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Discussion Starter #1
2008 TSX, AT, just started making a intermittent screeching noise which I think is coming from the front brakes. I applied the parking brake, put the car in neutral, and jacked up one side of the car. The front wheel on that side was really hard to turn by hand. I pulled the wheel, but couldn't see anything that looked out of the ordinary. Repeated these procedures on the other side, and that wheel was just as difficult to turn. Is this normal?

To expand on the above: I made a short trip to refuel, and I kept hearing intermittent screeching/dragging sounds along the way. Occasionally it would stop if I applied light braking. I felt the front rotors when I returned home, and both fronts were scorching hot. The rears were definitely cooler. Not sure if that indicates anything, since the front brakes do 2/3 - 3/4 of the braking.

Any ideas? Are the pads supposed to be that "tight" against the rotor? Does this sound like I need my front calipers rebuilt/replaced?

I'll drive my Tacoma the rest of the week, then try to dive into the front brakes a little deeper this weekend.
 

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2008 TSX, AT, just started making a intermittent screeching noise which I think is coming from the front brakes. I applied the parking brake, put the car in neutral, and jacked up one side of the car. The front wheel on that side was really hard to turn by hand. I pulled the wheel, but couldn't see anything that looked out of the ordinary. Repeated these procedures on the other side, and that wheel was just as difficult to turn. Is this normal?

To expand on the above: I made a short trip to refuel, and I kept hearing intermittent screeching/dragging sounds along the way. Occasionally it would stop if I applied light braking. I felt the front rotors when I returned home, and both fronts were scorching hot. The rears were definitely cooler. Not sure if that indicates anything, since the front brakes do 2/3 - 3/4 of the braking.

Any ideas? Are the pads supposed to be that "tight" against the rotor? Does this sound like I need my front calipers rebuilt/replaced?

I'll drive my Tacoma the rest of the week, then try to dive into the front brakes a little deeper this weekend.
I agree with the other feller when he says its an odd thing for both.
They shouldnt spin as easy as the rears but should be easily doable.
It sounds like the pads are definitly dragging but id take a look at the dust shield before tearing everything apart, it doesnt explain the excessive heat but would explain the noise.
If you had your braes done recently or did them yourself and AM pads were used you may be running into thickness issues. If not and if they are low, you may be encountering thiness issues.

Very old pads can sometimes slop around until they find the space between the bracket and the rotor and get stuck and free up when the rotor spins the opposite direction. Didnt have this issue with a tsx but had crazy low pads on my ranger and blew it off till the backing place slipped through completely and had to make it home from work on only the the caliper pistons on one side. Needless to say the caliper and rotor were 100% trashed. The pistions could have popped out and forced back in by whoever did the work last time and that can cause debris to get in and jam them. Same goes for the fluid so it might be worth the time to crack the valve open and see if rust or gunk comes out amd that would indicate calipers needing to be replaced.

It seems u likely that an issue would arrise on both sides thats related to pressures or function as the left and right front are on two different systems for safety (FD & RP linked and FP & RD linked) and are split up all the up by the master cylinder.

I would first look into pad and rotor maintenance records (when and by who were the pads or rotors serviced). then i would look into whether or not there are after market component installed related to the front brakes. If all that turns up nothing i would get hands on take a look at pad thickness and the piston boots to see if they are leaking or torn. Then check the fluid by having one of the rug rats floor the pedal while you crack the valve open (look for "brake bleed procedure" chrisfix has valuable info in this department). If even that turns up nothing, then look into your vacuum system, master cylinder and lines. But at that point you may just want to bite the bullet and drop it off at the dealer for $80. And see what they say.

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Have you had a look at the guide pins on each caliper? It's not uncommon that they stick, keeping the brakes from releasing and therefore dragging on the rotors. The guide pins normally float freely on high temp grease. If they are not maintained from time to time the grease will cook and glue the pins in place preventing pads from releasing and thus dragging on the rotors. I would suggest trying to remove each one, cleaning them and reapplying new high-temp caliper grease. You should have no problems removing each one if the grease is still good.

I remove and re-grease all the guide pins during each brake job and find the grease cooked on occasion. It varies for each person because it is highly dependent on your type of driving and braking tendencies.
 

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Have you had a look at the guide pins on each caliper? It's not uncommon that they stick, keeping the brakes from releasing and therefore dragging on the rotors. The guide pins normally float freely on high temp grease. If they are not maintained from time to time the grease will cook and glue the pins in place preventing pads from releasing and thus dragging on the rotors. I would suggest trying to remove each one, cleaning them and reapplying new high-temp caliper grease. You should have no problems removing each one if the grease is still good.

