2002 Ford Mustang GT Brake Issues. HELP!! - Page 2 - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-03-2017 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wmburns View Post
Are you planning to do the work yourself? Are you willing to do some tests and see where they take you?

A car that has spent a great deal of it's time setting is not ideal. Setting is also very HARD on cars. To me, it's no surprise that the front calipers are hanging. Moisture will get behind the piston seal and rust the piston to the caliper bore. The piston will extend but will not retract. Same thing happens to the slid pins.

If this were my car one of the first things I would do is to perform a through visual inspection of all of the brake parts. Especially the calipers. Take them off. Find out if the slid pins move freely. Open the bleeder valve and see how easily the piston compresses.

Next bleed/flush the brake system. Just keep bleeding the brakes until the fluid runs clear. Don't let the master cylinder run dry.

I honestly think that you have TWO problems. A sticking brake issue and a leaking power steering/hydro-boost system.

Here's some information that you may find helpful.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83H1uxQhdgI
Thanks for the video. Wish I had seen this before my mechanic friend had done the brake inspection and service last week. With he had done it more this way in the start as it makes great sense to do this. He didn't hook a vacuum up or anything when he pressed the piston in when inspecting and looking. He didn't press it to much just enough to get it off and see how easy the piston went in. He said the piston and caliper parts like the slid pins and all moved decently. Not perfect, but decently. Said he doesn't think the lines are collapsed either. Said looking at the color of the fluid in the reservoir it looked off so he did a brake fluid flush. He had a hand pump bleder that he used and sucked a good bit of fluid through to clean each of the 4 caliper lines...

Help me understand the hydro-boost system if you don't mind. @SonicBlue02 and I are having a hard time finding anything. What it appears he found as well is I is nothing stating that the fluids can mix. Is it in fact possible that if a problem occurs it would allow ATF (Fords "power steering fluid") to mix with the brake fluid? Is that possible or no?

So far to date I have had done a brake fluid flush/exchange. Problem is still there and the same. Do you have any advice for next step to take to try and get this issue resolved?

Any advice, tips, and whatnot you can provide is more than greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!


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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-04-2017 Thread Starter
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Additional information. I drove it today for the first time since all this started just to see where things stand and take notes on things. Drove it this morning and again this evening and both equal drives for the most part. I checked fluids in the reservoirs before driving and after driving both times.

Brake fluid seems to be pretty steady for the most part in the reservoir level.

Power steering fluid though seemed to fluctuate in the reservoir level.
Cold pre drive- Fluid is at low level line in reservoir
Hot post drive- Fluid is in the middle or near max level in reservoir.

Is this normal for power steering fluid to fluctuate like this in the reservoir? If not what could be the cause of this and could it be related to the hydro-boost having an issue and/or brake issues I am having?

I am still having brakes hanging. The front passenger wheel seems to get the hottest. The front driver side is hot. While the rears are warm. I would say the rears are no more than normal warm though for what they should be. So seems issue is mainly on the front. Although the brakes are much smaller in the rear so idk...


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Past Mustangs in order and color of text.
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(I have owned a few non Mustang cars over the years as well, but always try to have a Mustang with it or come quickly back to a Mustang!)

Last edited by MustangLife; 05-04-2017 at 11:30 PM.
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-05-2017 Thread Starter
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Additional information. I drove it today for the first time since all this started just to see where things stand and take notes on things. Drove it this morning and again this evening and both equal drives for the most part. I checked fluids in the reservoirs before driving and after driving both times.

Brake fluid seems to be pretty steady for the most part in the reservoir level.

Power steering fluid though seemed to fluctuate in the reservoir level.
Cold pre drive- Fluid is at low level line in reservoir
Hot post drive- Fluid is in the middle or near max level in reservoir.

Is this normal for power steering fluid to fluctuate like this in the reservoir? If not what could be the cause of this and could it be related to the hydro-boost having an issue and/or brake issues I am having?

I am still having brakes hanging. The front passenger wheel seems to get the hottest. The front driver side is hot. While the rears are warm. I would say the rears are no more than normal warm though for what they should be. So seems issue is mainly on the front. Although the brakes are much smaller in the rear so idk...
Wanted to bump this thread in hopes to get some info on the above new info.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MustangLife View Post
Power steering fluid though seemed to fluctuate in the reservoir level.
Cold pre drive- Fluid is at low level line in reservoir
Hot post drive- Fluid is in the middle or near max level in reservoir.

Is this normal for power steering fluid to fluctuate like this in the reservoir?
Yes it is NORMAL for the power steering fluid level to vary between the low and high range. The main reason is heat. Hot fluid expands.

