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Old 05-27-2010, 14:27   #1 (permalink)
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2001 Sable Braking Problem

2001 Mercury Sable 67,000 miles. Recently the left coil spring broke and was replaced, together with the right coil spring by the dealer under Ford's extended 10 year warranty on this part. After the replacement I have been having a braking problem - when I engage the brakes the car dives first to the left and then to the right. It's most noticeable at high speed. You get the feeling that the car is wandering. It doesn't seem to pull in either direction and the brakes are not spongy. In the process of changing the coil spring on the left side the dealer got a lot of CV joint grease on the inside of the left rotor. I cleaned the rotor and pads a couple of times (the area is now grease free) but the diving problem remains. Thinking that the grease soaked into the left inside brake pad, I replaced all the front brake pads. The problem remains with an additional twist. The right brakes are now very hot. Apparently the pads are dragging on the right rotor. A mechanic checked the temperature of the rotors. Right side rotor 360 degrees and left 200 degrees after a few miles of driving. In changing the brake pads, when I compressed the cylinder in the left caliper it went in easily with just continuous hand turning of the c clamp. On the left I could turn the clamp about a quarter turn only and had to wait several seconds before turning it another quarter turn. Compressing the cylinder completely took quite a while.

I am not sure if I have one problem here or two unrelated problems. To replace the coil springs I don't think it would have been necessary to touch the brakes or at least to compress the caliper cylinder. And I don't think that I had the overheating problem until I installed the new brakes. I'd say that the old brake pads had about 1/8 in thickness left and they were wearing evenly.

The new brake pads differed slightly from the old pads in that they were uniformly of even thickness. The old outside pads were also of uniformly even thickness but the old inside pads were thicker radially in the center. They were thinner radially for about 1/2 in at the outer diameter and thinner 1/4 in at the inner diameter. The difference in thickness is just a few thousands of an inch. Examining the new right brake pads after about 100 miles of driving I noticed the new pads had picked up a lot of rust along the two outer rings where the old pad had been thinner. The old pad showed no sign of this rust. And puzzlingly the old pad had a uniform surface appearance in both the thicker and thinner regions.

What could be causing the diving problem? Could the diving problem be unrelated to the potentially faulty caliper cylinder or the strange wear on the brake pads.

Al
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Old 05-27-2010, 17:36   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Sable Braking Problem

Since the pistons don't press in evenly, I'd replace the calipers. The hoses can be partially plugged causing strange brake problems. To me, this is a safety issue and I'd probably replace the hoses too. Especially since there's a temperature difference. As for CV joint grease, there'd be no reason to take them apart to put springs in. Have you talked to the dealer about the braking problem?
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Old 05-27-2010, 22:57   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Sable Braking Problem

The CV joint grease was the result of an accident on the part of the mechanic fixing the coil springs. The question was whether there was a need to remove the brake caliper to do the spring job. It's clear that the caliper and perhaps the hose should be replaced. The question here is could the diving problem I described be caused by something else that was done during the replacement of the coil springs. Recall that there was no braking problem prior to the spring replacement.

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Old 05-28-2010, 08:51   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Sable Braking Problem

My girlfriend recently had to replace the rear left spring on her 2002 Sable but as far as I know she paid full price for it, do you have a link to any info on the extended warranty you mentioned?
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Old 05-28-2010, 16:31   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Sable Braking Problem

In response to: My girlfriend recently had to replace the rear left spring on her 2002 Sable but as far as I know she paid full price for it, do you have a link to any info on the extended warranty you mentioned?

The problem was for the front coil springs only.
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Old 05-28-2010, 16:38   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Sable Braking Problem

When I inspected the right brake pads at 100 miles I also expanded the caliper cylinder by removing the pads and stepping on the brake pedal several times and I then recompressed it. The overheating problem seems to have cleared. Perhaps the cylinder is moving more freely. Nevertheless the diving problem remains.

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Old 05-28-2010, 17:45   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Sable Braking Problem

Have you talked to the dealer that did the work about the problem. There could also be a problem with the sway bar or links.
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Old 08-03-2011, 20:16   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2001 Sable Braking Problem

if theirs a shake when braking id check the rotors or drums if not check to see if theirs a hydrolic pump after you brake fluid resevoir that was an issue with my 95 merc sable
derek 153000 sable
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