I remove and re-grease all the guide pins during each brake job and find the grease cooked on occasion. It varies for each person because it is highly dependent on your type of driving and braking tendencies.
Ill second this but also add to replace the boots and pins if they are torn, debris and brake dust can get in here and cause these issue.

Great catch litespeed, kinda embarrassed that i missed it

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks! I've owned the car for four years, and haven't touched the brakes. I just tried to remove the caliper bolts, but they kicked my butt. Actually I tried to loosen the top bolt, but it looks like that's the pivot bolt. As I turned it (with great difficulty), there was another bolt on the inside that turned with the pin. Guess I should give the bottom a try, and maybe use a box end wrench and a ball peen hammer. Geesh, this should be much easier.

Back to one of my original questions. If I put the parking brake up, put the (automatic) transmission in neutral, then jack up one side of the car, how difficult should it be to spin that front wheel? Will the differential add extra drag? I did both wheels, one at a time, and each one was difficult to turn. Maybe I should put the front end up on jack stands and check to see if it turns "more freely" in that situation?
 

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Thanks! I've owned the car for four years, and haven't touched the brakes. I just tried to remove the caliper bolts, but they kicked my butt. Actually I tried to loosen the top bolt, but it looks like that's the pivot bolt. As I turned it (with great difficulty), there was another bolt on the inside that turned with the pin. Guess I should give the bottom a try, and maybe use a box end wrench and a ball peen hammer. Geesh, this should be much easier.

Back to one of my original questions. If I put the parking brake up, put the (automatic) transmission in neutral, then jack up one side of the car, how difficult should it be to spin that front wheel? Will the differential add extra drag? I did both wheels, one at a time, and each one was difficult to turn. Maybe I should put the front end up on jack stands and check to see if it turns "more freely" in that situation?
Theres should be a solid ammount of drag but no. Difficulty. It ahould make no more than 1 revolution if you push it with all your might. Chances are youre going to spin the diff before the tranny so the other wheel will spin opposite

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There should be minimal drag on disk brakes on any vehicle. You should be able to spin the tire/wheel and it should continue to rotate for a few revolutions.
Every couple of years, the disk brakes start to drag a bit on our 1st Gen TSX and I have remove the calipers and clean it all up.

I have found that the caliper guide pins are not the issue but the steel pad backing plates gum up in the stainless steel guide plates.
Remove the calipers, remove the pads, check the caliper guide pins, remove the stainless steel pad guide plates.
I clean it all up, wire wheel the steel pad backing plates, and wire wheel all the stainless steel plates.
Reinstall the pads and make sure they are not tight in the stainless steel plates.
Then I add a small amount of anti-seize compound to where the pads sit in the stainless steel guide plates.

With the calipers and pads removed, the rotor/hub should spin totally freely.
 

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There should be minimal drag on disk brakes on any vehicle. You should be able to spin the tire/wheel and it should continue to rotate for a few revolutions.
Every couple of years, the disk brakes start to drag a bit on our 1st Gen TSX and I have remove the calipers and clean it all up.

I have found that the caliper guide pins are not the issue but the steel pad backing plates gum up in the stainless steel guide plates.
Remove the calipers, remove the pads, check the caliper guide pins, remove the stainless steel pad guide plates.
I clean it all up, wire wheel the steel pad backing plates, and wire wheel all the stainless steel plates.
Reinstall the pads and make sure they are not tight in the stainless steel plates.
Then I add a small amount of anti-seize compound to where the pads sit in the stainless steel guide plates.

With the calipers and pads removed, the rotor/hub should spin totally freely.
The rear wheels should spin in this manner. The front wheels are driven on our tsx's and have noticable drag and spinning the front rotor (expecially from the posts) will yield little additional movent after you stop applying force. The differential and transmision (esp. the auto) have considerable drag compared to the free spinning rear wheels. If you were to apply the same force on a lifted car in the front and back, the rear should spin completly freely coming to a stop after some time and the other side will stay stationary and the front wheels will make no more than one revolution and the otherside will spin in the opposite direction. This is a fuction of friction within the brakes, the wheel bearing, axle bearing, differential and transmission where as the rear wheel only has the brakes and wheel bearing providing friction. If youre pads are OEM they should have spring clips installed in the back of the pads (2 per corner 8 total) that seperate the pads from the rotor when not pressed.

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Discussion Starter #10
Thankfully I have air tools, and my 1/2" impact gun removed the bottom bolt so I could rotate the caliper up. Yes, it was that tight. I also needed a pry bar to rotate the caliper up. Appears it's been a while since that's been taken apart. One thing I noticed was whoever did those brakes used red RTV to attach the metal backing plates to the brake pads, and it looks like they also put it on the back of the pads. I've never seen that before, so I'm guessing it was a "backyard mechanic" method to keep the chatter down????

