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Old 03-20-2007, 09:58 AM
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Brake pull, sometimes?

Rebuilt the brakes (4 wheel drums) on my 41 pontiac several months ago and all was well for a while. Lately it will pull hard to the right on the first stop. The more I use the brakes, the better it gets, and soon it stops in a straight line. Pretty weird. I'm thinking a flex hose going bad (and about the only thing I didn't replace) so I'm going to replace them this weekend.
Anyone think of anything else it could be?
[no leaks, hard pedal, good stopping - just the initial pull]

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Old 03-20-2007, 10:35 AM
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I'd bet on a flex hose too but did you rebuild the wheel cylinders or replace them with new ones?? I have had a wheel cylinder do the same thing but it's rare.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:23 AM
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well, I really don't know a thing about the brake system on a 41 pontiac, but I had a similar problem with the brakes on my chevy pickup, it was a bad hose on the front right. The hose had a tear inside, and would act like a one-way valve, so the first time I would hit the brakes, as soon as I let up on them, the truck would pull right, and then as I used the brakes more and more, it must have sort of forced the 'valve' to stay open so that the pressure could drain back...

The only other thing I could think of would be that for some reason you are getting some fluid drain-back from one (or both) of the left drums, so the first few times you hit the pedal, you aren't getting any or as much pressure to that drum as the others, but I don't really know how that would be happening without any leaking (maybe past the rubber seals on the wheel cylinders? I have heard of those forming one-way leaks).

Maybe somebody more familiar with the 41 poncho setup can help more...
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:23 AM
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Sounds like a either sticking wheel cylinder or a slow leak in a wheel cylinder to me. If the wheel doesn't grab and lock you can probably rule out a leak. But I'm no expert at brakes either.
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Old 03-20-2007, 11:24 AM
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Usually,pull to the right means something in left side brake is problem .Return spring,adjustment etc...did you arc shoes to drum?Were drums turned?
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Old 03-20-2007, 12:13 PM
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brakes pull sometimes.

Thanks guys. I'm doing the hoses first, but if that isn't it I'll follow your suggestions.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:39 AM
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brakes pull sometimes

Update. The left front flex hose (nearly new) had been pinched somehow, probably when we were reworking the front end. The outside rubber was cut and the second layer was frayed, so that should have been the culprit.
replaced it, bled the brakes and went for a test drive. First time I hit the brakes hard it jerked to the right, like before, but it didn't happen again.
Pedal was just a tad spongy, so we bled them again. Second test drive it was perfect. Hard stop, straight line, with no hands on the wheel.
But, That one time jerk is bothering me. Any explanation for it as a one time thing, or do I still have a gremlin in there?
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:57 PM
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Maybe there was air in the front left brake hose or line from swapping the hose, so the brakes on the right applied and on the left, the bubble compressed first?

Take it for more test drives!
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Old 03-31-2007, 08:19 PM
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I bet the gremlins are still there.
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Old 04-02-2007, 09:41 AM
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brake pull, sometimes

The Gremlins are there, and they are breeding. First application in the morning, one time hard brake pull to the right (RF locks up) then it's OK. But now it's something else (also). Drove about 30 miles Saturday and the brake pedal got very hard. Could feel the brakes dragging. It was the rears, very hot. This was an original problem (nova rear end has smaller cylinders than the originals and was braking first) that I corrected with a proportioning valve. After everything cooled off, it was back to normal. Took a short drive later and I could feel it starting to build pressure. I haven't had a chance to really dig into it, but the rears are completly rebuilt, even new flex hose.
I'd suspect a clogged return valve in the MC, but it doesn't seem to affect the fronts (and it is a single system) and I couldn't get it to do it Sunday just sitting in the yard pumping the pedal. I'm almost thinking defective Prop valve, but it's 4 months old. Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-03-2007, 04:45 AM
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If the return springs in the front are stronger than the rears, and the pushrod is adjusted too deep?
I had a friend with the opposite - the fronts would lock on after a while (single circuit). Turned out to be the wrong diaphragm in the remote booster - if you pulled the vacuum line the wheels freed up.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:16 AM
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brakes pull sometimes.

Wish I had a booster. Pushrod adjustment hasn't changed in the last year, but keep the ideas coming.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:35 AM
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did you set the brake properly to begin with?
drive 60 and hit brakes somewhat hard till you slow to 20 mph.
do this 10 times to seat the shoes.
also used for pads btw.
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