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Latest Jeep Repair and Brake Hose Installation Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice

1994 Jeep brakes engages by themselves

Showing 2 out of 2 Posts
Question From tarverinc on 1994 Jeep brakes engages by themselves

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.2L/4WD brakes start engaging after driving 1/4 mile. I changed brake lines. Lifted Jeep notice front drvr wheel rotating very slow.

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

If just one wheel you need to think about caliper or brake hose problems. If this starts dragging all by itself on all the master cylinder may not be letting fluid come back properly. Need to know more about how this came about by the age of the vehicle could be on third rounds of some brake things or who knows?

T

brake caliper removal 95 Cherokee

Showing 2 out of 40 Posts | Show 38 Hidden Posts
Question From ZmanWA on brake caliper removal 95 Cherokee

Hello,

'95 Jeep Cherokee, 6.0 liter engine, 150K+ mileage

Trying to remove the front brake calipers so I can change pads and rotors. Have unscrewed the top and bottom bolts that should hold in place. Trying to slide out. Only moves slightly. Have tapped with rubber mallet. Any movement has something in the way to allow it to slide all the way out. What am I missing or what do I need to do here?

Thanks.

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

There will be two bolts holding the caliper to the mount, then two large bolts holding the mount to the spindle. It is easier if you remove them individually. You'll need to depress the piston a bit, usually, to pull it off.

Response From Guest

I'll give this a try and get back. Thanks.

Response From Guest

OK, got them taken off - thanks. Just needed to be pried. ... Put on new pads and rotors. They went on OK but were very tight. They did go on. Drove the vehicle a couple miles and the right front started smoking. Seems like it was very tight. When clamping the caliper piston, it was very difficult to get the piston to suppress. Did it but it took way more effort than the other one. So two questions I guess...
1) will the pads simply wear in and be OK? Or not?
2) Given the situation with the caliper piston. Should it be replaced (is it a must)?

Thanks

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Seems like you are in the middle of this and Loren might be off line for a while so let me add my 2 cents:

You noted one more difficult to compress/push back than the other. Not good!

Ok: That's enough to worry right away but also need to know more. This is a judgement call on the overall corrosion condition of the caliper which isn't all that easy to guess but a warning is there that a frozen piston exists OR a flex hose has failed such that fluid return isn't happening.

If the wheel is dragging now (smoke with test drive on one side only isn't good of course) and just loosening the bleeder for a quick bleed frees that wheel right up then I'd replace both flex hoses and strongly consider the calipers too. In fact if you know they haven't been done it's about time anyway for that age vehicle.



If just like that the part is under $22 bucks and not worth ruining the job over or worse losing braking with them failed.

Be warned that if it's dragging now and you continue driving this it will ruin the pads and possibly warp the rotor that you just replaced!

You may notice that old pads were markedly more worn on one side - that's another warning that calipers and flex hoses are in the cards.

Hey - it does mean you will need to bleed out brakes which is best anyway. The metal line where it threads into flex hose if original or any rust/corrosion going on there will be a pest to remove and may break off requiring a replacement segment of the metal line or as far back as line is very good in a place to properly splice in a section.

Are you up for that?

If it breaks or twists up the line there you need to be ready with line, flaring tool, tubing cutter, to do a legal job of just a line section replacement. These tools aren't that expensive for basic work with lines and should be available at any parts store.

Whatever you do just know it can domino into more work like this. Do youself a favor and go put some penetrating oil on that flare nut to flex hose connection now to have a better chance of it behaving for you later - still might not. The OE Crysler flare nuts were long sleeved over the line and were a nightmare with any rust there to remove without twisting them up.

Be ready if you go there,

T

Ps: Loren - you can give me and Kitty a punch for jumping in or fix my confusion of this

Response From Guest

Tom,

Here are some answers for you to ponder. Know that I am clearly an amateur.
* It seems replacing the right caliper is the thing to do. Do I need to put in two new ones or is doing just one OK?
* Old rotors appeared to be OK visually, but there was a shimmy when braking so I got new ones.
* I'm not comfortable performing any "operation" on the hoses. I usually get decent advice at the auto parts store if they simply show me the new part and I make a straight put the new one in replacing the old one.
*Obviously I need to do this right so the vehicle is safe, but I don't want to sink any more $$$ than needed - thus the do it myself approach.
Thanks for all your help!

