Help a Gal figure out my brake issues please!

I have changed the brakes, rotors and caliper on my 2001 ford expedition a month ago. Today when I brake, it started to make a sound like metal is hitting something.

Could it be a master cylinder?
Stuck Caliper ?
Lubrication issue?
How would I be able to tell?

You did this yourself? Some brake pads have an inner pad and an outer pad. The inner pad has a higher arch at the bottom side of the pad to clear the hub. If you mix them up, then you will get a metal sound just moving the vehicle.

Did this sound start immediately after changing the brakes or is this some time after. If the caliper is stuck, you can wear down the outer pad in just a few weeks.

Is it a squeal like finger nails on a chalkboard when you apply the brakes, then you need some brake quiet on the back side of the pads, or better quality pads.

The breaks use to make noise prior to changing everything.
My cousin changed them.
After changing everything it still made a lower end squeek.
Breaks worked okay but you would have to press the break down pretty far back.
Today I put some heavy pallets into my suv and out of no where the brake started making this metal grind sound that is unlike the one before.
That horrid sound only happens when braking.
The previous sound was a squeek this is more of clanking and grinding

As a welder to me it sounds like thick metal being grinded. I am not a mechanic but lord I wish I took that instead of welding as a trade cuz I am sure I would be able to fix this myself. But Im unfortunately clueless. I just kinda want a idea of what it may be just in case I go to a mechanic I dont get bullshited. I dont need them to say I need a flux capasitor changed for 2,000 lmao.

Well unless you take pictures of the brakes at the angles I need to see them at, I really can’t help you much. It’s all just a guess at my end. Have your cousin take a look at them and see if he can see anything. Maybe a caliper bolt broke or backed out.

He might have bent the backing plate too so that would be worth a look.

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My vote is with keith about checking the backing plate. It’s pretty easy to do and not harmful; just irritating.
Sometimes if the backing plate is extremely close or distorted the heat from the brake rotor can cause it to distort enough to make contact with the rotor.

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If you don’t change the flux capacitor every 3,000 miles you won’t be able to exceed 88 mph.

First, you need to realize that when the vehicle is loaded, the brake booster applies more pressure because power assistance is provided by intake vacuum which increases with load. It’s not rocket science - pull the wheel and look for scoured pads/rotor.

No… the engine produces less vacuum under load. The highest vacuum is at idle and is stored in the booster until you brake. Since you foot is off tbe throttle when braking, the engine produces more vacuum to replenish the booster.

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I dare to disagree. Except the idle part.
As far as “the engine produces more vacuum to replenish the booster”, the engine knows nothing about the booster, and vacuum is just sub-product the booster utilizes.

Highest vacuum is produced at closed throttle. High load means the throttle is open farther so less vacuum. If you doubt this, hook a vacuum gauge to your engine and go drive it.

My point is: Your foot is on the brake using vacuum as a boost. When you do that, the vacuum bleeds off (hit your brakes 4 times, engine off and tell me the pedal doesn’t get higher).When your foot is off the throttle, vacuum increases. When you are on the brake the vacuum is bled off. The booster has a check valve to extract air using the engine’s vacuum. When the vacuum is higher at the engine than in the booster, the vacuum in the booster increases until they equalize when the check valve closes and seals the vacuum for another brake apply. If you are on the brake for a loooong time (descending a hill) the vacuum is replenished by the engine with the closed throttle.


For the simplest answer check the brake backing plate first.

Your car is 10+ years old and backing plates tend to rust out leading to occasional “cat screams”.

Easy solution., reach behind the suspected wheel , wiggle the back plate and if it feels like paper or falls off in your hand, that’s the problem

That shouldn’t happen. Job 1: Figure out what’s causing that squeak.

“Breaks worked okay but you would have to press the break down pretty far back.”

That’s job 2. Shouldn’t have to press pedal farther than before.

“Today I put some heavy pallets into my suv and out of no where the brake started making this metal grind sound that is unlike the one before.
That horrid sound only happens when braking … more clanking and grinding [than squeak]”

This sound may be caused by the extra weight from the pallets is causing the back end to lower (referenced to the rear wheels), allowing the rear wheels to scrape on something. When you step on the brakes the front end lowers and rear end raises and that movement could be causing parts to interfere enough to make a sound. I’d rate this as lesser priority than those above.

Something’s definitely amiss with your brakes, so drive slowly and extra carefully until this is all resolved. Might be a good idea to take the car to a pro for an assessment what the cause(s) are. Your cousin can repair what the pro says needs repairing if you like. Good idea to ask the pro to evaluate your cousin’s work. An Expedition with faulty brakes, very unforgiving. & remove those pallets asap.

Dud your cousin replace just the front brakes or both front and rear? If he replaced just the fronts, then the rears may be worn out.

Issue fixed, I removed everything found that a bolt for the caliper was loose and threading was not good. The 2nd bolt was broken off. Bought new bolts checked brake pads, rotor and caliper all are not damaged and put on correctly. Used a youtube video to direct me. Saved me time and money as I went to a mechanic and he swore it was my axle . No noise and everything works pretty well. Its only been a day so lets hope that was the only issue.


Good for you for getting to the bottom of the problem. I do daily walk-a-bout, find car parts laying in the gutter all the time. Besides wheel weights, caliper bolts are one of the most common finds. Sort of worrying, eh? … lol … I always pick up the caliper bolts b/c they are a strong grade, 10.9 as recall. More than $1 each at hardware store. Some bolts I find are even stronger, stamped 12.9, probably from trucks. 12.9 bolt not a common find though. 12.9 bolt could cost nearly $10 each.

I had a customer’s SUV in the shop this week, complaint was grinding noise. Right front caliper bolt missing, brake caliper rubbing on the wheel. This is a very unusual occurrence, poor workmanship, brake caliper bolts should not fall off.

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