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2008 T&C LTD 4.0L
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This is 2008 T&C LTD.

I saw a few of these threads, but I am still puzzled by what I am observing.
Last year I had changed front bake pads, and left rotors as is. Braking system seemed fine. That is last year, the inside and outside pads wore exactly the same.

Then, this year, maybe 5K miles passed, I am starting to hear the warning screech. I take off the wheel and I see the caliper side pad is completely worn, while the claw side, is maybe 20% worn (80% new). Check out the pictures, you can still see the slit in the pad on the claw side.

I thought that maybe it's just one side, caliper problem. But, it was the same on the other side.

The bracket pins were free moving and relubricated. I installed the included new shiny metal inserts. I lubricated the brake pad notches that slide into these inserts. These were "upgraded" ceramic pads from StopTech.

How could it started to fail so dramatically with in 5K miles ?
What is at fault here ? Clearly piston is pressing on the pad, so the floating bracket must be binding ?


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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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Guide pins are seized or have too much grease in them and can't compress. While you're in there, take the rubber tip off the pin that has it and throw it away. It only magnifies this issue.
 
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2008 T&C LTD 4.0L
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When I played with the bracket, it was moving pretty easily. And the pins had grease.
Too much grease ? Interesting. So, should I press the pins into the bracket after greasing it. There is some rebound due to grease and air. But I make sure I install it in a "middle setting": the rubber boot is not fully extended and not fully compressed.

The pin had a nut on one side and there is nothing on the other side. So, there should have been a rubber tip on the pointy end of the pin ? Do you think it's stuck in the bracket ?
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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The way I do it is grease up the pin and push the boot down so the pin doesn't seat on it, then push the pin in as far as it will go and wipe away the excess grease and pull the boot onto the pin. If it seems to have a vacuum holding it in, pull the pin out partially and burp the air out of the boot. The air will work out on its own, but this prevents the boot from dragging on the pin until it does.

I have ran into some pads that were tight in the corners. It should float freely with nearly no resistance. Any binding, especially hard binding needs to be addressed by filing the pad until the clearance is enough for it to move as it should.
 
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538 RWHP, LS motor, RX7 body
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Because the piston is only on one side, it's more normal to have the inboard pad wear more than the passive one.
You are lucky if you can get both to wear the same. Do your best with the caliper pins, but there is only so much you can do. Check your piston to see if it can be compressed back into the caliper, and if it is moving freeely.
 

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2008 T&C LTD 4.0L
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I'll check that the pads aren't stuck and move freely towards and away from the rotor on both sides.
I'll also regrease the pins. We'll see what happens over this years.

I compressed the piston back using the special brake tool, it moved with normal amount of force.
I also pressed the bake pedal a few times and observed the piston come out and back smoothly.

I guess I can also rotate the pads every 6 month from inboard to outboard. Although, the warning tab should be going on the inboard side, right ?
 

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538 RWHP, LS motor, RX7 body
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Although, the warning tab should be going on the inboard side, right ?
It's on that side for a reason. ;)

There is also a minor lesson here for those of us that frequently look at the brake pads to assess the degree of wear. On these cars with only single side pistons, the amount of pad that you can see through the wheels is just an approximation - so the inboard one is the important one to look at. Taking the wheel off or using a mirror to look at the inboard pad, is the better way assess pad life. Even on calipers with pistons on both sides - one pad will (can be) uneven, because the fluid pressures and pad temperatures on both sides of the caliper are different.

One other possibility for the problem is the design: These cars use clips/hardware to hold the pads in, top and bottom, and there are no anti-drag springs used. The hardware (clips) themselves can be a source of drag, or a point of mis-install (some are very difficult to install or keep in correct place as the pad goes in). I hate them, and have been known to leave them out if I'm frustrated in keeping them on, or putting the pad in with them on.
 

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2013 Dodge Grand Caravan
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A little bit of increased wear on the inside pad is normal, but that is excessive and indicates a problem. If the outside pad were worn to the bottom of the center cut, that would be normal. You still have some of the edge bevel on the outside pad, which is at least double what it should be when the inside is that low. Either the pin or pad is binding.

Rotating pads from inside to outside is not a good idea. This will transfer grooves from one side to the other and screw up the surface of your rotors a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Damn, I thought I came up with a genius idea on rotating the pads!
So, I replaced the inserts/clips that create a channel for the pads to slide in, but it did feel pretty tight when I tried to slide the pads into those tabs. Not that I had to hammer them in, just the usual, hard to put in when they are all greesed up and you are trying not to get grease on the rotors.
 

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1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager Rallye
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I wonder if the 4 piston Brembos fit, since Chrysler put them onto half of their line up? Those would likely solve the issue since they'd eliminate slide pins.

Was just researching them for my 1997.
 

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1997 Plymouth Grand Voyager Rallye
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You are just like my kid : "Slam the minivan, put a big spoiler on it, and orange Brembos". :)
I did all of those already, except it is Red 4th gen brakes instead of orange Brembos. I want the SRT8 Brembos though...
 

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2008 Chrysler Town & Country Limited 4.0
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2004-2006 GTO owners do the same thing, although we have a choice of Cadillac V-series, Camaro, and Corvette 4-piston or 6-piston calipers to go with the 14" rotors. A company even makes an adapter bracket for the calipers, and guys have driven on road-race courses with them plus plenty of street miles. The standard sliding 2-piston calipers with 12.6" rotors look good and work great for daily driving, but having the big brakes behind 18" wheels looks even better. :)
 

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2009 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (3.8); 2003 Dodge Grand Caravan eL (3.8)
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...So, I replaced the inserts/clips that create a channel for the pads to slide in, but it did feel pretty tight when I tried to slide the pads into those tabs. Not that I had to hammer them in, just the usual, hard to put in when they are all greesed up and you are trying not to get grease on the rotors.
Did you remove the buildup of rust and crud from the slots the clips fit into? If not that can cause the pads to fit too tight.
 
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Damn, I thought I came up with a genius idea on rotating the pads!
So, I replaced the inserts/clips that create a channel for the pads to slide in, but it did feel pretty tight when I tried to slide the pads into those tabs. Not that I had to hammer them in, just the usual, hard to put in when they are all greesed up and you are trying not to get grease on the rotors.
Yep, that's your problem. If you have the bracket off and tilt it to the side, the pads should be loose enough to fall out.
 
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Those shiny shims you slid on the ends of the new pads come in various thicknesses. I have only had to use the thinnest one (10 mil?) and only on caliper sliders with >200K miles. Last pass on my 2002 T&C AWD (bigger calipers w/ tow package), I added a shim since the shoes felt a bit too loose, then found the pads seemed like they wouldn't slide well enough which could have caused binding and the excessive wear you experienced so removed them. That was after filing off rust. I don't know the downside of excessive play, perhaps just a click sound when changing from braking in reverse to braking forward. I have found inner pads more worn than outer, but still got 100K miles out of the pads. Fixed 4-piston calipers would be nicer than sliders.

Another potential problem is that the square rubber seal on the piston can get old and hard. It rotates slightly when the pads apply, then rotates back to pull the pad slightly away from the rotor. That is the only springiness which retract them. But, I have found the rubber seal still pliable on any old calipers I took apart for forensics, even after 250K miles, so they must use a quality rubber like Viton.
 

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Yep, that's your problem. If you have the bracket off and tilt it to the side, the pads should be loose enough to fall out.
I've never had that happen with pads I was taking out or putting in. Now I'm questioning my whole automotive life...
 
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