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer


Know that I am clearly an amateur.

Got it! Brake work is not a good place to learn the hard way - we all agree on that one. Ok: Generally brakes, some suspension items, tires are replaced in pairs. With brakes I'll say that if one side failed then the other is probably close to failure anyway. You just can't see what the inside of the caliper or flex hose looks like so a warning is enough and there is one with this. Your money and your call on doing it in pairs or one by one. I strongly suggest pairs especially with brake hydraulic parts. Nobody is here to waste money but not replacing something now may cost you problems later and ruin what you already did too and again we are talking brakes so the $$ for making them safe doesn't factor in as much. It's hard to say if this is a caliper problem or the hose acting up on ONE wheel if I'm reading right so far. It's actually rare for both sides to fail at once in this manner. Usually a frozen (rusted, corroded, piston or caliper mounting parts/pins) show up before you get there. Vehicle would pull to one side when braking or some complaint up front. The caliper if frozen piston to wall may free up by just retracting it making you think it's fine and it isn't. Lot's of shops don't like doing brake work without tossing this for new each time - costly but safer approach. Brake hose is just a part to replace. The line is something you make up yourself from line and make the flare for it and bend it to original line's position. Cheap parts - fussy for a first time and REALLY GREAT if you could get someone to show you just how to work with them and practice on some peices on the bench to see how it all works. With any violation of brake fluid you risk troubles bleeding them out - be it fussy systems, rusted bleeders, or a master cylinder that decides to quit at the same time from pumping brakes to floor where they haven't been in ages and it tears up the seals in it! "Domino Effect" - folks think we're out to get them - no..... stuff happens! ************** Are you comfortable with changing just the calipers for now or only the one for now if you must? That will require bleeding the front system anyway - you do know that - right? If not you may want to get help or send it out now. Do you feel comfortable doing the test for the flex line discussed already? It may not be the caliper at all right now. However if this stuff is all original in a 1995 there's no waste in tossing all of it IMO. Hit back with what you feel you can do or if you can get help or what, T

Response From Guest

OK, went out of town for a day and am back at it today. Got new calipers and put them on. Went very well. No leaks, fit great, pretty simple operation really. Now trying to bleed the brakes and do it right. Have tried to do it twice but they continue to feel spongy, so there must be air in the line. Perhaps you have some tips. Let me share what I've been doing and then you can correct/instruct.

Made sure master cylinder tank was full. Started with front passenger side then moved to driver's side. There is very little fluid coming out unless I have partner pump the brakes. Does this mean there happens to be A LOT of air in there?

I instruct partner to push. When they verify they are pushing I open the valve on the caliper. This is where I'm unclear. What exactly am I looking for so I know when to close the valve and tell partner to release? With so little fluid coming out it is hard to detect air.

Hopefully I'm missing something simple. Thanks for your help. You've been great!

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

As Tom had mentioned, it is very easy to 'rupture' the seals of the master cylinder while bleeding. You want to be very careful while doing this. Have a helper press gently on the brake pedal. (Tell him to not let the pedal go all the way to the floor.) Open the RF bleeder just a bit, letting the fluid out slowly. Watch for air bubbles. Close it off before too much fluid comes out. It is a slow process, but taking your time will lessen the chances of damaging the master. Have your helper pump the pedal slowly, a couple of times, then repeat the process. (pumping it quickly can aeriate the fluid, causing MORE bubbles). Continue doing this until no more air bubbles are present; Then, move to the LF. If the master cylinder went dry while you were changing the calipers, it's possible that you've got air in the rear half, as well, in which case, you'll need to bleed the rears starting at the RR, then LR. Remember, if you got air in the rear, it will be all of the way up front, and will take some bleeding to get the air to the rear of the vehicle. On both the front and rear, if you can get the fluid to move on it's own (gravity bleeding), that's the best and safest way.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Thanks Loren for kicking in with this as it may do the Domino thing. I'll be off line most of Tues, 30th but right back.

ZmanWA

Sign in if you think of it so we know it's you. It will still post as you've seen.