The level will also vary depending upon IF the motor is running or not. Or if the steering wheel is turned. Or if the brake pedal is depressed.

As long as the fluid is within the range it is OK.

Being slightly over filled will not really hurt anything. And certainly wouldn't cause the brakes to drag.

Being slightly under the low line won't hurt anything either and won't cause the brakes to hang. Being under full will matter if the level gets low enough to draw in air which would likely cause the power steering pump to make noise.

Remember that there really isn't a ton of fluid in the power steering system. Any leak can normally be located via a visual inspection. Just look for the oil stains.

FWIIW, the rear brakes are supposed to be smaller in the rear. Most of the stopping power is from the fronts. If the rear brakes were the same size as the fronts likely the rear wheels would lock up WAY before the fronts. The results would not be pleasant.

Have you flushed the brake fluid yet?

Have you TESTED the piston and slid pins for free movement? Remember that it would be EXPECTED to have hanging brakes IF the piston or slid pins can not move freely.

Regarding the hydro-boost. When you use the brakes do they feel like power brakes? If so, then the hydro-boost is working at some level. If you want to know what non-hydro boosted brake feel like then turn the motor off while moving. Pump the brakes a few times. Each time will use up more of the reserve (the cylinder on the side of the hydro-boost unit) until after several pumps the brakes will be all manual.

I just don't see a dragging brake as a hydro boost problem. But why guess? Test. If it's hydro-boost that is applying the brakes THEN there should be pressure in the brake lines. In fact, if hydro-boost is dragging the brakes then why aren't all of the brakes dragging? Want more proof? Then open the brake bleeder with the motor running, If under pressure the fluid should squirt out with some force.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017 Thread Starter
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Yes it is NORMAL for the power steering fluid level to vary between the low and high range. The main reason is heat. Hot fluid expands.

The level will also vary depending upon IF the motor is running or not. Or if the steering wheel is turned. Or if the brake pedal is depressed.

As long as the fluid is within the range it is OK.

Being slightly over filled will not really hurt anything. And certainly wouldn't cause the brakes to drag.

Being slightly under the low line won't hurt anything either and won't cause the brakes to hang. Being under full will matter if the level gets low enough to draw in air which would likely cause the power steering pump to make noise.

Remember that there really isn't a ton of fluid in the power steering system. Any leak can normally be located via a visual inspection. Just look for the oil stains.

FWIIW, the rear brakes are supposed to be smaller in the rear. Most of the stopping power is from the fronts. If the rear brakes were the same size as the fronts likely the rear wheels would lock up WAY before the fronts. The results would not be pleasant.

Have you flushed the brake fluid yet?

Have you TESTED the piston and slid pins for free movement? Remember that it would be EXPECTED to have hanging brakes IF the piston or slid pins can not move freely.

Regarding the hydro-boost. When you use the brakes do they feel like power brakes? If so, then the hydro-boost is working at some level. If you want to know what non-hydro boosted brake feel like then turn the motor off while moving. Pump the brakes a few times. Each time will use up more of the reserve (the cylinder on the side of the hydro-boost unit) until after several pumps the brakes will be all manual.

I just don't see a dragging brake as a hydro boost problem. But why guess? Test. If it's hydro-boost that is applying the brakes THEN there should be pressure in the brake lines. In fact, if hydro-boost is dragging the brakes then why aren't all of the brakes dragging? Want more proof? Then open the brake bleeder with the motor running, If under pressure the fluid should squirt out with some force.
Fluid was flushed near the the start of this thread and it seemed to have no effect.

Piston and slid pins were inspected at the time of the brake fluid flush and tech said they were perfect, but were within normal expected range of function and he didn't see this being the issue.

Brake pedal feels firm if not maybe more firm than it should. Brakes stop and work normal though. The only noticeable problem is the smell of brakes over heating and the temp of the wheels. The front driver feels a little more warm to the touch than what I would consider normal, the front passenger wheel feels VERY HOT to the touch, and both the back wheels feel only slightly warner than what is expected to the touch if not within normal range.

Just not sure what to do here. As I don't want to change or do to much more if I am going to have to fight in court as I don't want the fact I have made changes penalize me in court. Tough choices really as it seems to fully diagnose and figure out what is going on I really need to change parts out and do a little trial and error with parts changes.

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The fact that one brake is very HOT is a sign. A new Re-Nam front caliper only $46. If you swap out the front right and the heat continues this tells you something.

