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Help! My wheel is smoking!

K

klb76

Guest
Another problem on my growing list. I don't have my car because on my way to college I had a power steering hose burst. But My father fixed that for me and took the baby out for a test drive. When he came back the wheel was pouring out smoke. When he touched the wheel it was hot. He replaced the caliper but it didn't fix the problem. I have heard of brake lines collapsing before in the older vettes. Is it possible this is what is happening. The wheel isn't locked up, it still turns and there isn't much drag apparently. Any ideas out there?
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2001
Messages
3,235
Location
Norcross, Georgia, United Stat
Corvette
2017 Arctic White Grand Sport
The brake will smoke if the rotor/pad gets too hot (excessive drag of some type) or if something is leaking on it (a caliper leaking brake fluid onto the rotor/pad).

Other causes are possible but these are two that I have seen.

Bob
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Only two things make a wheel hot/smoke - dragging brakes or dry/failed wheel bearings. Disc brakes are designed to be in "light contact" all the time to keep the rotor surfaces clean, but no more. Is it a front or rear wheel?
 
K

klb76

Guest
rear passenger side wheel... I hope it isn't a wheel bearing...
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
klb76 said:
rear passenger side wheel... I hope it isn't a wheel bearing...

Rear wheel sheds a little more light on this for possible causes. Check the parking brake. It may be a simple case of that side being over adjusted, causing it to rub the drum portion of the rotor. There is a small adjustment wheel at the bottom that pulls them in or spreads them out. My parking brake is prone to rubbing - it's not really all that uncommon with these cars.

The bearing is still a possiblility but the parking brake would be a much simpler fix if that turns out to be the problem.

Good Luck!
 
K

klb76

Guest
Actually the parking brake is a problem/question... I have just purchased the car and it sat for awhile. On my list of things to do is fix the parking brake. It appears that while it sat water got into the cable hose/fitting right at the caliper and it is rusted solid. This is on both wheels. It does not move. There is slack in the cable tho so I don't think the brake is on, and the wheel smoking is definitly a new problem and the car has logged about 1000 miles before this. Is there a possibility that if the rust "broke free" in the cable it could have engaged the parking brake? Thanks for all the help everyone!
 

Spiderman

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Jan 14, 2002
Messages
139
Location
Grand Haven, MI, USA
Corvette
Gorgeous White '91 Coupe
Based on the info, I'd say it was the wheel bearing.

my .02

Spiderman :w
 
K

klb76

Guest
oh i hope not... i definitly wouldn't mind the work myself... but since I am at school I think my dad is going to pick up my slack till I get my ride here... if it is the wheel bearing should I replace both?
 

Spiderman

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 14, 2002
Messages
139
Location
Grand Haven, MI, USA
Corvette
Gorgeous White '91 Coupe
If you can swing it, it wouldn't hurt to replace all four if they need it. If they are all original (and the smoke is from the bearing) the others may not be far behind. It's that or chance it and do it one at a time when they go. Beware of one ceasing up on you though, it could rip the whole wheel off the car.:eek

Best of luck.

Spiderman :w
 
S

schoeassoc

Guest
Hot wheel

Check the parking brake adjustment. We are in the final stages of restoration of our 1979. We replaced everything on the car from wiring to brake lines to bearings etc. When we drove it to the paint shop last week our left rear wheel was hot. The rest were all right. We new when we adjusted the parking break that we may have been to tight with that side and sure enough we were. It's very easy to adjust and since we replaced everything possible in that area I'd definitely start there. Good luck!! Michele
 
K

klb76

Guest
Alright... my saga continues... It isn't a wheel bearing, thank god right... but my passenger side rear brake is still causing problems... so far I have replaced the caliper and I am replacing lines and rubber and all that tommorow... here is what appears to be happening... when i bleed the brakes, even when I let pressure off the brake there is still pressure in that one wheel... so when I put the brake on, on that one wheel the brake stays engaged then bleeds itself off instead of when the brake peddle is released... sometimes this takes several minutes... I asked a "general mechanic" and he thinks it is a hose collapsing, "gate valve", or maybe even the master cylinder... I think when he says gate valve he mean porportioning valve?!?! let me know what the CAC experts think
 

Jack

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Joined
Dec 27, 2000
Messages
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Location
Florence, SC (Timmonsville SC)
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71 War Bonnet Yellow VERT 71 BH Blue CPE (SOLD)
klb76:
No expert here ... but before you go any further (literally & figuratively) ... flush out the entire brake system with dry compressed air & mineral spirits. It seems the car's sat for extended period ... a lotta muck & goop can accumulate in the brake system. If I understand your last post, it seems you've id'd a sticking caliper. A blockage in a line, proportioning valve, etc can cause this ... a flush job can dislodge it. Such a blockage may be overcome by the force of pedal-pressure ... but may not be overcome by the wimpy forces of return springs, etc. If that's not the root cause ... then at least you'll have a clean system that won't be a further problem.
JACK:gap
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
Old flex hoses deteriorate from the inside - they swell internally, closing off normal fluid flow; when you step on the brakes, the fluid pressure gets through the restriction, but when you take your foot off the pedal, the restriction maintains pressure on the caliper instead of instantly releasing it. Sounds like a bad flex line from the frame to the trailing arm - I'd replace both of them. ALL flex hoses should be replaced every ten years; clean up the outside of the hose and you'll see the date they were made.
 
K

klb76

Guest
You guys were right on with your suggestions... I replaced both flex lines and flushed out the system... now the brakes work great no problem at all... looks like i will make it to summer with the wheel bearings (hopefully) thank god... I appreciate the help everyone!
 

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