To add as this is the whole "enchilada" going on: Eventually pedal will feel firmer and the squirt from bleeding will be more than a dribble. Know that now that calipers aren't frozen they retract like they should so aren't going to feel hard as a rock like frozen ones AND new pads even with new rotors can take a while to set themselves to each other so the "feel" of brakes should improve over the first 200ish miles of assorted use and stay stable from about there.

If you are still not convinced they feel proper - adjustment of rear especially if drum (disc style self adjust by nature and drum type can need help when a bit older) will restore a more proper feeling pedal. That's a page of notes just to do that right too.

Also note: The new caliper was empty so you plain know there was air to remove.

When ready for good test run, give gentle but sure stops at first. Again - brand new stuff doesn't always feel perfect right out of the gate but will (should) be secure rather quickly with a few stops. When in biz - all brake jobs went out for a good ride before customer got it back.

If bleeding really rears it's ugly head we can work on some tricks or blame the master at some point. Hang in there,

T

Response From Guest

OK, got all the lines bled. First did the gravity thing. That took a long time but cleared the lines pretty good. Followed it up by doing all four wheels in proper order using the clear tube into a clear bottle of fluid to see the bubbles (worked very well).

Have taken on a 1-mile test drive with multiple stops. Two symptoms to diagnose now. Brake pedal is not firm. It must be depressed quite a ways before brakes engage. When they do, they work smoothly & efficiently. Also, the brake light is "on" all the time now (as if the parking brake is engaged).

Thoughts?

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

Sounds like you've still got some air in the lines. Should have a nice, firm, pedal. If drum brakes in rear, be sure they are properly adjusted. Sometimes, it takes a few miles for the pads/shoes to seat. Also, once the pedal has been 'pumped' a few times, caliper pistons extended, should re-bleed the calipers. Hopefully, once all of the air is out of the system and master cylinder full, brake warning light will go out. If not, will need to do some more diagnostics. (sure hope you're not an English teacher..looking at spelling and punctuation)

Response From ZmanWA

Don't teach English! Hopefully I'm just getting my thoughts across though. ... I'm more than willing to do it all again. Just so you're clear, saw no air bubbles until the final wheel (LF). On first pump there were several, second pump there was one, third pump none. Did a 4th pump to be sure and no bubbles.

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

Whew! Not an English teacher. You are doing an excellent job of getting your thoughts through, btw. It's hard for me to get mine through. Just keep at it, and I'm sure you'll get it.

Response From ZmanWA

Loren,

I have never worked on rear brakes ever and honestly don't know anything about doing that - how to adjust, etc. The drums haven't come off at this point. Would they not simply be functioning the same as they had before I worked on the front?

What can you tell me (if anything) about the volume of air I'm finding in the lines? Does this amount seem possible without some additional issue?

I'm asking remedial questions I'm sure, but simply don't know a lot. Thanks!

Zman

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

You are right. The rear brakes should be functioning as before. And, unless the master cylinder went empty, there shouldn't be any air in the rear brakes. That's what's puzzling. There are two bolts holding the master cylinder to the power booster unit. You can remove the nuts and pull the master forward just enough to feel or see if it is leaking any fluid out of the rear. You should be able to do this without disconnecting the brake lines. It's not unusual to find a master leaking fluid externally, into the booster unit, but it is rare for one to suck in air. If there is any fluid present at the rear of the master where it goes into the booster, then it needs to be replaced. Assuming you have no other leaks, that's the only place that I can think of that air could be getting into the system. Back to the bleeding procedure; With the brake pedal depressed (I prefer gravity bleeding, but is slow), you open the bleeder, allow fluid to come out, then close the bleeder before the pedal is allowed back. Just wanted to make sure!

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Ok - I see this is going along fast as a shot once again.

Zman - I agree that back brakes really need to be at least inspected AND how the parking brake works is a clue of their condition and or if out of adjustment. The original "star" adjusters common to drum brakes work pretty good for the first round or several years and then kinda give up and can need manual adjustment vs the automatic that virtually all are and will self adjust when brakes are applied while backing up - they quit that in most or at least in my experience.

