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Discussion Starter #1
Hi and thanks for looking. As the title suggests - basically, i was out and about yesterday in the car and just as i get to the bottom of a hill i press the brake pedal and - nadda... the pedal went really long and only when near the floor did it contact anything and would provide 'some' (some being generous) stopping power... it was as if rears were working maybe as there was friction as i said - just barely any of it !

Its a 1999 ph2 GTV V6 and the discs/pads were replaced not so long ago so im assuming it could be the hoses ? I did have 2 new tyres put on the car only the day before but then took the car for a 50mile blast with no problems (mention it in case the mechanic caught them when replacing the wheel etc). Then the next day after a 5-10mile drive, they stopped working. The only clue i have is i had just pulled off, from a curb i had to mount to park so after 5mins or so stopped as i pulled off there was no warning, no juddering, no crack or bang i just pressed the pedal and there was nothing there !! Could something have come off from the dismount ? And just a quick mention (although i dont know if it has any relevance) when the ignition is in the MAR position, the brake pedal is fine and i can press/pump it as normal but as soon as i start the engine - it drops immediately... Lucky they stopped working where they did as im often blasting that car towards its top-end and that would have proven costly.. and the engine braking on the GTV is really good - especially with the 2.5 shorter shifting box in it so i managed to nurse the car home without incident..

Sooo my question is - any suggestions please ?? Iv had a little look through the wheel and the front right only - had quite alot of oil around the bottom of the brake caliper, it had dripped onto the inside of the alloy wheel too. Is that hydraulic brake fluid and maybe a hose has come off/split and are the symptoms above in line with this ?? Even if its not the hoses, now might be a good time to get braided ones - seen these ones and seemed decent: Goodridge Braided Brake Line Kit with Stainless Steel Fittings (Alfa GTV/Spider 3.0/3.2 V6 24V)

Thanks in advance all, if someone can pin-point the problem - could you please estimate parts/costs of the job to sort ??

Ciao :eek:
 

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Well unless it has been raining, there shouldn't be any fluid near the brakes - I am 95% sure that it will be brake fluid and that something will have broken

Check the brake fluid resevoir, if the level has dropped then that will confirm it.

You have had a lucky escape - get it towed to the garage, don't drive it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks mate ^^ I have a local garage that can identify the problem and by local i mean in the next street :D But i have no intention of driving it at the moment - if anything stops sharp near that car, im hitting it !! Its absolutely pee'ing down tonight so il have a look as soon as i can at the reservoir but thanks for the tip ^^
 
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Hi,
Just for info.
When the engine is not running you will have a hard pedal, but this does not mean you have brakes. Without engine vacuum (comes into play when engine is running) you do not have any servo assistance.

I recently rolled my car slightly further on the sloping drive with the keys out, ie no engine running, i released the handbrake and tried to stop the bloody thing with the foot pedal but although the pedal was solid the car still rolled into the garage wall. What an idiot I am. Hard pedal without engine is normal and does not indicate anything.

Just my opinion but the pool of fluid is a dead giveaway. Could be hose, could be calliper seal giving way etc. whatever the cause, either hose or seal, I would check all my brakes as they should be exactly the same age on each axle. Therefore if one side is old enough to fail the other side may do so also in short order.
Regards
Chris
Crustycastle
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Chris, some good advice there - i will book the car in for next week and have all brakes checked, especially as i am a very late braker at the best of times !

Cheers
 

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My 1998 front brake lines just failed the MOT last month, a little sideways cut through the outer rubber and you could see the braided tethlon tube inside

I also had changed my brake pads a couple of months before so I put it down to 15 year old hoses and perhaps I was not careful enough and allowed the hose to rub against the sharp edge of the heat shield while I changed pads...

Now have braided hoses and they are quite nice (although I'm sure brand new rubber ones would have felt the same)
 
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Hi turtle,
The theory is that rubber brake hose will expand very slightly under the tremendous hydraulic pressure that a brake system creates. Braided hose resists this expansion to a greater amount. This means that with 'standard' hose there will be slightly more pedal travel to create the saming braking pressure, but this amount is microscopic!

Unless you are driving like a maniac all the time or if you race your car there will be no advantage at all having braided hoses. They just give a slightly harder pedal which in racing is important for your mental approach as much as the true effect they have.
Of course, they are also more robust because of that steel braid reinforcing which is why they are a mandatory element in most motorsport.
For road use they look good and they give you bragging rights down the pub but if you can discern the difference between the two during "normal" driving I will show my a*se in Sainsbury's.

As far as abrasion resistance is concerned your vehicle should fail the MOT if the brake hose touches anything at any stage of the wheel rotation when steering forces are applied. Standard hose will wear if it touches moving parts and so will braided hose, just takes a little longer for the catastrophic failure to occur.

Regards
Chris
Crustycastle
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well i guess the real positive of the braided hoses has to be longevity ? Surely they got some miles in them !! The pedal being harder is something id also prefer as i can be a little mad under braking so really was lucky where mine went on me.. i fear now though il always have a small mental block wondering if that pedals working :p
 

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There are dual brake circuits so the brakes should work enough to avoid disaster but it is a shock when it happens. I had a pipe burst on my 155 when I was descending a motorway ramp to the roundabout at 77mph ... I thought it was undrivable but my mechanic who had just replaced the pipe (and cocked it up) came out and drove the car 15 miles back to his garage :eek: you have much longer than usual/expected pedal travel but they do still ultimately work.
 

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I put braided on mine a month back due to old ones corroded. The difference between my old pipes and my new goodridge braided hoses is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Dont get me wrong its fine to use braided pipes, just dont expect anything over the standard setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well i briefly spoke to my mechanic about it and he said to me that a good driver will feel a mild difference - but mild at best and said that they dont even last alot longer than standard - just that the braided ones will of course work more efficiently over time

Am i the only person who thinks the 3.0 GTVs brakes are pretty decent lol ? and other than ferodo pads their totally standard but i find when you get them all nice and warm - their stopping power is great, nice feel through the pedal as the car twitches a little - just enough to make you wrestle it a little ;)
 

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I think they are dreadful - but it might just be the ones on mine which probably need a good clean up, lubrication of the sliders, a bleed of the brakes and maybe some new pads.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Sounds like ferodos turtle ;) My fronts are constantly coated in brake dust but that just tells people their being used properly !!

And i dont know starkers.. maybe iv never actually had 'really' good brakes to compare with !! But when nice and warm - i do genuinely have alot of love for mine :D lol
 

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I think they are dreadful - but it might just be the ones on mine which probably need a good clean up, lubrication of the sliders, a bleed of the brakes and maybe some new pads.
Try renewing the brake fluid, when was it last changed?

The mot rollers don't test the braking when hot & old brake fluid will cause what most people think is 'brake fade', normally blaming the pads. I've just had it changed on a Jag which wouldn't stop from speed but was fine at lower speeds & just passed it's mot. Now with new fluid it feels like new brakes & a lot cheaper......& safer.

Clive
 

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Billiam - yours is a V6, so it will have better brakes than my twinnie.

Clive - I honestly don't know :eek: but the brake fluid doesn't look as healthy as it could, so it's definitely something I need to look at.
 

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Billiam - yours is a V6, so it will have better brakes than my twinnie.

Clive - I honestly don't know :eek: but the brake fluid doesn't look as healthy as it could, so it's definitely something I need to look at.
Being heavier the V6 needs the bigger brakes but that doesn't make it stop better than a twinnie, if anything twinnies usually feel better on the brakes.

Most good garages have a tester to check for moisture content in brake fluid, which is what causes it to 'go off' & boil easily.

Clive
 
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