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Old 02-25-2004, 10:54 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 306
Interesting Brake Problem

When I first got my 280SEL, one of the first tasks was to redo the brakes. Changed all the pads, replaced two rotors, checked all pistons for proper operation, changed the front brake lines, and bleed the system like crazy to replace all the old fluid with new DOT 3.

All is well in that it stops quickly, straight, and with good solid pedal........while going forward. In reverse it's a differant story. When backing down my driveway (pretty steep) while the engine is still at high idle, it almost refuses to stop.

My first thought is that I still have a problem with the rear brakes that is only evident when there is a huge weight backing down a steep grade.

As anyone else experienced a similiar problem.
'90 420 SEL (sold)
'72 280 SEL 4.5
'98 ML320 (for sale)
'86 560SL
'05 Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd (offroad in style)
'87 Chevy Blazer (AZ Pin Strips)
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Old 02-25-2004, 11:59 AM
300SDog's Avatar
gimme a low-tech 240D
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: central ky
Posts: 3,602
DOT 3 is the wrong fluid to use...... gotta get DOT 4.
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Old 02-25-2004, 02:26 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Rear calipers are stuck. Probably time for a rebuild. Alternate failure is a bad rear brake line or two -- if you did the fronts, replace the rears, too. Flush out with DOT 4 fluid, it's better.

When reversing, the rear brakes are going to do most of the work, the effect is worse on a grade. Stuck rear brakes will make the front tires slide on gravel.

Check the rear rotors for rust on the friction surface -- it there is any, they aren't working.

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 02-25-2004, 05:05 PM
Tomguy's Avatar
Vintage Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: near Scranton, PA
Posts: 5,139
If you've checked all else and still have no ideas, it could be the master cyl (although not too likely, it can happen that it doesn't pressurize the rear enough) - test it by switching one of the front lines with the rear line.
2018 Chrysler Pacifica Limited
1999 Chrysler 300M - 213,xxx

1972 280SE 4.5
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited "Hefe", 1992 Jeep Cherokee Laredo "Jeepy", 2006 Charger R/T "Hemi"
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