Unpleasant drive

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Unpleasant drive

Post by stuart_hedges »

Who else was out in the torrential rain last night? It was absolutely apocalyptic down here and I really didn't enjoy my A25 run from Bromley to Guildford last night. Standing water everywhere, loads of deep puddles... no fun.

Coming down the long right-hander into Redhill the BX suddenly started fighting back, struggling to go straight on and making a nasty burning smell. It seemed to right itself and after a while I figured it out - after every really deep puddle the left front brake was binding on for a few seconds. It didn't do it as badly as that again, but there were a couple more moments.

How worried should I be? It's a long, long time since I've driven in such extremes of wet - some of the puddles were practically fords. Would you expect problems in those conditions or should I be pulling my calipers apart... again?

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Post by tom »

Last edited by tom on Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ken newbold »

If you know a problem exists with your brakes,

then without delay would be my answer too.

I know it's cold and wet and nasty out there but it's better than the alternative. :x
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Post by Kitch »

If the sliding shim that secures the pads is in upside down, the water might be dislodging the pads causing the friction, but that doesn't explain the smell, becuase you'd have that smell everytime you applied the brakes otherwise. And if any part other than the friction surface of the pads is touching the discs you'd hear it.

Other than that, I can't think of any way that standing water could possibly affect the brakes in that way. Make them useless briefly, yes! Make them bind? I can't see how.

Sure it's not the water knocking the shit shield back and making it rub the tyre? If it's wet enough it wouldn't make much noise.
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Post by DavidRutherford »


The only thing I can think of is that the air scoops on the front brakes were scooping up a large amount of water and dumping it into the brake mechanism. It can take a while for all the water to come out again, and while it's doing so will create a fair bit of drag on that side caliper.

Given that we had both of your front calipers in bits no more than a couple of months ago, cleaned them up, re-greased all the sliders and changed all the rubber boots for good ones, I can't imagine what else might be wrong.

If it is simply a case of too much water in the brakes for them to cope, it's no surprise that it was on the nearside, as that side of the road will always have the deeper water.

When we change your doors over, we'll have to have an investigate to make sure there isn't anything amiss.

Edit. Doesn't explain the smell though... the more I think about it, the more I'm inclined to agree with Kitch that something else is causing the problem, not the brakes. Are all the plastic wheelarch liners still in place? It's not unheard of for deep water to tear them off.
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Post by stuart_hedges »

Should the wheelarch liners look the same on both sides? I've just had a look underneath and I reckon David and Kitch might be right - I honestly can't remember what it's supposed to look like but there seems to be a section missing on the passenger side. It could have dragged on the tyre for a while then come off completely.

As David says, the calipers were apart two months ago so it's hard to believe anything drastic has gone wrong with them in that time.