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Cracked Brake Pistons

  #1  
Old 09-21-2010, 12:02 PM
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Default Cracked Brake Pistons

Hi. I've got a 2006 Town & Country, Touring model (3.8L), with disc brakes on front and rear. 57000 miles Yesterday one of my wheels got VERY hot, so I pulled the wheel off (driver side rear), and the inside brake pad was gone. It turns out the pad had fallen off the backing plate, and was stuck between the rear of the rotor and the sheet metal cover. When I was replacing the pads, I noticed that the piston was cracked, and a chunk of it actually fell out. I figured, fine, between the excessive heat and the pad floating around, the piston broke. Replaced caliper, inserted new pads, bled brakes. Done. (Rotor was fine, amazingly enough.) Nothing was leaking btw. Moved to passenger side to replace pads. Once I pulled the pads out, I noticed a crack in THAT piston as well, in the exact same V-shaped pattern. While the crack was there, it was not falling apart as the other side was. I am assuming this shouldn't happen. I've been told there is no recall relating to this. How much grief should I be giving Chrysler over this? Or is this to be expected? thanks, john
 
  #2  
Old 09-21-2010, 09:38 PM
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It really just sounds like you went a bit too far waiting to get your brakes done. Calipers just came out too far and couldn't go back. LOL>..I bet they were gloowing! Look at the fluid in your master cylinder and make sure it's not contaminated. I guarantee you boiled it. Flush all of it out when you get time.

Your answer...this is not a common thing. Biggest thing with the 2001-2007 is the rear brakes go out way before the front ones. And why would you give Chrysler grief? It's brakes on an almost 5 year old vehicle.
 

Last edited by TNtech; 09-21-2010 at 09:42 PM.
  #3  
Old 09-22-2010, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by TNtech View Post
It really just sounds like you went a bit too far waiting to get your brakes done. Calipers just came out too far and couldn't go back. LOL>..I bet they were gloowing! Look at the fluid in your master cylinder and make sure it's not contaminated. I guarantee you boiled it. Flush all of it out when you get time.

Your answer...this is not a common thing. Biggest thing with the 2001-2007 is the rear brakes go out way before the front ones. And why would you give Chrysler grief? It's brakes on an almost 5 year old vehicle.
The brakes were fine 4 weeks ago. I checked. Wife went on road trip. She got back, and I was planning on changing them this weekend anyways. So just a bit early.

First, the fronts went out WAY before the back.

Second, there was plenty of pad left, it just fell off the backing plate on one side.

I'd give Chrysler grief because both rear PISTONS are cracked! Are you telling me I need to replace the calipers before the brake pads? Does that make sense?

Also (and I need to double check this), but piston appears to be some sort of ceramic. My after-market caliper has a steel piston. Since the cracks in the piston are in the same place on both sides, I am leaning to a design flaw, where the load acting on the piston is not entirely axial, which results in a fracture of very hard ceramic, regardless of how much pad is left.

I should not have to replace my calipers after 60k miles. THAT is why I'm upset with Chrysler.

-john
 
  #4  
Old 09-22-2010, 08:07 AM
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(apparently can't edit posts here)

Just checked again: piston is ceramic.

and again, just in case I wasn't clear, only the one left side pad was destroyed. The right side pads were fine, yet the piston is still cracked, with the same v-shaped pattern, and in the same orientation.

So even if the destroyed pad somehow caused that piston to crack, I'd like to know why the right side exhibits the exact same failure.
 
  #5  
Old 09-23-2010, 05:45 PM
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I am so surprised to find this post. I came to the forum looking for help with transmission lines and just browsing found your post.

I recently replaced a caliper on my '03 T&C that had the EXACT SAME crack as you described. A CHUNK of the piston was gone in the shape of a V.

I had someone replace the pads last time on the van as I didn't feel like messing with it and getting dirty. But after about 5 months the front pads started squealing coming to a stop so bad that I couldn't stand it any more so I took it apart and found the cracked piston. This has been about a month ago and I don't remember which side 100%... I believe it was the passenger side. The pads were still there and the crack wasn't causing the squeal. I realized I bought cheap pads last time and they were crap.

I replaced the other caliper too because the boot/o-ring/whatever was cracked around the piston (not the piston but just the rubber... just old). But the piston itself was ok.

Too bad we didn't take pics to compare
 
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:40 AM
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rastoma,
Well, at least I'm not the only one seeing this. I'll get a pic of the broken one and put it up here. (Later today if I get a chance.)

This is the first time I've personally replaced the pads, so I don't know what pads were used last time.

Another thing I find interesting, is that Consumer Reports (which I apparently should have consulted -before- buying the van) rates the brakes for every T&C from 2003-2009 as Below Average. Gee. I wonder why.

-john
 
  #7  
Old 09-24-2010, 11:23 AM
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Crap. Apparently I can't attach an image on this forum. Let me find a place to upload them.
 
  #8  
Old 09-27-2010, 05:44 AM
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I turned in my caliper for the core charge so I don't have it to take a pic of now unfortunately.

I think overall the brakes are great on my '03. I just figured someone used a prybar to push the piston back in before and cracked it. But it's still amazing to see your description of the 'V' shaped crack which is exactly what mine was.

But other than that, they feel great and stop very, very well.
 
  #9  
Old 09-28-2010, 08:06 AM
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OK.

Here are the pics. Right side is the same thing, except the chunk didn't fall out.

http://i55.tinypic.com/kohzm.jpg
http://i55.tinypic.com/35iumoj.jpg
http://i55.tinypic.com/293yuld.jpg



 
  #10  
Old 10-01-2010, 09:28 AM
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I'm telling you......... that looks exactly like what mine did. I wonder if it was a bad mold when the pistons were poured/formed?
 

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