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Old 07-09-2013, 04:30 PM   #1
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Brakes on fire!

So today I had some time to take the jeep for a nice spin and on the way back to the house I noticed the jeep pulling to the right. I pulled over to the side and as I hit the brakes to slow down I could feel only the driverside brakes working. Once I stopped I jumped and to see what was going on and the passenger side rear was very hot and the passenger front was on fire! What I would call flash flames. I used what I had in the jeep at the time, case of water and put it out cooled them down. After sitting on the side I the road for almost to hours letting them cool down I decided I should be able to make it the 6 miles home and I did fine.

Now the question is what caused this. Tomorrow I will be pulling the tires off and looking at everything. The jeep has disk brakes on all 4. Less the 5000 miles ago I added black magic pads and rotors and I'm sure the 2 tires that were locked up will be trash so that's not good. I know that the ebrake was not on.

Could you guys fill me in on what I should be looking for and what else I should check to make sure no damage was caused.

Thanks a lot. Sorry for the long post but I needed to get this out. It has me nice and mad currently.

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Old 07-09-2013, 04:38 PM   #2
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Perhaps the calipers? Thats where I would start, sounds like it didnt release properly.

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Old 07-09-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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Seized guide pins? I wonder if you generously applied brake lube everywhere you were supposed to during your recent brake work. For sure triple check your brake line to be sure it wasn't damaged by the fire.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:47 PM   #4
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I have a similar situation going on with my 06 LJ Rubi. I took it to a shop to get new extended brake lines installed. I got it back and noticed that sometimes I would have no brake pedal pressure & other times you couldn't even push the pedal in at all. I replaced the master cylinder & drove it for about 30 miles & noticed that I kept smelling hot brakes. My brakes didn't catch on fire, but they might have if I would have kept going. My brakes (all 4) kept getting tighter & tighter without using the brake pedal at all, causing the engine to run hotter then normal because of engine was running faster rpm's & slower speed. I could just leave off the gas pedal & the jeep would come to a stop quickly. From what I have searched my power brake booster is failing. I have one on order & hope to install it this weekend. Sorry for the long response.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
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The brake lines are extended length ss lines so I hope they are ok. I would figure they would hold up to the heat better them factory lines?
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:10 PM   #6
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Seized calipers. It is a common TJ and XJ problem.

Take off the calipers, clean the area that the pads slide on and make sure that the pistons retract back into the caliper correctly (You may need a big pair of grips to do this) Be careful as the pistons are made of ceramic and can chip easily.

Re-assemble and away you go

Check your pads if they got really hot as they can start to crumble and may need replacing. Also check your discs (I believe you call them Rotors in the US) for signs of 'blueing' if they got too hot. Again if they appear a bit blue you may to consider replacing them.

I had a caliper seize the other day on the TJ. 45minute repair by the side of the road and then drove home 70 miles with no problems.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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Calipers... probably, I would also check the brake hoses also. If yours is an older jeep the lines will let the fluid pass but not return due to they may be collapsed inside.
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:21 PM   #8
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The brake lines are extended length ss lines so I hope they are ok. I would figure they would hold up to the heat better them factory lines?

SS lines are still rubber on the inside, just have a braided SS mesh on the outside that offers better protection against wear and damage as well as limiting dilation of the brake line while braking. If your brake was on fire, you'll want to check that line carefully
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:29 PM   #9
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Ok so all sounds good guys thanks for the info ill be tring to find time. Tomorrow to take it all apart
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Old 07-09-2013, 05:41 PM   #10
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When the caliper piston is pushed in to fit new pads, debris can get caught between the caliper piston and the bore causing the piston to lock up. I would think symptoms would appear before 5000 miles, though.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:30 PM   #11
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This happened to me today, the passenger side caliper froze up on the highway, drove it home stopping every mile or so to let the rotor cool down. Replaced both calipers and everything's working fine now.
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:35 PM   #12
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If ya take it apart I would go ahead and swap in steel piston calipers that are less likely to stick and are steel so they can withstand harder impacts without breaking. They are only like 20-30$ a caliper.
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:05 AM   #13
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Angry Brake problem seizing

Front brakes seized on to. Replaced rotors, calipers, brake lines to caliper, replaced master cylinder. After driving a short distance front calipers seized. What to do now. Newby to forum appreciate help.
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Old 12-24-2013, 01:37 PM   #14
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Another suggestion is to check if any diff fluid was getting on rotors and calipers. This could cause your flash fire. Also contaminate the pads and make it seem as if only one side is working.
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Old 12-24-2013, 02:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 00wrangler561 View Post
Front brakes seized on to. Replaced rotors, calipers, brake lines to caliper, replaced master cylinder. After driving a short distance front calipers seized. What to do now. Newby to forum appreciate help.
Possible wrong rotors there are 2 different rotors depending on hub bearing match new rotors up with the old ones for offset
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:50 PM   #16
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Sorry I know it's an old thread but I had the very same thing happen a few days ago, flames and all. Took the brakes apart and everything seems fine apart from having burnt the rubber on the top ball joint. When installing the pads does the C on the end of the pad go the top or bottom. The other end of the pads only have one arm. I believe the C goes to the bottom and the single arm goes to the top but I'm not sure?

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