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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, I recently redid the drum brakes on the rear of my 67 (Ford 9"). I adjusted them until the point of a slight drag when turning the rear wheels by hand. For what it's worth, this car is fairly new to me.

While I was in there I noticed there was no e-brake cable and I left it like that thinking I would just take it for a quick spin for testing. Well, took it out and unbelievably the front brake line snapped after getting caught up with the u joint. I lost my brakes altogether and nearly had to hit a tree to get it to stop. Thankfully, engine braking and strategic use of rubbing the wheels against the curb brought it to a stop.

Now that I'm looking over things, what do you think failed? I can't figure this out at all. Was it the proportioning valve, master cylinder, rear brake adjustment, or something else altogether? I really don't want to replace parts unnecessarily, but also don't want to have this issue again as I easily could have lost my life.

If you can guide me in the right direction, I would highly appreciate it. Thanks!
 

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You lost a hydraulic brake line and therefore you lost the rear brakes. That’s why you lost the brakes. Do you have a single or dual reservoir master cylinder? If dual you should have had front brakes.. You’ll have to figure out how or why the brake line got tangled up in the universal joint..

Pictures would probably help us help you..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You lost a hydraulic brake line and therefore you lost the rear brakes. That’s why you lost the brakes. Do you have a single or dual reservoir master cylinder? If dual you should have had front brakes.. You’ll have to figure out how or why the brake line got tangled up in the universal joint..

Pictures would probably help us help you..
It was actually the front brake line that snapped, my apologies for the confusion. It’s a dual reservoir master.
 

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Did you open the lines in back at all? If not bled properly (vacuum bleeder, single-person bleeding with a jar of fluid and a tube, or the old fashioned two-person pump/bleed process) you might not have had rear brakes at all, even if you adjusted them properly. The rear brakes don't do as much braking as the front, but if bled and adjusted properly with a dual-reservoir master you should've had something for brakes.

Start with replacing the parts that you lost, bleed the system (now is a good time for new fluid), and get somebody to help you check to make sure everything else is working before throwing money/parts/time at it. Do you have an area nearby that you can do low speed testing (such as a parking lot, cul-de-sac, or a similar area)?
 

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I can’t understand how you could snag a front brake line in a universal joint.

Pictures would help here..:yes:
 

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#1. Order what you need to fix the emergency brakes.
#2. How old is the system? Replace it all if over 20, or suspect.
#3. The combi valve should have switched over and at least gave you rears, otherwise it's bad, and if you've opened up the rears at all, you may have introduced air and compromised it so it will need bleeding.

Case in point: my 73.

#1. My cable going thru the floor was jammed. No e-brake. $20 replacement part.
#2. My car was still rocking the Non-Power Drum setup. It's now LS disk fronts and Power Boost. Everything up front is new, other than the LS disks and Calipers I robbed from an '02 Firebird.

#3. I opened up the rears to bleed after installation of the Power Boost Kit. (This included the MC/Booster/Combi/bracket/short lines for less than $200).
My rears had no flow. This turned out to be the rubber line on the rear axle. I replaced all of it.

The only thing I haven't replaced so far is the hard metal line from front to rear, I wish I had the time to do it, but I didn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the feedback so far. Clearly the line will need to be rerouted. Right now I just want to figure out what to fix so that this does not happen again.
 

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I can’t understand how you could snag a front brake line in a universal joint.

Pictures would help here..:yes:
Looking at the pic I'm thinking hes talking about the steering shaft U joint catching the front brake line and ripping it out... :eek: :turn:
 

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You’ll have to bend up some new hardline for the crossover then the passenger side brake line.. Make sure it isn’t in harms way of any moving parts steering, suspension, pullies, as well as not hanging loose where it could get snagged and broken like you have now experienced.. Once it is all laid out secure the line with clips to keep it in place.
 

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You’ll have to bend up some new hardline for the crossover then the passenger side brake line.. Make sure it isn’t in harms way of any moving parts steering, suspension, pullies, as well as not hanging loose where it could get snagged and broken like you have now experienced.. Once it is all laid out secure the line with clips to keep it in place.
What Nova Thug said!
PS- Reroute the two spark plug wires that look like they are touching the header tubes and check that the rest are not touching.
 

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Looking at the pic I'm thinking hes talking about the steering shaft U joint catching the front brake line and ripping it out... :eek: :turn:
OK I think your right. Then just rout the brake line like your life is on the line instead of a hap hazard way like the way whoever routed that line did. Maybe take it somewhere where they form lines if your not comfortable doing it.
 

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Toe, as long as you are looking at safety I'd take a look at the way your DD shaft attaches to your column. It is highly recommended that a DD not be inserted directly into the thin wall hollow column. Borgeson makes an adapter for this. Look at part number: 315249.

Lastly, if it were my car I'd add a bearing support to that long DD shaft just before the u-joint. That's a lot of leverage on that long run.
 

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Alf might be on to something here. You need to check that universal joint and D shaft assembly from the column to the rack. It could be oscillating when turning the steering wheel and might be why it snagged the brake line.. A center support bearing would stabilize the whole assembly. Have a helper inside the car to crank the steering wheel lock to lock the watch how the universal joint behaves. The connection at the column doesn’t bother me too much as that is how all of the factory columns I’ve pulled are connected..
 

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Make sure your pedal isn't bottoming out before the master cylinder travels enough to activate the rear brakes. Make sure you have the correct proportiong valve. Personally I just run my front brakes directly from the master to the wheels, then on the rear, I run a line from the master, to an adjustable prop valve, then to the rear wheels. Also make sure your master is good and that everything is bled, including the master cylinder.
 

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I see the steering shaft u joint a fair bit away from the firewall. The shafts in and out of the u-joint have no support. Have a look on the inside of the firewall to see if the shaft is supported there. Otherwise the shaft will 'flop' around. It is possible that the shaft and u-joint had enough movement to catch the brake line.
Also I see the broken line. In the pic I do not see where it would have been fastened to any structural member, which would have kept it far enough away from the u-joint.
You state that the car is new to you. Is it new to you enough that is was the previous owner that did the mods (Mustang II clip, steering shaft, rear end, brake lines, etc.)? If so, then you need to do a good examination of the work the previous owner did. (Such as the spark plug wires already mentioned.)
 
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