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Brakes locked up on my truck

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Jack Straw, May 10, 2012.

  1. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
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    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    I have a 1989 GMC K2500 plow truck w/83k miles on it. A month ago the brakes locked up on the front driver side. I got a new caliper and replaced it. Brakes still locked up. I could not for the life of me figure out what was causing the brakes to lock up just on one side. Thankfully I know several mechanics who told me it was the brake hose. I guess they collapse on the inside and act as a 1 way valve. I replaced the hose today (after soaking the fittings in PB blaster for 2 weeks, which is another thread) and the brakes work great. I am going to change the other side next and the rear has already been done. I thought I would share this with anyone who may have this problem and are as clueless as me.;)

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
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    15,044
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Good to know, but just recently (4 days ago) I had the opposite problem. Lost ALL brakes on my big blue truck (in traffic). I still have no idea how I got out of that mess without crunching anything or anybody. I had stopped traffic in front of me that I had to dodge. Whew.
    Found TWO places where the brake line blew (steel line) at the same time. There was no leak prior to this failure.

    Moral of the story: pop the hood and crawl under you vehicles once in a while. Take a look at the brake lines for rust or possible damage.
  3. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I'm going to chip in here and say anybody looking to replace flexlines in a brake system look long and hard at using Stainless Steel flexlines instead of the OEM rubber type. World of difference in pedal feel and brake "bite".
  4. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    I've had brake lines let go on me, too. I have gotten in this habit every time I leave the driveway - I stop and push the brake pedal HARD for a couple of seconds. The theory is that I'd pop a weak brake line there, instead of on the long steep downhills we have here. No guarantee, but it makes some sense to me.
  5. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    I've popped a few rusty brake lines too. It can be scary. I have replaced the steel lines on every truck I have owned over the last 20 years or so. Gotta love all that salt on the roads. This last mild winter probably added two years to the lives of most cars in the Northeast.
  6. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Not worth the extra cost on an old beater farm truck though.

  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    It is if you have to replace all the flex lines, the cost difference is minimal. But yeah, on a beater, pedal feel ain't my highest priority either.
  8. jeromehdmc

    jeromehdmc Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2009
    Messages:
    208
    Loc:
    Kansas City
    If any of you have an early 2000's Chevy or GMC truck check the brake lines that run along the frame just under the drivers door.
    Mine rusted through. After checking into it this isn't an uncommon problem.
    Luckly I was sitting in my driveway when it happened.
  9. heat seeker

    heat seeker Minister of Fire

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    Same with the 2000 Taurus I had. The idiots in Detroit put a plastic piece under the brake lines to protect then, but all the plastic did was catch and hold water, which rusted the lines through. P-poor design!
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    A notoriously weak spot on those trucks. I completely re-did a 2000 1500 for a friend and am in no hurry to repeat that experience. Along with the ABS sensor failures and parking brake failuress that are due to rust/dirt there are several issues on these trucks that are caused by a lack of corrosion resistance/cheap materials. Actually the brake line replacement wasn't the end of the world but I just couldn't close my eyes to all the other issues so after scraping the frame and re-undercoating it, replacing the rear brake disc's and pads, right rear parking brake assembly, both front brake calipers/pads, every flexline was replaced with braided SS lines from Goodrich and all hard lines are now run with a new corrosion proof Copper/Nickel alloy tubing. If I had it to do again, I discovered a company making Stainless Steel hardline kits for those trucks that I'd consider over hand fabricating each line as I did.
  11. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Schoharie County, N Y
    Living in the salt belt up north I would like to custom build a rust proof jeep, I would start with a galvanized frame, all SS brake and fuel lines, and a fiberglass body with full roll bars. I would use a CJ frame from th 80's so it wouldn't have to meet new emission standards.

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