Ducs N Bucs 4 Life

98 Dodge 2500 Brake Problem

14 posts in this topic

After hunting all afternoon went down a steep shale hill for about 20 min and my brakes felt soft and hard to stop, But only happens when its hot out, Anybody out there ever had this happen?Ducs N Bucs

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Do you have over sized tires or rim with large tires on? Are they disc or drum brakes? It sounds like they are just over heating. But having larger tires makes stopping more difficult as the brakes were designed for the factory size. Otherwise it sounds like they overheated and sound like drum brakes.

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A '98 2500 should have disc front/drum rear. One thing to think about is the more you use your brakes the warmer the brake fluid becomes. It can heat up your rubber brake lines and will cause them to swell under hard braking pressure (more volume in the brake fluid system = less fluid pressure). Most guys that run large tires on their 4x4's convert over to stainless braided brake lines to help prevent this problem. Is it a Cummins? Some of the diesels use a hydroboost system that incorporates the power steering and power brakes together. If you were staying on the brakes and steering back and forth quite a bit it would heat up the fluid very quickly. Or, you may just be glazing your brake pads. Under hard, continuous use the pads become excessively warm and actually harden, losing some effectiveness. After time the hardened surface will wear away and your brakes will return to normal. Just top off your brake fluid, make sure you don't have any obvious leaks under your truck, and drive it easy for a day or two. If it's still braking abnormally then you may need to yank the wheels and take a further look.

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Along the same lines, you may be using the brakes too much. When going down hill, shift down to a lower gear that will hold you back without using the brakes. If you can't do that, don't ride the brake. It heats it up and never gives a chance to cool. Stab the brakes. Gently of course, but break, and get off them and give them a chance to cool. I can't believe how many people I have seen going down the highway, downhill, pulling a trailer, and riding the brakes all the way down. If they shift down, and go a bit slower, they won't have brake problems.

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Looking at it from an honest mechanics point of view, it's cheaper to upgrade your brakes to handle your braking needs than to downshift and cause excess wear on your engine and transmission. Vehicle brake upgrades can cost as much as $1500. Engine rebuilds can cost upwards of $2500 to 3000. The transmission is another $1500 to 2500. If you're pulling a trailer and it has electric brakes, shift your brake bias towards your trailer to help the tow vehicle/trailer slow as a whole. This will save your brakes, engine and transmission.If you have a Diesel truck and tow alot, invest in an exhaust brake or "jake brake" like the tractor rigs use. Although some neighborhoods don't allow them due to the noise, they are also great in slowing your truck/trailer combo down. :)

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I agree with the idea that it is cheaper to rebuild brakes than a tranny or engine. However, if you loose the brakes on a hill, because you are braking to save the engine, which in my opinion, if a falsehood, the subsequent crash could end up costing you your life. Personally, I will downshift every time. Also, ask the long haul truckers how they do. They certainly don't abuse their brakes because they are cheaper to rebuild. Just my opinion.

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Adjust the brakes on your trailer to match your tow vehicle and you won't have that problem. If you follow enough truckers down a steep grade (Tejon Pass) you will notice how they do abuse their brakes to an extent. They are also using their jake brakes in combination with downshifting. Their rigs are built to take the downshifting abuse. Your everyday non-commercial trucks are not. I'm sure you can find plenty of mechanics that will tell you to keep downshifting. They'll tell you what you want to hear, "It won't hurt your engine or your tranny". Just make sure to bring it to him when it breaks down so you can pay him for his advice. I don't like to earn customers that way. Sorry my :) .

