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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, just picked up a 87 xlt on saturday and am already having issues :(

I've tried searching but have come up stumped.

When i picked up my new bronco from the seller it was pulling a little to the left under braking. This didnt bother me to begin with however after clocking up about 200miles (320kms) this began to get a little worse to the point where now under moderate braking at any speed above about 10mph results in the front left wheel locking solid, upon releasing the brakes the brakes release and its like it never happened.

I am contempating just replacing the rotors and pads, having the calipers rebuilt and the brake hoses replaced.

Am I wasting my time or is this a "common" problem that can be resolved "easily"?

Appriciate the help.
 

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Do not keep driving it like this. You essentually have a 6k lb brick w/ a questionable braking system.

Once you figure out where you think the problem is then you should pull the wheel and have a look. Usually something as drastic as you say will be farely apparent once you lay eyes on it. Go pull the wheel and if you can't figure it out from there take some pictures and post them up.
 

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Do not keep driving it like this. You essentually have a 6k lb brick w/ a questionable braking system.

Once you figure out where you think the problem is then you should pull the wheel and have a look. Usually something as drastic as you say will be farely apparent once you lay eyes on it. Go pull the wheel and if you can't figure it out from there take some pictures and post them up.
When this happens check the front wheels for the one that is hotter. Don't touch the rotor or caliper. Just hover your hand near it or use a thermal temp gun
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I drove it home, albiet slowly, and parked it in the drive straight away, dont worry about that.

The 200miles i have done have been spread over 24 hours and when it did lock up on me it was the first drive i had this morning and it was only 2miles up the road!

I had a look at the front left, which is the one that was locking up, and nothing appeared to be wrong.
 

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It's more than likely your caliper is seizing, or your rubber hose is swollen inside and is not releasing the pressure back towards the master cylinder.

Calipers are CHEAP. $20.........
 

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There is a difference between phonelic, and standard steel pistons. Make sure you buy the right one. Also, check to make sure you have rubber boots around the pistons. The rubber boots in mine were gone, and was causing my piston to stick. Also, after you jack the front end up, grab the tire and shake it to make sure it is tightly connected to the axle. If you have any play, you may have a bearing/balljoint issue also. It is always a good idea to check to see if you have any play, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have been reading about seizing calipers and swollen hoses, but I wrote those off as an option as the brakes let up as soon as I release the pedal. If the piston was seized or the hoses swollen and not releasing pressure wouldn’t the brakes still be locked for a period of time after the initial lockup?

As I am in Australia, parts are considerably more expensive than you guys in the US. I can source the rotors and pads relatively cheaply, but replacement hoses and calipers are going to put a dent in my savings.

I only just purchased the car, with a roadworthy certificate, so technically if the tester was doing their job they should have picked up any issues with the bearing/balljoints etc. I'm going to get my mechanic to come and take a look and do his own RWC so I have some ammo against the original tester.

Luckily for me I was on a 4 lane road and was able to swerve around the granny in the civic I nearly cleaned up.
 

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Oh, so you think you may have a problem with the power booster, etc... You can fill in your information by going to your User CP, and type in all of your Bronco information, etc..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don't think it's booster related as I'm only getting lockup on one wheel. I'm starting to think the issue may actually be on the right hand side. I assume a seized piston on the right front would produce lockup on left due to extra pressure in front brake circuit. Car is registered as a 87 however it has the 86 an below front end on it. It's also got a 2inch spring lift kit on it. Apart from that basically stock.
 

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Also check the other side to make sure the fluid is reaching the caliper. I've seen a clogged line before which ends up sending all the power to the other wheel and locks it up easily. Also make sure the other caliper is not seized and therefore not clamping down on the rotor.
 

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I'm not sure of your mechanical ability, but I recommend that you at least pull off the two front wheels. Examine the two front sides to see if anything is obviously amiss. One should be an exact mirror image of the other. If not, that might indicate a problem. It is possible that the seller tried to fix the brakes for selling purposes and may have put something on backwards....happens more often than you might think.
If everything looks normal than take a closer look at the rotor and calipers. Make sure that the pads are worn evenly on both pads. If one is more worn than the other or not evenly, It could be a problem with the caliper itself, or just corroded slide pins. If necessary, have someone apply the brakes while you see what's going on at the wheels.

Check things out, come back and post what you find.
 

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If it pulls to the left and locks the left up with heavy braking, you may want to pay attention to the right brake. Caliper is probably froze up not giving you any braking on the right, making the left to the work.

Either way, I would check your entire braking system. Replace what is worn, and flush out the old fluid.
 

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I'm going to bump this because I'm having the same issue with my 94. Whenever I'm stopping, I don't have any problem except for in the last few feet of the stop, when the left front wheel tries to lock up and my ABS kicks in, severely limiting my stopping ability. The ABS light only comes on when I start the truck (normal), and I've pulled codes using the trusty paperclip method, with everything coming back saying the system is good.
I started on the idea that my left front wheel was the one to blame because after about 30 miles, smoke would start pouring out from that particular wheel area, so I tore it down to the spindle. I previously had installed a new booster, along with a new spindle, new bearings/seals, locking hub, caliper, brake pads, and turned the rotor (did all this on both sides actually) because I had a wheel bearing go out, so everything in there only had about 3000 miles on it. After inspection, I didn't find anything out of the norm, and put it all back together with a new rubber brake line and even replaced the abs sensor while I was up in there. I wasn't surprised that nothing changed afterward.
I turned to the passenger side because I thought if that side wasn't doing any braking, then it's obvious the driver's side would lock up since it's doing most of the stopping. Again, I replaced everything including the rubber brake line in the hopes it would help. Nothing.
So begins throwing money and parts at the Bronco. I replaced the calipers for a second time and also found a donor ABS hydraulic module/pump to replace mine, thinking it might be a proportioning valve-type issue. Still no change. I just replaced the master cylinder and it made no difference either.
There are no fluid leaks anywhere in the braking system, including the rears. I don't have a soft or spongy pedal, and it only tries to lock up for the last few feet of the stop. Any advice on where to go next? Thanks for your help!
 

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always check the lines, sometimes i pop the line off the caliper then have someone press the brake to see if fluid comes out easily, if it does on both sides(do each side seperatly) then you probably have a caliper problem. if you get little flow on both sides maybe check abs module if you have one or metal lines. check pads and rotors for uneven wear on one side or uneven compared to the other side. I had a dodge van not to long ago that stumped me because i couldnt believe a rubber line could clog up, but it did.
 
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