I have a '77 firebird that I have been rebuilding for the past 4 years.
When I took the car to get it aligned the mechanic said that when they
took the car for a test drive they heard a bang from under the car and the
brakes went out. The pedal goes all the way to the floor, but there is
still about 10% brake power(comes to a stop very slowly). Prior to the
alignment the brakes worked fine, the master cylinder was replaced 2 years
ago along with the flex hoses and banjo washers, the vavle for the drums
had also been replaced about 6 months ago when I changed the shoes, and I
bled the breaks a few days before taking it to the shop. since then I have
gotten new calipers, and a new master cylinder and bled the brakes manually
and with a vaccum brake bleeder trying to fix the problem, but I still have
When I bleed the breaks there is far more air coming through the bleeder
valves than brake fluid, about 70%air - 30%fluid. Any help or suggestions
would be greatly appreciated
When you replaced the calipers did you make sure to get them on the right
sides of the car? If they are reversed the bleeder screw isn't at the top
of the caliper and you'll never be able to bleed them.
The short answer is to find the leak in the brake lines. Most likely
one of the steel lines let loose and you haven't seen the oil stain
yet. What I don't understand is why they would need to take your car
for a test drive after an alignment. The people I take my cars to for
alignment use a computerized alignment rack and I've never had a
problem in 15 years of doing business with them.
68' Camaro RS
88' Firebird Formula
00' Mustang GT Vert
Every Alignment I have done, I have done a test drive afterwards. I
used the lower tech methods. 2 home made swivel plates for the front
tires, and 'olde school' frame and alignment measuring sticks, as well as
an old caster camber gauge.
The I would test drive the vehicle over to some one with a laser
alignment rack. I got them prerdy damn close :)
Wanted Dead or Alive: All tool thief's.
On Mon, 06 Sep 2004 03:04:36 GMT, "Charles Bendig"
As long as you have those tools at your disposal I say great. For $40
and an hour of my time, I'm quite happy to take my cars to Auto
Alignment World. It also helps that the head mech. is also a friend
of mine too. I usually get my alignments done right after I replace
front tires and the alignment shop is right next to the tire shop.
When I was a teen I used the string, tape and stick method to align
the front end. No where near as effective as a computer alignment.
68' Camaro RS
88' Firebird Formula
00' Mustang GT Vert
When your replacing damaged suspension items, going straight to an
alignment shop is out of the question. The tools I used were the same
profession measuring sticks for frame alignment. Which put you as close
as a laser does 90% of the time.
For the regular guy it'sno big deal to have a car towed somewhere
for an alignment. For someone likeme it is. That means the car has to leave
my custody, be towed on a flat bed, then probably will sit at the alignment
sop for a few hours. From there some goofball will call me claiming the
car needs this & that, even though those parts are either fine, or brand
new. All with out it ever going on a rack.
I have taken a good number of cars in after my primary alignment to
be rechecked. Only with me standing there, watching. 98% of the time
I got them right on the money. out of the 2% that weren't they were both
I-beam Ford 1/2 tons.
I agree. I test EVERY repair I do with a test ride. I'd rather have it fall out
around the block than 50 miles from home :).
No matter how many times you've been doing something or how many times you've
done it, you ALWAYS take a vehicle for a test ride. It also allows you to see
if the condition you are trying to fix IS indeed fixed.
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director
'80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 27k orig.
'79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig
'84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 143k and still going....
'91 S10 Blazer 4.3Z
I like to take a test drive before the repair, and after. Some
customers don't give me the chance.
Such as last month I did brakes on a 99 Ford Windstar The rears were
toast. Right Rear was 100% in-op. The fronts were servi-ible. The rotors
looked ok, so the front just got new pads. The rears got new hardware,
bendix shoes, new adjusters, and new drums. I was taken on a test ride
by the customer. Who proceeded to no listen to a word.
That customer called me up last week, having bought new rotors
(cheepones at that), and now expects me to change them, because the brakes
shimmy. Ontop of that they expect me to do it for free. Ice water in Hell
On my '77 I heard a similar bang on a test drive, complete with the lack of
stopping power following it.
Unfortunately for me I was doing a test and tune and was flogging the car
pretty hard when the brakes let out.
It turns out the rubber hose that connects the steel brake line from the
front of the car to the tee on top of the differential, popped like a
I suggest you check all the hoses.
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