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when I press the brakes really hard I stop but can't get them to lock up. I am ok in traffic but somehow I dont think this is normal. I do get stopping power but do I have air in the lines or what the brake fluid is up to full.
 

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this is covered a lot...try doing a search on it...usually if the car stops but the breaks dont lock up, it can be a number of things...a bad break booster will occur if you can press the pedal to the floor before it even starts to do anything..very spongy feeling...did you try unhooking the vaccum line that goes to it to see what happenes?
 

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Some symptoms of a bad brake booster:

1. When parked and idling, if you push on the brakes the engine idle will change. I believe the idle drops. My booster seems to be bad at the moment and that's what happens.

2. When applying the brakes, the brake pedal feels very stiff and hardly moves.

3. When applying the brakes you'll probably hear a hissing sound.

4. Start the car while holding down the brake pedal. What happens? Does it feel different? If so, it may not be the brake booster.

If your booster seems to have failed check for leaking hoses and check the check valve. It's practically on the firewall where the two rubber hoses connect. At least, that's how it is on my car - a 75 280 with bad booster (and visiting relatives so I don't have the luxury of fixing it).
 

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when my booster went bad, it was spongey not stiff...hmmm wierd.
 

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Booster Test..........

With engine off................pump pedal a few times to eliminate vacuum in booster........it will (read - should - ) get stiffer pedal after a couple of pumps.

Then......with foot on pedal holding slight pressure, start engine.......manifold vacuum should fill booster and pedal should drop towards floor - about an inch (+or-).

If this happens, and you don't have any symptoms described by Siz75 above, you can conclude that booster is in decent shape.



Post Edited (Dec 26, 5:58pm)
 

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I had my booster die on my last thursday and it was fkin scarey. Someone in a 4x4 cut me off. I put my foot on the brake (it went to the floor) and the car didnt want to stop (slightly slowed down). Had to yank the hand brake and throw it back into 1st.
 

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Nah................

...if your foot went to the floor, it wasn't the booster, it was the master cyl......

.....or a serious leak in the system somewhere.........
 

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Exactly, a bad booster doesn't make the pedal go to the floor, it makes the pedal hard and take more effort to stop. That's why they are called "power" brakes! Chevy mans test is correct.
 

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REAL men dont need power brakes anyway, right?
just like REAL men dont need power steering...

of course, if youve got 350-500 bucks burning a hole in your pocket, who cares what REAL men need and just get a new booster from MSA.

I'm a REAL man; that is to say, a poor man. : (
 

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heck no! get a friend that works for an auto parts store...ive got one that works at NAPA....got me brand new brake booster for..


$55....

2 beck arnley loaded calipers???

$50

i could get a brand new steering rack for $92

thats where its at folks. the day i turn 18, im getting a job there...
 
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