Drum brakes were once the 99.9% of all brakes by style and now seem old fashioned and confusing when you first look at them and all their springs and things. It's real "Erector Set" stuff - primal mechanics really.

They were probably far off proper adjustment (has a lot to do with pedal travel) in the first place but wasn't noticed because "frozen" calipers or even snug in the front covered up how loose the backs really were. Now that fronts are free to retract with new calipers (you don't really see them retract but they do) that accounts for more pedal travel which would be normal. Brakes need some freeplay before engagement or they would be dragging which is what happened already. That freeplay is the room for them to retract and first inch or so of travel is waste to get linings to touch their respective rotor or drums - then you feel the resistance in the pedal.

I'm getting more confident that air is now bled out of this and not the cause of "spongy" pedal/low pedal. Now it's either back brakes or the master cylinder has gone out - perhaps unseen as Loren mentioned. If back bleeders can really shoot out brake fluid with a bleed by pump and hold with helper the master cylinder is less suspect IMO for now but always a possibility in the cards.

BTW - Replacing the master in many isn't all that difficult or expensive - not sure on exact price of this one and don't if not needed clearly yet.

Again - hang in there. This is our test too, to convey what we know to you and the busted knuckes it took to get to know it!

T

Response From DanD

Loren
You caught me; it is Tequila in the bottle. When I'm done bleeding brakes, I fill the bottle with Tequila; attach a needle to the hose and use it as an intravenous. The only problem is the dam worm keeps blocking the hose. LOL

Zman
One way of determining whether the low pedal is a hydraulic issue or mechanical at the wheels; is to LIGHTLY pinch off the flex hoses with vise grips.
If when all the flex lines (front & rear) are pinched off and the pedal is rock hard, with every little travel; you know that the problem is at the wheels. If so; by releasing one line at a time you can narrow it down further, as to which wheel(s).

If the pedal is still crap, with the lines pinched; then it’s a hydraulic issue. As in; air in the system, the master cylinder or possibly an issue with the ABS unit?
With the red light on; I’m leaning towards a hydraulic issue?
Why I say master cylinder or ABS unit is that when you first began on this journey and pushed the caliper pistons back; possibly some form of dirt was pushed back into one of these and is causing an internal leak?
If there is an internal leak; it will be hard to determine where or who is at fault. Is it the master cylinder that is by-passing pressure because of damaged/dirty seals or is it the ABS unit absorbing the pressure in its accumulator(s); again because of a damaged/dirty dump valve?

It’s the small things that can cause you the problems. What I always make my techs do when compressing a caliper piston into its bore; is to open the bleeder screw and allow the fluid to escape there, rather then be forced back into the system.
It’s kind of like the old saying; let sleeping dogs lie, if you don’t want to be bitten.
But that’s water under the bridge now; let us know what you find and we’ll go from there?
If this does turn out to be hydraulic; it maybe time to take the truck in and have the system flushed/bled; by someone that has a pressure bleeder?

Dan.

PS: You have to remember that all of the suggestions here are just that; plus this is starting to sound like a hand’s on type of problem and I’d hate for you to be sent in the wrong direction because of our speculations.

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

>>The only problem is the dam worm keeps blocking the hose<< That's hillarious!!!

Response From ZmanWA

The only thing I can try now given my level of knowledge is to go through the basic process a few times with some patience and see if it gets resolved. If not, then I'll have to take it in. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Zman: I'm back and unless power goes out with a storm here in Massa-two-shoots will get you thru whatever crops up best I can. I hope the guys have something better to do tonight than more car stuff

If you are continuing right thru (New Years Day) with this get any supplies now - take back what you don't need later. Stock up on brake fluid and perhaps get a "hardware" kit for rear brakes and maybe the "star" adjusters - that only if they are drum brakes! While there if you do that get "brake spring pliers" (not much $) and a "return spring" tool - you can fake that with good pliers too if you don't want but hard for return springs without the right tool - pretty universal for drum brakes.

If need be as this thread go long fast, make a summary of where you are at and post a new thread. It can get hard to follow what's already been done or discovered when this long.

Good luck. It can work if you have the patience and a box of band aids!

