Overheated Right Rear Wheel and Brake Disc

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Silver Fox
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Overheated Right Rear Wheel and Brake Disc

Post by Silver Fox » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:04 am

I have a 2006 Baja with 172,000 miles that I bought in July. We have driven about 2,500 miles since purchase. There are a number of new parts installed at the time of purchase. The Baja has run well and found our range of gas mileage to be between 21 mpg and 24 mpg which are good indicators but don't tell a complete story. We did observe that the parking brake handle could be pulled to the top of its range and did not seem to work. When putting the handle down the rear wheel(s) sent a grinding noise until I pulled the handle up and did a quick down motion and the grind cleared. Recently, we noted a smell of overheating when coming to a stop and opening the door. This was especially especially noted after returning from errands and made a left turn on a down slopping road and pressure put on the right hand side with ensuing grinding noise not previously heard. The noise eventually stopped but the wheel is hot when we reached our destination. This problem may have been present for a while but do not know how long. We are in the mountains with many a winding road. Use of brakes can only exacerbate the condition whatever it is.

I have maintenance scheduled on October 1, 2018 and the facility is 53 miles away. I am now concerned about overheating especially not knowing the source. Is it possibly a wheel bearing or is it just parking brake parts? Have I given enough information? What is the danger in driving it 53 miles for service? Should I have it towed in to preclude any other issues that might result in a more expensive repair. The vehicle is in good shape inside and out and it is a keeper.

BTW, water steams when poured on the brake disc hub after a 14 mile drive. I have not had a chance to price towing that distance nor have I had an opportunity to check out local maintenance here in the mountains. In the mountains is the major challenge in finding good local service. It may not be impossible but just realized the degree of the overheating problem yesterday. :?

Silver Fox
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Re: Overheated Right Rear Wheel and Brake Disc

Post by Silver Fox » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:08 pm

No problem. I have found a very capable local mechanic who has determined it was, indeed, the parking brake on the right rear wheel. I am ready to proceed but had not planned on taking care of the issue this week. Since my hand was forced we post haste to a satisfactory solution. Thanks for reading my question.

Silver Fox
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Re: Overheated Right Rear Wheel and Brake Disc

Post by Silver Fox » Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:18 pm

No problem. I have found a very capable local mechanic who has determined it was, indeed, the parking brake on the right rear wheel. I am ready to proceed but had not planned on taking care of the issue this week. Since my hand was forced we post haste to a satisfactory solution. Thanks for reading my question.

walfredo
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Re: Overheated Right Rear Wheel and Brake Disc

Post by walfredo » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:21 am

I was going to guess sticking rear brake caliper - parking brake being set would cause the caliper to close. Brake caliper being stuck would cause it not re-open once you release the parking brake. The brake pads will begin to overheat (and smell) as it remains clamped to the rotor. Very common issue on some cars (vw's especially). Im not sure how the parking brake would cause this, as its cable operated and when you release the handle, it should release-unless there is something wrong with the linkage. The caliper is whats remaining clamped to the rotor.

Easy to fix yourself and you can get used calipers fairly cheap. As far as driving it, in a pinch you can probably drive it, but only in order to limp it to the mechanic. Be prepared to do a rear brake job (rotor, pads and obviously caliper if thats the culprit) as those components may be warped/destroyed from the heat.

Also, if it were a bad wheel bearing, you would hear a very loud and noticable "groan" at different speeds (noticable at some, not noticable at others). Furthermore, it would also be louder turning one way vs another (as the vehicle weight shifts more strain onto the failing bearing). They can cause excessive heat, but not to the point of what you describe, at least in my experience.

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kamesama980
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Re: Overheated Right Rear Wheel and Brake Disc

Post by kamesama980 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:28 am

walfredo wrote:
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:21 am
I was going to guess sticking rear brake caliper - parking brake being set would cause the caliper to close. Brake caliper being stuck would cause it not re-open once you release the parking brake. The brake pads will begin to overheat (and smell) as it remains clamped to the rotor. Very common issue on some cars (vw's especially). Im not sure how the parking brake would cause this, as its cable operated and when you release the handle, it should release-unless there is something wrong with the linkage. The caliper is whats remaining clamped to the rotor.

Easy to fix yourself and you can get used calipers fairly cheap. As far as driving it, in a pinch you can probably drive it, but only in order to limp it to the mechanic. Be prepared to do a rear brake job (rotor, pads and obviously caliper if thats the culprit) as those components may be warped/destroyed from the heat.

Also, if it were a bad wheel bearing, you would hear a very loud and noticable "groan" at different speeds (noticable at some, not noticable at others). Furthermore, it would also be louder turning one way vs another (as the vehicle weight shifts more strain onto the failing bearing). They can cause excessive heat, but not to the point of what you describe, at least in my experience.
The bajas use a divorced parking brake setup. there's a drum brake inside the service brake disk. the parking brake actuates the drum, the pedal actuates the caliper. The service brakes can be 100% functional with a stuck, dead, or completely removed parking brake.

In my experience having diagnosed and changed dozens if not hundreds, bad wheel bearings can cause a huge variety of symptoms:
-vibration at all speeds
-vibration at certain speeds (as small as 2mph window)
-growling from a stop
-pulsing or phasing noise (vibe or noise gets louder and softer with a regular oscillation like twisting a volume knob back and forth)
-wind noise
-no noise or vibration
-symptoms seem to be coming from the opposite side of the car
-symptoms seem to be coming from the opposite end of the car
-little noise but heat to the point of turning the rotors blue/gold (700f+. no they don't last very long that way)

Heck I even saw a van once that the guy'd put it off so long that I only found half a dozen roller bearings, he was grinding the races together with dirt as lube. Didn't take that one for a test drive on the road, bad enough driving it into the shop.

walfredo
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Re: Overheated Right Rear Wheel and Brake Disc

Post by walfredo » Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:39 am

Great point, definitely see now how a parking brake could cause this behavior.

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