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Discussion Starter #701
Hello,

As we all know, its always somethin' with our old vehicles. I had big plans this morning to drive it to work and even bigger plans to go to a local car show tomorrow. Ain't happenin'!!

I got in it this morning, cranked it up, applied the brakes and whoa, I get a red light on the dashboard and why does the brake pedal feel funny under the press of my foot? Its the red brake light that gets triggered when the proportioning valve goes to one side or another. I had no time to troubleshoot it this morning but did this afternoon after work.

Bad driver's side rear brake line . . . . drip, drip drip. This is a fast leak that will empty the rear cup of the master cylinder by dawn tomorrow. This is one of those stainless steel brake lines that bothered me when I put the brake system back together two years ago this coming December and my attempts at tightening it today only made it drip faster. The stainless is very hard and tough to get it to seal up against leaks at the joints. Fortunately, the leak is all on the backside of the backing plate and has not ruined the brake shoes at that corner. Looks like the wheel cylinder is also OK but I will probably order the brake line in mild steel (from the differential splitter to the wheel) and a new wheel cylinder tomorrow just in case.

It could have been worse and more costly if the master cylinder failed so I guess I'm getting off lucky. And old brake fluid needs to be bled out and replaced periodically so here we go.

Moral of the story? Only buy brake lines made in mild steel, not stainless. Though, its possible the new copper-nickel lines might be OK.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #703
Hello,

My replacement brake line for the drivers side rear brake arrived today. I was able to get both rear brake lines across the differential axle tubes in mild steel from The Inline Tube Company for twenty bucks plus five bucks shipping - not bad at all. These lines were not available locally for ordering at any of my usual sources for parts.

I also figured out what exactly failed and likely why it failed. The tiny flare on the end of the brake line sheared off inside the wheel cylinder probably due to metal fatigue. This fatigue was likely due to the loss of the bolt that held the bracket atop the differential that held the rear brake fluid distribution block. I also lost the bracket which allowed the rear brake lines to vibrate and cause this suspected metal fatigue.

Thusly, I now have to buy this bracket. The new line went in earlier this evening and I had to bleed the brakes which wasn't too hard. Fortunately, the rear brake fluid cup in the master cylinder did not empty itself which meant that I did not have to separately bleed the master cylinder. And the test drive went well - no more angry red brake light on the dash board and I now have a firm brake pedal.

Rick
 

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Good discovery on the flare. I had a leak at the MC from a line that would not seat properly. I bought a flare tool at harbor freight. This line wa a single flare, so they are more fragile than double flares. I used the tool to just reshape the flare and some steel wool to smaooth everything out and it worked perfectly. (y)

Glad you discovered the problem easily.
 

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Rick I ran into the same problem with not only stainless brake lines but stainless fuel lines to the carburetor. I got some to work by loosen tighten loosen tight over and over. In the end i just feel tike {IMHO}SS lines simply are not worth the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #706
Yes, I agree. Stainless isn't worth it. I tried the tighten-loosen-tighten technique for all of my stainless brake line connections and most didn't leak but some did that I could not get under control.

I think my latest problem at the drivers rear wheel cylinder was a metal fatigue problem at the flare. My missing brake line bracket may have contributed to this metal fatigue but the bracket might be in today's mail.

I thought I had all of the air out of my brake lines after replacing this fatigued line with a mild steel line but I'm still troubled with a mushy brake pedal. I will vacuum bleed all four brake line corners tonight or this weekend.

Rick

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Discussion Starter #707
My niece assisted me last night to again bleed the brakes. I have a firm pedal again after a test drive last night and will drive it to work this morning to check it.

And she earned ten bucks as pocket money for the football game she will be attending tonight.

Rick

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Discussion Starter #709
Hello,

And attention all here, please. I'm in dire need of your assistance. Please prepare an enormous literary bucket of ice water to pour on me to wake me up and stop me from what I'm thinking about doing. No, I'm not selling my El Camino. It gives me way too many smiles per mile to ever consider that.

I went to the Ida, Louisiana 1st Annual Fall Festival Show & Shine Car Show yesterday. Good show, maybe 60 vehicles, old tractors, great food, good music, vendors and maybe 250 people. At least, this was the first year they have added a car show aspect. I followed a big group of Shreveport Corvette owners up Interstate 49 and they do like to go fast. My EC reached a new personal highest top speed yesterday well in excess of the posted interstate highway maximum and I won't incriminate myself here by mentioning the exact number. That 5.3 liter LS engine in my EC hung with them, no problem.

