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91 Chevy Brake issues


stac's Avatar
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09-05-04, 08:52 PM   #1  
stac
91 Chevy Brake issues

I had some brake issues with my truck... first, it was i had to press on my brakes almost to the floor to get my brakes to brake. So, i looked at my brake fluid, good level. A couple of days later, I decided I should bleed my brakes. Couldn't figure out how to do it, so I sent it to a shop. They said that I had multiple holes in my brake hoses. I haven't checked my brake fluid, but do you think it would be easy to replace these parts myself? My truck is a 4x4 1500 1/2 chevy 91 and I am a little knowledge able in brakes and I could figure something out. Is there a link that I could go to that could explain all this to me? Or can it be explained? Anything is helpful!


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stac

 
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09-05-04, 09:10 PM   #2  
If you have holes in the hoses you would have NO brakes. Are the hoses leaking? If not they would have no effect on the brakes working, unless they were soaked with oil or something causing them to swell when you put on the brakes. If the hoses have any cracks or other damage they should be replaced.

If the brake fluid was not flushed and the brakes beld that would be the first thing to do. Contaminated brake fluid can cause the brake pedal to go down and the brakes not to work well. If fresh fluid does not cure it you may have a bad master cylinder.

Replacing the hoses is pretty straight foreward. Many times the metal line coming down to the hose will be rusted and will twist the metal brake line in to when you try to remove it. Soak it well with penatrating fluid. Even doing this a day or 2 ahead of time will help. Soak the bleed screws too.

On any hose that uses 2 copper or aluminum washers to seal it, be sure to use new washers and keep all dirt or sand from getting on the sealing surfaces or washers to avoid a leak.

 
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09-05-04, 09:46 PM   #3  
stac
Thank you Car Nut,

I will look into this and thanks for the tips. I am sure it had something to do with the rust, my truck was on the coast for 3 years... there is a bunch of rust on it thus the reason for alot of my problems. I have had to replace the tranny, the engine, the serpentine belt (the easiest so far), and now, I am looking at replacing the hoses. I paid a mechanic to diagnose my brakes... he didn't write down the issues (as I wish he would have) but I am sure that I would have to replace the master cylindar. How do I know what this is?

(background on me: I am a 22 yr old female with very little mechanic background and very little income :0)

Thank you again for your help it is greatly appreciated!

stac

 
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09-06-04, 08:37 PM   #4  
If the brake fluid is replaced and all air is bled from the system and the pedal is still low and brakes are spongy the master cylinder is probably bad.

The master cylinder is where you put the brake fluid in. If you do not have hydro boost the master cylinder is not to hard to change. (hydro boost will have 2 lines large going to the power steering pump from the master cylinder area.)

The master cylinder is held on by 2 nuts you can see. First take a wrench and see if the 2 nuts on the brake lines will turn before the wrench starts to slip. Stop if it starts to slip. You will need a line wrench. Some auto stores loan them if you buy the master cylinder there. It looks like a 6-point box end wrench with a notch cut out to fit over the brake line.

Have lots of rags. Brake fluid will eat paint. Remove the old master cyl. being carefull not to jiggle the brake lines and get air in to them. Put the new master cyl. on and follow the bench bleeding instructions. It should come with adapters and tubes for bench bleeding. You will need a helper.

After bleeding the master cyl. loosen the 2 nuts, this may help you get the brake line nuts started. Make sure the brake lines go straight into the master cyl. and the nuts go in several turns easy before they get tight. If they get tight right a way they are cross threaded and you will strip them if you tighten them. After they are started tighten the 2 nuts holding the master cyl. on. Then finish tightening the brake lines. Don't let the reservoir run dry or you have to bleed again.

Clean of all brake fluid with brake clean and dry the areas. See if the pedal is high and solid. Hold hard pressure on the pedal for a minute. If it goes down you probably have a leak. Then go check for leaks buy running your finger under the connections. They must be completly dry.

Make sure the brakes are working well in the drive way befor going anywhere. If they seem ok go slowly in your neighborhood at first and be darn sure they are working well befor going into traffic. If they are not working right have a pro look at it for you. It is not worth having a wreck.