T

Response From ZmanWA

Per your request, here is where I've been and where I'm at. '95 Jeep Cherokee 4.0 L 6-cyl.
Replaced front rotors, brake pads and with help both calipers. Went fine.
Sought help in how to bleed brake lines because initially wasn't doing it correctly.
Have implemented use of suggested bottle to see bubbles (that has worked great)
Went around to all wheels in order RR, LR, RF, LF, bled each until no bubbles. Brake pedal was solid until vehicle started.
Test drove. Brakes worked well but pedal needed to be depressed a long ways + brake light was on.
Told to continue the process.
Did so twice around the system, removing air bubbles each time. Brake light went off OK
That is where it stood this AM, with a need to continue the process.

Spent the last couple hours removing air from the system. Put in about a 1/2 gallon of fluid to steadily replace that being released during the process (there are no apparent leaks anywhere). The bubbles do not seem to be slowing up let alone going away. Test drove again. Brakes work great but pedal still must be pushed nearly to the floor & brake light is staying on again.

Do not want to touch the rear brakes. Just not comfortable opening that can of worms. Is there simply an amazing amount of air in this system and thus continue what I've been doing? Is air somehow entering the system? Thoughts?

Thanks!

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

Zman; It sounds as though, even though you don't want to, you're gonna have to take a look at the rear brakes.
Check the cylinders for leakage, of course. If everything is kosher, adjust the rear brakes as needed. It's best to do this while the tires are off, removing the drum for each adjustment. You will want to adjust them to the point that you can still get the drum back on. If the emergency brake pedal goes down quite a ways before it's tight, that's a good indicator that the rear brakes are out of adjustment. Yes, the e-brake cable is adjustable, but shouldn't need to be dealt with if the rear brakes are properly adjusted.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

WOW! Did this thread take off! Now we have the bleeder bottle and lots of tricks out so I'll just make a quick note on the brake feel and the brake light being on as has been touched upon already - a bit.

New brakes will be softer feeling till "broken" in as Loren said.

Maybe - can't be sure - but in all this pumping (no jokes please) the master has given up OR that light is also there to tell/warn of a "front/rear" imbalance of pressure. It's not high on the likely list at this point but a good maybe that the trigger switch for this is off center. Arggh - I think Jeep may have used a GM style "combination" valve and sometimes when off center as would happen if one end had a failure would make the light, light. If that's the only case then with pressure applied and being held by a helper you slowly bleed a front or rear (even a line right at the master cyl) and watch for light to go out. DON'T allow fluid to stop flowing - just a leak down which can recenter that (proportioning/metering valve) such that light will go out. Unsure if front or back is the culprit if it is this at all so may need to try both ways. Some may still use a rubber like button that might recenter the sucker without doing anything but pushing it too. Man - that's old stuff but Jeep of all critters has been historical at using older items than the model years might suggest.

It's just on the "maybe" list. May have been mentioned already - adjustment (if drum rear brakes) and an inspection of rear brakes would be a great idea making sure parking brake isn't sticking too or was not fully retracting and just now showing up.

Note: Rear drum brakes are a great part of pedal feel and if not close really add to pedal travel........

T

Response From Guest

Went through the process again - twice to be thorough. Got plenty of bubbles cleared out both times through. Tested the pedal and solid as a rock and the brake light was out too. Then.... started the vehicle. The pedal went "soft" immediately. Thoughts?

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

Spend more time at each wheel. Open RR bleeder, go have a beer. Open LR bleeder, go have another. Open RF bleeder, have another. Open LF bleeder, well, you've probably had enough. Just takes patience. And perserverance.

Response From ZmanWA

Sorry I wrote twice. Didn't see Page 2. Time I've got, so no problem. I was concerned because it felt like it was done and then changed as soon as I started the vehicle. I'll likely report back tomorrow.

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

With power brakes, your pedal will feel high and 'hard' after a pump or two with the engine off, but will go down further once the engine starts and vacuum is applied to the power booster.

Response From ZmanWA

Did it all again - two times. Cleared a lot more air out. Pedal felt very solid when all done. Then started the vehicle and the pedal went soft immediately. Thought on this?

Response From ZmanWA

OK, got all the lines bled. First did the gravity thing. That took a long time but cleared the lines pretty good. Followed it up by doing all four wheels in proper order using the clear tube into a clear bottle of fluid to see the bubbles (worked very well).

