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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My neighbor who helped me last Fall with drip rail / b-pillar welding is moving this week, and he hadn't yet ridden in the Bronco, so I took him for a spirited drive the other day. Midway through, I started hearing a clanking noise coming from the left front wheel. It got louder and louder the rest of the way.

The weird thing is, it would go away immediately when tapping the brake, then resume when letting off. So, that would seem to indicate a caliper issue not a hub issue. Back home, rocking the wheel side-to-side on the ground produced a clank.

FWIW, the hubs were still locked from towing a heavy load up the slippery driveway in 4-high the day before.

I took the wheel off today and first thing I noticed is, I can rotate the outer brake pad forward and back in its guide. That produces a similar sounding clank. I didn't jack up the right side, but reaching through the wheel, they're no such movement to the pad. The reservoir isn't low, and pedal pressure seems just fine, so it doesn't seem like a hydraulics issue. But, the caliper was suspiciously easy to get on and off, which makes me think it might be something simple like air in the system and it just isn't retaining as much rotor drag as normal to lock it in place. Would that allow it to rock back and forth (and clank) while rolling, though?

I had done new pads recently, so I put the old ones in to see if the new ones have some slop, but it was still there with the old ones.

I was about to put the wheel back on when I noticed I could also create a clank by rotating the rotor back and forth slightly. It sounds like it's coming from deep in the hub and happens with the hub both locked and unlocked. I don't remember if that is normal... Searching for similar issues, it could be anything from spindle bearings (the other recent project, but I left the old ones in with new seals because I got the wrong size bearings), worn gears, axle movement in the hub (normal to some degree), binding hub locks, dry bearings (just re-greased), to u-joints.

I still have it jacked up and the wheel off while doing other stuff, so I can run more tests if people can think of anything to check.
 

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you can rotate the brake pad? that sounds like either the brake pad or the caliper is broken. can you share any images of said brake pad and caliper?
 
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The caliper should not move at all under hand pressure.
Did the slider piece that holds it in place come out???
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
you can rotate the brake pad? that sounds like either the brake pad or the caliper is broken. can you share any images of said brake pad and caliper?
Rock it forward and back in the guide, not twist it. Nothing wrong with the pad, as the old one has the same amount of play. I didn't see anything wrong with the caliper, but I put it back together before heading out for the evening. I did take two pictures that may or may not help:

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Vehicle brake Helmet


If the caliper were to be flipped over and reinstalled, the above would be the outer pad and its two ears (facing the camera) have room to move left-right-left within the grooves they're sitting in.

Automotive tire Alloy wheel Automotive lighting Automotive wheel system Rim


My best guess is, the piston is retracting more than it should when pedal pressure is released, allowing for less pad drag on that side. That was my thinking when I focused on the piston in the first pic...

The caliper should not move at all under hand pressure.
Did the slider piece that holds it in place come out???
The caliper isn't moving. It's the pad that is able to move within the caliper. (Both pins are/were in place.) You'd think the rotor drag would keep it pushed forward (in that movement range) while rolling forward, though, so I'm not sure that would be able to produce the clank-clank-clank noise.
 

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Oh, ok, it kinda sounded like you were saying the whole caliper was moving.
If the pads are moving, is the piston backing off some? Normally they don't, they sit snug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If the pads are moving, is the piston backing off some? Normally they don't, they sit snug.
That's what seems to be happening. The caliper lifted off the rotor, and went back on, with virtually no resistance. With the caliper on, I can turn the hub easily. That's usually somewhat difficult without the larger mechanical advantage of a mounted wheel (bigger diameter).
 

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Yo Fodder,
  • Noise at Wheels — Brakes Not Applied — Growling, Click, Rattle, Clunk or Knock. Defined by a Series of Sharp, Short Sounds in Quick Succession
  • Stones or foreign material trapped inside.
  • REMOVE stones or foreign material as required.
  • Loose wheel lug nuts.
  • TIGHTEN to specified torque. REPLACE wheel if stud holes are elongated.
  • Worn, damaged or dry wheel bearings.
  • INSPECT, LUBRICATE or REPLACE. ADJUST bearings properly.
  • Disc brake caliper loose or missing anti-rattle clips.
  • INSPECT, REPAIR or REPLACE as required.
  • Drum brakes loose or extra parts.
  • INSPECT, REMOVE or REPAIR as required.
  • Front disc brake rotor shield bent, loose or missing.
  • REPAIR as REQUIRED.
  • Loose grease cap.
  • REPAIR or REPLACE as required.
  • Drum brakes — rear brake shoe and lining binding at backing plate ledges.
  • LUBRICATE ledges.
  • Drum brakes — backing plate ledges worn.
  • REPLACE brake backing plate and LUBRICATE ledges.
 

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I did take two pictures that may or may not help:

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Vehicle brake Helmet
Is that a broken piston? On the lower edge, about 5 o'clock? Or just a shadow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is that a broken piston? On the lower edge, about 5 o'clock? Or just a shadow?
Pretty sure it's just a visual trick. You can see around 9 o'clock, the seal doesn't look so hot. The 5 o'clock position looks like it just has some grime around the inner lip. But, it might be worth going back and checking...

As for the troubleshooting chart: no rocks stuck in there, lug nuts snug, wheel bearings were just re-greased and appear to be in good shape, only have the metal backing plate for the inner pad (should the outer pad have one?), dust shield is fine.
 

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Pretty sure it's just a visual trick. You can see around 9 o'clock, the seal doesn't look so hot. The 5 o'clock position looks like it just has some grime around the inner lip. But, it might be worth going back and checking...

