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2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens


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jbojay
Novice

Dec 2, 2012, 2:35 PM

Post #1 of 16 (3125 views)
2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

The drum-style brake on the right rear wheel of my 2000 Dodge Stratus recently developed a nasty problem: the self-adjusting mechanism eventually over-tightens the shoe against the drum, causing heat-up, noise and general overall misery. I had my mechanic (who has 30+ years experience) examine it and he failed to identify or correct the issue. The shoes were worn somewhat low so he installed new ones (and I think the whole brake kit), but that didn't ease the problem. It's only happening on the one wheel. The drum seems fine, but I don't know that with any real precision. The shoe rivets have never even come close to scoring the drum, but I suppose there might be an out-of-round issue. Should I just replace that drum and hope? What should I tell the mechanic to look for next time he works on it? The vehicle has 92000 miles. Many thanks!


Discretesignals
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Dec 2, 2012, 2:49 PM

Post #2 of 16 (3117 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

Check out this thread:

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...search_engine#130001





Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 2, 2012, 4:19 PM

Post #3 of 16 (3093 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

Does it loosen itself up but just being parked for a while?



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



jbojay
Novice

Dec 2, 2012, 4:33 PM

Post #4 of 16 (3079 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In


In Reply To
Does it loosen itself up by just being parked for a while?

No. I read the other thread cited by DS. What I liked best was the suggestion of disabling the auto adjust function altogether.

I rarely use my emergency brake. That's definitely worth double checking. But I suspect the auto adjust is the culprit for two reasons. Once, the wheel started making its typical troubled slight noise right after I backed out of a parking space. Also because the over-tightening always seems kinda mild -- enough to cause some noise and some drag and plenty of excess heat but not enough to lock up the wheel or anything. And if I recall, my mechanic originally corrected the issue (for a spell) by manually loosening the adjustment.

I'll consider all I've read here and return to the mechanic this week and discuss all the suggestions. I rather doubt that a reversed star wheel is the problem because no one had monkeyed with the brakes prior to the problem beginning about 3 months ago. I'm hoping this mechanic of mine will have an answer but if not, he's honest enough to refer me elsewhere, like the dealership, if need be.


(This post was edited by jbojay on Dec 2, 2012, 4:35 PM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 2, 2012, 4:35 PM

Post #5 of 16 (3075 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

So you are saying that you have brought it in to have the adjustment backed off after every time you drove it?



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



jbojay
Novice

Dec 2, 2012, 4:44 PM

Post #6 of 16 (3069 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In


In Reply To
So you are saying that you have brought it in to have the adjustment backed off after every time you drove it?

No of course not. The problem is hardly noticeable for days/weeks at a time and then I hear the slight noise (from that troubled right rear) or feel what seems like some small power loss. After a drive when that happens, I then feel to compare the heat build-up on that and the other rear wheel. When there's a marked difference, only then do I realize for sure that the adjustment has tightened up on me again. It's kinda subtle but it's a real problem and the last thing I want is excessive heat! Fortunately I've been driving only short around-town trips of late.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 2, 2012, 4:54 PM

Post #7 of 16 (3063 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In


Quote
feel what seems like some small power loss. After a drive when that happens, I then feel to compare the heat build-up on that and the other rear wheel. When there's a marked difference, only then do I realize for sure that the adjustment has tightened up on me again.


So at that point the car is no longer drivable. Now if you had to take it to the shop immediately to have the adjustment backed off, then you may have an adjustment problem but if you started driving it again later and the symptoms were diminished, then it is correcting itself.



My guess is that you have a bad flex hose at that wheel restricting the fluid return and it eventually returns.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



jbojay
Novice

Dec 2, 2012, 5:38 PM

Post #8 of 16 (3050 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

As I stated in my previous post http://autoforums.carjunky.com/...?post=131716#131716] no, the problem doesn't seem to ease up while the car is parked. But maybe. I'll be sure to determine that with absolute certainty before I proceed. The car is not really undriveable after the problem occurs, though I sure wouldn't take it on any long trip! As I said, the trouble is subtle and hard to sense: real slight rhythmic noises and real slight drag. Not to worry ...I'll be sure to post here again when the problem is finally resolved. Then we'll all be in the know. I've got plenty of ideas from you and this forum, THANKS.

