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Old 03-31-2010, 05:42 PM   #1
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brakes grabbing hard

Here I am again bato 101 questions

The past couple of days my breaks have been grabbing hard even when I push the brake pedal lightly. Driving say 30mph around town, when I press the brake lightly the front end dips down and brakes grab really hard. What could it be? I had a truck that did this when it was cold out but the jeep is doing it even when it's warm and has been driving.
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Old 03-31-2010, 05:46 PM   #2
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Have you changed anything recently?

Does it seem like it's just the fact that only the front grabs, or that they are grabbing suddenly and too hard for the peddle you are giving it...

If the latter is the case, try bleeding your brakes and get some fresh fluid in there. Make sure you run accross all your brake lines to check for leaks. If that doesn't fix it you could also have a problem with the proportioning valve. It my have some kind of blockage or have air in it. And the last thing to look for that I can think of is the brake cylinders. The pistons in your fron calipers, and the ones in the rear shoes.

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Old 03-31-2010, 05:52 PM   #3
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Haven't changed anything recently. They feel like there grabing to hard for the amount of pedal I'm giving it. I'm putting in axle seals this weekend and I was thinking about changing rotors and pads and bleeding the brakes but I wanted to get some input here first.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:02 PM   #4
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Have a look at the inside of the front tires. If a caliper is leaking it'll grab, and get the tire wet. But - it should have a radical pull to one side or the other. Same thing with the rear, if it's leaking, brake fluid will wet the inside of the tire. I'll be very noticeable.

Didn't you post the same question here recently?

You did follow the procedure I outlined for adjusting the rear brakes properly?
No? Why not?

If the rear brakes are not working due to improper adjustment it'll do exactly like you are describing. Nothing other than getting them working will solve the problem. IT'S FREE, it just takes a little work.

If it wasn't you that posted, go back a few days and read it.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrich View Post
Have a look at the inside of the front tires. If a caliper is leaking it'll grab, and get the tire wet. But - it should have a radical pull to one side or the other. Same thing with the rear, if it's leaking, brake fluid will wet the inside of the tire. I'll be very noticeable.

Didn't you post the same question here recently?

You did follow the procedure I outlined for adjusting the rear brakes properly?
No? Why not?

If the rear brakes are not working due to improper adjustment it'll do exactly like you are describing. Nothing other than getting them working will solve the problem. IT'S FREE, it just takes a little work.

If it wasn't you that posted, go back a few days and read it.

Nope wasn't me that posted. I looked earlier this morning and I didn't see anything leaking but that doesn't mean much, It's been raining for 3 days so everything is wet right now. I just ran to the store and the brakes weren't bad but they are grabbing a little harder than normal (guess it could be the rain but I doubt it). I'm a worry wart though, I love working on the jeep but my knowledge is limited at this point, thank god for the internet and a great forum like this.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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I'd wait until you can drive it in dry weather - it may not really be a problem.
Check that tire pressure, diameter, and wear is fairly equal.

Nose dive can be caused by the fronts braking harder that the rears, or the rears not working at all.

This may, or may not be relevant. Making the rears work like they should.

Here's from 3/18/10 entitled "nose dive":

It could be the rears weren't adjusted properly. It's important.
The rear shoes have to travel a little before they touch the drum. The "hold off" valve in the proportioning (combination) valve can only do so much. Too loose in the rear lets the front discs do all the stopping.

When adjusting with the E brake - back off the E brake cable so it's loose. Then adjust the linings. Tighten them until the wheels won't spin or spin hard. Have someone step on the brake pedal, then release. Notice it may not now be tight! If the shoes weren't centered, they may have been dragging making you think they were tight. Keep doing it till stepping on the pedal doesn't make them loose again - now they are tight!

After it's tight, back off 2 or 3 clicks, it will still feel tight. Step on the pedal and release - that centers the shoes again. Wheel spins OK now? If not, do it again, then step on it again.

Important -- Have the helper step on and release the pedal after every little bit of adjustment. - that keeps the shoes centered. Otherwise you'll get them too loose.

After the wheels are properly adjusted adjust the E-brake cable to take up the slack but not pull.

Seems like adjusting drum brakes properly is a lost art.

It's possible by not doing it like that you have the shoes adjusted out too far - then the shoes don't make contact until long after the fronts do the stopping == giving you the dive!
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Old 03-31-2010, 08:05 PM   #7
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Air in the rear lines are another possibility.

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