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Old 08-05-2006, 05:15 PM   #1
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Dude, where's my brakes?!?!

So I'm on my way to do some errands earlier today, driving down the interstate, when the driver in front of me slams on his brakes. couldn't change lanes, (someone beside me) so I respond in kind with a good firm stomp on the pedal. Truck slows ok...then just about as the need for braking disappeared, the pedal goes to the floor. like something "popped". traffic moved ahead, and I moved slowly along, until I tried the brakes again and found that this was more than a momentary glitch in the abs system...the brakes were indeed gone. But luckily, the traffic started crawling in the bumper-to-bumper mode at the merge of another major interstate (heavy beach traffic, I assume. ). I was tempted to pull over to the breakdown lane...rest area 1 mile ahead...exit ramp 100 yards ahead....I took the exit, coasting slowly in 1st gear, limping gently into a gas station. I pumped the pedal a couple of times in amazment. I could hear a "hisss" with each pump. then out the window, I noticed a blue cloud that corresponded with each pump of the pedal...ok, I know what happened, now. I shut it down, got out, and watched the remainder of the brake fluid drip onto the ground under the truck. The local Dodge dealership is all of 2 miles from this spot, but I didn't even dare take it that far. (probably shouldn't have rolled as far as I already had) Called AAA and waited the obligatory 1.5 hours for a tow.
Thats why the call it a "Dodge", I guess. I "dodged" yet another bullet.

seems to me that 6 years isn't old enough to have rusted out brake lines...it also seems to me that one ruptured brake line shouldn't completely eliminate the brakes. (2 halfs to a dual brake system). But apparently, it is, and it does.

oh, well. So that was my adventure for the week.
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Old 08-05-2006, 05:18 PM   #2
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Well dude,you lived to tell the story.As frustrating as it is,it could have been much worse.
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:23 PM   #3
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Glad you made it!

Whew! Glad it wasn't worse.... you could have been pulling your Airstream! Very glad you weren't hurt and your vehicle seemed to be okay other than the brake issue. All that paperwork and grief when one has to file an insurance claim.

Hey, does anyone else have survival on the road stories to share? This might start a even more interesting read on this thread..... Always nice to know this sort of stuff happens to others, sometimes we wonder if it is just us....

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 08-05-2006, 08:50 PM   #4
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Flat Tire, Streetside, Last Monday

And going 60 mph uphill towing "Foiled Again" - In West Virginia. Heard this "wrong" sound, started moving right, felt the truck and trailer shudder, turned on the flashers praying I didn't tear up the aluminum with a tire shredding on the trailer. Came to a safe stop, got out and there was my streetside rear tire on the Suburban -completely flat and already departing company from the rim.

Crept to the top of the hill to get onto an even grade and started learning how to change a tire on the Suburban. The tool kit isn't where it says in the manual; close but no cigar. D'oh READ the book ahead of time!

Got about 75% done before courtesy patrol showed up and finished the work. I'm not sure which was worse, the 100 degree heat or trying to break the lugs loose - but the courtesy guy came along and did that for me.

This is one time where towing probably kept me from flipping over. The tires are the bigger knobby type, but the trailer acted as an anchor and I had the dual cam set up tight so everything stayed "shiny side up".

Whew. Paula
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Old 08-05-2006, 09:15 PM   #5
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My turn to drive

Once upon a time, driving large SOB motorhome toodling along, blam! Blowout. Luckily not much other traffic. Was told I handled it well. When things are happening you stay calm you know. Then when it's over you want to lie down and take a little nap It was Good Friday, we were in the middle of nowhere and it took hours for the fix-it truck to get there, but the beauty of an rv is you can play cards w/the kids, fix lunch or go lie down and take that nap 'til help arrives.
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:21 PM   #6
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Hi Foiled Again--I have a Suburban, I have an A/S, and I have a piece of pipe to put over the lug nut wrench for extra leverage. You think the Suburban nuts are hard to remove--try the A/S. I have given up on lug nut wrenches that come with vehicles. I use a heavy duty, long handled, 1/2" ratchet socket, with extensions to fit into the dish of the wheel, and sockets for both the Suburban and the A/S handy, along with the pipe.--Frank S
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:06 PM   #7
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Hi Foiled Again--Forgot to mention I also carry a torque wrench, to insure the proper torque when replacing the wheel.--Frank S
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Old 08-06-2006, 01:26 AM   #8
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Dude, where's my brakes?!?!

