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Truck "Swerves" when braking..now what??

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by diesel4me, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Took my 79 C10 for a ride today..I put on the brakes,and I get a swerve in the front end,like one brake applies before the other or something..its always done this slightly since I got it 3 years ago,but now its getting much more noticeable..the alignment is right on,and tires are full of air,--I jacked it up,and one wheel drags slightly,but its not like a caliper is seizing,not that much drag on it..

    I was wondering if it could be the rubber brake hoses--I have a pair my friend bought for a truck like mine, that his customer never returned to have installed he gave me!(FREEBIE! :D )..but I hate to replace them for nothing if thats not whats causing the swerve,and I also think maybe the caliper(s) might be due for replacement,since I drive this truck sparingly,they COULD be starting to seize up the pistons--but to me it feels lke its a unequal pressure going into the calipers doing it..any way to tell which is doing it??--I'm wondering if a bad shock or weak coil spring could cause that,or maybe if the REAR wheel cylinders are seized could make it do that?..the rear brakes MUST work,because there is no rust on the drums inside(so the shoes must be touching them!)...

    Since money is tight,I hate to spend even the $12 for each caliper,and I'm sure the steel lines most likely wont want to unscrew from the rubber hoses..leading to more work and expense I dont really want to get into now..

    I KNEW I should have put a "FOR SALE" sign on it sooner! :doah: -- I doubt anyone will buy it even in perfect shape,with gas at 3 bucks a gallon!..

    To add to my woes,the 82 K20 has NO rear brakes,thanks to a junk master cylinder! :doah: its leaking all the brake fluid out of the rear chamber,and it drips on the ground!(no leaks in the metal lines thankfully!)--Anyone ever use a master cylinder from a vacuum assist on a hydroboost??(will they fit or work?--I have the one off my 74 K20..!) :ears:

    ..Plus its going to pour here today and tomorrow(leftovers from "Katrina") :doah: :mad: --like they say--when it rains,it pours!

    Scrap prices went up to 82 dollars a ton here yesterday...I'm starting to add up how much both trucks and my van would weigh at the scales.... :thinking:

    I'd hate to do that--but with no money or job,and 3 vehicles to insure and register ($140 a month :eek1: ) plus gas prices,I HAVE to do something,and fast!..I think the C10 is going to have to find a new home before winter sets in.. :frown1:
     
  2. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Here are the things I would check, in this order:

    1) take the calipers off and lubricate both the sliders and the little bushings that mount the calipers. When one starts to hang it can't apply correctly.

    2) Make sure the pistons can move freely in the bore. You can use a C-clamp.

    3) Check for play in the tie rod ends, drag link, ball joints and wheel bearings.

    4) Tear into the rear brakes and make sure all of the hardware is intact and neither cylinder is leaking.
     
  3. Leper

    Leper 1/2 ton status

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    An easy check.... With the truck not hot from driving, Go drive it and make several slow and steady aplications of the brake. Not panic stops but semi hard long stops. Then get out and put your hand near the calipers and see if one is hotter than the other. It will get you in the right direction. My sons had a caliper that would kinda stick in the middle. It wouldn't release all the way and wouldn't apply all the way either. Piston Stuck. $19.00 at Autozone.
     
  4. DougK20

    DougK20 1/2 ton status

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    Is it lifted? Does it have stock steering? Mine darted to the left at every stop because of bumpsteer.
     
  5. neverendingproject

    neverendingproject 1/2 ton status

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    ive also had a about a 2-5 lb difference in air pressure of the front tires that caused that. air one up and it was fixed
     
  6. wubba_65

    wubba_65 Registered Member

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    I had the same problem with my k5. Partially blocked brake line was the culprit. fixed that and it mostly went away, have sinced replaced the calipers and the pads and now it brakes perfectly. But a difference in air pressure in tires could be part of your problem. Could be one thing gone really bad, or a combination of smaller things.

    Oh, and sell two of your trucks and keep the other one. No on NEEDS three trucks :rolleyes: of course, I want three trucks, what am I talking about? :doah:
     
  7. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Thanks!

    Thanks for all your replies!..guess I'll have to start taking wheels off and inspecting things..the truck had all new brakes and hardware when I got it,but I dont think they replaced calipers or wheel cylinders..the front end is tight,no bad ball joints or tie rods-time to get dirty--and probably frustrated! :doah:

    Yes,I HAVE to get rid of at least one truck--and the C10 is first in line!--I dont use it that much,only in the better weather,and I need a 4wd to plow and get around in the snow..so my 82 K20 isn't going up for sale.(it needs a bit of work too,before winter comes! :doah: )--even if I had a good job and money to burn,it makes little sense to keep 3 vehicles on the road..its a lot of tires,batteries,and expense for the few hours I use them!--blame it on my chevy fever--every GM truck I see,I want! :doah:..

    My van has sat unregistered since december 03,when I got the 82 K20..its going to be tough to sell it for more than its scrap value now--I seem to be the only person who wanted it,even long ago when I bought it for 500 bucks in 1991..I hate to scrap it--its not perfect by any means,but it still runs and drives ok..bet it has lots of problems after its long nap if re-rgistered though.. :doah: sitting KILLS vehicles worse than anything else..even the ones I DRIVE sit a lot lately!.. :doah:

    I was tempted to trade my C10 for a 79? K10 with a plow for sale nearby with a 500 dollar price tag on the windsheild!--but my C10 is fairly rust free for its age,and I'm sure the K10 is rotted somewhat..(maybe I can sell the C10 for more than the K10,and use the change to register and insure it!)--but if I had a brain I'd forget buying ANY more vehicles!.. :rolleyes:

    A 4x4 is much more useful/desireable here than a 2wd is--still a burden,but you CAN make a 4x4 pay for itself plowing at least..I'll be lucky to get any decent money out of the C10,especially with gas prices so high now..not many looking for a truck that gets 15 mpg tops now,or isn't a 4x4....no emisson test though,thats a plus!..

    I have to keep the Contour on the road--it gets up to 30 mpg on the highway! :bow: :bow: --but thats going to need some repairs soon too--its got a growling front wheel bearing,and all the hoses and belts need replacing(and they look like a nightmare to do :doah: )...I love the gas mileage,but hate the thought of fixing anything on it--its not "mechanic friendly" like a GM truck is..I'm still finding it hard to belive I OWN a FORD! :yikes: --yes,hell has oficially frozen over!.. :eek1: ..never say never!--you might have to eat your words!.. :blush:

    So nobody ever tried a master cylinder from vacuum assist on a hydroboost??-- :ears: --come on,somebody must have!--maybe I'll have to be the first "guinea pig" to try?? :thinking: :crazy:
     

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