Brakes Quit Suddenly

Discussions related to braking systems.
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studepack
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 5:03 pm

Brakes Quit Suddenly

Post by studepack » Mon May 25, 2015 5:10 pm

All of a sudden, the brakes on my 1953 Packard Clipper quit ... absolutely nothing. I pumped and I pumped clear to the floor and nothing. Prior to this, they were perfect. I added about 90ml of brake fluid which nearly filled it. I love the car, but am no mechanic. From someone who knows more about this than I do, what do you think is the problem?

Dave Czirr
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Location: New Jersey

Re: Brakes Quit Suddenly

Post by Dave Czirr » Mon May 25, 2015 7:32 pm

You don't say whether standard or power brakes, it does make a difference but really unless the entire hydraulic brake system has been subject to a recent inspection and repair as needed, the car really shouldn't be put on the road. You could start by flushing all the old brake fluid out and completely refilling and bleeding the system - when was the last time that was done? But without knowing the complete condition of the entir brake system, I'd start by pulling all the drums, inspecting all the wheel cylinders for leakage, rubber brake hoses for age deterioration or leaks, and the steel brake lines for leaks. Repair/replace components as needed. If manual brakes you should probably rebuild the master cylinder whether or not it shows leakage. If power brakes, I'd sent the entire unit to a competent rebuilder or buy an exchange unit from someone like Kanter Auto Parts, or one of the other major Packard vendors.

Adam
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Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:15 am
Location: lincolnshire, uk

Re: Brakes Quit Suddenly

Post by Adam » Tue May 26, 2015 12:20 am

Dave is exactly right. You have lost brake fluid to the point where air has been introduced into the system. Inspection under the car will reveal a leaking master cylinder, wheel cylinder, or rigid or flexible hose. In any case the only solution is a comprehensive overhaul of the brakes, which is not an insurmountable job. If one part of the system has failed like this, the rest will not be much better, so get everything overhauled for the sake of safety. It will handle much better as a result too !

Adam..
"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

studepack
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon May 25, 2015 5:03 pm

Re: Brakes Quit Suddenly

Post by studepack » Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:20 am

Thanks to both of you for your insight. Looks like we have some work ahead ...

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