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Moderate braking results in lockup and left pull
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sixer
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:56 am    Post subject: Moderate braking results in lockup and left pull Reply with quote

Hello all,

Was hoping my first post would be a bit different, but I need some help resolving a brake issue. First off, the bus is a 1976 Transporter, mostly stock from what I've found so far. ATE calipers up front, drums in the rear is the braking system. When I got the bus a month ago, it had no braking capacity at all. I added some fluid, bled the brakes at all corners, and we seem to be good to go (no leaking or loss of fluid after a few short trips). After driving it, I've noticed this:

When I brake any harder than normal around-town braking (like when a light turns red and you're just shy of making it through), the bus pulls hard to the left and at least one tire is locking up. I pulled the tires yesterday and noticed the left caliper was missing a pin. I replaced the pin (I left the pads in, as they seemed stuck to the caliper rubber and had plenty of material left), but the problem still exists. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what might be causing this, or more steps I can take to figure it out?

Thanks!
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udidwht
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Calipers and hoses need replacing.
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pioneer1
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

like he said-sometimes the hose collapses inside & does not allow the fluid to return after braking
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candyman
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

X3 on rubber hose. Have had numerous failures on those, even once on a brand new hose.
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

An adjustment may help as well but any new to me bus gets the drums pulled for a full brake inspection and usually a refresh right away, a few hundred bucks and a weekend's time are cheap insurance.
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kreemoweet Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pulling to the left indicates there is (relatively) weak braking on the right. So take apart the
right caliper assemble, clean, inspect, and test. Pull apart the right drum assembly, clean, inspect,
and test. Etc.

Brake fluid does not evaporate. You have to loose a LOT of brake fluid on a bus before your brakes stop
working, so you probably have a leak. Gotta find it and fix it. The M/C might be leaking into the booster,
which will take a long time to show symptoms (other than missing fluid). Check it out.

By "locking up" I take it to mean the tire is skidding. Are any of the tires bald? If it's a rear tire skidding, your
pressure regulator for the rear circuit might be defunct. Either that, or you're simply driving too fast.
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Daisy71Kombi
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brakes are the most important part as I am concerned. I did all new hoses and replaced the master cylinder. Ended up doing all the parts just to be safe. I almost lost my bus for $300 in parts. Easy to replace with moderate mechanical skills and tools.
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Wildthings
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who knows what kind of old worn and jury rigs parts are in your braking system. Tear into it resisting to urge to save even a dime and end up with a braking system that will work cheaply and reliably for years. Your life and that of others quite literally depend on your doing so.
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sixer
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 21, 2014 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all,

Thanks for the replies, lots of valuable input as always. I'm fully on board with a full rebuild of the braking system, but I'm currently mid-relocation, so I can't disable the bus for more than an a day or two (have to drive it onto the car carrier in a week), and that is in the event I can find a spare day or two of free time. I may try to replace the hoses this week if I can find an afternoon, but most likely I will be revisiting this when we get settled in our new location. When that happens, I already intend on fully going through the braking system, along with a whole laundry list of other things to do based on my reading here on the Samba. I'll update this thread with results if I make any progress soon.

Thanks again!
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sixer
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick update and conclusion, in case anyone finds this thread in their own research. The other weekend we replaced the both soft front brake hoses with new from Bus Depot. The hoses came off and went on easily, and now the bus brakes great, straight, and smoothly. Full brake work is to be done at a later date, but do to logistical issues (apartment rules), we stuck with just these two hoses for now.

Moral of the story for those with the same problem: tire lockup and uneven braking caused by internally collapsed rubber brake hose, solved by replacement. Slightly more comprehensive write-up on the job here: http://ofwindsandwater.blogspot.com/2014/08/bus-up...d+Water%29
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kreemoweet Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice! It's always good to hear of a formerly neglected and abused bus finally coming into the hands
of folks willing and able to give it the care it deserves.
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