BrakeBest Brakes 18-4722 - Caliper | O'Reilly Auto Parts

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The fact that one brake is very HOT is a sign. A new Re-Nam front caliper only $46. If you swap out the front right and the heat continues this tells you something.

BrakeBest Brakes 18-4722 - Caliper | O'Reilly Auto Parts

Right, but I don't want to just go changing parts and then the guy claim that I have caused the issue or made it worse by changing parts and therefore he can't be held liable for it. It seems from the Tech I talked to guessing at what parts to throw at the car is the only way. I am just confused on why there isn't a way to test parts to see if they are in fact good or if they are in fact bad. Is there no way to test if a caliper or the other brake components are good or bad is my question or is guessing and throwing parts at it the only way to get to solving the issue?

I am going to be honest when it comes to the technical stuff and the brake system I am unfamiliar with how the how system works... Is there a way to test each part of the system? Say the caliper to know if there is a problem there? A way to test lines to see if they have collapsed? A way to test hydroboost and all that good stuff? I know you talked about the hydroboost and it seems to work. When car is off pedal goes closer to the floor at each pump. I hold my foot on it and turn the car on the pedal pushes my foot up so there is pressure there so by that I would assume it is working to some degree. I guess what I am asking is there any way to know or have a great idea if my problem lies only with the calipers which has been stated to be a common problem or is this has to do with another component holding pressure. I am asking is there a way to diagnose without changing out parts?

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You were given some tips on how to test the parts.

Raise the car on jack stands. Spin the wheel by hand. If it's difficult then the brakes are dragging. There shouldn't be a noticeable difference between the sides. Apply the brakes and then attempt to re-spin. It should be possible to spin the wheel by hand.

The pistons MUST move freely inside the bores. The slid pins must move freely on the slid pins. Grabbing the caliper with your hand one should be able to move it with only moderate force.

If the brake lines are blocked/kinked this should show up during the bleeding process. IE a noticeable difference in fluid flow or pedal effort between the sides. Almost all of the brake lines are visible. A low tech visual inspection with the "Mark I" Eyeball usually does the trick.

I just don't see the problem as master cylinder or hydro-boost problem because it mostly limited to one cylinder.

At some level you have to pick a path and start down it. Make a choice between:
  • Test, visual inspections, research.
  • Pick the part that's most likely to have failed and replace a part. At the least it will give information.
  • If you are positive the Caliper's are good, and looking for another "best guess" part to replace, then replace the ABS module. However this is not as cheap of a part.
  • Pick a professional that you trust and just let them "fix it". Don't 2nd guess a professional.
  • Learn about Occam's razor. Stop looking for every more complicated "reasons" why one brake is dragging

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor
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Last edited by wmburns; 05-10-2017 at 03:14 PM.
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You were given some tips on how to test the parts.

Raise the car on jack stands. Spin the wheel by hand. If it's difficult then the brakes are dragging. There shouldn't be a noticeable difference between the sides. Apply the brakes and then attempt to re-spin. It should be possible to spin the wheel by hand.

The pistons MUST move freely inside the bores. The slid pins must move freely on the slid pins. Grabbing the caliper with your hand one should be able to move it with only moderate force.

If the brake lines are blocked/kinked this should show up during the bleeding process. IE a noticeable difference in fluid flow or pedal effort between the sides. Almost all of the brake lines are visible. A low tech visual inspection with the "Mark I" Eyeball usually does the trick.

I just don't see the problem as master cylinder or hydro-boost problem because it mostly limited to one cylinder.

At some level you have to pick a path and start down it. Make a choice between:
  • Test, visual inspections, research.
  • Pick the part that's most likely to have failed and replace a part. At the least it will give information.
  • If you are positive the Caliper's are good, and looking for another "best guess" part to replace, then replace the ABS module. However this is not as cheap of a part.
  • Pick a professional that you trust and just let them "fix it". Don't 2nd guess a professional.
  • Learn about Occam's razor. Stop looking for every more complicated "reasons" why one brake is dragging

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor
First I wish I could start changing out parts as that seems to be the best way to work through this, but have been advised not to do so in a legal consultation visit I had. They said if I start chasing parts my opportunities of legal action against seller will weaken as seller can claim by me changing parts it is hard to know what problems were there and what problems I caused.

With that said I followed the above instructions and I jacked the car up. Car hasn't been moved in lets say 7 days and wheels were hard to spin and/or would do 1-1/2 full spins and stop abruptly. I squeezed on the caliper with what I would consider moderate force and this freed them up to spin more freely. Applied brakes and back to square 1 of hard to spin so I again applied moderate force and hand squeezed caliper and this seemed to free it up again.

