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Dear Taurus & Sable Owner's Club:

This is my first posting and I'm delighted to learn about this club.  I've owned seven Taurus or Sable cars over the years and loved them all.  I now have a beautiful 1992 LX with a 3.8 and four wheel disc brakes.  My wife said that she would never ride in an old Taurus if I bought one, but she has since relented.  I'm the second owner of this car and it has less than 40K on the odometer.  I have done a lot of work on this car over the last four years, especially this year.  I have two problems that I want to ask members about.

While installing new struts, I caused two brake problems.  When I removed the left - rear caliper to remove and install a new strut, the piston somehow rotated out.  The manual indicates that turning it back into the caliper might be done with needle nose pliers.  One of my service manuals showed a simple tool for turning in the piston, but nothing like that worked for me.  I had to buy a rather heavy duty tool and it took a lot of muscle to turn in the piston.  Normally when a caliper piston does not easily push back into the caliper, it's rebuild time.  But these rear calipers are complicated.  Can anyone tell me if these pistons are supposed to turn in easily, or is it normal for them to turn in hard?  I've driven the car for a few miles since replacing the struts and re-setting the caliper piston and the caliper seems to drag a little on the rotor, but not to the point where it seems likely to lock up.  What do you think?

Problem #2....  My service manual said that the ABS sensors should be removed from the lower control arms before removing the struts.  One of the front ABS sensors was stuck and became damaged in the removal process, so I replaced it.  The new ABS sensor hit the trigger wheel on the hub when I bolted it into the lower control arm and that's not OK.  I looked in my manual to see if there was a specified distance to be set between the sensor and the trigger wheel, but found no specifications.  I put a washer between the sensor and the control arm where it bolts into the control arm.  Now when I put on the brakes, the front calipers let go of the rotor in a kind of fluttering fashion, during braking when the car drops below 10 mph.  I don't know that much about ABS.  Does anyone have any ideas about diagnostic steps or causes?

Your wisdom is appreciated.

Sincerely, Steve L

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Ok, here is an update on my brake problems......... The ABS sensor problem is fixed.  The problem was that I had failed to reinstall the right front sensor correctly.  It was very slightly cocked in the lower control arm, so that it was not fully installed.  It wasn't straight and not close enough to the trigger wheel.  I was checking the distances between the front sensors and the trigger wheels for comparison, when I saw the problem.  I pulled the right sensor out, reinstalled and bolted it back in.  Success!!

But my left rear caliper problem is NOT Solved.  My brakes worked perfectly before I pulled the calipers off of the rotors to install the new struts.  I think that my right rear caliper is working fine. The right rear caliper bolted back on the rotor with no problem after I replaced the strut on that side.

It's only the left caliper that will not behave.  I unbolted the caliper from the rotor and hung it off to the side in the wheel well.  Somehow, the piston spun out while I was removing the old strut and installing the new one.  All of my previous Taurus/Sables had rear drums, so I had to buy the tool to spin the piston back into the caliper. After reinstalling the caliper, it seemed to be locking onto the rotor after a test drive, which raised alarm.

Incidentally, while turning the piston back into the left caliper, I tore the outer piston boot.  A new kit that supplies the dust boot cost, $23 and a rebuilt caliper with new boot cost $44, so I installed a new caliper on the left rear.  That caliper's piston is now locking up on the rotor after a test drive of only a few miles.  I was lucky to get the car back into my garage. 

The problem probably isn't the caliper, since the original one had been working fine until the strut swap and the new one is also causing problems.  It has to be related to the emergency brake system or the way that I'm setting things up.  It has to be something small.  I have 20 hours in this and am out of ideas.  Does anyone have any ideas? 

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I've been researching the Taurus brake system.  When I replaced my rear struts, I failed to disconnect my Brake Pressure Control Valve, that is connected to the left rear control arm.  It's a proportioning valve.  Neither of my manuals discuss how this valve works.  I suspect that I have done something to this valve or to the adjustment of this valve, when I removed and replaced my left rear strut.

Has anyone damaged one of these valves while replacing a rear strut?  Can anyone tell me what happens when the Brake Pressure Control Valve fails?  Does anyone know how it works? 

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When doing the rear struts I never, removed the ABS sensor or brake pressure control valve. Both stayed in. Just make sure to not stretch any wires.

As for the calipers I am not sure why they moved. There should of been nothing moving them. There are tools for doing the rear brakes that compress and turn at the same time. It does take a good amount of force to get them in. If you torn the boot then either replace or get a rebuild kit.

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