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92 Cherokee limited brake problem


 
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Nocturnal
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Joined: 31 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:23 pm    Post subject: 92 Cherokee limited brake problem Reply with quote

I have a '92 Cherokee Limited with ~125,000 on the clock.

I deliver pizzas and tonight I took the XJ out for the first time. Early in the evening a car pulled out in front of the van in front of me. I hit the brakes the same time as the van did and still ended up tapping their bumper. It felt like the brakes didn't really grab hard but I wrote it off as me not being used to ABS and trying to modulate the pedal rather than just mashing it. A while later I noticed the wheel was pulling to the right pretty hard. When I braked, it would pull back to the left. After a couple miles of that, I lost all the brake pressure. At first I had thought the pulling was an alignment issue but once I lost brake pressure I realized that it was actually the brake dragging. It would slow me down to a stop with only a little help from the e-brake.

I clocked out and left work. On my way to the gas station I heard the brake pop and it started tracking straight again. I still didn't have much pressure in the pedal though. When I started it back up after getting gas, the pedal was back to full pressure. It stayed that way 10 miles home but had a little bit of a pulsation in the pedal like the ABS was kicking in even if I only pushed lightly.

I don't really mind the pulsation if it isn't hurting anything and I can stop, but I'm worried about losing pressure again when I really need it. I also don't like the dragging brake. I'm pretty much broke so if you can recommend some things I can check before I end up taking it to a shop, I'd really appreciate it.

Sorry this post is so long. I just want to make sure I'm covering all the symptoms. Thanks in advance for whatever advice you can offer.
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kaos
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Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Location: Iceland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, I'm not really familiar with the foibles of ABS, so the following mostly ignores it. Hopefully someone will chime in and tell us if that part of the system may be causing some or all of the trouble.

The dragging brake is probably a semi-seized wheel cylinder. If the car had been standing for some time (i.e. months or years) this might be a "one-off" problem, and now the seal has been broken, it will not bother you again. Otherwise it means a new cylinder if the problem was with the rear brake, or a caliper rebuild if front.

The loss of pressure may have been caused by a vapour-lock in the brake lines, caused by the heat from the dragging brake. While you were gassing up, the system cooled down and went back to normal.

The pulsation may not be from the ABS. If the brake managed to get really hot, the heat may have managed to distort the disk or drum (more probable with a disk though, I think). If so, it will either have to be machined (possible if the distortion isn't to big, and the disk not too worn) or replaced.

Hth,
--
Kári
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Nocturnal
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Joined: 31 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That makes sense. If I pull it apart and find that the rotor is warped, is it safe to assume that's what happened?

The brake isn't dragging any more so will driving it with a warped rotor for a while do any further damage?

Edit: According to the Haynes manual if there is a problem with the ABS the brake light should stay on. It doesn't, so hopefully I won't have to replace that.
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Nocturnal
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Joined: 31 Jul 2007

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: I pulled the wheel off and checked the rotor. It was a bit glazed but doesn't seem to be warped. I can turn it freely by hand so it isn't dragging any more. I drove it again and it seems to be fine. No dragging, pulling, or pulsating. I guess I'll keep driving it as is until I have more problems.
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