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Old 05-22-2012, 08:52 AM   #1
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Low speed Brake Squeal

Have a new to me 2007 F-53 with 6800 miles. I will get a slight but noticable brake squeal after coming off the brakes in low speed operation (in neighborhoods, after coming off a stop light) for 30 secs to a minute or so after coming off the brakes. Ir heat gun shows ruffly equal temps around 230 F if I stop and get out and check it. Is this a nature of the Ford system?
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
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The squeal may be from one of the rotors being out of round and hitting the pad or the pads could be glazed or one hanging up a tad, you might try scuffing the pads and lubing the slides.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Your vehicle is a 2007 with 6800 miles.....that's about 1,300 miles or so per year. This is not untypical of some RV's for sure. However, as such, some things tend to "gum up" up a bit when not used often. Disc brake calipers and caliper slide pins are among these. You likely have "floating" calipers that slide a small amount when the brakes are activated, and the slide pins need to be lubricated properly so that the caliper will slide back easily to its non-working position when your foot is off the brake. That is easy to fix.

Also, the caliper piston seals can become somewhat non-pliable or hardened, and this will prevent the piston(s) from retracting properly into their bores when your foot is off the brake, thus leaving the pads up against the rotors slightly. Both rusty pins and sticking pistons will cause brake squeak because the brake pads are still up against the rotors slightly in either case. This doesn't really hurt anything, but it is aggravating for sure. If it gets much worse, however, you may then get into premature brake wear....or worse. When it comes to brakes, this is something that one really should not ignore....noise or otherwise.

Sticking caliper pistons are likely the culprit (I've had to address this on several low-mileage vehicles in the past). If this is the problem, you will need to either replace the seals (requires caliper teardown) OR replace the calipers. Either repair is not exactly cheap. You might have a brake booster that is hanging up and not releasing residual hydraulic pressure, but that would not be my first guess. That possibility is easy to test for a competent tech.

Sometimes" hanging" caliper pistons can be "coaxed" back to normal operation by some aggresive braking several times which can heat things up and clear the bores of minor varnish, lubricate the inner surface of the piston seals, etc....but this is more like lighting a candle and looking above. But....it's sure worth a try on a deserted road somewhere. If this doesn't change anything, then I suggest you r&r the calipers, lube those pins and take her for a ride. If this doesn't resolve it, then my guess is you're going the caliper route. Just my thoughts....

PLEASE let us know how you make out....thanks!
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:34 PM   #4
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I have an older F-53 but had the same issue. I solved my brake noise by cleaning and lubing the caliper pins and by applying anti-squeal to the brake backing pads. Read my blog here for more info.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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+1 on HeapBig's suggestion to hit 'em hard once in awhile. When I was a professional auto tech, I would always brake hard at least once on a road test. Many of the cars would pull hard to one side because of poor equalization. After one or two more excercises, they would almost always brake evenly. If not, then a complete inspection was in order.

I try to excercise the brakes on all my vehicles at least once a month, and on the MH everytime it has been in a campground for a week or more. ALWAYS with both hands on the steering wheel.
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #6
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Wannabee FTer,
Thanks for the description and photo's in your blog, I found them helpful! Tell me, once the slide pin was punched out, did the caliper itself dislodge from its mounted position? I'm confused about "not having caliper bolts". Are you saying it is the slide pins that hold the caliper to its mount?
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Old 05-22-2012, 05:59 PM   #7
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The calipers lay inside the caliper bracket. It's really the bracket that holds the calipers in place. The pins keep the calipers from coming out of the bracket. Once the caliper pins are driven out, you can lift the caliper off the mounting bracket.

It may help to compress the brake pads back into the calipers with a small pry bar before lifting the calipers out. This will provide plenty of wiggle room to lift them out.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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Thanks John!
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