So with that info would it be fare to say slide pins and piston is not my issue and it is the lines or would this be the other way around? This is where I get lost. I can follow instructions and all that, but understand results is where I get lost. haha

Thanks!

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What's cheaper and easier - a new caliper and/or rubber flex line; or taking time off work and away from things you'd rather be doing, plus whatever costs the court process (and it sounds like you've consulted with an attorney as well) involves?

I'm not being critical of the path it sounds like you're taking, but for me personally I would rather persue the simplest and least expensive option, which sounds like either a new flex line or caliper, or both. I find in life that most things are only as complicated as we allow them to become. Taking some schmuck to court over this just strikes me as overly complicated, that's all. You can let the car sit in the garage for the next however many months while playing the legal equivalent of Axis vs. Allies, or you can spend less than $200 and an hour of your time and in the opinions of myself and most others in this thread have the brake issue fixed and be out enjoying your car. Also keep in mind that suing and collecting are two entirely different things; last thing you want is to obtain is a judgement and then the guy cries financial hardship before the judge and ends up sending you $20 a month until the judgement is satisfied. I feel for ya, I know you're a little pissed and feel like the guy bamboozled you - and maybe he did, but I can't help but feel that there's a more efficient and beneficial outcome to this that persuing it legally. But if it makes you happy, then go for it I guess.

If it were me, and since there are two "most likely" causes to your braking issue, I would start with the least expensive one - the rubber flex line. I know it's a little bit of a gamble for you and I'm always the first one here to advise against throwing parts at one's car, but sometimes all you can do is make a well educated guess.


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Not to stray on the topic at hand and I don't really care to discuss open legal matters, but I am out under $300 for legal route as no attorneys in small claims court so just court costs and etc... There are a few underlying issues/reasons that added to driving me this route. Won't get into all that as it is really irrelevant to this forum thread.

Anyway it is just a really crapy situation and I hope nobody I know is ever in it.

I had a couple people look at the car and all of them say that the caliper seems fine and that it is in the lines or seals somewhere causing the fluid not to back off easy. They all support the claim of the 1st two opinions I got. They all agree without "throwing parts" at it and testing there is no real 100% with certain way to know how much of the system is affected, but it very well could be every piece that is rubber as the auto trans fluid that is used for power steering fluid causes that rubber be inadequate for use.




From earlier above to answer brake pedal feel question. I don't have a 99-04 Mustang to compare to off hand, but the pedal does feel very firm after brake fluid flush before flush it felt almost notchy soft. So thinking that the theory of the leak/contamination makes sense as in that leak there is a good chance air would get in the lines as well...

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(I have owned a few non Mustang cars over the years as well, but always try to have a Mustang with it or come quickly back to a Mustang!)

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Have you already signed and transferred the title at the local DMV office? If so, the previous owner is right. The car is yours now. He has nothing to do with it. Unless things in NC are very different from KY.

It's funny that this thread is going on right now, because just a few days ago I was at a local performance shop getting my rear differential checked out and the owner started talking about this 2002 Corvette that a guy brought to him. It had only 12,000 miles on it, and every single seal and gasket was leaking and causing problems. The guy wanted it all fixed, and the owner of the shop said sure but this is going to cost you a fortune. He started going on about how guys will buy these performance cars with very low mileage, and they are absolutely trashed because sitting in a garage for years is the worst possible thing a guy can let happen to a car. Unfortunately this thread is another reminder of that.

In any case, what's done is done now and it's your car. I agree with others in this thread, to me it doesn't sound like a major issue. You've got a problem with your brake system and brake system problems are very common on 15 year old cars. A mechanic worth his salt should be able to fix this for WAYYYYY less than $3,000. Heck, I'd even source parts from a salvage yard if I had to. Calipers and pads and lines are cheap at auto parts stores. Fluid is cheap. Brake boosters and ABS modules can be found at salvage yards for a fraction of the new cost. Good luck!

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Buy a caliper.
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post #29 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017 Thread Starter
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Buy a caliper.
Caliper doesn't appear to be an issue according to the licensed/ASE Certified Techs who have looked at it (I stood in shop while they did some tests and looking and listened to what they had to say on the matter. I did my own testing as well per instructions provided above and caliper seems to work fine. Everything is leading to a line issue. Could be collapsed lines or it could be due to the fluid contamination theory.

Due to common caliper issues with these cars calipers were the first thing inspected with great detail and attention given to them.

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(I have owned a few non Mustang cars over the years as well, but always try to have a Mustang with it or come quickly back to a Mustang!)
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Sorry to bring up this thread again...but did you ever get this resolved???

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