Braking Issue-Frightening!

Advocate II

Nov 3, 2021
7
8
68
Allen Park, Michigan
First Name
Chris
Last Name
Samfilippo
Hello all. I'm new to the Bronco experience, having recently bought a 89 Bronco II. I love the truck. Yesterday, while running an errand with my wife, I had to brake for a yellow light. I was traveling about 40 mph and I don't think I hit the brakes especially hard. But they locked up. I had presence of mind to ease up--and then apply again but they locked up a second time. It was a bit startling because the back-end of the truck went very slightly "out from under".
Is this normal? Is it a function of drum brakes?
 

TailGunner

Rank II

Advocate III

Feb 2, 2022
57
65
337
Chino Hills, CA, USA
First Name
Tina
Last Name
Brown
I love this post....BINGO...careful you are aging yourself...or is it me?
Yes, Drum brakes are no bueno. Good news is, you can swap to disc with not too much trouble. We did it on our Scout and Road Runner. Enjoy that classic, but spring for the modern brakes for sure!
 

Bschurr

Rank V

Don't delete

Jan 28, 2021
1,797
4,440
1,713
NY, USA
First Name
Barry
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Schurr
Hello all. I'm new to the Bronco experience, having recently bought a 89 Bronco II. I love the truck. Yesterday, while running an errand with my wife, I had to brake for a yellow light. I was traveling about 40 mph and I don't think I hit the brakes especially hard. But they locked up. I had presence of mind to ease up--and then apply again but they locked up a second time. It was a bit startling because the back-end of the truck went very slightly "out from under".
Is this normal? Is it a function of drum brakes?

Sounds like your brakes are either not properly adjusted or you are having a mechanical issue. Since you stated that the back end came out a bit I suspect that a cable on 1 side may have locked up or frozen. I would start with a proper inspection by pulling the wheel & drum and verifying the condition of all the parts - if you are not comfortable with this, please seek professional assistance from a reputable repair facility.


I love this post....BINGO...careful you are aging yourself...or is it me?
Yes, Drum brakes are no bueno. Good news is, you can swap to disc with not too much trouble. We did it on our Scout and Road Runner. Enjoy that classic, but spring for the modern brakes for sure!
A disc brake swap can provide enhanced braking but likely isn’t needed if your drums are working correctly (or you are adding additional weight, larger tires etc)
 
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Advocate II

Nov 3, 2021
7
8
68
Allen Park, Michigan
First Name
Chris
Last Name
Samfilippo
I love this post....BINGO...careful you are aging yourself...or is it me?
Yes, Drum brakes are no bueno. Good news is, you can swap to disc with not too much trouble. We did it on our Scout and Road Runner. Enjoy that classic, but spring for the modern brakes for sure!
Thank you TG! I guess I didn't have enough sense back in the day to know they were unsafe--back when I had drums all around. Back when we all had drums all around. Ironically, there is an idiot light on the IP that illuminates "Rear Antilock Brakes" when you key the ignition.
 
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Reactions: TailGunner

Kid witha 89

Rank 0

Advocate II

Sep 27, 2021
29
21
68
1335 lower Arkansaw Road Baker WV 26801
First Name
Isaac
Last Name
Atkinson
Hello all. I'm new to the Bronco experience, having recently bought a 89 Bronco II. I love the truck. Yesterday, while running an errand with my wife, I had to brake for a yellow light. I was traveling about 40 mph and I don't think I hit the brakes especially hard. But they locked up. I had presence of mind to ease up--and then apply again but they locked up a second time. It was a bit startling because the back-end of the truck went very slightly "out from under".
Is this normal? Is it a function of drum brakes?
I have an 89 full size Bronco. It is not a function of drum brakes, at least it's not on the full size Bronco. The rear drum brakes are actually anti-lock brakes, the front disk brakes however, are not anti-lock brakes. If you have drums all around you may need to adjust a cable or something. If your drum brakes aren't anti-lock brakes in the rear then you may experience some lockup in colder weather. You have to keep in mind that you're dealing with/driving a 33 year old vehicle. But it would definitely be a good idea to have it checked out
 

ChetC

Rank V

Supporter II

Dec 23, 2020
164
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1,710
Las Vegas, NV, USA
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Chet
Last Name
Christner
Member #

103283

There's nothing wrong with rear drum brakes if they're working properly and it sounds like yours aren't. Take it to a brake shop and have them go over everything, chances are you have something hanging up.

I will say, be careful with the Bronco II in wet/slippery conditions though. I had an '88 and they have a tendency for the backend to want to "step out" when making a sharp turn in the snow or on wet roads as they're quite top heavy and the body roll unweights the inside rear causing the Bronco to pivot off the outside front. One thing that helps with body roll and handling is a dual shock kit on the front. They're readily available from a few different manufacturers and one of the first improvements you should make.
 

BadlandsA51

Rank III

Advocate II

Feb 14, 2022
12
21
846
Olathe, Kansas
First Name
Craig
Last Name
Harrison
Member #

110038

There were some issues with brake shoes that had high metallic content being "grabby" after sitting overnight. After the first few brake applications to clean the rust off the braking surface of the drums, they worked fine the rest of the day. We advised to drag the brakes lightly for a couple of blocks when first starting out for the day to clean the rust from the drums. Or, you could get some rear shows with little or no metallic content.