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itguy08 06-20-2011 09:13 PM

03 Escape Drum Brake Question
Posted this on another board but thought maybe someone here could help...

After almost 100k the rear brakes on my wife's Escape needed to be replaced. Being the good handy husband I am, I told her I'd do them. First time ever doing drum brakes. With the Haynes in hand I got them all done and adjusted. This was Saturday night.

Sunday she takes the car and runs some errands and comes back and says "you have to look at my brakes - the pedal is pulsing and it's making this clicking noise from the back." Pulled them apart on Sunday, re-greased everything and re-adjusted. Have a good firm pedal and the truck stops straight without pulling. We drove it around Sunday and the brakes were performing wonderfully.

Today we go out and the clicking and pulsing is back. Really bad until they warm up and then it gets less until they get hot.

Had her drive around with me in the back with an ear to the wheel area. I've got it narrowed down to the drivers side where the noise is loudest when you stop. Definitely feels like a warped disk/rotor in the pedal with the noise coming from the rear.

So what are the chances of an out of round drum from the factory? These are new Raybestos drums, from Rock Auto. I've got an e-mail to them about getting a new replacement drum but what are the odds that this one was bad from the factory?

Anything else I should be on the lookout for?

Thanks in advance!

ukrkoz 06-21-2011 12:39 PM

if it's warped drum, you'll see it on wear pattern inside. unfortunately, you'll have to remove your brake shoes to see it and pull drum out. also, shoe pad material may not be even. basically, they have to be mated flush or you will have hills and vallies pattern on both shoe and drum. pad material looks striped, in simple words.
we used to take a rough file, a rasp, and file high points off. drive around and re-check, and file some more, until flush fit accomplished.
you may have some uneven pad material build up on new drums too, resulting in ratchety brake response, that feels like pulsation.

you need to break in any new rotors or drums immediately after install. there's no excuse to this rule.

itguy08 06-21-2011 08:59 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Thanks. I did to a proper break/brake in. Went to an empty parking lot and did a couple 40-0 stops at a moderate pressure. Let the brakes cool and did it 1 more time and took it out on the highway and all seemed OK.

Not sure if I'd see a wear pattern yet as these brakes don't even have 150 miles on them. Basically 2 32 mile commutes plus a few errands.

I pulled the wheel and drum this evening and everything looks good. Seems to be seated correctly on everything. Not sure if you can see it in the pic, but there is a light score in the drum, almost like something drug a screwdriver or other blunt object across it. I felt the pads and they felt smooth so I'm not sure it was them.

I definitely think it's a warped drum as after driving it today it seems like the pedal pulses while they are cold and gets a little smoother the more they warm up.

After I put the drum back on this evening and I went to the local empty school and did a 2-3 40-0 hard stops. They were quiet but then I took it on the highway for a few minutes. Coming off the off ramp the pedal pulsed like crazy on the first application...

I should have a replacement drum Thursday so hopefully it is simply warped.

ukrkoz 06-22-2011 08:30 PM

well, it's not 40 to 0, it's 50 to 15, with following brake pedal release, acceleration, braking again, and so on. you do not want to bring car to halt for reason simple. the entire process is aimed at warming up pad material to above 300 degrees, so that outermost layer plasticizes and bonds to the rotor or drum surface. it is specifically said to AVOID complete vehicle stops during this, and for few minutes after, until metal cools down.
drums look good. it's pretty obvious stuff. i can't tell about pads, there are no pads surface pictures. like i said, if you have it - you'll see it, it's very obvious.
air in brake lines?
also, try this:

what is odd that it goes away as brakes warm up.

itguy08 06-22-2011 08:59 PM

Thanks for the tip on break-in. I always thought it was a couple hard stops and then let them cool for a while. I'll have to put that in the "that's how you do it" part of my brain! :)

I should have the new drum tomorrow so hopefully that will fix it. Otherwise I'll grab some pad pics.

