98 Malibu brake question

Boomer

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MAKE:Chevy
MODEL:Malibu
YEAR:1998
MILES:120,000
ENGINE:3.1
DESCRIBE ISSUE.... My brother has a 98 Malibu. He had a brake line rust out on him. I am pretty sure he said rear but, not 100% positive. When this happened, he bumped into the divider between his garage doors as he was pulling up to the garage. Thankfully he wasn't going too fast.

My question is, I've had this happen on a couple of Chevy Trucks I have had and, the vehicles front brakes still stopped the truck. He says the only way to stop his car right now is with the parking brake. Obviously, he isn't driving it anymore. He just moved it a short distance at his house.

I haven't seen the car yet but, why would just one brake line take out the cars entire ability to stop? I'm going to help him fix it when the weather gets a little warmer it's just bugging me why this happened. Especially if it's rear since, the front does most stopping anyway? Does this car have a different system or something? Doesn't sound real safe to me.

Edit: I'm seeing a lot of ABS malfunctions which I mention to NickB below on this site.
http://www.carproblemzoo.com/chevrolet/malibu/abs-brake-fail-problems.php
 
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nickb2

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#2
See thread chevy s10 no brakes.

Very similar system, and same bleed procedure if abs on board.

So?

Does this 98 have ABS?
 

nickb2

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#3
So, at least you don't need a scanner or bypass.

All you are going to need is patience.

Don't know where you live, but not something I would do in a driveway right now with the storm that hit you and us.


Anyway, here is the complete procedure for you specific problem.


Again, patience is the KEY word here.



See ace 0 pdf. It is downloadable.
 

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Boomer

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See thread chevy s10 no brakes.

Very similar system, and same bleed procedure if abs on board.

So?

Does this 98 have ABS?
It has ABS but, he pulled the fuse on that because he experienced some malfunctioning where he almost got in an accident. I remember him telling me he researched and found it's not just his Malibu.
I just googled and found this. Sounds like what I remember him saying his car did.

Air Brake Abs Warning Light problem of the 1998 Chevrolet Malibu 3

Failure Date: 08/01/2004
The abs light on the instrument panel frequently turns on, especially during braking, and/or non-braking while making a turn. When the abs light turns on, the braking capabilities of the car are diminished (conversely of what should happen). These incidents of abs system malfunction have almost caused me to have a couple accidents where the braking system was not fully powered. It has felt like losing the power assisted brakes on the car, where there is nothing wrong with the power braking system. 99% of the time, the system works fine, but it's that 1% of the time that this happens unexpected, and is very dangerous.

Somewhere I guess he said guys just disabled it to prevent this problem. You guys being mechanics I would guess have heard about it unless it's only a few select 98 Malibus.

Like I said, you see my Chevy S10 in my avatar (2002) and, when the rear brake line burst, I was still able to stop and not run into anything. Thanks for the reply. At this point, I'm not to the bleeding procedure yet but, I will keep that handy. It was -10F here this morning.
 
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#6
Your brother may have "very low pedal" and he thinks it is 0% brakes when it is actually 5% brakes. I would have to actually drive the car to decide the actual Percentage.
But if the master cylinder was already 50% bad, and the rear portion was the good 50%, then ruptured rear line would put him at 0%. Another possibility would be that when the pedal went lower than it had been for years, the seals for the front brake portion of the master cylinder were damaged, which could leave him with 0%.
 

Boomer

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Your brother may have "very low pedal" and he thinks it is 0% brakes when it is actually 5% brakes. I would have to actually drive the car to decide the actual Percentage.
But if the master cylinder was already 50% bad, and the rear portion was the good 50%, then ruptured rear line would put him at 0%. Another possibility would be that when the pedal went lower than it had been for years, the seals for the front brake portion of the master cylinder were damaged, which could leave him with 0%.
Oh man, so you think it may need more than just a new line or lines? How big of a job is replacing the master cylinder? I'm pretty handy and I'm sure I can handle it. I'm just curious how big of a PITA it is?
 

nickb2

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#11
I can safely say, that pulling the ABS fuse is 100% ok to do, the car will brake fine all day, any day.;)

As Mobile Dan wrote, if in fact pedal hit floor, that master is probably shot and a overhaul kit is going to be a waste of time and money.

Unless you have a honing kit. Which most ppl don't have.

@Boomer, I may have mixed two threads together. BTW, long time no say hi. I was shoveling so much snow today, posting here, arguing with my Gf, my eyes were probably watery from all that effort. We got hit pretty hard just north of montreal. Right now, -33celcius, tomorrow, forecast is -42-44c. Coldest I've ever known was -55c with 95mph wind. So I guess I will survive digging my car out of the snow tomorrow afternoon.

I think that Dan's suggestion is a very safe bet. Probably the most savvy thing to do is just go to a local store and just buy one just to make sure.

But in case the MC is rebuild able,
Here is a picture.

Not much tooling involved, unless, like I said, you have to re hone the bore. In that case. Best to just buy a new one. See step 13 of snapshot below. BTW, kudos to Dan, that was a good catch.
Screenshot (140).png
 

nickb2

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#12
Afterthought. If you do replace the MC, plz inspect the booster for brake fluid presence. If the rear seal of the MC leaked, the diaphragm of the booster will give grief in futur. ;):eek:
 

Boomer

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That master is a 5 minute job. Two bolts, two flare lines, one connector. View attachment 9896
Plus a master cylinder bleeder kit as well I reckon? I'm guessing we won't know until we replace the brake line, bleed and then see what the brakes are like?

And hello my friend. -18c here right now. That's almost a heat wave for you:p
 

nickb2

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#14
Plus a master cylinder bleeder kit as well I reckon?
That normally comes with a new MC.

That's almost a heat wave for you:p
Yeah. LOL, me wishing I was in Australia right now.

BTW, check out the Cyborg Holms fight.

Holy didn't get time to say hello to fans at end of fight, she was a mess. Locker room and a doctor were in dire need. There needs to be a new division in that female weight class. But very entertaining fight.

Thx for the positive comments. Good luck with the Malibu, post back results. Ppl like you are always welcome with a can do attitude.
 

nickb2

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#15
I probably have 18 bleeder kits in my tool chest. I would send one to you, but it would probably cost more in shipping than a actual MC.

If you new or refurbished MC doesn't come with a bleed kit, check this link out, under 10$.

I don't usually say this online here. But if ever you want, you can e-mail me and I can show you a few videos of us crazy cannucks, maybe start a friendship, and if ever you want, I can show you around Montreal if ever you get by this way.

https://www.amazon.com/Dorman-13911-Master-Cylinder-Bleeder/dp/B001SG8ZC0