Have taken on a 1-mile test drive with multiple stops. Two symptoms to diagnose now. Brake pedal is not firm. It must be depressed quite a ways before brakes engage. When they do, they work smoothly & efficiently. Also, the brake light is "on" all the time now (as if the parking brake is engaged).

Thoughts?

Response From Guest

Loren,

I really want to make sure this is done right since this is such a major safety factor. I'm reading a lot of variables that can cause issues -- that concerns me. I don't want to cause further problems.

Please tell me more about gravity bleeding. How is that done? If it is best and safest I'd like to try it. Time in on my side with this.

Other than that will go through the process slowly and deliberately. Hopefully nothing has been damaged so far. If not, should be able to solve this.

Thanks again!

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

Gravity bleeding is just that. You open the RR bleeder and let it bleed on it's own. Takes a while, though. Sometimes, if there's much air in the system, you may need to do the pedal thing to get the fluid moving; But, once it starts moving, it will bleed on it's own. Just need to keep the master cylinder full while doing so. Then, the RR, RF, LF. Once you are done, pump the pedal a few times until you get a 'good' pedal, then go back and hit them again, just to be sure you've got all of the air out.

Response From Guest

I think I'll try this. ... When I open a valve to let it bleed on it's own and it starts to flow, what exactly am I looking for? I presume there won't be heavy flow levels. Is that correct? How do I know when it is done and valve closed?

If I understand you right and if I need to pump the brakes just do it slow and gently. 2-3 times?

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

When you see nice, new, fluid coming out of the bleeder...with NO air bubbles, you'll be done. Thanks for being a teacher, btw... A VERY important career. Which means, you have a LOT of patience! LOL.

Response From ZmanWA

Thanks. I'll get more fluid in the morning and then tackle this. I'll report back so you know how this turns out - hopefully without any further issues.

Response From DanD

Sorry to jump in here, so far into a thread but it seems that you’re having a problem figuring out when you’ve got the air out of the system.
What I’ve done with my apprentices, while training them on proper brake bleeding; is to have them use a bleeder bottle.



Easy to make and it takes all the doubt out of; is there’s still air in the system?
Any type of clear bottle, a rubber hose that will fit the bleeder screw snuggly and is long enough to reach to the bottom of the bottle; while attached to the bleeder screw.
Here’s how to use it; put about an inch of brake fluid into the bottle, place hose into bottle so that the end of the hose is submerged into the fluid.
Place your wrench on the bleeder screw and then attach the other end of hose to the screw.
Have your helper pump the brake pedal as described above in previous posts.
Open the bleeder screw and watch the bubbles coming out of the hose end that is in the bottle.
When there are no more bubbles; close the bleeder screw and you’re done.
As tempting as it may be; do NOT reuse the brake fluid in the bleeder bottle!
There may be contaminates in the fluid picked up from the hose, the bottle or whatever that could damage the hydraulic system.

Keep it fun and when it’s not anymore; take the vehicle in!

Dan.

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

Dan; Is that brake fluid in the bottle? Looks a little more like Tequila?

Response From Guest

Dan,

I'll give this a try today. Love simple solutions. This has been fun so far.

Response From ZmanWA

Tom,

Signed in for you. Didn't realize I wasn't logged on. ... Going to try to gravity bleed tomorrow (I teach am off school all week so I have time). I've never fully understood the bleeding process. I've always been the helper!

I'm sure you're right that the new calipers were full of air + the system did endure some pumping (likely too much) during the first time through. Hopefully nothing is damaged and the "domino thing" doesn't happen. There are no apparent leaks. Want to proceed in the safest way possible. Assuming I don't break anything can get this done and actually learn something for the future.

Any and all advice (in layman's terms) will be truly appreciated. Have accomplished a lot so far in large part to you guys!

Response From Loren Champlain Sr

Tom and Kitty are right on! I'd recommend replacing the calipers in pairs. Nowadays, they are relatively inexpensive, and usually come with pads. The phenolic pistons tend to 'bind' in the caliper and cause what you are experiencing. The manufacturers' went to the phenolic from stainless to save weight and they tend to dissapate heat better. But...