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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an 2003 Expedition 4x4. A couple days ago I started to smell my brakes pretty bad. I don't drive it much so didn't think much of it. On my way to work this morning (highway, stop and go) I saw that I had smoking coming out from my front tire and it was of course accompanied by the burning brake smell. Any ideas what is causing this? Are my brakes saying slightly on all the time?
The truck was shaking/vibrating a little today as well on the highway. This is the first day it starting vibrating. It drove smooth before today.
 

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What ever they're smoking.I hope it's legal... LOL...
Sorry I couldn't resist...
If they're getting that hot to smoke. My first thought would be a stuck caliper..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input.
That's what I was thinking...stuck caliper. Guess I'll replace the calipers (pads and rotors as well) and see what happens. I guess I could just lube the pins and see if that fixes it but I tow a 30' travel trailer with it and would hate for the calipers to start sticking again while towing with the family.
 

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Make sure the caliper is stuck before you go purchasing new parts. You could just have gotten some oil or grease on the pads.. Unlikely this is what happened. But it doesn't hurt to check before buying parts..
 

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Thoughts:
piston cocked in caliper bore and stuck, caliper slider pins corroded and stuck, caliper will not slide on mount, rubber brake lines swollen internally and will not let fluid pressure release, fluid pressure relief hole in master cylinder blocked and not letting fluid pressure release. Malfunction in ABS (e.g. piston sticking/least likely).
 

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Is one or both front brakes smoking? That would eliminate some of the guess work. If it's both, then I would look at the master cylinder, as the relief valve or drainback valve may be stuck, if just one side then caliper or hose. In any case, the caliper that is smoking should be replaced as the seals in it have become glazed from the heat and will continue to give you problems.
 
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I don't mean to hijack the thread, but what do brakes smell like when they're burning?
 

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Ever smell a clutch? It's about the same thing.
 

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I know its been quite a while since this thread was written, however here is another thought/experience.
My '01 250 SD had similar problems. It turned out that the SS liners the pads fit into had developed rust on the back side at the pad bracket. After a while this prevents the pads from being able to move. The rotors overhead and develop hard spots (Warpped Rotors).
Only solution is to sand blast the bracket and use a good quality grease to minimize the rust build up.

This happended twice to me and the truck is also not driven that much.
 

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had this problem before, get a big ol hammer and whack the crap out of it hoping to unsieze it, if this fails ya an get a caliper rebuild kit for about 30-40 bucks unless I'm mistaken. Really not that hard to rebuild them
 

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it could be as simple as a stuck caliper or as bad as corroded piston seals inside the caliper or anything in between, but the stuck caliper would be my best guess. Either way, when you rebuild them, it wouldn't be a bad idea to get the brakes machined and slap a new set of pads on them.
 

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I do hope you changed the front rotors. That much heat could/would diminish the integrity of the rotor and I for one wouldn't want it to shatter on hard braking with a 30 ft trailer pushing it and my family in the vehicle.:yikes:
 
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