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Our 2010 works fine breaking on the flat part of the state where we live. But had issues returning from the mountains. The last two down hill spots the van felt like the steering wheel was going to come off and the brakes were going to fly apart. Lot of shimmy and judder. We were not overloaded nor used the brakes excessively. The brakes look find and so do the rotors. Not to say the rotors could be warped. I have driven for years with warped rotors without incident. I guess my question is if I drive with this vehicle doing this what kind of brake failure is to be expected, if any? Is the trade off just annoying brake judder? Would this still do this with new brakes and rotors, that the brakes just got heated too much? BTW my only personal brake issues was with 10yo Suburban pulling a car trailer coming down mountain Colorado. The brakes overheated the wheel bearings started smoking. Almost to the point of catching fire.
 

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Checklist:
Heat? Smoke? Smell?
Ceramic? Semi-metallic? organic?
Surface delamination on rotor? Spots or sections.
Rust buildup on rotor? Can feel like "warped" rotor when aggravated (enlarged) by heat.

Likely a caliper is sticking with the extra heat.

Could be a pad tending to jam in the caliper guides due to tightness there, aggravated by the heat.

Remove and check the pads to see what they tell you with regard to wear and condition.
 

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I had the very same problem not too long ago.

I found the brake pads were cracked.

New pads solved the problem.

Check this thread:

 

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When were your brakes last serviced?
 

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You have a 2010 and they had tiny brakes. They are too small from the factory, and Chrysler finally addressed this shortcoming with the HD brake package in later years. They use dual piston front calipers, larger diameter rotors and bigger 17" wheels to fit over the larger brakes. A lot of people have upgraded their vans to these brakes, and there is a thread about it pinned to the top of this section.

The 2004-2008 Pacifica wagons used almost the same front brakes as the HD brakes. The front hubs and brake lines connected to the calipers were different (used a larger banjo bolt for bigger calipers). The steering knuckle is different from the van's smaller brakes. I was going to do this brake swap using Pacifica parts on our 2011, then it got totalled just after I got the parts so I never did the swap.
 

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It is likely that the pins are sticking. In areas with a lot of salt and rust, the brakes should be disassembled every two years, and the pins and anti-rattle clips should be cleaned and re-lubricated with a silicone brake grease. Are the rotors drilled/slotted at all? The larger diameter rotors I installed on our 2009 are drilled and slotted. They have a little more grip that might make it feel like it pulsates due to the pads moving over the slots.
 

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Hey @LEVY -- this good insight.
I have owned equiv of 5th TownCountry/Caravan with both (a) single piston (2009 VW Routan), and (b) upgraded two piston front brakes (2012 T&C Limited).

The single piston brakes were awful. We tried aftermarket drilled/slotted (EBC) on the single piston and still had warping and pulsating. We are NOT a crazy red light/green light drag race, heavy foot, driving family. All braking is causual and never pushing front occupants against seat belts.

** If there was a way to retrofit dual-piston on older platform, this would have been something I should have done **

The dual piston platform much (much) better.

We have largely zero brake issues. Vehicle regularly serviced and brakes are "checked" but never "serviced". I likely need to change the latter.

I have observed issues with pulsating and steering wobble ONLY if I descend 6-7% grade above 60mph. If I keep vehicle in lower gear and make specific focus to keep speed under 60, no problems whatsoever. If I go 65Mph+, brakes heat up -- wobble, weird grinding sounds, steering wobble, etc.

I wonder if pads may have issue (per your comment).

-GA


I had the very same problem not too long ago.

I found the brake pads were cracked.

New pads solved the problem.

Check this thread:

 

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Something is not sliding properly because of the heat/expansion. Likely pad to caliper bracket contact surfaces need grinding/cleaning/lubrication. The pads may be a tight fit. Grinding down for additional clearance is common.
Check pins for lubrication and free sliding.
You don't want any binding whatsoever.
Heat is the enemy.
 
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Hey @LEVY -- this good insight.
I have owned equiv of 5th TownCountry/Caravan with both (a) single piston (2009 VW Routan), and (b) upgraded two piston front brakes (2012 T&C Limited).

The single piston brakes were awful. We tried aftermarket drilled/slotted (EBC) on the single piston and still had warping and pulsating. We are NOT a crazy red light/green light drag race, heavy foot, driving family. All braking is causual and never pushing front occupants against seat belts.

** If there was a way to retrofit dual-piston on older platform, this would have been something I should have done **
Ah, but there is a way. :) The only stipulation is that you'll need 17" wheels as the 16" wheels won't fit over the dual-piston brakes.

 

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holy smokes. thanks @Westphal for the retrofit thread. that fantastic.

Ah, but there is a way. :) The only stipulation is that you'll need 17" wheels as the 16" wheels won't fit over the dual-piston brakes.

 
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