Clanking behind LF wheel? Loose brake pad? | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Clanking behind LF wheel? Loose brake pad?

Discussion in 'Wheels/Tires/Brakes' started by Shotgun Chuck, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. Shotgun Chuck

    Shotgun Chuck FEOA Member

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    I'm trying to collect the parts to do the tie rods on at least one side, but there's a new problem now... something is loose behind the left front wheel and sounds like it's alternately hitting and scraping against the brake disc. On a rough road there's a lot of clanking, on a smooth one it sounds much more rythmic (and gets louder in a right turn). If I stab the brakes it will clank, then go quiet, only to fade back in. When I poke around behind the tire everything feels perfectly solid, which leads me to believe that somehow, I have a loose brake pad (only thing I can't directly check with the wheels on) on the left front?

    So, my question is, how do I get at the brake pads, and what other problems am I likely to find once I do? What would break to cause this?
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    With the wheel off, you can look at both pads, but to remove them you need to undo the little rods that hold the pads, AND to shove the piston back in slightly. Otherwise the pads are held by the piston pushing on them. I use the largest screwdriver that Home Depot sells (17" long, square shaft) to lever the pads to push the piston back.
    I have had clunking noises. Once it was one of the little rods holding the brakes pads in, that had slid sideways, and was touching the inner side of the wheel. Once it was just lug nuts that werent properly tightened. I use the lug nut wrench, and tighten the nuts by finally using one leg to push down on the end of the wrench; for each lug nut. And once there was a soft clunk that went away when the plastic aftermarket hub caps were removed.
  3. Shotgun Chuck

    Shotgun Chuck FEOA Member

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    The reason I suspect a brake pad is that occasionally, when stopping, it will squeal (going forward) or make a "CRUMP" noise (going backwards), but not every time or even often.

    That, along with a shaky brake pedal, has been going on for a long time, but the clanking just started, and it seems the louder the clank the less the shake. Getting an alignment fixed the shake the last time, so I figured it was just worn tie rods letting the wheels go out of alignment, but it seems whatever it is is getting worse and is now letting something hit the brake rotor. Got me afriad to drive the thing, which is annoying because I still have to go order my outer tie rod end for this side.
  4. Shotgun Chuck

    Shotgun Chuck FEOA Member

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    Got the wheel off; turns out one of the studs have come loose. Going to assume that hammering it back in is an acceptable method of repair.

    However, when I tried to rest the control arm pivot point on the lumber/cement slab sandwich as recommended in the other thread, I heard all kinds of awful cracking noises and it seemed to keep going down even when it shouldn't have. If this thing's ever going to reach its full potential again, I foresee a lot of welding to make that happen...

    Taking a borrowed car up to NAPA to get a cotter pin since the one that was in there is MIA.

    Also, I'm recording this fix with my phone so you can waste about 3.5 minutes of your day watching this incredibly simple, easy. boring fix narrated in my pathetic, whiny, cringey-gaming-clickbaiters-sound-manlier voice! HEEEEEEEEEEEYYYY DON'T FORGET TO LIKE AN SUBSCRIBE LOLZ (if you're actually going to, please be aware that I will be discussing potentially-incendiary sociopolitical subjects on my channel as well.)
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  5. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    When I put a cement block to hold up one of the front sides of the car, I put a thin slab of wood under it, and a thick one on top of it. This to avoid having a point load on the cement block, which is likely to crack it.
    Its important the the cement block be set so the large holes in the block are vertical. Im assuming you arent using a solid block. If the block has the two or three 'lightening holes; in it, they must be vertical. In other words, looking from the side you dont see the holes, you see the wall of the block. If you put them so the holes are sideways, the block is not strong at all - and is likely to crack.
    If the block is set the same orientation as it would be in the wall of a house, it is immensely strong. If its set sdieways, they have close to zero strength for bearing a load.

    Will be glad to hear your video.
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  6. Shotgun Chuck

    Shotgun Chuck FEOA Member

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    Actually I ended up using two cement slabs each of which has about the same length and width as a cinderblock but not as much height, and has no lightening holes, sandwiched with a huge amount of lumber on either side (as the suspension has about 2 miles of droop built in).

    The cement is the last thing I suspected of cracking; I originally thought that it was the chassis where the control arm is attached threatening to tear because rust, or maybe, with a very outside chance, the gravel the whole arrangement was sitting on, but I now suspect it may have just been the sound of the jack breaking contact with my rusty rocker panels.

    EDIT: No auto or hardware store that I can find has hairpin cotters anywhere near small enough. I'm actually having to reuse a body clip from an RC car to do this. How fricking hard does it have to be to find stuff.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  7. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I know your frustration at finding cotter pins in small sizes. I got an assortment from a Harbor Freight store years ago, and later got a plastic box with an assortment of sizes in it; from ebay.

    Its even worse tying to find the right sized woodruff keys; like the small one for the camshaft sprocket and the medium sized one for the crankshaft pulley.

    My experience is that the right sized "C" clips for the inner ends of the CV axles are hard to find, as are replacement dowels for the engine head, and for joining the engine block to the bell housing on the transmissions.
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