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Today I had a real scare. While making a fast stop on the freeway in the TC, the brakes didn't work. The pedal was hard like I had lost a power booster. The next time I used the brakes, they work fine. This is the second time this has happened. What's going on?

Edited by wheelsport (see edit history)
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Need more info to help.

Can say that if this only happens when you stab the brake peddle hard with an urgent need to slow from speed and your brake warning lights work and you have no brake warning light on and you have a good accumulator and it works fine with normal stopping and you are still running with the factory original flex brake lines. Then replace the front flex lines, bleed the air out of the front, find a spot on the open road where you can test a highway speed hard stop and if that solves the problem replace the rear flex lines too and flush the system. After all the car is 25 years old and if the front lines have gone bad, you can figure that the back lines are, or will be soon.

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Need more info to help.

Can say that if this only happens when you stab the brake peddle hard with an urgent need to slow from speed and your brake warning lights work and you have no brake warning light on and you have a good accumulator and it works fine with normal stopping and you are still running with the factory original flex brake lines. Then replace the front flex lines, bleed the air out of the front, find a spot on the open road where you can test a highway speed hard stop and if that solves the problem replace the rear flex lines too and flush the system. After all the car is 25 years old and if the front lines have gone bad, you can figure that the back lines are, or will be soon.

 

Hmmm... With over 276 thousand miles on my original brake lines on my TC, this makes me wonder, doesn't it you?

I would be more inclined to suspect the hydraulics in the ABS system. 

A good question to ask, though you did mention it and asked for more information is;

Has he ever replaced the original ACCUMULATOR? In almost every photo we see of the engine compartment in a TC, we see an original style accumulator.

 

Let's see what his answers are and we can go from there.

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This only happened when I stabbed the brake when traffic stopped on the freeway. I noticed no warning light. However it comes on starting and appears to be working .

I'm sure the accumulator original. I wiggled all the electrical connection near the brake module thinking that one of them might not have a good connection. I had no problems when I drove 60 miles today.

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If you're sure your accumulator is original it's time for a new one. It's possible that this could have been replaced in the last 10 years and it's still time for a new one. There is a manufacture date code stamped on the ball and it will most likely be facing the firewall and impossible to read while it's on the car.

It's most certainly time to test your accumulator.  Don't start the car, just turn the key to on and wait for the pump to stop running, then make quick light taps on the brake peddle and count the number of times you can tap the peddle before the pump comes on. 10 or more is the sign of a good accumulator, more than 7 and it's time to start price shopping, 5 or less and you buy whatever you can get right away. If it comes on after the first or second time you tap the peddle, park the car until it's fixed.

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That's not good and the question is how bad is bad.

With an accumulator that bad, there is no cushion from the bladder and with your foot hard on the peddle you should have been able to feel some vibration from the running pump. If you didn't mention this because you didn't feel the pump running while your foot was hard on the peddle, odds are that replacing the accumulator will, if not immediately, eventually give you a whole new problem of the pump always running because it's worn to the core from constant use. With that potential expense the best course of action would be to replace the brake assembly or convert the system now. Did you feel anything more than hard peddle?

Options:

You don't have to be a mechanical genius to replace the brake assembly and reman systems are available through tcparts.com pricy, but the quickest and easiest fix.

There is a guy down in Texas parting out a 40K mile TC that got punched in the side and I'm sure he would be more than happy to sell the brake assembly. If you don't know anything about the Tevis system and you're not ready to become an overnight expert I wouldn't recommend used, but it is an option. Remember used units usually come with old accumulators.

If you have any kind of mechanical ability go to the Alpar site and read Hemi's instructions for converting to vacuum boost brake system. If your cash is limited and you're good with a wrench, this is a very good option.

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Digger,

There is nothing other than a hard peddle. I haven't been able to locate an accumulator any where other than TC Parts.com. I see on the forum some people have found units for GM cars at NAPA but my local NAPA seams to be mute. Thanks for the info!

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Unless you are lucky enough to walk into a parts store where the person behind the counter is an experienced brake technician, odds are you won't get your accumulator question answered. You usually have to provide year, make, model and engine size before the store computer will give you any part information.

 

I have no idea as to how long you have been running around with a bad accumulator, so I have no idea as to what kind of shape your pump is in. With a good strong pump you should be able to feel some pulsation with an accumulator that doesn't store pressure. Not feeling any pulsation doesn't mean your pump is worn to the core, but it could be and it's up to you if you want to replace the accumulator and hope for the best.

 

http://www.gm-supercharger.com/brake-hydac-accumulator-ball.html Really good price for an accumulator that will work on our cars.  

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