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Discussion Starter #1
So yesterday some woman oblivious to fact that someone was in the lane next to her when she moved over.
I absolutely despise how folks drive these days, they're just clueless and have zero common sense. They don't pay attention, and way too many are on their damn phones.

I had to stand on the binders to avoid a nasty collision ~75MPH.
Fronts locked, rears did not, zero evidence of any ABS functionality.

By some miracle, I was able to avoid getting rammed into/sideswiped.

However, I am not too happy with the brake system.
Going to need to do some investigation and see what's up there.

Here are some pics of the skid marks, should have seen the white cloud!



 

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Bet rear "sliders" are seized,and have been for some time... Making them all but useless. An inspection will reveal the inboard pads thinner than outboard pads... I removed the ABS years ago. It's quite primitive by today's standards. If it's working for you fine. If not,it isn't worth fixing in my opinion. It can be easily removed,as many (including myself) have done...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I don't think it(ABS) works @ all, never felt any indications yet anyway.
It's been on my list to yank all of it, just haven't gotten around to it.

Brakes are all new, sliders? if referring to front calipers, they're new, bushings too. Should have mentioned this is on a wagon w/ drums in the rear.
No feel or evidence the drums locked, so ???

I'll add they worked well enough to slow way down/way fast and avoid a collision, so maybe they're as good as they get? I'm maybe just used to the better brakes in the other cars I drive?
 

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You'd think I could see it was a wagon from the photo,but no. Drums tend to be less effective as they wear because they have to travel greater,and greater to reach the drum. Auto-adjusters leave a lot to be desired. So,plan on adjusting them yourself at least every year. I found that installing a "residual pressure valve" in my late model pick up helped a lot. It keeps the shoes from returning all the way back by keeping 10# pressure in the rear lines...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, hydro boost and yank ABS definitely got moved up the list yesterday.

The pucker factor was very HIGH, and scared the sh*t outta my poor 7yr old daughter!
 

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a disc drum system is about 97/3 proportioning. If the rear drums are not in perfect working condition and adjusted correctly they likely will not do much in comparison to what the front discs are doing

On SS model with 4 wheel disc the rears are mostly cosmetic in function as GM did not have a 70/30 proportioning valve. Many of us did the "brake bolt mod" to remedy this. Does not apply to a disc/drum car though

Good you could avoid the bat**** driver....hopefully you did not flat spot the front tires but that is better than sheet metal and paint repair

ABS, if working, is more valuable in rain & ice conditions vs dry pavement
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've got a vibration now so front tires are probably not happy anymore?
But, they were in need of replacement soonish anyway due to PO not aligning it properly when it was riding on the lowering springs.

It would've been a nasty collision! I had nowhere to go.
Last time this happened to me some moron nailed me without warning.
~$5k in damage to a brand new 2002 Ford Ranger, less than 1000 miles on it.
Woman cut across 3 lanes merging... the same freeway no less.

Just glad to avoid it, and nobody got hurt!
 

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I know you're aware that all of us are happy that you & yours are safe. After reading your near miss makes me wonder if there is a "Hit" out on B Body wagons. Look @ Fred's situation. Maybe the Crush em crowd has found another way to stop "GW?????" Again I'm happy both of you are unharmed.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Bwag - With the setup you have now and believe this was already mentioned, manually adjust those Rear shoes so that there is just a slight drag on the drum. This may help with braking but really the drums are not the best and most if not all braking is being done at the front.

Now...what could you do to improve what you have and keep it within a budget? The pricier option would be do what you can to improve the fronts. Better Calipers/Rotors and Pads. Navy Lifer offers a nice upgrade that will improve the fronts quite a bit but still no help from the rear brakes which means the front is going to Nose Dive on hard braking.

My suggestion if you could and honestly think the improvement would be HUGE and cost less money, Swap the rear out with a Disk Rear from a donor car and do the Prop Valve mod. This would really improve overall braking but may be more than what you want to do. But if you can find a good rear and do all the work yourself, you could probably do it for less than $500. Then if you still want to improve the fronts, you can do that as well.
 

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Swap the rear out with a Disk Rear from a donor car and do the Prop Valve mod. This would really improve overall braking but may be more than what you want to do. But if you can find a good rear and do all the work yourself, you could probably do it for less than $500. l.
IIRC the B-Body wagon has a wider rear end than sedan. IDK if wagons did come as rear disc as a option

I believe the SS rear end is 1" wider than the Caprice but not as wide as a wagon
 

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Well, hydro boost and yank ABS definitely got moved up the list yesterday......
Since you're gonna install a hydroboost, you'll also want to consider a rebuilt and bullet-proofed power steering pump as well.

