shaking when braking on the highway | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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shaking when braking on the highway

Discussion in 'Wheels/Tires/Brakes' started by kuwacs, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. kuwacs

    kuwacs FEOA Member

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    When going any speed over 70, the car and steering wheel shake whenever I apply the brakes. I know that this is usually due to warped rotors, but I did the pads and.rotors literally yesterday. Is there a chance I cooked the rotors already?! Also. The caliper slides seemed to be stuck, so I pulled them out, replaced the boots and filled them with grease about a month ago. However while replacing the rotors, they seemed stuck again.....


    Alright, I know I rambled. But does anyone have any ideas?
    Thanks
  2. tireboy

    tireboy FEOA Member

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    if you bought cheap rotors that maybe the case. while you were doing your brakes did you clean the mounting surface on the hubs???
  3. kuwacs

    kuwacs FEOA Member

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    Yessir. Scrubbed everything nice with a wire brush. Greased the new shims on the calipers, put grease on the back of the pads, and pulled, cleaned, regreased the slide-pins and grommets. (might not have used enough grease though, as I figure the caliper should be basically free moving without the front side bracket bolted on, and no longer is). Replaced the pad hanger pins, cotter pins, and the anti-rattle spring.

    As I said, all hardware is brand new, pads are brand new (although I did run them on the old rotors for about 200 miles).

    The new rotors are AC Delco, so they aren't exactly expensive, but are still name brand.

    One thing I just thought of is the missing lug nut on my front passenger side... Guy before us broke it off, apparently..... Regardless, I figure that could cause a nice problem.... I'll be replacing that soon, though!
  4. 2scorts

    2scorts New Member

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    new rotors often need to be turned to get "true".

    also check you tie rods for any play as well.
  5. Swift

    Swift FEOA Donator

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    I have bought rotors from autozone that were not cut right and had waves in them. Took them back got another set and all was good.
  6. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    No, new rotors are turned at the factory and shipped ready to be installed. If they aren't true from the factory then exchange them for new ones. Did you clean the rotor surface with brake cleaner before installing?
  7. 2scorts

    2scorts New Member

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    i have bought quite a fe sets that were stored wrong or dropped or were just bearly within tolorentce, i own a lathe so not a big deal flor me to shave 3-10 thousands off to get them true. i work mahle and ourpistons even though are with in spec can very up to 20 microns plus or minis.

    just goes to show that even thouth it is with in spec it is still "off"
  8. kuwacs

    kuwacs FEOA Member

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    I did clean the hubs properly, and torqued the lug nuts to 80 ft-lbs with a torque wrench. I feel like the missing lug nut on the passenger side may have caused it, but its very odd how the shake starts over 70 and then STOPS when I drop below. There is a little bit of pulse in the pedal, but that was still there minutes after replacing the rotors. ( assume maybe one of the drums is a tad off of round from beating them with a mallet to get them off)

    I changed the rotors, and took the car on a "spirited drive". Did a few (not EXTREMELY) hard stops from 50-0, brakes felt great. I jumped on the highway and got up to 75, hit the brakes, and it felt great. I was beyond happy!

    I got off the next exit, still great, and got back to school.

    The next day, I got on the highway, and stayed with the 80mph traffic. There was a cop ahead, everyone in front of me started braking. Brakes still felt great. The next exit I took, I let the car slow to about 75, and then started braking lightly.... the wheel started shaking, and the car shook.

    I pulled into a parking lot, tightened all of my lug nuts to be sure. And went on my way....Again, I am missing one on the front passenger side.

    The rest of the ride, I played with it. 60 and below the brakes feel great. 70 and above they feel like they did before changing the rotors. Between that, it depends on how I hit the pedal (the harder, the smoother the braking).

    Also, when the brakes are applied there is a scraping noise, but I assume it is from running cheaper pads. Maybe also having them have on the old rotors for a short time, and they are now merely wearing to the new rotors? Doesn't bother me much, unless there's something wrong!

