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I've had to replace the front brake pads, rotors and calipers 3 separate times on my 2002 Dakota Regular cab. The truck has just over 79,000 miles on it. One these model year Dakotas and a few Durango model years, Dodge used this poor deign where the postion of the caliper is held in place by a cheap metal clip that is shaped like a recurve bow whcih rests on two posts coming out of the hub. When the clips losses its "springiness" the caliper beomes misaligned both left/right, up/down, and rotationally. The brake pads wear unevenly and one side eats into the rotor while the other side of the pad looks untouched. The caliper slips down and rubs against the rotor causing grooves in the caliper. The spring clup flattens out and rubs against the rotor causing a groove to get cut into the rotor wherre it attaches to the hub.

If you take you Dakota/Durango with this setup to the deal about brake vibration, lack of braking power, and even if your caliper is smoking, ask to see the parts as the caliper being misaligned feels similar to if the caliper was sticking.

I'd had it and I'd like to hear from other Dodge owners who've had this issue. (I mean why are the break parts so cheap ... nothing else for these Dakotas in this cheap.) I'd like to get as many owners posting these problems as possible...as if they are willing to replace the cheap wiper motor, they should replace the front brakes with a design that makes sense.


SO POST HERE AND LET'S AMASS A TON OF OWNERS WHO'VE HAD THIS ISSUE!
 

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2003 Dakota is a different animal with a nicer design dual piston caliper and larger front rotors (requiring at least a 16" tire). Of the 1999 and 2000 Dakotas the only issue I ever had was with the caliper pin bolts pulling the threads out of the spindle. Other than that the brakes worked fine but I think they can use the extra surface area the 2003-2004 Dakotas got so I grabbed the better front brake setup and an axle with rear discs back during Cash for Clunkers but haven't installed them yet.

I'm not sure that metal clip you are talking about does any thing more than function as an anti-rattle clip. I think there's another issue like a collapsed flex hose or a caliper binding on the slide that's behind your troubles.
 

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valiant67 is right. That's merely an anti-rattle clip. It cannot cause the condition you mentioned.

What does cause it is not keeping the caliper guide bolts lubricated. Make sure to pull them out, grease them with plenty of wheel bearing grease, and reinstall them.
 

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My 2002 Dakota has the same problem. The discs over heat and warp. Over 100,000 miles so no factory help. Same as ball joint problem they will replace lower ball joints but not uppers or any subsequent damage.
 
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