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Old 02-01-2008, 06:58 PM   #1
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Brake issues...

I've been having brake issues on and off for a while now. Sometimes the brakes seem "normal" and will stop nice and easy while the pedal pushes about half way to the floor. Other times the pedal is stiff and tougher to stop while the pedal pushes maybe a quarter way to the floor. Tonight was bad on the way home and I almost hit someone in traffic because I was pushing the brake pedal down normal, but it wasn't stopping very well.

Someone here told me to check the brake booster by pulling the vacuum line, but I was leery of trying that. Should I just have the booster replaced? I don't know what to do and I'm kinda frustrated.

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Old 02-01-2008, 07:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lap49X View Post
Someone here told me to check the brake booster by pulling the vacuum line, but I was leery of trying that. Should I just have the booster replaced? I don't know what to do and I'm kinda frustrated.
What does leery mean? That seems like a good advice just so you know its your brake booster and not something else.

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Old 02-01-2008, 07:18 PM   #3
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What does leery mean? That seems like a good advice just so you know its your brake booster and not something else.
I'm not sure what will happen if I pull the vacuum line. What should happen if the brakes are working correctly? What should happen if the brakes AREN'T working correctly?
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:28 PM   #4
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If the brakes are working they should get very hard, if they aren't working they should remain the same or pretty close (if you have a bad brake booster) I think you just have a vacuum leak in the line going to the brake booster but thats just my opinion.

Obviously do not pull the hose and drive off. Also your engine idle might change a bit for the moment.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:36 PM   #5
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Instead of doing that try this first as its easier, before you start the rig pump on the brakes few times so they get very hard, hold down the brake pedal and start the engine, if everything is good it should go down with ease.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:37 PM   #6
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Ok, what size line do I need for vacuum line?

Thanks Triple88a!!
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:44 PM   #7
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I gotta check that out but as i said try the pumping the brakes first and starting the engine method to see if ur brakes get soft, if they do that should eliminate the brake booster as being a problem. Also open the hood and get familiar with the hose that leads from the brake booster to the intake manifold so if it happens on the road while ur driving pull over to the side and open your hood and then run your hand across the hose to see if you can feel a suction where it might be leaking from. If you cant find anything shut off your rig and try the pumping brakes to see if it gets soft again. Nope I do not know what size of vacuum lines you need.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:32 PM   #8
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I gotta check that out but as i said try the pumping the brakes first and starting the engine method to see if ur brakes get soft, if they do that should eliminate the brake booster as being a problem. Also open the hood and get familiar with the hose that leads from the brake booster to the intake manifold so if it happens on the road while ur driving pull over to the side and open your hood and then run your hand across the hose to see if you can feel a suction where it might be leaking from. If you cant find anything shut off your rig and try the pumping brakes to see if it gets soft again. Nope I do not know what size of vacuum lines you need.
Oops...just saw your previous post.
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:41 PM   #9
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The problem seemed to go away for awhile and I've forgotten about it. But in the past day or so, it's back.

Since it's gotten cold suddenly (~30 degrees F), I noticed a couple of times that the brake pedal has been stiff before starting my Jeep. I noticed the two times I parked on a hill and left it in 1st gear (yesterday and today). On the other hand, the pedal was fine this morning parked on flat ground without being in gear.

While the pedal was stiff before starting it, the pedal went down "normal" as I started it up. Again, while driving, the pedal seemed a bit tough to push.

It seems like the booster is fine if the pedal dropped as I started the Jeep up, so could it still have a leak somewhere else?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 11-19-2008, 12:45 PM   #10
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Could there be a small leak in this hose thats causing the pedal to stiffen up?
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Old 11-19-2008, 01:20 PM   #11
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Have you bled your brakes?
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Old 11-19-2008, 02:12 PM   #12
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Have you bled your brakes?
No, I haven't touched them or done any maintenance on them at all, yet.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:06 AM   #13
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Have you checked the brake fluid level? Brake fluid should be changed every few years. If your TJ is older, I'd HIGHLY recommend changing the brake fluid and doing a proper bleed before you start replacing parts.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:28 AM   #14
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first make sure you have no leaks ... then bleed ur lines u might have air in there...
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:52 AM   #15
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first make sure you have no leaks ... then bleed ur lines u might have air in there...
x2 - intermittent hard/soft pedal is generally associated with air bubbles. I've had a similar issue when mud/water gets on the rotors too but it goes away after a few miles.
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Old 11-20-2008, 06:34 PM   #16
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I checked the brake fluid tonight and it was just touching the bottom of the ADD dot marking. I didn't add any yet.

I checked for leaks and didn't see anything, except for the seep that I mentioned in this thread: http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/seep...5-a-19994.html

Could it be that the brake line is leaking? Check the pics below:


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Old 11-21-2008, 10:52 AM   #17
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I would say that is brake fluid on the rear axle, I have fixed several leaks where they go under that clamp and rust out because of the crud trapped around the line. So replace the metal line and bleed the rear brakes. Dot 3 & 4 Brake fluid absorbs water so it is possible it could be getting enough trapped under the braket to pull some in the line when it cools to allow freeze up when it is cold out, just replace the line, bleed and go from there.
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:28 PM   #18
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Sounds like a plan. Also, with the brake pedal being stiff before starting my Jeep, I heard that could be caused by a malfunctioning check valve. If that part is only about $10, I should replace that too, right?
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:42 PM   #19
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Fix one thing at a time. If you replace numerous items at once you never figure out what was actually wrong.
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Old 11-21-2008, 11:23 PM   #20
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your brake booster doesnt need to hold a vacuum overnight, its just there if you engine stalls you'll have vacuum to use your brakes.
you can pump/hold your brakes before starting the engine and the pedal should sink down "normal"
that definatly looks like brake fluid leaking on your axle, looks very old too. replace that line and bleed ALL your brake lines

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