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...ask the long haul truckers how they do. They certainly don't abuse their brakes because they are cheaper to rebuild.
When I first started driving big rigs, an older driver told me "Without an engine brake, go down the hill in the same gear you used to climb it, sometimes even one gear lower, and let the engine hold you back. Only use your brakes when the truck starts to run away." It's a great rule of thumb that has stuck with me for the last 10+ years. I've owned my own trucks and I've had to endure a $12,000 engine rebuild (bolts holding the cap on the connecting rod backed out/broke causing the rod to slap around inside the cylinder) but I'll still use the compression of the engine to hold me back every time. And you should never wait until your already going downhill to start braking and downshifting, that's a grade 'A' rookie move. Most of those guys going over Tejon/Grapevine/Pacheco/Altamont are trucking school graduates only hauling 80,000 pounds and spend 95% of their time hauling freight up and down I-5 to the bay area, produce up from Mexico or on highway 99 through the valley, or heading out across the desert to AZ/NV and beyond. They don't know what "mountains" really are.

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I am gonna give a pretty smart booty answer....... so I am ready for flame so here goesIt sure is entertaining to listen to all the ase master mechanics give opinnions on cars on a hunting forum no less.......... gotta love itBut on a more serious note, any self respecting driver or vehicle owner should do better than asking advice on an internet site for something an obviously untrained person is trying to address... for safeties sake take the truck to a professional front end and brake manBrandon

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:got_pics: You might consider us "untrained" because we are not "ASE master mechanics" (although maybe someone here is and you don't even know it), but some of us do have years and years of experience turning wrenches on vehicles. I'll take hands-on experience over classroom training any day. So there's your flame, kid. :)

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Do you have over sized tires or rim with large tires on? Are they disc or drum brakes? It sounds like they are just over heating. But having larger tires makes stopping more difficult as the brakes were designed for the factory size. Otherwise it sounds like they overheated and sound like drum brakes.
Thanks shooter I did a search and found the same info you're talking about, Seems like its kinda commonFound it here http://repairpal.com This site says it should cost between $293 and $460 for front brake pad replacement and resurface rotors, Do you guys think thats a fair price?Thanks Again Ducs N Bucs

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Thanks shooter I did a search and found the same info you're talking about, Seems like its kinda commonFound it here http://repairpal.com This site says it should cost between $293 and $460 for front brake pad replacement and resurface rotors, Do you guys think thats a fair price?Thanks Again Ducs N Bucs
Are you mechanically inclined? If so, you can cut those cost, which are on the low end for a 3/4 ton truck, in half. Jack the front end up, put a couple of 3 ton stands under the axle, remove the wheels, unbolt the calipers, remove the rotor holding washers, remove the rotors and take them to your local brake shop for resurfacing. Most brake shops will charge $50-100 to turn them on lathe. Go to AutoZone, Kragens, Pep Boys etc... and pick up some heavy duty, lifetime warranty pads. While you're there, pick up a can of brake or contact cleaner to clean any grease smudges off the rotors when you're putting them back on. To install the new pads onto the calipers, you'll need a large 6" C-clamp to assist in pushing the caliper piston back into the caliper. Before you start pushing the piston in, take the cap off your master brake reservoir to relieve pressure on the line. Now that you've got your pads onto your calipers, just reverse the removal process to install everything. Break in your new brake pads gently for the first 50 miles. Some newer trucks have brake monitors that tell the computer how your brakes are functioning but that's a whole nother lesson. Good Luck if you decide to save some money and do them yourself.

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hey fakaweeI searched for a shop on http://repairpal.com and have a appointment to put new pads and rotors tomorrow, The guy I found is a hunter and he said to put high metalic pads from napa, because the shop I used put cheap organic pads on my truck and fried my rotors in the process. He said I'd have it back to go pig hunting this weekend.Thanks againDucs N Bucs

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hey fakaweeI searched for a shop on http://repairpal.com and have a appointment to put new pads and rotors tomorrow, The guy I found is a hunter and he said to put high metalic pads from napa, because the shop I used put cheap organic pads on my truck and fried my rotors in the process. He said I'd have it back to go pig hunting this weekend.Thanks againDucs N Bucs
Hey, that's great! If you have all the tools, brake jobs are usually less than an hour to do. Definitely go with the sintered metallic pads. Some don't last as long as the harder compounds but they sure stop a vehicle much better, especially when the going gets wet. Hope everything works out with your brakes and GOOD LUCK with the hogs!!! :censored[1]:

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