If all goes well check for leaks when you get back. Good luck.


Last edited by car nut; 09-06-04 at 09:02 PM.
 
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09-06-04, 09:27 PM   #5  
If the brake fluid isn't leaking and you have drum brakes, they may not have self adjusted.

 
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09-07-04, 04:32 PM   #6  
Posted By: jeff67 If the brake fluid isn't leaking and you have drum brakes, they may not have self adjusted.
Good point.

 
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09-08-04, 04:59 AM   #7  
It sounds like we might be dealing with a terminology issue here. When you refer to "hoses", are you talking about the steel lines being rusted out? You stated it was on the coast for a while. It sounds like you may have a few steel lines rusting out. This may be a little harder as you may have to custom make some of those lines to match the length and fitting type. you could also have rusted out bleeders so this could get extensive quickly.

 
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09-09-04, 04:39 AM   #8  
stac
more developments??

right desi, i paid a mechanic 110 to tell me that ... he said that they were the steel lines but the only one that needs to be customized is the one that goes from the front to the back. i haven't looked at the hoses as of yet.... i will later on today. it is my only day off, i pulled a double the past two days (i work with children... 18 year old) and i have to move today. as of now, i am just using my truck to drive about 5-10 miles aday (only to and from work) and i keep the fluid level up. the brakes work well as if there isn't an issue as long as i keep the fluid up, but at the same time, there is fluid leaking from the bottom because when i park after using the truck, there are puddles. and i am guessing that the line that reallly needs to be replaced is the customized one. i went to the parts store to purchase the hoses (the front and back ones) and the bleeder kit. i got the one man kit cause i am the only person that is going to be doing this (i live in a house with three other guys and they know nothing about cars... yeah.) and the guy told me that i would have to get the custom hose from the dealer. but the thing about it is that my dealer doesn't even have stuff for my 91.... i don't want to go to a salvage yard cause they will most likely have the same kind of hoses. what is my alternative? any suggestions would be sweet!

thanks
stac

 
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09-09-04, 05:07 AM   #9  
just to set things straight

the hoses are rubber and flexible and are used wherever there are moving parts...so there is one at each of the front calipers (because the wheels turn) and one at the top of the rear end where the suspension moves up and down. on a 91 truck...it wouldn't hurt to replace them just for shi** and grins because they eventually go bad.

the steel "lines" on the other hand run from the master cylinder to the front corners where the "hoses" connect and then go to the calipers...AND to the combination valve which then sends fluid to the rear of the vehicle and at the top of the differential the line splits and goes to the rear wheel cylinders. it sound like it is this l;ine that needs to be repaired. the best way to accomplish this is to purchase enough steel line (it comes in varying lengths, so whoever repairs it will have to measure linear length) and bend accordingly to resemble the old line. it doesn't have to be all one piece, it can be made of several pieces as long as they are connected with unions...ABSOLUTELY NO COMPRESSION FITTINGS in a brake system. the lines can be purchased at any parts store...it's unlikely that the dealer can even get a complete line assembly anyway and they surely won't stock it if it is available. custom bending (fabricating) brake lines is a slow process and the longer it is...well, you get the idea...the lines are relatively cheap but the labor will be kind of pricey. i'd plan on spending 2-3 hours on it if it were me...but i wouldn't hold myself to an estimate...generally it's done on a time and materiels basis since it's custom work. good luck...

 
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09-09-04, 06:58 AM   #10  
stac
****. okay soo with this in mind, it is over my head. well, my truck is starting this new thing that when i go in reverse.... it sounds like something in my front driver's side brakes are grinding... but only in reverse. does this have something to do with my issue or is it (my luck) something different? if you need other descriptions, here are more, it does it whether or not i turn the wheel to the extreme left or right or keep it straight. it is worse the longer back i go and if i am on a hill; it is loud. but it is only exclusive to the front driver's side. i have driven and had someone else drive while i heard it... let me know if you need more descriptions. also, thank you soo much for all your help, descriptions and steps it is greatly appreciated.

stac

 
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