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Discussion Starter #1
Got to bring a car home I bought, but PO says it has a broken drivers rear brake line and possibly also needs a master cylinder. He said we can test drive it in the parking lot, so it must have dome stopping ability.

I could have it towed home, but it would be very costly as its quite a distance from me and it involves a ferry trip which would be another $200 just in the ferry fare. My guess tow bill would be around $400-500.

Is there anything I could do to do a temporary fix to drive it home until I have time to fix it properly? Am I just being stupid for even thinking about it? Maybe just buy it, park it where it is until I can do a roadside fix then drive home?

Anybody have any suggestion or easy fixes? If its just the rear brakes, 80% of the braking is done by the front anyways, so what do you all think?
 

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napa sells the plugs for the inverted flare brake line.plug it at the rear line comeing from the steel line at the axle housing brake tee and bleed it.as for the master bleed it first because the rear brake system gives you your pedal height .if it has a blown line you will have little or no pedal height,the same indication of a bad master.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's sort of what I was thinking. If I could just plug the back brakes off somewhere. Not sure where the broken line is yet as I bought this without seeing it. If its further ahead, could I just plug it at the master cylinder? Also, just so I'm understanding what you wrote, how do you mean bleed the master first?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Forget part of what I wrote last, I shouldnt be so quick to press the post button. If its driver side rear, it cant be ahead of the rear end where the single line splits! Otherwise it would be no rear brakes not no driver rear brakes. my bad!
 

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its all based on the asumption it is the drivers rear. all sight unseens are full of surprises.but to clarify bleed the rear brake you dont block off. i had to do the same thing on my sons 78 when he ran over some cable on the road and wrapped around the housing and pulled one steel line off the wheel cyl. we drove it almost 200 miles home with no problems. just give yourself plenty of room and keep a way out in case of others stupidity
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, now I get it! thanks! and if it is rear brake line ahead of the diff, then I'm screwed, right? Wont get pedal height if I plug the rears of completely? Or is there still a work around with this too. Just trying to cover all my options and somewhat prepare what I'll need to get and take with me.

Thanks for replying so quickly! I will be doing this on saturday and still have sunday if I run into other unseen problems.
 

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no you can plug the rears at the rear most steel line and you should have full pedal just no rear brakes. if the rear steel line in the frame is bad plug it at the proportioning valve on the frame.and you will be ok just no rear brakes.wherever you plug it you need to bleed up to there. to have any pedal. the way the master is made it needs make pressure in the rear to properly apply the front. just be very careful with no rear brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I got the back plugged off, and bought a vacuum pump to bleed everything after I installed a new master brake cylinder. Why I have never thought of buying a pump before is beyond me, this is the ultimate tool for one man brake bleeding!

Got my pedal height and front brakes working and took it for a small test drive. Not the greatest of stopping power, but thought maybe it will be ok if I just go real easy. Then I did a test of the lights, as I have a fair distance to go, with most of it freeway speed and will be dark soon. Found out no signals, only one brake light, and only the headlights were ok. Time was running out to catch my ferry home and decided it was not a good day to die!

Will go back next weekend to do the rear brake lines, vacuum bleed again, and find out why no signals and fix the lights issue. Hopefully I will get it fixed and finally get it home or bite the bullet for a very expensive tow bill.

The car is an 81 grand prix that I was buying sight unseen for several parts for the El Camino. But after seeing it, and the fantastic shape it's in. It will be a daily driver.

Thanks for all the help and guidance!
 

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Tim , I read with interest your brake situation and can only imagine the adventure it could be , especially getting on and off a ferry boat ! I could not find Halfmoon Bay , British Columbia on my map . My wife and I were in the area of Vancouver , Vancover Island and spent a month RV `ing the parks of Banff , Jasper , Glacier and the Columbia Ice Fields . Golden was one of our favorite small towns . Looking forward to our next trip to the Yukon and up to Inuvik past the Artic Circle . Have found the Canadians to be among the nicest and friendliest of places we have ever been . It took a little getting used to motorist stopping if you just looked like you wanted to cross the street and politely waving us across the road . I ` ve often thought about how much fun it would be to be driving an El Camino around enjoying that beautiful scenery . Not quite the flat roads we have here in the Florida Keys .
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Lenny! Thanks for the kind words about us Canadians. Pedestrians do have the right of way here and should be given courtesy when they step towards the curb. As for Halfmoon Bay, you were probably very close without even knowing. It is a 40 minute ferry from Horseshoe Bay near Vancouver to what we call "The Sunshine Coast". It is actually part of the mainland (a peninsula) between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Nearby towns to me are Sechelt and Gibsons. The former being well known to most middle-aged Canadians due to a long running Canadian TV show being filmed there several years back called "The Beachcombers".

Hope you enjoy coming back and doing your northern trip. I do love getting out in the Elky on a nice weekend here, and you are right, the scenery is beautiful, especially along my coastal highway here. Thanks for reading up on this brake situation, and I do hope to resolve the last issues this coming weekend to get her home!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, this may show my ignorance, and seem like a dumb question, but what purpose does the coil over the rear brake lines serve? My first guess would be to prevent damage to the line from rocks getting flung up there. 2nd would be to assist in bending the line to follow the differential. I don't have a 3rd, so maybe someone can tell me what it's real purpose is.

Will be replacing both sides this coming weekend, even though only one side is blown. I figure if one is shot, the other may not be too far behind it, and if I'm under there for one, wont take much longer or cost much more for the added insurance. Seems like the right thing to do, right?
 

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Your first guess is correct. It's a form of armoring.

As far as replacing the other line... good call. You'll already have the line open... and it'll take the same amount of time to bleed the system anyway... so it's one of those might-as-well-do-it things.
 
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