What is definitely weird is if you let them cool (like a stretch of highway) and have to brake it darn near shakes the car loose. If you get stuck in traffic or have to do it again it's there but nowhere near as bad. On my way home today there's a stretch of highway that has a stoplight then it's no more until I get off my exit. Well, stopped for the stoplight and was going about 2-3 miles when we hit traffic. Brakes shook the whole time I slowed down (around 60-25). After that, stop and go and the pulsing was almost gone, even from a couple 40-0 stops. You could hear the clanking but it was not that bad.

My thought is that it's a tad out of round and the heat makes things get more in round. Similar to how some disk brakes will get pulsations when they are worked real hard.

ukrkoz 06-22-2011 10:19 PM

i'd bleed brakes just for the heck of it. won't hurt anything.

When following these instructions, avoid other vehicles. Bedding is often best done early in the morning, when traffic is light, since other drivers will have no idea what you are up to and may respond in a variety of ways ranging from fear to curiosity to aggression. A police officer will probably not understand when you try to explain why you were driving erratically! Zeckhausen Racing does not endorse speeding on public roads and takes no responsibility for any injuries or tickets you may receive while following these instructions. Use common sense!
  1. From 60mph, gently apply the brakes a couple of times to bring them up to operating temperature. This prevents you from thermally shocking the rotors and pads in the next steps.
  2. Make eight to ten near-stops from 60mph to about 10-15 mph. Do it HARD by pressing the brakes firmly, but do not lock the wheels or engage ABS. At the end of each slowdown, immediately accelerate back to 60mph and then apply the brakes again. DO NOT COME TO A COMPLETE STOP! If you stop completely and sit with your foot on the brake pedal, you will imprint pad material onto the hot rotors, which could lead to vibration and uneven braking.
  3. The brakes may begin to fade after the 7th or 8th near-stop. This fade will stabilize, but not completely go away until the brakes have fully cooled. A strong smell from the brakes, and even some smoke, is normal.
  4. After the last near-stop, accelerate back up to speed and cruise for a while, using the brakes as little as possible. The brakes need only a few minutes to cool down. Try not to become trapped in traffic or come to a complete stop while the brakes are still very hot.
  5. If full race pads, such as Hawk DTC-70 or Performance Friction PFC01 are being used, add four near-stops from 80 to 10 mph.
After the break-in cycle, there should be a slight blue tint and a light gray film on the rotor face. The blue tint tells you the rotor has reached break-in temperature and the gray film is pad material starting to transfer onto the rotor face. This is what you are looking for. The best braking occurs when there is an even layer of of pad material deposited across the rotors. This minimizes squealing, increases braking torque, and maximizes pad and rotor life.
After the first break in cycle shown above, the brakes may still not be fully broken in. A second bed-in cycle, AFTER the brakes have cooled down fully from the first cycle, may be necessary before the brakes really start to perform well. This is especially true if you have installed new pads on old rotors, since the pads need time to conform to the old rotor wear pattern. If you've just installed a big brake kit, the pedal travel may not feel as firm as you expected. After the second cycle, the pedal will become noticeably firmer. If necessary, bleed the brakes to improve pedal firmness.

xohoneyox22 06-25-2011 09:36 AM

TRANSMISSION 96 plymouth voyager
:eek:....Input hub shaft has no play after putting the transmission back together.... everything seems to fit right on the side and is all in spind the gears when using plyers.... would it work?

shanecurran 07-06-2011 02:30 PM


Originally Posted by itguy08 (Post 672339)

I should have the new drum tomorrow so hopefully that will fix it. Otherwise I'll grab some pad pics.

Not sure if you saw my post about new brakes pulsating on a 2004 ford focus. I had the same exact issue, the drums and discs were new. I used the emergency brake to determine that the issue was in the rear of the car. I also heard the clicking noise that you spoke of at slower speeds and minimal pressure on the brakes. Turns out the drum was not perfectly round from the factory. I am starting to think that the issue is more common than one is inclined to believe.

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