Front brake mystery


#1

I’d love to hear anyone’s advice on this… '99 Ford Ranger, manual tran, 91K miles, front brakes are disc type. Recently started hearing a clicking noise when braking and it seems to come from the front, possibly front left, wheel. Brake pedal felt soft-ish but not as bad as a master cylinder problem. Replaced the calipers, pads; resurfaced the rotors, flushed brake fluid - and now the clicking is back (after a couple miles of driving). The pedal has more braking power/strength but still feels less than 100%. Swear I felt a cable-type tension once or twice, like pushing the parking brake on, as I braked. (No, the parking break isn’t and wasn’t on.)

What I don’t get is why the first few miles were OK after the repair and now they’re getting progressively worse again with the noise and lessening brake power.



Suggestions?


#2

Is the clicking constant and even? Could it be a CV joint?


#3

Ranger, apparently not 4wd?


#4

Yes, it’s not 4wd – just rear wheel drive. The clicking is pretty constant and even, but doesn’t happen every time I depress the brake pedal (most times, but not all). Can’t figure out a pattern to when I get the clicks - after the truck is warmed up, not warmed up, going a certain speed, brakes getting more pressure or less…

What’s a CV joint? (I’m not a mechanic – took it to one for the work)


#5

You don’t have a CV joint. A CV joint, short for “constant velocity” joint, is a special joint used in the drive axles of FWD vehicles to allow the axle to articulate to sharp angles while under power without the ooscillations inherant in a universal joint. U-joints can only tolerate small angles of articulation. CV joints accomplish this by having basically a ball & socket with slots and ball bearings in them (simplified description). When they dry up or wear you can hear the components of the joint clicking.

You may have a wheel bearing going.


#6

Wheel bearing - ugh. Well, that’s one thing I haven’t had replaced in the last week. It is back in the shop for the 4th time in a week – master cylinder was replaced this morning, and the clicking came back while I was driving it home from the dealership. Of course I drove it straight back with instructions for them to drive it more tomorrow. I’m completely baffled, as are they. Front brakes look OK but the pedal doesn’t feel right when I depress it - but it doesn’t happen every time (maybe 2 out of 3). It definitely sounds and feels like it’s coming from the front left wheel.

Do bearings fail intermittently, like master cylinders can? Is there a valve that could be causing this? Or, if the rotors weren’t resurfaced smoothly enough, could the naked eye miss it with just visual inspection? Thanks for the replies so far!