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Old 07-22-2010, 10:15   #1 (permalink)
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confused Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

I'm in a remote part of Baja and my 97 Expedition has developed a persistent squeak which, I believe, is coming from the passenger side rear wheel. It's hard to tell on dirt roads when I'm aired-down, but it feels like the wheel is binding a bit. I'm hesitant to go on the long and remote drive north with something that's going to break down in the desert many miles from a paved road, much less a town.

It has new rotors and pads. There isn't a real mechanic for a few hours drive, but I took it to the local fisherman who works on cars here and we jacked it up. He looked at the brake and rotor and said they look good.

One thing I noticed was that with the car in neutral, the wheel off the ground and the parking brake off we couldn't turn the rear wheel. I assume that's b/c the other wheel was on the ground, but thought it was worth mentioning.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-22-2010, 16:02   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

Can you raise both rear wheels and run it to see if you can hear it. It probably has limited slip and that's why it won't turn with one only.
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Old 07-28-2010, 18:23   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

I jacked it up today so that both wheels were off the ground. Could hear the squeaking when I turned the wheels. Took it apart and see that it's the emergency brake that was sticking. We adjusted it, scraped off some dirt and it drove great - I had been right that the brakes were dragging a bit. A few hours later it's squeaking again and I can feel the drag.... Any thoughts on a next step?
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Old 07-28-2010, 18:36   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

Where was the dirt? Did you pull the rear rotors and look at the park brake shoes? They might have come apart. If they are and since you're away from home, scrape the linings that are loose in there and fix it when you get home.
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Old 07-28-2010, 19:05   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

There was a substance that the local mechanic described as dirt or dust (we're in the desert) that he sanded off of the parking brake shoes and the inside of the rotor. The shoes appeared otherwise to be in good shape. I'm starting to wonder if it has something do with the cable or something that's keeping the shoes from fully disengaging from the rotor. Does that make sense? Any other ideas?
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Old 07-28-2010, 21:07   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

That would be the way to check it. When the calipers are off, apply and then release the park brake, then see how the rotor turns. You'd know the caliper couldn't be doing it. There are adjustments on the park brake but they shouldn't change since they don't wear unless they're left on and driven.
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Old 07-28-2010, 21:21   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

I'll do that in the morning. If the problem is in the emergency brake sticking somehow, what would I do to troubleshoot where in the cable the problem lies or could it be in the shoe mechanism itself? Is it a bad idea to lubricate the cable and/or the shoe mechanism? Lube and brakes seems like a no-no.
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Old 07-28-2010, 22:21   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

Exactly, no lube. If they hang on the inside of the rotor when you do the check, leave the rotor off and watch the shoes and see what the problem could be.
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Old 08-18-2010, 09:04   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

At this point, I've pretty much eliminated the emergency and regular brakes as the problem. Any other things that could be causing an intermittent but frequent squeek from the rear end? Bearing? Something to do with after I've reversed out of my driveway? I'm at a loss as to what else to check, but need to drive out of here in 6 days time.....
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:21   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Down in Baja, rear wheel squeak, brakes?

All of the bearings I've dealt withe were not intermittant. They made a noise and it didn't go away. Can you still turn the wheel and hear it when it's jacked up? That would be the way to pinpoint the location.
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