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Old 09-05-2010, 09:40 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Freehold, NJ
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brake pressure loss

I have a 1980 300TD. I was driving last night and I started to smell an electrical burning smell inside the car. I stopped and started to see a little smoke coming from the front of the car (passenger side). I opened the hood and everything was fine, but could still see and smell smoke in front of the head lights. I drove the car again and went to stop and there was no brake pressure at all. The pedal went to the floor and even pumping it did nothing. I let the car sit for a while started it and drove and it stopped again no problem at all. I just drove it to work this morning and again, no problems at all. I'm at a loss for what could have happened and what was burning on the right front side? I replaced the pads all around about a month ago. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 09-05-2010, 10:04 AM
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You may have had a caliper stick - causing your b fluid to heat up. Take a look at front rotors for discloration (heat). This is definatley something you want to look at.
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:21 AM
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If a brake caliper is sticking the wheel will be hot. Next time get out a feel the front wheels and you may find the problem.

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Old 09-05-2010, 10:24 AM
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Stuck caliper. Often caused by the rubber hose supplying the caliper swelling inside and acting as a one way valve. This sounds like a good time to do a complete brake rebuild with rotors, loaded calipers, and hoses. I did this in the rear of my '83 shortly after I bought it. The parts ran a bit over $200 and the labor took me all of an hour and a half with just hand tools (in an abandoned parking lot-apartment living sucks sometimes).
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Old 09-06-2010, 02:22 PM
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Location: Freehold, NJ
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Now everything is working fine. I've been driving and not having the issues again. This happened after a little "spirited driving". I felt the wheel when I was up front and it noticed a little warmer than the others but nothing major?
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:58 PM
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Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.
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There is a good possibility a draggging caliper generated enough heat to boil the brake fluid. What happens is the resultant air compresses too easily when the fluid has boiled effectivly eliminating the brakes in that circuit. I have personally even had a caliper semi seize once and never again. At this stage of life I would have changed it and the rubber hose.

Very old brake fluid will boil much easier than newer fluid. It is hydroscopic in nature and absorbs more and more moisture over time. In an ideal world the brake fluid should be flushed once a year.

The payback is less corrosion in the lines and calipers. Plus the master cylinder. Your brake system will last much longer with periodic fluid changes saving you money.

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