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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-08-08, 01:09 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Toney, AL
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'03 Brake Calipers Sticking

I just bought an '03 Explorer with 35,000 miles on it and three times already I've had a problem with the rear calipers not completely releasing. Both sides don't do it at the same time. The last time, it was the left side and I got it home and got it in the air. Opening the bleeder had no effect. Also, the "floating" hardware is not binding. Physically freeing it up works so it seems to be a sticking piston. But both sides? The vehicle was parked for a long period so I guess it's possible. My question: Does anybody know where I can get a rebuild kit ? I really don't want to have to buy both calipers. And the stock units use phenolic pistons. I'd like to go with metal. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Ted.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-14-08, 08:59 PM
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Location: Waterloo
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Re: '03 Brake Calipers Sticking

summitracing.com and performancecenter.com should carry parts to do a rebuild. If anything else the pistons in the caliper are sticking and will shortly seize. If it was my vehicle I'd douse the calipers with brake cleaner to try and remove any rust and see if that works as a temporary fix. Calipers aren't cheap, even if you install them yourself. If you decide to replace the calipers be sure to do a good brake fluid flush as it's almost certain that as the vehicle sat contaminants would undoubtedly be sitting at the end of each line.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-20-09, 09:45 AM
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Re: '03 Brake Calipers Sticking

I haven't been here for a while, but landed here while Googling a problem. Granted, I see this is an old post, but...I know your pain!

I have an '04 Sport Trac that is driving me nuts with front brake calipers.
They just won't release on one side. (Driver side).

The opposite one failed at like 40k miles last year, and Ford replaced it.
Then the other failed, and I've been through 4 FORD calipers in less than 6 months because they just won't release all the way. 1 of them even failed to open, NEW and in the box!

And here we are again - one black wheel (dust) and one clean one.

The caliper from last year is still doing fine.

Since then, can't get a good one, and everything related to the brakes is almost new, within the last year. Even the lines that bring fluid to the calipers - both sides. I don't seem to get 60-90 days out of a caliper. Thank God they have warranties.

I'm at my wits end.

I would dearly appreciate any suggestions.

Rotors - resurfaced, both, first time for it. Evenly. Tested.
Pads - new
Fluid lines - new
Fluid reservoir - removed, emptied, cleaned, refilled.
Bled, bled, bled some more
Calipers - both new inside a year. Both from same dealer. Ford brand.
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