Dang It! What did I do? and please help me have a bbq today!

Well, I’d love to start BBq’n instead of ripping my Truck apart, so help me please?

I just replaced the front disc brake pads on my 95’ f150. The rotors were in good shape, so I left them alone. The rear drum shoes had enough life left that I put that off for a while. I’ve put about 1200 miles on the truck since the pads were replaced, and now I’m getting a shudder when I brake going downhill and at speed. I’ve replaced my brakes before in different vehicles, and I’ve always done a great job. So what should I prepare for before I rip everything apart again??

Thanks for helping me keep my Sunday as lazy as possible!

(and on a side note… from the guy in Tuxedo NY with the overworking speedometer and odometer… couldn’t the wheels on that jeep been replaced with smaller ones to make it do that?? )

You rotors may not be completely flat. It may take a while for the pads to adjust to the rotors. When I change pads, I change rotors too. It might not be needed, but at $35 per rotor, it’s good insurance against rotor warping or hard spots.

It sounds like a bad rotor. Did you replace the rotors with that brake job? If you did not replace them did you have them machined true? How close were they to minimum thickness?

Are Your Calipers Floating?

Were You careful to clean and lube the slides / moving parts and sleeves / bolts, or whatever parts of the calipers so they can move in and out? Those babies have to be able to float. If they’re seized in one place they’ll pronounce any imperfections in the rotors when you replace pads.

If you did that, then I agree with JT and Joseph. I think you definitely should have replaced / machined the old rotors. However, if it has to come apart again anyhow, follow their advice this time. You’ll get a good job.

There are a number of reasons why you could have a brake shudder; warped or out of parallel brake rotors, loose wheel bearing or worn suspension part, etc.

No way can anyone eyeball a brake rotor and tell if it’s good (defined as straight and perfectly parallel) or not.

Since this truck has drum brakes, overtightening the lugs can distort the rear drums which can cause a brake shudder.
To determine if the front or rears are at fault, run the truck up to about 40 MPH on a smooth road and slowly bring it to a stop with the park brake.
A shudder means it’s in the rear; no shudder means the front.

Try what ok said to figure out front vs. rear, though I suspect that since it was the fronts that you just did the problem is likely there. Everything in the first few posts about that is right on, and I would just add that you need to a) make sure that you get the mating surface of the hub & rotor completely clean, and b) make sure that you follow torque specs for the lugs (as ok noted, but the get both the front and rear correct). Your old rotors were probably too thin, and then just a little bit of bad torque and/or gunk between the hub & rotor plus heat in the last 1500 miles gave you bad rotor surfaces.

You can see if your current rotors can be turned, but I suspect not - so when you do go to buy new rotors don’t buy the bargain basement. Get at least one step up from the bottom or you’ll likely be fooling with this again within the next 10K miles or so. Rotors aren’t what they used to be.

Ahhhhh… Parking brake chech, that’s a good one I haven’t thought of. Thanks!

OK, well I had the BBQ anyway… now it’s work on the truck early morning time, so now, I’ll just rip it apart and get those rotors replaced I guess… man, if I’m going to do that I might as well repack the bearings, replace the shocks… and rear too… can’t favor the front end (that’s what she said!)… Thanks Guys!

Cobanova, Next Time Something Like This Happens . . .

. . .Invite all these guys to your BBQ. A couple of ribs and a couple of beers later, that F150 would be percolating like it never has before!