I cleaned up the clips the best I could, and sanded the edges of the original brake pads where they fit into the slot to clean off the rust. Even the backing plates were rusty. One thing I noticed was the difficulty I had pushing the piston back into the caliper. I didn't push it far, since I was going to reinstall the old pads to see if I fixed the problem. I had thought about installing my Hawk pads, but they didn't come with the "clip" hardware. I would really like to replace those clips with new ones! I applied a little synthetic grease to the clips where the brakes slide, and put everything together. Guess what, I still have noise. :(

I'm probably going to break down and replace everything. Rotor, pads, and possibly the calipers too...where can I get a good price on remanufactured OEM calipers? If those are hard to find, what brands of reman calipers should I look for?

The same goes for rotors? Stick with OEM, or are there some just as good for a better price. I found OEM rotors from a online dealer for $115. I think that's for one rotor...lol A set of new OEM front calipers online are $1000. Ouch!

Thanks!
 

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Thankfully I have air tools, and my 1/2" impact gun removed the bottom bolt so I could rotate the caliper up. Yes, it was that tight. I also needed a pry bar to rotate the caliper up. Appears it's been a while since that's been taken apart. One thing I noticed was whoever did those brakes used red RTV to attach the metal backing plates to the brake pads, and it looks like they also put it on the back of the pads. I've never seen that before, so I'm guessing it was a "backyard mechanic" method to keep the chatter down????

I cleaned up the clips the best I could, and sanded the edges of the original brake pads where they fit into the slot to clean off the rust. Even the backing plates were rusty. One thing I noticed was the difficulty I had pushing the piston back into the caliper. I didn't push it far, since I was going to reinstall the old pads to see if I fixed the problem. I had thought about installing my Hawk pads, but they didn't come with the "clip" hardware. I would really like to replace those clips with new ones! I applied a little synthetic grease to the clips where the brakes slide, and put everything together. Guess what, I still have noise. :(

I'm probably going to break down and replace everything. Rotor, pads, and possibly the calipers too...where can I get a good price on remanufactured OEM calipers? If those are hard to find, what brands of reman calipers should I look for?

The same goes for rotors? Stick with OEM, or are there some just as good for a better price. I found OEM rotors from a online dealer for $115. I think that's for one rotor...lol A set of new OEM front calipers online are $1000. Ouch!

Thanks!
Not sure about the calipers or rotors but pads are usually pretty inexpensive even from the dealer and while your there you can your rotors recut if they arent too bad for a couple hundred bucks

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Discussion Starter #12
Not sure about the calipers or rotors but pads are usually pretty inexpensive even from the dealer and while your there you can your rotors recut if they arent too bad for a couple hundred bucks

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I have a set of Hawk HPS brake pads sitting on the shelf, so I'm good there. Bought a set for the front and the back a year or two ago. Was planning to inspect the pads for wear, and replace them if required before my next state inspection.

Speaking of calipers, anyone tried a set of these Power-Stop Performance Calipers:


I like the fact that they are power coated, and should provide better corrosion protection than painted calipers.
 

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The red "RTV" is likely brake quiet or anti-squeel grease from the last time someone was in there. Nothing unusual there.

Were the rotors/hubs free spinning with the pads and calipers removed?

What kind of noise? Metallic noise, brake pads still dragging noise???

What shape are the rotors in? Grooved? Rusty? Pitted?
What about the pads? % of pad material left?
What were you using to compress the caliper pistons? They can be difficult to compress with a cheaper screw type caliper tool.

What about the rear brakes? Are they dragging? Are they worn?

I would spend more time on the issue before spending a bunch of money.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The red "RTV" is likely brake quiet or anti-squeel grease from the last time someone was in there. Nothing unusual there.

Were the rotors/hubs free spinning with the pads and calipers removed?

What kind of noise? Metallic noise, brake pads still dragging noise???

What shape are the rotors in? Grooved? Rusty? Pitted?
What about the pads? % of pad material left?
What were you using to compress the caliper pistons? They can be difficult to compress with a cheaper screw type caliper tool.

What about the rear brakes? Are they dragging? Are they worn?

I would spend more time on the issue before spending a bunch of money.
The red substance was "stretchy," so I really think it was RTV. It felt like RTV.

Yes, once the pads were pulled out, and the piston retracted, the wheel spun freely on each side. They didn't spin like the rear wheels, but they seemed to feel normal for the drive wheels.

Still sounded like brake pads dragging.

