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brake question for the sages...


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for some reason my brakes aren't working as well as they should... to stop I have to press the pedal all the way to the floor and even that doesn't slow the car very fast, I have to begin braking far from the actual stop... the brakes have been that way since I got the car, If any of you 02 sages have ideas that would help me make my car safer I would be very grateful, here are the things ive already looked at,

I took it into the shop and had them check all 4 wheels, the pads aren't worn badly enough to replace them...

brake fluid is at normal level

Ive adjusted the nuts on the rear wheels according to the manual

rotors don't look damaged or badly scored...

there is a squeal from the brakes under light pressure, but goes away after warming up from road use or if I pull my foot off the brake for a quarter second and reapply force,

and the e brake cable is adjusted yet doesn't really stop the car but does have enough force to keep it from rolling...

Please help!

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Sounds like the brake booster isn't getting or isn't holding vacuum. Were the brakes bled when it was serviced?

71, flat black

Beat to fit, paint to match.

Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.

"Some people spend a lifetime wondering if they made a difference, Marines don't have that problem" - Ronald Reagan

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Make sure the check-valve is in place as well.

There's a hose from the booster to the intake. There should be a oneway valve on that hose to hold vacuum.

I'll bet either the hose is leaking or the the check-valve is missing, or both.

Jack be nimble - Jack be quick

If Jack isn't, he's gonna get his ass burned!

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additionally, check the type of hose used to go from the intake manifold to the booster.

Under high vacuum, thin-unreinforced hose will collapse. Not ideal.

Make it different... or just do it differently

Bill in Petaluma, CA

1969 1600 supercharged m20 in progress

1970 2002 RIP -- crashed then quartered

1971 2002 M20/02 RIP -- nothing but pieces now

1972 2002 gone, but not missed POS

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1. In the booster department, the short vacuum hose between the manifold and the check valve is the most likely to crack/break/leak. Replace with the same part for a 320. It's moulded in a curve so isn't stressed like the original part is.

2. Make sure the above check valve (1) works and (2) isn't installed backwards. It has an arrow to indicate direction flow.

3. Your M/C may be bad. They can pass fluid internally without an external leak, and cause low pedal symptoms like you describe. I had one fail with less than 30k miles on it...and naturally it was the last thing I checked--"because it was nearly new--it had to be OK!"

Let us know what you find so we can add to our corporate knowledge!



'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Sorry, kids, it's not the booster-

"to stop I have to press the pedal all the way to the floor"

sounds like air in the lines, a bad master cylinder... a leak? (but that would make a mess,

unless it's the master, then you have a booster filling up. You don't get

great white clouds behind you sometimes when you brake, do you?)

A bad booster will result in a very hard pedal that doesn't really stop

the car, but it will also be quite high. And hard, did I mention hard?

If you can't find it, it's time to find a brake shop that can-

this is one of only a few places to not mess around.



"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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What about the rubber hoses? These cause more trouble to any old car. I'd replace them with S/S hoses on any car before messing around.

Just try stopping an old VW with bad brakes. Lessons learned years ago = first $ spent now.

Jim Gerock


Riviera 69 2002 built 5/30/69 "Oscar"

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