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burning out brakes

Discussion in '1982-Present GM Diesel' started by airborne808, May 5, 2003.

  1. airborne808

    airborne808 Registered Member

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    I'm new to four-wheeling and need some help.

    This weekend, I took my M1009 Blazer up a mountain (3000 ft elevation) to my wifes company cabin.

    I've never four-wheeled a CUCV (even in the Army) but the beast performed FLAWLESSLY all the way up. My wife rented a Mountaineer and it performed just as good, if not better...anyway...The road up is very, very treacherous, next to steep cliffs. It was fun, but also very nerve racking.

    Then came the ride down......

    I was in 4 high but still needed to ride the brakes. I tried to shift to 4 low, but the shifter wouldn't go...

    Halfway down, I smelled the brakes burning, but because of the treachery of the road, I couldn't take my foot off the brakes..

    By the time we were at the end of this road, I had very little braking power and the brake light was on.

    I stopped to let it cool down and within a couple of minutes things were almost back to normal.

    Need some help because we want to go back up in a couple of months but I don't want to go through the same thing again....and I must admit....4 wheeling can be very addicting.

    Thanks

    Jeff
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    For steep decents you should be in low range and let that 6.2 do the majority of the braking for you. You must be stopped and in neutral or park to shift the transfer case into low range. Trying to shift from high range to low range while moving can cause damage to the transfer case.

    Basically what happened was you began to boil the brake fluid from having to ride the brakes for so long. You were lucky not to lose the brakes entirely.

    Next time shift the T-case into 4-low, then put the gearshift into L-1 and let it idle down...your brakes will thank you and you will live to enjoy another day of wheeling!/forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    BTW...if you want to put that mountaineer to shame, take them both into some major rocks...LOL

    Rene
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I should add that after boiling the brake fluid like you did that a thorough inspection of all the seals in the brake system should be done. Check carefully for leaks anywhere in the system, pay close attention to the calipers up front and the wheel cylinders in the rear.

    I would not be surprised to hear that some parts need to be replaced after that. The braking system was not designed to ever operate with the fluid that hot.

    There was actually a video of a couple descending the Lion's back in Moab Utah in a blazer. They successfully went up and came back down on the brakes all the way. The brakes were very hot and they decided that the guys girlfriend would drive up and then down because it was so much fun. Up was no problem, but on the second descent the brakes boiled and failed.../forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    The footage is terrifying as they came down completely out of control and wrecked badly at the bottom. I'm pretty sure they survived...only by the grace of God I'm sure.

    Rene
     
  4. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    They must have been real hot to boil Silicone brake fluid! Although silicone won't absorb moisture like regular brake fluid, moisture (rain?) may have entered the master cylinder at some time. I would bleed some (and add some new) fluid from the calipers/cylinders. Also inspect the rotors for bluing and heat cracks.

    I used to work at Volvo garage near Mt Washington. I remember a guy that took his (fully loaded) wagon down the "autoroad", dragged the brakes the entire way! Volvos have legendary brakes (4whl disc starting in 1969) but those babies where toast /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  5. OFFRDK5

    OFFRDK5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Where could we acquire this footage?
     
  6. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    I use 4lo as soon as I leave pavement... and its good up to 50km/h with 4.10's and 33's.

    Were you trying 4lo while moving? Most t-cases won't do a graceful 4hi/4lo shift while moving - if at all. You should not be attempting this shift on a steep descent anyways... you cross through the neutral position on the t-case and you suddenly lose any hold-back the engine was providing /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  7. airborne808

    airborne808 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the input everyone. I'm taking the beast to my mechanic in a few days for its physical. Drove it a little bit today and the brakes seem to be working okay, but sqeeking a bit when I come to a stop.
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I saw the footage on one of those "shocking video" type shows a few years ago. I can't recall the name of the show though/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    Rene
     
  9. arveetek

    arveetek 1/2 ton status

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    I remember that video. Wasn't it a green colored Blazer, coming down the side at full speed and landing on it's top? It's amazing anyone survived that.

    Casey
     
  10. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I think there was more than one Blazer coming down the lion's back video. The one I remember the Blazer was brown, veered to the drivers right just before the bottom and stuffed the front end right into the ground at the bottom.

    I'm showing my age here but I think the show was "That's incedible"...which goes back quite a ways.

    rene
     
  11. 4x4dreamer

    4x4dreamer 1/2 ton status

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    They've shown it on a bunch of shows. I know I've seen it. They ALMOST made is straight down, but at the bottom they went off to the right and crashed. Everybody lived, but I think one of the people got messed up a bit. It was pretty spectactular.
     
  12. Tybee

    Tybee 1/2 ton status

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    Thats the one I saw, just the other day on another show the lady that was driving the blazer did it again in a jeep, but made it down ok.
     
  13. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I should add that after boiling the brake fluid like you did that a thorough inspection of all the seals in the brake system should be done. Check carefully for leaks anywhere in the system, pay close attention to the calipers up front and the wheel cylinders in the rear.

    I would not be surprised to hear that some parts need to be replaced after that. The braking system was not designed to ever operate with the fluid that hot.

    There was actually a video of a couple descending the Lion's back in Moab Utah in a blazer. They successfully went up and came back down on the brakes all the way. The brakes were very hot and they decided that the guys girlfriend would drive up and then down because it was so much fun. Up was no problem, but on the second descent the brakes boiled and failed.../forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    The footage is terrifying as they came down completely out of control and wrecked badly at the bottom. I'm pretty sure they survived...only by the grace of God I'm sure.

    Rene

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Actually I saw that footage too and it wasn't the brakes, the girl decided to kick it in neutral and by the time the guy noticed and told her to slow down it was too fast and brakes wouldn't do anything.
    Never go down riding your brakes and always have it in gear, lowest you can so you don't need the brakes.
    /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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