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Sticking caliper or front wheel bearings?


Old 12-28-2013, 04:40 PM
waynofish is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: MD eastern shore
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Default Sticking caliper or front wheel bearings?

I asked a little over a month ago about some issues I'm having and was narrowing it down to the front wheel bearing but never lifted the truck do to the cold, lack of time and being lazy with about 99% lazyness.

Today I drove the truck around the community so I could run it and other then a slight squeel coming from the front when it first started rolling the only issue it had was that it just felt "stiff" while rolling. Kind of like something was holding it back but it tracked straight when I let go of the wheel. I did one short "blast" up to 45 mph and there was no shaking like it had right before I parked it over a month ago.

I pushed myself to get off my lazy butt and get the jack out of the box. I lifted the left front, where I determined the problem to be due to hot wheel lugs last time I drove it. Well, when I first tried rotating the tire I had to double check that it really was off the ground. It was so I had to use more force. Actually I needed to exert a fair amount of pressure on opposing mud lugs to make the 35's rotate. It feels as if the brakes are dragging. It turns smooth but with a lot of pressure needed, if that makes any sense. There is no roughness.

I then tried shaking the wheel a bit side to side to see if there was any looseness such as a bearing coming apart. There was none. What little I was able to budge the wheel caused the steering wheel to move a slight tad. Everything was tight.

It's just that upon rotating the wheel, there is that firmness as if the breaks are being slightly applied and it won't freewheel. FWIW the day before I had that shaking, a month ago, I noticed that the truck would not "drive itself" when in gear. I had to actually touch the gas peddle to make it move. Same thing today. It would not budge at idle

So, what I thought may have been a wheel bearing seems to be a sticking caliper? Does that sound right?

I guess the thing to do is see if any auto parts store sells both calipers and front hub assemblies and start to do the work since the breaks have to come off anyways, and then buy the part that's needed. I guess If the hub spins freely after the breaks are off it would be the caliper?

Does that sound like the right path or am I overlooking something?

Truck is an 07 1500 QC 4X4 with the 4.7 and 60,000 miles.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:11 PM
waynofish is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: MD eastern shore
Posts: 57

Just about dark so it's too late now but there is one thing I did not do and perhaps I should have.

Because of the lug nuts being hot to touch on the drivers side front wheel only, I concentrated only on that wheel today. Since the truck doesn't pull to the left any, even though that left front is very hard to rotate, I wonder if I should have lifted the right front as well and checked that wheel.

If both wheels seem to be hard to rotate do you think it would be the master cylinder?

At the moment I'm thinking it's just the left front but before continuing I think I need to check the right front as well just to make sure it's not a shared problem such as the master cylinder.

Sound right?
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:51 PM
p38251 is offline
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Location: Vanderpool Texas
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sounds like a caliper sticking. Clean again lube the slide pins. Look at the pads, if the rights are good and the lefts worn out. You have your answer.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:16 PM
gcburkett is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Chicago suburbs
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If it was sticking bad enough it would be hot and it would smell. I had a rear one stick and it was smoking hot. Cooked the pad pretty good even though most the pad was still there. Just had a brake job done about 6 months before. The sticking can be intermittent.
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Old 12-29-2013, 01:13 AM
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nobby is offline
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Location: Barrie, Ontario
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Sounds like it is brake related.

A bad bearing will make a kind of rumble sound as it begins to die and the sound will be speed related.
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Old 12-29-2013, 07:16 PM
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weedahoe is offline
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I had to rebuild my front calipers, one was sticking and although the other was not, I rebuilt them anyway. Not hard. Plus it gave me to opportunity to powder coat them
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