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Old 03-11-2012, 07:29   #1 (permalink)
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2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

Hey everyone,

I'm a not-so-proud owner of an 02 Explorer XLS and recently I've been hearing some nasty grinding noises from the driver-side rear wheel, accompanied by a nasty smell. Come to find out, the brake pads are rubbing against the rotor so yesterday I replaced the pads, lubed everything up, and the problem is still happening. So, this morning I went out and bought a new caliper and a one-man bleeding kit and intend to change the caliper and bleed the sucker as soon as I write this. I just wanted to know if anyone has any tips, tricks, or suggestions as to what the problem may be. I know it's difficult to do so without seeing the vehicle, but does this sound characteristic of a caliper that's toast or one that just needs to be bled? Is this a sign of something more serious on these vehicles, such as a busted ABS unit or something similarly farther up the brake system than just the caliper? I think it's worth noting that when I changed the pads, the caliper in question DID retract when I used a C-clamp to compress it. However, during normal operation it doesn't seem to want to retract.

I appreciate any words of wisdom; I'm definitely no mechanic. Thanks.

- John
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:12   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

The calipers don't retract. If it retracted when you compressed it, it would be normal. Have you tried to run it on stands to see if you can pinpoint the noise?
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:36   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

If as you say , the piston in the calliper is free and also the pads are sliding o.k , check the flex hose . They can collapse inside restricting the fluid flowback and hence holding the piston out and pads on , which could give you the smell if brake overheating also .
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:09   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

OK, so I replaced the caliper, bled the brakes and now everything seems to be functioning properly. I will take her on the highway shortly to see if it still occurs. Thank you for the replies.

R.S.LOGAN: How would I go about checking the flex hose?
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Old 03-11-2012, 13:14   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

If everthing o.k since you replaced calliper , bled the brakes , hose would seem to be o.k. Hard to check other than feeling for any weakness on hose , checking flow of fluid . Normally if in doubt , sling it and fit new one .
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Old 03-13-2012, 19:24   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

OK, so after driving to work the past two days the noise on the driver's side has returned and bleeding the rear passenger gave me no difference; there is still the same grinding noise. Should I have bled all four? What about the master cylinder? The flex hose was pretty firm, however I didnt see any corrosion or leaking fluid...

Thanks guys
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:15   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

Just noticed that this is on the rear , mistook it for the front . Normally if you clamp of the hose on the calliper you replaced , you should get away with just bleeding that side .If not you may have introduced air into system and need to bleed rest .Have you checked emergency parking brake cable / linkage for sticking ?
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Old 03-14-2012, 17:42   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

No I haven't. Man, does it sound bad whatever it is. I lowered my mirrors to check out the wheels when driving on the highway and they don't seem to be wobbling or anything that appears like the wheel's going to go, but jesus the wheel is making clattering noises; like someone's kicking a tin can down the street.

How would I go about checking the e-brake cable and/or shoes? I noticed a long cable underneath the vehicle that ran along the outside edge of the driver's side. It had a fair amount of play. Maybe this was said cable?
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Old 03-14-2012, 18:47   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

That's the cable for it. If you can raise it up and run it, you could pinpoint the noise.
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Old 03-15-2012, 13:28   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 2002 Explorer XLS Caliper Issues

If not just needing adjustment , a cable with a lot of slack can indicate cable / linkage sticking or partially seized and not retracting .
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