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Steve TDI

Ford Mondeo Mk3 Tdi Rear Brake Sticking On. Help!

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I have an 02 plate mk3 diesel mondeo. during the three years I have owned the car I have had problems with the handbrake sticking on causing the brakes to overheat, Usually in the winter in freezing conditions. A month ago I replaced the handbrake cables as I suspected they were full of water and freezing up. I noticed when I renewed them that the handbrake levers on the calipers where not returning to their stops so I attempted to free off the pivots with WD40 working them to and fro. Everything seemed ok for a week or so and then I noticed that the rear hubs where getting warm as tho the handbrake was sticking on slightly. I decided to renew the calipers (which I completed both sides just yesterday) and the levers where perfectly free (as you'd expext) until fitted to the car (following the correct manufactures and manual instructions). After I had bled the brakes, and refitted the handbrake cables, and opperated the handbrake, I noticed that the levers where NOT going fully back on their stops and also the brakes were binding a little. However when I forced the levers back on to their stops the brakes where completely free. I spoke to the manufacures of the calipers (J&R trading) and they suggested resetting the calipers, and then driving the car without the handbrake cables attatched, in order to settle the pistons/brakes in. I followed this, reconnected the handbrake and things seemed better, however after driving the car 4 or 5 miles this morning the nearside rear hub had got really hot, and when I checked the handbrake lever (on the back of the caliper) was way off its stop. Having levered it back onto its stop, the brake was immediately free.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!



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First off (and I get tired of saying this) - WD40 is not a lubricant. It is evil stuff and 99% of the stuff that get squirted about is misused.

Get a can of heat-resistant PTFE lubricant, and use that.

Now, lubrication issues aside - I had the exact problem you're having. I replaced the caliper, the brake hoses, the discs, the pads (the inner pad was worn into a wedge). None of this helped (though, the discs and pads needed replacing anyway, and I also noted that the bearing seemed to be binding so I swapped that too).

Eventually, I investigated the caliper guide pins and sure enough, the top one was bent. This meant that the top part of the caliper was not releasing from the disc, thus wearing it into a wedge, and putting massive amounts of heat into the entire wheel assembly. Replaced both guide pins, sorted. It's a very easy job - the hardest part is getting the rubber gaitors into place.

I'd suggest removing the guide pins on yours (they just pull out) - it's hard to see if they're bent from just looking - even a slight bend is bad. So put it into an electric drill on a slow speed and that will emphasise the wobble. If they do need replacing, I got the kit off of eBay which came with new gaitors and lubricant and it was less than a tenner. Take the guide pin and push the gaitor onto it (it fits around a lip at the end which holds it).push the gaitor up as far as it'll go and smear a load of lubricant onto the pin. Push it into place and push the other end of the gaitor over the lip on the caliper mount. Slide the pin in and out a few times to spread the grease about a bit. Do the other pin the same, then reassemble the caliper.

Have some paper/towel handy as it gets a bit messy with the grease.

Edited by jeebowhite
removed reference to a swear word

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Hi - thanks very much for your post.

I will check out the guide pins as suggested. I am not sure though that this will be the answer for my car, as the pads are not wearing unevenly as far as I could see and I have had no problems with the brakes sticking on once I pull back the handbrake levers to their stops. Its as though there is a hydraulic action within the caliper which stops the handbrake from de-activating fully.

Thinking about your problem, I have always been careful to make sure the peg on the pad backplate lines up with the correct recess in the caliper piston (lining up the piston recess with the mark on the caliper housing) as if it isn't the piston will not be square to the pad, the pad will wear to a wedge shape and I would think with everything being out of line this could well bend the guide pins - just a thought that this could have happened in the past before you had the car??

Thanks again, and any further suggestions from anyone who has experienced similar problems will be gratefully received

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May not be the guide pins, the rear calipers have a helix to adjust the handbrake automatically as the pads wear

The rear calipers/ handbrake are prone to sticking/ siezing - they can be a "pain", often the only real solution is buying new/ refurbished calipers (you can exchange your old ones) and handbrake cables, as an "emergency" temporary measure just don't use the handbrake and put/ leave it in gear when you park the car.

The design changed in 2004, so you can have pre-2004 rear calipers and post 2004 calipers, i think the pads are different too

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I fitted the new calipers (second set) using the revised installation instructions from the suppliers (first set had wrong instructions) which were as per manual except the new calipers were modified type with two identical "cut outs" in the piston face, rather than the originals which are different, which means you can fit them lining up either of the cut outs with the mark on the caliper body, making sure the peg on the pad backplate also lines up. Wound back the pistons/handbrake mech, bled brakes, operated footbrake, made sure peg on pads lined up, only connected up handbrake after pads bedded in. Following this operation of handbrake seemed to be better although there was more actuation on the RH handbrake lever, and this one was well off the stop when handbrake is off. LH one almost goes back to the stop. I think difference is down to the handbrake self adjuster not fully settled in - hopefully it will in time. I noticed that lever return springs on the new calipers were not as strong as the originals, so I fitted the originals and levers seemed to return towards the stops better.

I have driven the car 3 or 4 times since doing the above and so far all seems well, no brake binding or overheating, but I have ordered the proper Ford handbrake cable guides which fit on the suspension arms as I think the cable will sit in a better position rather than at present with the cable ties which are in place. Fingers crossed this will be the end of the problem!

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The caliper sliders will be bent mate replace them and problem solved

I have just done mine after looking for 2 weeks into why they were sticking. every thing is spot on now thank god

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Thanks for all the advice - I have driven the car 500 miles since renewing the calipers again and all is well - no sticking of calipers or overheating. The handbrake adjusters seem to have settled in and the handbrake levers are more even and almost back to the stops once the handbrake is released.

I checked out the caliper sliders and pins and they were all perfectly straight and free. Renewing the handbrake cable clips which fit to the lower suspension arms helped by routing the cables better.

I think the main issues on my car were sticky handbrake cables, and partially seized handbrake mechanisms in the calipers. The problem was not helped by the first pair of calipers being defective and having the incorrect fitting procedure. I am convinced that the guide pins/sliders will only become bent due to the pins on the pad backplates being misaligned with the cut outs in the caliper pistons, or possibly seized pads in the calipers, which results in the pistons applying unequal pressure to the pads/pins/guides, causing the pads to wear wedge shaped and the slider guides/pins to become bent.

It just goes to show that the symptons can sometimes be similar but the causes of problems can be different!

Thanks again to everyone who contributed.

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