Rotors are rusty, but I didn't feel any abnormal grooves in the braking surface.
The pads had a lot of material left. They showed minimal wear. They also showed a lot of corrosion on the metal surfaces.
I used a C-clamp and a metal bar (to evenly distribute the force across the piston face) to compress the piston. It's the same setup I've used many times for BMWs, Toyotas, and even my bud's Mazda. Those all compressed fairly normally, but this piston was a bear...on both front calipers. The driver's side was a little harder than the passenger's side caliper, but both were much more difficult than any I've done before.

Haven't looked at the rear brakes. The noise seems to be coming from the front.

One thing I'm not happy with is the amount of corrosion on the components. Changing out brake pads should be a fairly straight forward affair, but I had to use my half inch impact gun to just get the caliper bolts to back off. I tried hand tools, no dice. I tried an air ratchet, no dice. I tried my 3/8" impact gun, no dice. Then I went to my "big dawg" 1/2" impact gun to break it free. That tells me I have a little more corrosion on the components than I would prefer, and it's probably time to reset everything to clean and new.

I'm just looking for recommendations for reasonably priced components now, and will probably start ordering by the end of today.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To follow up, if the front brake hardware is this rusty, I probably need to follow up with the rear brakes too. I'll take a look at those tomorrow, and will probably start ordering replacement parts by the end of the day (Saturday).
 

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It does sound like your front calipers are stiff/seized and will likely need replacement.
Those Powerstop calipers are beauiful but not for US$1300 each!

Unfortunately, the rear brakes are likely more rusty than the front brakes. Rear brakes get more road splash, more snow and salt than the front brakes.

Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It does sound like your front calipers are stiff/seized and will likely need replacement.
Those Powerstop calipers are beauiful but not for US$1300 each!

Unfortunately, the rear brakes are likely more rusty than the front brakes. Rear brakes get more road splash, more snow and salt than the front brakes.

Good luck...
Thanks for the advice! It's reassuring when diagnosing these issues when you have a knowledgeable person to bounce ideas off...

I ordered the Powerstop S2584 replacement calipers from Rock Auto...best price I could find and significantly less than $1300.

I also ordered a couple of Brembo rotors from Amazon. Pricier than the cheap rotors, but less than OEM. I went with those because I expect them to be as good as OEM.

Both shipments should arrive later next week. I'll buy Dot 3 brake fluid this afternoon, so I should be good to go when the packages arrive. Now that I've broken the rusted parts loose, that job should go smoothly.

FYI: front brake torque specs from the factory service manual:
Caliper bracket to hub: 79.6 lb/ft
Caliper to bracket: 37 lb/ft
Brake line bolts holding line to strut: 7.2 lb/ft
Brake hose to caliper: 7 lb/ft
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Discovered a stuck piston on the front, so I swapped out everything. But I still had noise coming from the rear, and discovered another brake issue, so I swapped everything there too. Brakes should be "good to go" for a very long time!

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The parking brake added a little more complexity to the rear job, but it wasn't a major problem. Removing the bolts that connected the caliper to the hub was by far the toughest part of the job. My 1/2" impact gun wouldn't fit, and my 3/8" gun was too weak. Had to buy a stronger 3/8" gun to do the job. My half inch worked just fine on the front...plenty of room when you turn the wheel outwards.
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LOL.. Nice work. Glad you got it all sorted. Red calipers are not my style but those look great!

You did miss mentioning a few minor details.. Like how bad your brakes were!
Good grief, those were completely trashed. Do you not drive your car much?
Do you not ever check your brakes?
All 4 wheels should be spinning freely now.

You must live in an area that gets snow and salt as we do.
So once a year, jack up the car, check all brakes, rotors. For corrosion, dragging, etc..
I do this twice a year, when I swap the summer/winter wheels/tires around.
As I mentioned above, about every 2 years, I remove the calipers and pads and clean it all up.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've only owned it for four years here in eastern Virginia, but it spent the first seven years in the northeast...and it shows...lol I bought it as a low mileage (<55K miles) car at a very reasonable price. I basically just did the routine maintenance over the last four years, and decided I would tackle the brakes once the pads had gotten down to the level where they needed addressing. Although the calipers looked bad, didn't think they had any functionality issues...until I started hearing noises related to "movement."

Discovered a piston on a front caliper that had "restricted" movement, so the ones on the front were replaced. When I was bleeding the system, noticed the rear pads didn't seem to be giving me a "clean" sweep on the rotors. I also still had "movement" noise, so ordered pads & rotors & calipers. If the fronts were that corroded, I might as well reset the "clock" on the rear brakes too. Good thing, since the rear brakes weren't providing much braking performance.

I would have preferred black powder coated calipers, but red was the only color available. I'm OK with that, since I have a black car.

It started raining when I was bleeding the system, so I headed inside to clean up. Weather permitting I'll get that done today. Looking forward to getting those pads and rotors "bedded in."
 
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