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Dodge Repair/'00 Stratus Brake Problem: drum overheats


Hi Kevin, I'm having a perplexing brake problem with my 2000 Dodge Stratus.  It has rear drum brakes and no ABS.  The right brake completely burned up, (all the lining completely gone, rubber cups on wheel cylinder gone, and brake drum blue apparently from excessive heat). I replaced the wheel cylinder, shoes, and drum. Seemed to fix the problem, worked ok for a few months then the exact same thing happened. A mechanic friend suggested that my flex line was clogged and should be replaced, (when I took the drum off this last time, the wheel cylinder blew out its contents but everything was completely dry, no evidence of brake fluid). This last time the wheel cylinder brake linings, springs, and flex line were all replaced. Everything appears normal, have a slight drag on shoes but spins freely. Went for a test ride and physically checked the drums, left and right with index finger, left side cold, right side hot to touch. Jacked up car, right wheel spun freely, but noticed brake lining dust as if the same old problem still exists. The master cylinder on the car is new also, the only thing I can think thats left might be some kind of proportioning valve problem. The left line coming from the wheel routes to the right side in front of the gas tank and another mechanic friend speculated that a T-fitting could be clogged that feeds fluid to the right side. Is there any place I can look to see the actual brake line routing for this vehicle? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Craig,
I agree with the recommendation to change the flex line. What happens frequently is that the lumen of the line begins to degrade which causes it to "feather" internally such that it will flow brake fluid in one direction (toward the wheel cylinder) but resist the backflow of fluid when the pressure drops when you take your foot off the pedal. So the pressure in the line and thus that cylinder remain high even though you aren't stepping on the brake.  So if you haven't done that, then that would be the next step in trying to solve the problem.
Sorry for the delay in responding but I just found your question in the 'pool' to which it had been referred by Kevin.
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Roland Finston


Get a Free Fast answer to your repair question about a Chrysler/Dodge/Plymouth car, minivan, SUV, or truck. Problems with electronically controlled engines and transmissions as well as body wiring problems are my specialty. This free troubleshoot advice forum helps you diagnose faults, minimize repair costs or do-it-yourself.

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