Note: the problem seems so mild while driving the car. Cars are real heavy and slight drag isn't so noticeable. But the first time I brought the problem to the mechanic, after he removed the wheel the drum was too hot to even touch, and after it cooled you couldn't even turn the hub by hand! I had only driven about 5 miles beforehand if I recall.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 2, 2012, 5:44 PM

Post #9 of 16 (3044 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

If a brake is dragging enough to give any drag whatsoever to vehicle power, the shoes will be smoked off in about 10 miles. It will also tighten up even more and probably get stuck when it cools off so there are things you are saying that are not adding up about the symptoms.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



jbojay
Novice

Dec 2, 2012, 5:55 PM

Post #10 of 16 (3037 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

Well, tomorrow is Monday and I'll see if I can get the mechanic I know to get a sudden brainstorm or somethin'

Nasty problem, that's for dang sure


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Dec 3, 2012, 4:37 AM

Post #11 of 16 (3017 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

Quote from top post on this: ">>What should I tell the mechanic to look for next time he works on it?<<"

NO. If you ask for a new windshield to fix this that's what you'll get kind of thing. Let the mechanic and or shop know what is happening and history of what was done. In turn let them make the diagnosis and suggested repair. IMO it's perfectly reasonable to ask for an explanation (to a point) as to what is wrong, what will fix it and for how much.

Communicate the problem. Let them do what they do. If it happens again in the same manner IMO the issue is on them for the most part,

T


jbojay
Novice

Dec 3, 2012, 12:50 PM

Post #12 of 16 (2999 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In


In Reply To
So at that point the car is no longer drivable. Now if you had to take it to the shop immediately to have the adjustment backed off, then you may have an adjustment problem but if you started driving it again later and the symptoms were diminished, then it is correcting itself.

My guess is that you have a bad flex hose at that wheel restricting the fluid return and it eventually returns.

Yes I do see your point clearly now, finally. If the problem isn't diminishing while the car is parked then the whole right rear assembly would be a disaster area in short order. So that could indicate a damaged flex hose that slowly allows fluid to bleed back. I spoke with the mechanic this morning and he'll take it in his shop tomorrow for another look-see. But he pointed out that most cars of that genre have metal lines coming from a center split off, and metal lines generally don't degrade like the flex lines can. Maybe my car is different and has flex lines to each rear wheel; we'll know tomorrow.

Another thought of mine now is this: there's been so much excess heat going on that maybe the drum has become warped and needs replacing. When the brakes are making their characteristic slight dragging noise it's always rhythmic (like ch-ch-ch-ch...). So that perhaps indicates an out-of-round condition. Maybe the problem gets bad when I back up and the self-adjust mechanism goes to the drum's low area. After that it would drag against the high areas.

Thanks again for your keen insights! Hopefully this gets resolved tomorrow, Dec. 4th.


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 3, 2012, 2:48 PM

Post #13 of 16 (2992 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

He's talking about old rear wheel drive cars. There as to be flex for the wheel to go up and down.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



jbojay
Novice

Dec 3, 2012, 3:00 PM

Post #14 of 16 (2985 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In


In Reply To
He's talking about old rear wheel drive cars. There has to be flex for the wheel to go up and down.

Totally weird that he'd make a bonehead mistake like that. I'll say something when I see him. I still have confidence in his deep experience and he's never done me wrong before. Yikes. His rates are oh so benign.

Okay, so maybe it's one degraded flex line to blame. Yeah, I hope it's gonna be easy like that. I'll keep you all posted here. Again, my thanks!


jbojay
Novice

Dec 4, 2012, 8:17 AM

Post #15 of 16 (2964 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

'Got it back from the mechanic just now. $30 for a new drum and $20 labor. He showed me where the old drum was badly scored, not where the shoe material goes against the drum but off to the side, on the ridge just up from the wheel bolting pattern. The metal isn't real thick where the bolting pattern is. Something had warped it and I guess it was dragging against the side of the shoes (or against something else in the assembly). Mechanic said he (somehow?) checked the flex line to that wheel and determined it was A-Ok. And truly, nothing can really go wrong with those self-adjust mechanisms.

We touched on metal versus flex lines and I'm thinking he made no mistake in our earlier chat. It's complicated and he and I don't always communicate to 100% perfection. He had said all along that some cars are arranged differently. I dunno, it's no biggie anyway.

Many thanks for the help here!


(This post was edited by jbojay on Dec 4, 2012, 10:50 AM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Dec 4, 2012, 10:57 AM

Post #16 of 16 (2960 views)
Re: 2000 Stratus brake shoe over-tightens Sign In

Yes, some cars are arranged differently. Some have a single hose to a solid (RWD) axle and some have two, one to each wheel. The rear suspension goes up and down so it absolutely cannot be only solid steel. There is rubber hose between the axle and the body on every vehicle. He can easily test the flow and releasing though.



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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.







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