Now to my "issue" and why I need that literary bucket of ice water. You see . . . . in addition to anything El Camino related . . . I've always had this fixation and attraction to late 50's Chevy Apache trucks. And one was for sale there yesterday - a runner in all original condition - six cylinder engine, three on the tree shifting - good bodywork. Pitted original chrome brightwork but all there. Unfortunately, it does not have the large back window but it does have the optional wide fleetside truck bed. And another Apache truck, not running, condition unknown. Not sure what I'm going to do here but somebody please stop me. I left them my phone number . . . the ball is in their court.

Rick
 

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You are in trouble. The Apache truck is only second to my El Camino. Actually, if I found a truck first I don’t know if I would have bought the El Camino. I always thought the Apache panel trucks were cool also. Drove one on my first real job delivering fish.
Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #711
Hello Tom,

Oh, gee, thanks. I was hopeful of your steadfastness, strong advice and guidance against this course of action . . . . LOL.

I don't think I've ever seen an Apache panel truck but that body style certainly existed upwards in the other heavier Chevy truck product lines back then.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #713
Hello Tom,

Ah, yes. Yep, seen those before. Very cool and I wouldn't kick one out of my garage.

Rick
 

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Discussion Starter #714
Hello,

As Rick recently said above, its always something. My air conditioner has leaked out all of its R134A refrigerant. From looking at the dye with the ultraviolet light and goggles and the greasy feel with my fingers, it appears to be at a fitting on the passenger side bottom right corner of the radiator. I'm not sure if the tube cracked or the fitting is loose but fortunately, it appears to still barely be a warranty supported repair.

And I'm in the hunt for a set of sway bars. The front is the original bar that appears to be in 7/8's inch bar stock - I have no rear bar at all. I've got two holes in each lower rear control arm that are already drilled so this job appears to be relatively easy.

Rick
 

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Rick. Sorry to hear that you're having issues with the AC. But good thing that it's a warranty item. I'd like to get some sway bars for my car as well. Truth be told, I'd like to get a complete suspension kit. I just go back and forth trying to figure out what all I want.
 

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Discussion Starter #716
Yea, its tough to know what to go after next for upgrades. I keep a list and whittle away at it a chunk at a time and try to avoid rework, if possible.

I spoke with the AC guy this morning and he agrees its a warranty repair but it'll be a few weeks before he can get to it. The weather here is getting cooler and the wing window will come in handy.

And I'm ordering my UMI sway bars later today.

Rick

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Rick. Sorry to hear that you're having issues with the AC. But good thing that it's a warranty item. I'd like to get some sway bars for my car as well. Truth be told, I'd like to get a complete suspension kit. I just go back and forth trying to figure out what all I want.
I went with the QA1 full suspension kit (level 3) for my '68. Very happy with it. Really like how ride height and ride firmness can be set independently.
 

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Yea, its tough to know what to go after next for upgrades. I keep a list and whittle away at it a chunk at a time and try to avoid rework, if possible.

I spoke with the AC guy this morning and he agrees its a warranty repair but it'll be a few weeks before he can get to it. The weather here is getting cooler and the wing window will come in handy.

And I'm ordering my UMI sway bars later today.

Rick

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Rick, I have a list like that for other things. But when it comes to suspension, I find it difficult to not want "The best and biggest". Not that I can afford it anyway. But I always seem to think "why just get springs and shocks, when I can get tubular control arms too. Well if I'm going to do all that, may as well get a kit with all that and rear control arms and drop spindles. Why settle for static suspension when I can get air ride for superior ride quality." I have to learn, to know when to stop.

Your wing window comment made me think. I've replaced my vent window weatherstrip a couple times over the 13 years i've owned the car. Where did you get your rubber from? I find it hard to source decent rubber that will last. Every time I buy a set, the vertical strip for the division bar always cracks and falls away. Leaving a gap, and no seal.
 

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I went with the QA1 full suspension kit (level 3) for my '68. Very happy with it. Really like how ride height and ride firmness can be set independently.
I'll have to take a look at that. A buddy of mine has a 68 nova, he mentioned he wants to purchase a kit from them as well.
 

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I went with the QA1 full suspension kit (level 3) for my '68. Very happy with it. Really like how ride height and ride firmness can be set independently.
Holy Smokes! Those level 3 kits aren't cheap! I'll have to start putting money aside for that.
 
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