Greetings Chuck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
I could hear a "hisss" with each pump. then out the window, I noticed a blue cloud that corresponded with each pump of the pedal...ok, I know what happened, now. I shut it down, got out, and watched the remainder of the brake fluid drip onto the ground under the truck. The local Dodge dealership is all of 2 miles from this spot, but I didn't even dare take it that far. (probably shouldn't have rolled as far as I already had) Called AAA and waited the obligatory 1.5 hours for a tow.
Thats why the call it a "Dodge", I guess. I "dodged" yet another bullet.

seems to me that 6 years isn't old enough to have rusted out brake lines...it also seems to me that one ruptured brake line shouldn't completely eliminate the brakes. (2 halfs to a dual brake system). But apparently, it is, and it does.

oh, well. So that was my adventure for the week.
I had a similar experience with my father's S-10 Blazer, and it wasn't a corroded brake line; rather it was an internal rupture in the power brake assist unit that vacuumed out the brake fluid from the master cylinder and sent it into the intake manifold. Your description of the blue exhaust cloud makes me think that this could be a possibility.

Hopefully your Dodge's repairs won't be as expensive as those on my father's Blazer.

Kevin
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Old 08-06-2006, 01:34 AM   #9
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here is one for you chevrolet owners with hydro boost brakes to check!

http://www.airforums.com/forum...akes-3900.html?

john
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Old 08-06-2006, 01:37 AM   #10
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rusted brake lines

Hi, Chuck. Six years is too soon for a brake line to rust out. But I've seen it happen. On certain cars, the brake line is run inside of the car under the carpet. And if the carpet stays wet, after a while it will rust out. Also certain parts of this country are more prone to rust than others. Why yours rusted out; I would ask the dealer if your vehicle has some thing that caused it to rust out so soon. As for the dual master cylinder, when one side is empty, the other side usually goes to the floor or very close to it giving you very little assistance on stopping. But enough to stop and not drive any more.

Hi, Foiled Again. As for changing a flat with the tools that came with your tow vehicle, they are minimal to useless. I carry a breaker bar, torque wrench, extension, and sockets to fit my Airstream and Navigator.

Hi, Frank S. "You think the Suburban lug nuts are hard to remove--try the A/S." Mine would be in reverse of yours, 120 lbs on my Airstream and 150 lbs on my Navigator.

Bob
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Old 08-06-2006, 01:47 AM   #11
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You all have seen those large pieces of shredded truck tires on the road. Ever had one of those tires come apart on the truck trailer that you are ridding along side of....in a convertible....with the top down! None of the tire remnants hit me. I have worn hearing aids all my adult life. Wiped out the aid batteries big tme.
Neil.
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Old 08-06-2006, 06:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caddygrn
Whew! Glad it wasn't worse.... you could have been pulling your Airstream!
I was thinking that; the worst part would have been a wrecked vacation. I'd have had more braking WITH the trailer in tow in this case. I probably could have limped back to the shop on my own using the trailer's brakes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander64
I had a similar experience with my father's S-10 Blazer, and it wasn't a corroded brake line; rather it was an internal rupture in the power brake assist unit that vacuumed out the brake fluid from the master cylinder and sent it into the intake manifold. Your description of the blue exhaust cloud makes me think that this could be a possibility.
hmmm...well, the smoke wasn't coming out the end of the tailpipe; it was coming out from under the truck, just behind the cab...and that's where the puddle of brake fluid started forming in the parking lot. Then another puddle started just behind the front wheel. I think the line was ruptured, and the smoke was from it dripping onto the exhaust system. When they dragged the truck up onto the flat bed, I could see that fluid was dripping out of the frame channel. somewhere in there is the break, and it was dripping inside the frame , flowing fore and aft till it found a hole to drop down onto the ground.

now, the really spooky thing: a guy pulled into the same gas station just a few minutes after we did...he had the same problem. and brake fluid leaking out in the same place!! not as bad as ours, but still...what are the odds of that?! He topped off his fluid, and attempted to drive to another shop...don't know if he made it or not withough hitting anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsunrus
...As for the dual master cylinder, when one side is empty, the other side usually goes to the floor or very close to it giving you very little assistance on stopping. But enough to stop and not drive any more.
that's about what I had. not "0", but not much more than that. Like I mentioned before, with the trailer attached, when I do my trailer brake test by actuating the thumb-button on the brake controller so its "trailer brakes only"...thats actually alot more braking power than I had yesterday.
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Old 08-06-2006, 01:11 PM   #13
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Quick sidebar

Just as a "sidebar" (no desire to hijack this thread...) We were at our local Napa store the other day, some poor fellow on vacation with his big SOB was trying to buy parts to fix something or other... but his comment that day: "RV stands for Ruined Vacation".

Let's hope we all have only a few incidents "assigned" to each of us... and maybe you, Chuck, have reached your "limit" and won't have any more of these exciting moments.

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
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Old 08-06-2006, 03:45 PM   #14
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Hi ROBERTSUNRUS--My wheel nut torque figures are similiar to yours: 110lbft on the A/S, and 140lbft on the Suburban. The A/S always seems tougher for me to get off, and I think that is due to the rust buildup on the threads during periods of storage, which my Suburban doesn't seem to experience. Once I break the nut loose with the pipe extension, the nuts then come off rather easily.--Frank S
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