Here the Hydroboost I'm about to install in my '96 Impala that has a big-assed cam and almost zero vacuum: --->> Welcome to Hydratech Braking Systems!

#3512-BASE 1980 - 1996 Chevrolet Full Size Hydraulic Brake Assist System WITH PS LINE SET (late / short GM MC pushrod) $800.00

Expect a 6 week delivery window.

KW
 

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Discussion Starter #12
PS pump rebuilt by me already.
I’m just going to use an astro van HB unit.
Same setup that I intalled in my Jeep.
Easy to do really, only thing diff. will be crazy long hoses that these use.

Staggering improvement on Jeep and has been problem free for many years.
 

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Well, hydro boost and yank ABS definitely got moved up the list yesterday.

Your images prove your brakes locked and you skidded.


Why would not start with better tires that would have more traction and keep the wheels spinning?


How is hydro-boost going to improve things?
You have proved the stock brakes have enough force to lock the wheels.
 

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Yeah,but only two of them...
 

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Drums tend to be less effective as they wear because they have to travel greater,and greater to reach the drum. Auto-adjusters leave a lot to be desired. So,plan on adjusting them yourself at least every year.
1slow96


Bet rear "sliders" are seized,and have been for some time... Making them all but useless.
1slow96


Whatever type of brakes are used they have to be in serviceable condition before the master system can activate them.



It does not matter what kind of brake boost is used if the basic parts of a braking system are malfunctioning.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Your images prove your brakes locked and you skidded.


Why would not start with better tires that would have more traction and keep the wheels spinning?


How is hydro-boost going to improve things?
You have proved the stock brakes have enough force to lock the wheels.
Better tires? If the brakes are locked even a new tire is going to skid.

hydroboost improves pressure @ all pedal inputs.
I can say after converting my Jeep the improvements are across the board. The brakes just plain work better, even with less pedal input. So you don't need to stand on the pedal, and the vehicle stops better/sooner.
My Jeep weighs about the same as the wagon, and they even use the same brakes. As in I could interchange the front calipers/pads between the two, and they use the same rear shoes.

I'm guessing you've not experienced driving a hydroboosted car/truck? The difference is night/day.
 

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I'm guessing you've not experienced driving a hydroboosted car/truck? The difference is night/day.

I used to drive 60000 miles to 90000 miles a year. For several of those years I used a 1980 Olds 98 Diesel with hydro boost. This car shares many parts and characteristics with Caprices. The front disk brakes are the same as a Astro van.



Basic physics, driver training, and racing all know that a rolling tire will stop in a shorter distance. Skidding is a loss of control, you can not steer effectively if any wheel is locked up.


Any properly working braking system that locks a wheel can be improved with a better tire. More brake boost just means you have a better chance to lock up.
 

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.....You have proved the stock brakes have enough force to lock the wheels.
Looks like I won't get a chance to install my Hydro-boost for a few more weeks.

That said, I can lock my brakes....but only with extreme pedal pressure. For right now, my brakes behave exactly like a non-power assist braking system.

If you've ever driven an old Pontiac from the early 1950's.....you know what I mean.

Bottom line; just because you can lock your wheels, doesn't mean you have good brakes.

KW
 

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my '96 Impala that has a big-assed cam and almost zero vacuum For right now, my brakes behave exactly like a non-power assist braking system.
If you've ever driven an old Pontiac from the early 1950's.....you know what I mean.
KW Baraka


I drove a 1980 Dodge van with manual brakes, manual steering, and three on the floor + overdrive. I could not figure out how Dodge could deliver a van that needed around 100 LBS foot pressure to panic stop. I have driven semi-trucks with a hydraulic clutch that needed less clutch force than the Dodge's mechanical clutch.



Your hydro boot application as you describe it is a safety upgrade. Chevy used hydro boost in gas powered tow trucks and delivery trucks for limited space requirements that needed to stop tons of load.



They also used auxiliary electric vacuum pumps to ensure very large vacuum boot systems would work with small engines. I have also seen guys get around this by adding vacuum tanks with check valves.



I find it weird that I have never seen a discussion here about boxy diesel Caprice sedans and wagons. I believe the last of them came off the line in 1986.


There is not much weight difference between a wagon and sedan. The wagon and B4U both have the big drum. I personally have to be careful not to decelerate faster than the guy behind me. I can do this without lock up because I have good tires.


There are many ways to skin a cat but sometimes you just need to clean their paws.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Z09B4U said:
I can do this without lock up because I have good tires.


There are many ways to skin a cat but sometimes you just need to clean their paws.
It isn't the tires already...good grief.
Hankook Ventus 255/50/17's ~50%, fronts have some edge wear, but tread-wise they're fine.
 
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