Oh, give me a freak’n brake.

Posted: April 3, 2011 in silverado brake line replacement

This little pile of rusty tubing is the original brake lines for my surprisingly rusty 2000 Chevy Silverado pickup.  You may recall the brakes went out on it when I left for Detroit a month ago with the car trailer in tow, and had to drive the Pontiac wagon instead. 

I was tempted to just part the truck out and use the pieces for some as yet un-purchased Hot Rod project, but cooler heads prevailed.  Kim wants to use the truck to get mulch in a couple of weeks, and I have to admit is handy to have an old pickup around that I care  nothing about.  She also wants me to replace the rusty rocker panels and wheel arch that’s bubbling, so I guess there goes the “…I care nothing about…” part.  I won’t want to scratch up new paint.

I was all day Friday, half of yesterday and half of today, not counting trips to the auto parts stores in Delton, Hastings, and Kalamazoo this morning buying more brake line, brake fluid, a new left rear caliper, and expensive little brass fittings.  The project just kept getting bigger and bigger, all the lines ended up being bad and needed to be replaced.  They are installed on the frame at the factory before the cab and box are mounted, which makes it impossible to remove the old ones intact to use as patterns, and forget about getting new ones installed where the old ones were mounted.  I ended up re-routing them, which worked out fine, and fastened them to the frame with cable clamps.

The port layout in the ABS module had me scratching my head.  I used a similar module in the ’51, and it’s plumbed differently.   On it, the bottom two ports are the supply from the master cylinder, and the top three are outlets to the rear, left front and right front.  Happily, I started out only replacing one line, the rear, and it came from one of the two bottom ports.  If I’d just pulled them all at once and run new lines I’d have plumbed it backwards and nothing would have worked.  Turned out on this one, the bottom two are outlets, rear and right front, two top ports are inlets from the master and one outlet to the left front. 

I was successful in bleeding the brakes as well.  These are impossible to bleed manually if any air at all gets in the ABS module, but happily I didn’t.  I bled each line in with my vacuum bleeder to make sure they were full, then bleed each line at the wheel cylinder, then bled each caliper.  Seems to be fine.

So, no work at all got done on the Diamond T, and I’d hoped to get the body work wrapped up this weekend.  Oh well.  It’s not like there’s any real deadline.  It’ll get done when it gets done.  I have Wed., Thurs. and Fri. off, I should be able to finish up the final little touches on the body work and get it ready for primer, and maybe get it started.  We’ll see.  At least I have the brakes done on the beater truck to chase parts, haul mulch and wood pellets!

Addendum:  Since this post, I sold the truck to the first guy who called about it from the Craigs List advert.  The next thing to go was going to be fuel lines, and no way was going to try to replace those.   So it’s GONE!

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