the wheel. If it is sticking, open the bleeder and then try to spin the wheel again. If it spins free, the Rubber Hose is the problem. You released the pressure that couldn’t return through the hose.

Please let us know what you find.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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10-31-2013, 10:32 PM
Post: #3
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
Would agree with Garner that after 20 years the flex hoses are suspect, especially if this was a problem before the brake job. At that age it's probably good insurance to change them anyway as they will eventually dry rot. (and they are fairly cheap) If that doesn't solve your problem then read below.

I just caught something in the original post where he said he replaced the master cylinder and recalling back in that era there was a foam gasket on the front of the vac booster to help keep out rain water. If that gasket is missing or compressed from age the MC itself will be too tight against the pushrod inside the vac booster. The fix in that case will be either to add a gasket (you can make one from gasket material) or adjust the pushrod a half turn (aprox) shorter. If it has the threaded adjustment it's a friction fit. You can grasp the rod with pointed vise grips and turn the hex head in with a wrench. If there's no adjustment then add a paper gasket.
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11-01-2013, 10:14 AM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2013 10:17 AM by ronney.)
Post: #4
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
(10-31-2013 11:15 AM)Garner Wrote:  One very common cause for the brakes dragging is the Rubber line from the frame to the caliper. It can pinch shut and not allow the fluid to return to the master cylinder. One way to test this to have the car jacked up and properly supported. Press and release the brake pedal & then try to turn the wheel. If it is sticking, open the bleeder and then try to spin the wheel again. If it spins free, the Rubber Hose is the problem. You released the pressure that couldn’t return through the hose.

Please let us know what you find.

Thanks I will check this. One hose is new. The other I could not get loose at the connection so i left as is but it looked good from the outside. Car has 194,000. Runs good. I am not a mechanic but I took it to one they just bleed the brakes and charged me $80.00 several months ago. Sad

(10-31-2013 10:32 PM)Rupe Wrote:  Would agree with Garner that after 20 years the flex hoses are suspect, especially if this was a problem before the brake job. At that age it's probably good insurance to change them anyway as they will eventually dry rot. (and they are fairly cheap) If that doesn't solve your problem then read below.

I just caught something in the original post where he said he replaced the master cylinder and recalling back in that era there was a foam gasket on the front of the vac booster to help keep out rain water. If that gasket is missing or compressed from age the MC itself will be too tight against the pushrod inside the vac booster. The fix in that case will be either to add a gasket (you can make one from gasket material) or adjust the pushrod a half turn (aprox) shorter. If it has the threaded adjustment it's a friction fit. You can grasp the rod with pointed vise grips and turn the hex head in with a wrench. If there's no adjustment then add a paper gasket.

Thanks
I assume this would widen the gap betwen the pads and the rotors?
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11-01-2013, 10:59 AM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2013 11:17 AM by Rupe.)
Post: #5
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
Actually there should be no gap between the pads and rotors. They just sit there with a slight rub all the time. In a perfect world you'd hardly notice when turning the wheel by hand. What my suggestion may help is if there's a slight difference in the clearance between the piston in the MC (new versus old) and the rod inside the power booster. This is a critical dimention that few understand. All it takes is being a tad off and the brakes will drag. Of course this presumes all of the other mechanical aspects are ok, including the caliper pistons moving freely too.

As Garner stated, if you crack open a bleeder and the drag goes away then the problem is pressure in the system. (usually hoses or MC clearance issue) if the problem persists then I would look again at some mechanical binding. (calipers, and associated hardware)
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11-04-2013, 03:24 PM
Post: #6
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
What about installing a new gasket where the master cylinder bolts up as you talked about earlier and stated in the post below? I was going to try this. I assume this would widen the gap of the master cylinder rod and plunger contact thus spreading the calipers grip of the rotors on the front wheels. Is this a good idea?

Thanks
(11-01-2013 10:59 AM)Rupe Wrote:  Actually there should be no gap between the pads and rotors. They just sit there with a slight rub all the time. In a perfect world you'd hardly notice when turning the wheel by hand. What my suggestion may help is if there's a slight difference in the clearance between the piston in the MC (new versus old) and the rod inside the power booster. This is a critical dimention that few understand. All it takes is being a tad off and the brakes will drag. Of course this presumes all of the other mechanical aspects are ok, including the caliper pistons moving freely too.

As Garner stated, if you crack open a bleeder and the drag goes away then the problem is pressure in the system. (usually hoses or MC clearance issue) if the problem persists then I would look again at some mechanical binding. (calipers, and associated hardware)
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11-04-2013, 04:01 PM
Post: #7
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
Did you try cracking the bleeder loose as we suggested? If you crack the bleeder and the brakes free up then installing the gasket MAY help as that shows that something is holding pressure on the fluid. If the brakes don’t free up you likely have a Mechanical binding problem as Rupe stated. I have even gotten brake pads that were to thick that caused the brakes to hang up. Installing a gasket won’t fix that. That’s why I like to find the actual cause of the problem so I fix it rather than just changing things hoping I will stumble onto the fix.

Thanks for using the forum,
Garner

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11-04-2013, 07:36 PM
Post: #8
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
The way to find out if the MC doesn't have the clearance is to simply back off the 2 nuts a few turns. If the drag goes away at least you know you are on the right track.

BTW, none of these suggestions will turn off the ABS light. (if it's really the ABS light and not the red brake light) That's another direction we can address after we sort out this problem.
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11-06-2013, 08:48 PM
Post: #9
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
Gentlemen I backed off the bleeders one at a time until brake fluid was flowing. the wheel still took both hands to turn. car was in neutral one wheel on the ground one jacked up. i also backed off the MC nuts three turns each. Wheel was still hard to turn. Added brake fluid. No hub caps due to hub cap key breaking. So if I spit on the wheel after driving it sizzles.

ABS iight is on but this might not be related. It use to be the check engine light always on now it is off and the ABS is on. This may be due to a short in the computer. According to a Goodyear service center mechanic who could not fix it six years ago. He says the computer short is in the transmission? This causes some accessories to not work like air and idle control. I do not mind at least in winter freon leaked out seven years ago and I cut the idle control wires because it was idleing at 2000 rpm. It now idles at 600. Car runs good and passes smog inspection every year and cruses at 70 mph on the free way. I bought the car brand new and want to keep driving it. My only concern is hot brakes.
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11-06-2013, 08:58 PM (This post was last modified: 11-06-2013 08:59 PM by Rupe.)
Post: #10
RE: calipers drag abs light on 1993 LeSabre
If letting the pressure off at the bleeders didn't help and backing off the MC nuts didn't help then you are looking at caliper issues. Either the pads fit too tight, the sliding hardware is frozen, or the pistons are sticking. At that point you might as well spin off that other hose and change it too.
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