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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2005 LR3 SE 4.4 with 270,000 km.

After a recent drive, I noticed that I smell of burning rubber when getting out of the car. I took a walk around the vehicle and discovered that the front-left wheel was warm, and the caliper and disc very hot. Even the lug nuts were hot enough to nearly burn me! This is in contrast to all the other wheels, where the wheel, caliper and ever rotors were basically cold. I hadn't been driving aggressively, having only gone 12 kms, and I figured I had a seized caliper... and so the chronicle begins.

Since calipers are cheap-ish, I went ahead and simply replaced the caliper with a rebuilt one and bled it. Figured problems solved -- HA, nope. Problem persisted after taking for a spin.

Next, I checked the wheel bearing and sure enough it was shot. So, I replaced the hub with a MOOG unit. With great hope and a satisfied conscience, I went for a spin thinking its sure to be fixed. NOPE, the problem persisted. (Note: when changing the hub I noticed there was a lot of scale on the back of the rotor near the edge, which I found strange.)

At this point I was baffled, and upon my research I discovered an obscure problem that can occur when the rubber brake hoses wear out: the inner nitrile tube supposedly "collapses" and can act as a one way check-valve, only allowing brake fluid to flow towards the caliper (simulating a seized caliper). This seemed to explain the rotor scale and my supposition that the heat is generated by the brakes. So I replaced the brake hose -- obviously. At this point I was convinced the problem must be fixed. But no... on this particular matter the universe has different plans for me because once again after a drive the problem persists.

Now I am even more baffled, confounded, confused, etc. I have run out of ideas and would be grateful if anyone from the community has a clue as to what I'm facing.

Here are some thoughts/notes:
  • Maybe one or more of the parts I've replaced are defective... Isn't sound that uncommon these days, but I guess I would be surprised if they displayed the exact same symptoms as before and immediately on the first ride after repair. Not to mention I verified that the caliper and hub were in good condition before installing.
  • All these test drives I've been on have been short (15 km max) with a mix of city and highway driving.
  • I have not replaced the rotors/pads yet (these were done by the previous owner 10k km ago).
  • Since I've owned the vehicle, I noticed that when I first start driving the the ABS kicks in very briefly and I can feel it on the brake pedal (no lights come on). This is the only time I notice it during a drive, but it makes my wonder if maybe it is happening frequently and causing excessive friction. (Note: when I take my hands of the wheel the vehicle doesn't wander).
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