Here's a question for those of you with experience in brake systems. This is for a 2002 Mustang, not a classic Mustang, but I would love to hear the opinions of VMF members.
I recently had to change the passenger ball joint on the Mustang (it had started to make some noise, torn boot), and noticed that the passenger brake pads were worn past the wear indicators. I thought, OK I'll replace the pads while I got this apart. Moved to the drivers side and the pads aren't nearly as worn as the passenger side. Put it all together and take it for a test drive and I could tell something wasn't right. Got back and the passenger caliper was really hot to the touch, and you could smell that it was hot. Jack the front up and I could only turn the wheel with significant effort. Without the wheel, I can't turn the rotor at all.
In my limited experience, a dragging brake was either a caliper with issues or a damaged hose. So I pumped the brakes, the caliper has hold of the rotor and won't budge. Open the bleed valve and a little fluid trickles out. Aha! I say, its the caliper, piston isn't retracting with the change in pressure. If the hose was holding pressure, then a lot of fluid would quickly come out the bleeder. So I get a re-manufactured caliper, install it and ... same problem. In frustration I get a new hose since they are cheap and in stock and install it - and still no joy.
I did notice after all of that that the brake pedal does not appear to fully return to its position. I had a helper pumping the brakes so I was unaware of this during the parts changes. It's close, but not quite even with the clutch pedal like it should be, maybe a 1/2 inch low. (I should measure this, it could be more) I'm beginning to think maybe the master cylinder has an issue. I'd like to hear your opinions, and specifically how to verify the issue before swapping parts. I hate just buying parts to see if it fixes the issue. Thanks for your help