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dcairns

Brake Failure Due to Leaky Battery

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Well, this was interesting. I was driving on a residential street coming to a stop when the brake pedal suddenly went to the floor! I was just about to go for the parking brake, but was able to slowly make it stop before the stop sign. Thank God this did not happen at higher speeds around cross traffic! Anyways, I limp home (just a block away) using the parking brake and checked out what was going on. In the front left of the engine compartment, brake fluid was sprayed around and dripping on the driveway. Further investigation showed the batter had been leaking some acid. Not a huge amount, but enough to eat some paint off the battery tray. But it seems like the acid must have found a way to drip down to the brake line on the frame near the battery. This line goes from the distribution block in the middle of the truck to the front right wheel, passing under the radiator on it's way.

 

The battery was a Bosch low maintenance battery that I got as a free replacement for a better battery that died early. Most people run sealed no-maintenance batteries these days. So I would say, stay away from anything that is not sealed. Battery leakage can be an issue.

 

I was surprised that a single hard line failure would result in complete loss of brakes, I always thought they ran a dual circuit system, so if you lost either of the front lines, the backs would still work and the other way around as well. It seems the dual circuit only extends to the distribution block. Not a very good design, if you ask me.

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It's good to hear that it happened at a slow enough speed not to cause a big bang up.

 

The OEM lines are absolute crap. I had the one to the left front blow out when a clown pulled out right in front of me and then didn't pick up speed. (Don't ya hate that)?

 

Like your experience, I had almost no brakes whatsoever. Pretty much everything about the stock brakes on our trucks are not good. Actually; The stock set up sucks!!

 

I replaced all the lines with a stainless kit. They make that line for the right front in two pieces with a union in the straight run under the radiator. Without that union that line would be right next to impossible to install with the body on the frame.

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dcairns, I had the same experience. The line leading to the rear axle is what blew on mine. May I ask / recommend you report it? Maybe with enough volume, GM will react to this before someone gets hurt. https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/VehicleComplaint/?

 

 

Johnny, I installed that front right line today with the NAPA set I had mentioned in another thread. It is the one piece that goes the distance. While I managed to make it go, if I had to do it again I would cut the line and add a union. Once I finish up the install I'll give a more detailed description of the experience on that thread. But for anyone who cares to know, I agree that one should have a union, preferably just behind the radiator.

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Thanks for the input Ray. Is the NAPA set stainless? I couldn't find that info on the Napa site.

 

Thanks for the link to the safety report. I didn't know that existed. After my line blew out I started hearing from a lot of people just how common it is on this generation truck.

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Yes, I will report this, even though it probably won't make a difference. I have read that GM narrowly missed having to do a recall on this by claiming it is "normal wear and tear" for brake lines to corrode and fail after 6 or 7 years :wtf:

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-09/gm-avoids-recall-of-2-million-trucks-for-corroded-brake-lines

 

I did see a stainless set of lines on rock auto made by Dorman (not exactly my first choice in parts suppliers).

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They are indeed stainless steel. I have a mostly positive opinion of the napa lines, especially after seeing the prices for them through other vendors.

Edited by Wha-haa

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Dcairns, the napa set is also a Dorman product. For $140 bucks it was the best value I could find. There may be better lines available, but I can't find a single fault with these other than the situation with the one piece front right one being a challenge to install. That said, I'm only 3/4 done with the install. Take that into consideration.

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i had a brake failure on an exit ramp off a highway doing about 60 in my old yukon. i had enough time to slow the truck down with the e brake but i was shitting my pants. turns out a brake line was corroded and just blew out at that point :thumbsup:

 

recently my hummer had a brake line bust open also. break fluid all over the place. its safe to say this generation GM truck has a break line issue. im curious if you order the stainless doorman let me know how they are

Edited by 8hnpSS

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