    In conclusion, I feel like the missing lug nut may have allowed the passenger rotor to warp a little bit. I plan to check my tie-rod ends, replace the missing lug nut, and throw a new rotor on the passenger side (because the driver's side is still new, as far as I'm concerned). Also, I'd like to regrease the caliper slides and grommets to make sure everything is working well.

    Wow, ramble ramble ramble. Sorry guys!
  9. madmatt2024

    madmatt2024 FEOA Member

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    That missing lug nut could have been what did it in. If you don't have even pressure on the rotor and then you heat it up I could see it warping.
  10. 2scorts

    2scorts New Member

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    :agree:


    i missed the missing lugnut in your first post........ oops
  11. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    At over 208K miles, I still have the original rotors on my 1995LX. And they are probably better than new, made in China rotors.
  12. kuwacs

    kuwacs FEOA Member

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    ..........Just because I can't seem to find a good answer anywhere on here or online, does anyone know the proper lug stud size for my car?

    Napa gave me a lug stud that was too long, and a nut that didn't even fit on it...

    Oh, the entire stud is missing.
  13. motzingg

    motzingg FEOA Member

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    i've got the same problem right now, but i know my rotor is a tiny bit warped. I'm thinking it has something to do with an unbalanced tire that only plays in at those very high speed. Could be a cupped tire too that only gets wacky when it has the extra pressure applied from braking.

    someone said that its fairly common for the rear adjusters to freeze up on these, my parking brake isn't working and i think its all related, too much pressure on the front end when braking, combined with the high speed causes the tire to compress just enough that the flat spot/unbalance/cupped/worn part causes the shaking.

    i'm a 'spirited' driver and i don't much like the feeling coming on to an on-ramp at 80 and barely being able to keep the thing straight, let alone turn it.

    getting new tires saturday, and getting the rotors turned. probably will also take apart the rears and free everything, grease it, etc.
  14. motzingg

    motzingg FEOA Member

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    also, it sounds like you already elected to do this, but i would replace that stud before driving another mile. my brother is a tow truck driver and he says

    "If people knew how often wheels fall off, they would be very afraid of their wheels falling off"

    he picks up 3-4 people a week with fallen off wheels due to lugnuts being loose and studs braking or hub nuts coming off and the entire assembly peacing out.

    especially with a four bolt. 5 or 6 bolt i probably wouldn't be so concerned, but loosing a 1/4 of your wheel-holding-on-ness is pretty sketch.
  15. tireboy

    tireboy FEOA Member

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    I'm a firm believer that you don't skimp on brake parts..never... or buy cheap/inexpensive parts...it's always name brand parts.. so you don't run into issues..I usually re-torque wheel nuts at 100km .. just to make sure..
  16. kuwacs

    kuwacs FEOA Member

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    I'm expecting a huge gasp on this:

    I bought a set of VGX brake hardware, grommets, and pads on Amazon. I got the set for 4 dollars.. (however the price has gone up to $34 now)

    The problem I had I actually solved. Turns out one of the disk brake slide pins was seized. For whatever reason, this caused the shake and rattle. I took the pins out, cleaned them with steel wool and some degreaser until they were shiny. Then took a metal pipe cleaner, loaded it into a drill and honed out the slides in the calipers. Regreased everything, putting the (slightly old) grommets back in and put everything back together. Still running 4 lugs on drivers side, and 3 on the passenger side.

    Took a test drive at low speeds to make sure all was good first. First time I touched the brakes I nearly smacked my head on the steering wheel. Took it to higher speeds, and eventually on the highway with NO shaking.
  17. BOSS302man

    BOSS302man FEOA Donator

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    One mistake some people make when installing new rotors is not 'breaking' them in properly. First 500 miles are to be somewhat easy then aggressive braking can be done.

    Another mistake is when tightening down the lugs is when the first lug is tightened they go too tight and that warps the rotor right off the bat. Garages do this with air guns. Gives them a brake job soon after. Tighten lugs in the proper pattern and gradually before the final torque setting.

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