As for the troubleshooting chart: no rocks stuck in there, lug nuts snug, wheel bearings were just re-greased and appear to be in good shape, only have the metal backing plate for the inner pad (should the outer pad have one?), dust shield is fine.
Yo,
The front disc brake rotor shield, bolted to the front wheel spindle protects the bearings and inboard surface of the front disc brake hub and rotor from road splash. The wheel protects the outboard surface of the front disc brake hub and rotor and disc brake caliper.

Dust Shield (Backing Plate) pics in 92 & 93 Bronco
Source: by Steve83
 

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Pretty sure it's just a visual trick. You can see around 9 o'clock, the seal doesn't look so hot. The 5 o'clock position looks like it just has some grime around the inner lip. But, it might be worth going back and checking...

As for the troubleshooting chart: no rocks stuck in there, lug nuts snug, wheel bearings were just re-greased and appear to be in good shape, only have the metal backing plate for the inner pad (should the outer pad have one?), dust shield is fine.
I thought maybe it was a visual trick but certainly worth looking at if you get back in there.

Are you utilizing the springy retaining clips? Do they even use those on the later stuff?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Are you utilizing the springy retaining clips? Do they even use those on the later stuff?
I'm not familiar with that, so probably not... :) Unless you just mean the metal backing plates, aka anti-rattle plates, which mine seem to have only had inners of.

I guess it's possible I've been missing something all along, and just carried it forward that way through two pad changes, but that wouldn't explain the noise suddenly appearing after 5 years.
 

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I'm not familiar with that, so probably not... :) Unless you just mean the metal backing plates, aka anti-rattle plates, which mine seem to have only had inners of.

I guess it's possible I've been missing something all along, and just carried it forward that way through two pad changes, but that wouldn't explain the noise suddenly appearing after 5 years.
If i recall on those it is just a small clip that attaches to the nub on each end of the pads. But no, it sure doesnt answer as to why just recently.

Long shot but when i bought my 96 f350, it had a clank too. Usually when turning left. Turns out a PO swapped manual lockouts in without doing the conversion nut. The spindle nut was a 1/4" loose!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
If i recall on those it is just a small clip that attaches to the nub on each end of the pads. But no, it sure doesnt answer as to why just recently.
If anyone has a picture of that, I'd be curious to see an example of what I'm missing... Maybe that takes out some of the pad's play?

Long shot but when i bought my 96 f350, it had a clank too. Usually when turning left. Turns out a PO swapped manual lockouts in without doing the conversion nut. The spindle nut was a 1/4" loose!!
Mine were manual originally, but I did just change out the stock ones for Mile Markers. (I followed the torque procedures on the spindle nut, but it could be worth opening them up and double checking that. FWIW, the noise is the same side as I had a tough time getting the old lockout working on reinstall.) That timing is a bit too coincidental to be comfortable with, but I can't come up with an explanation how a hub issue would be immediately and consistently quieted by tapping the brakes lightly.
 

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If anyone has a picture of that, I'd be curious to see an example of what I'm missing... Maybe that takes out some of the pad's play?



Mine were manual originally, but I did just change out the stock ones for Mile Markers. (I followed the torque procedures on the spindle nut, but it could be worth opening them up and double checking that. FWIW, the noise is the same side as I had a tough time getting the old lockout working on reinstall.) That timing is a bit too coincidental to be comfortable with, but I can't come up with an explanation how a hub issue would be immediately and consistently quieted by tapping the brakes lightly.
I’m not aware the clip that @BigBlue 94 has ever been discontinued… they are called anti rattle clips, and they go between the brake pad and caliper to keep tension on the pads.

Nose Lip Hairstyle Eyebrow Vision care


some times the anti-rattle clips are riveted or formed into the brake pads, but they are always supposed to be present…
Another thought would be that the pads are swapped from inboard to out board…
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I’m not aware the clip that @BigBlue 94 has ever been discontinued… they are called anti rattle clips, and they go between the brake pad and caliper to keep tension on the pads.
some times the anti-rattle clips are riveted or formed into the brake pads, but they are always supposed to be present…
I definitely don't have anything like that -- not the metal backing plates I was thinking -- and neither my Wagner or EBC pads came with them.

It looks like they're the same as these:


so, readily available.

Another thought would be that the pads are swapped from inboard to out board…
You can see from the first photo that's not the case. :) (The inner pad is still sitting "on" the rotor in its guide.)
 

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I definitely don't have anything like that -- not the metal backing plates I was thinking -- and neither my Wagner or EBC pads came with them.

It looks like they're the same as these:


so, readily available.



You can see from the first photo that's not the case. :) (The inner pad is still sitting "on" the rotor in its guide.)
Yes those are the anti-rattle clips… and you most definitely need them…
 

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Is the piston leaking, maybe losing pressure and getting loose?
Is the seal inside the master cylinder for the front end leaking internally, causing pressure in the front side to back off?
Even though the other side might not be clanking, maybe it's worth pulling the wheel and checking the brake drag on that side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes those are the anti-rattle clips… and you most definitely need them…
I would rephrase that as, you most definitely should have them. I haven't had them for my 5 years of ownership, and haven't had any issues until this week.

Is the piston leaking, maybe losing pressure and getting loose?
Is the seal inside the master cylinder for the front end leaking internally, causing pressure in the front side to back off?
Even though the other side might not be clanking, maybe it's worth pulling the wheel and checking the brake drag on that side.
1) There's no fresh fluid anywhere that I can see, the master cylinder is still full, and the passenger side pad is still snug against the rotor, so I don't think so. Whatever it is appears to be limited to the driver's side caliper.

2) That would result in an external leak, right? The seals don't look great -- should definitely get a rebuild kit at some point -- but I'd have to say no, for the same reasons as given in #1.

3) I can tell by reaching through the wheel that that pad isn't moving. On the driver's side, it easily moves about in the caliper.
 
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