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  • Brake Problem a 96 LT4
  • Brake Problem a 96 LT4
  • Brake Problem a 96 LT4
  • Brake Problem a 96 LT4

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  1. #1
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    Default Brake Problem a 96 LT4

    I have a 96 LT4 with brake problems. 60,00 miles. The pedal is soft with poor stopping power. I can feel the pedal slowly drop off the last two inches like the master cylinder had a leak. Then the pedal gets firm. Because the 95 and 96 has a different braking system and requires special equipment to bleed it, I decided to take it to a Chevrolet dealership to have the work done. After dropping it off, they gave me a call and said I needed a Power brake booster. I told them to replace it and flush the brake system. They did that and told me I needed a new master cylinder. I told them to replace it. They did that and told me it was ready. I paid $1227 for their work. I drove it two blocks and returned to the dealership. I told them that the brakes were the same as when I brought it in for repair. No change. The shop manager drove it and said the rotors and brake pads were glazed. He made that diagnosis without looking a the rotors and brake pads. I left the car there. They pulled the wheels and miked the rotors. They could be turned. They did that and replaced the brake pads. They flushed the brake lines again. In fact, he said they did it twice more. I am ready!!! Picked up the car and paid $436 for the brake work. Drove two blocks again and returned to the dealership. No change in the brakes from the 1st time I brought it in. The maintenance manager said that there is nothing more that they can do to it. I sure feel like they saw me coming with a wad of money. Big time. I have a car that with bad brakes and I'm out over $1600. I know there are some experts on this forum that has the answer. Somewhere. I'm guessing the problem lies somewhere in the ABS/ASR system. Can anyone help point me in the right direction??

  2. #2
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    Does the service manager admit that there is still something wrong with the braking system on your vehicle?
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  3. #3
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    First, let me say that you are asking us to second guess a service facility without even seeing or driving your car. That sometimes can be difficult.

    Second, keep in mind that there is a difference between having a soft pedal and very high pedal effort for given level of braking. Sometimes the two can be confused. A soft pedal often comes from air in the system, a faulty master cylinder, faulty brake hoses and there are other, less common possibilities. High pedal effort can be: faulty or wrong brake pads, faulty brake rotors, a faulty power assist booster or a vacuum leak in the power assist system

    If I road tested a car with a soft brake pedal, first thing I'd do is look at the fluid. If it was really ugly-looking, I'd flush the system and do a full bleed. If the fluid was not bad I'd do a full bleed.

    If the soft pedal persisted, then I'd look at all the brake hoses and replace as necessary. If it was still soft, I'd consider the brake master.

    If the problem was high pedal effort, I'd look at the pads and rotors first. If the pads were faulty, obviously I'd replace them. If the rotors have pad material glazed on them, first, I'd measure them. If they are significantly above discard thickness, I'd try machining them but only if the glaze or pad material can be removed by taking off a few thousandths. I say that because every time you cut rotors you're removing material and decreasing the rotor heat-sinking ability. If the rotors are pretty badly glazed or have cementite deposits on them, I'd replace them.

    Lastly on rotors, the brake service business makes a s**t-load of money selling people on turning rotors. I prefer to follow the GM Service Manual and never machine rotors unless they have groves deeper than .060-in or are truly warped and are above discard thickness once they machining is done.

    Whomever told you the 95-96 C4 brakes require special equipment to bleed didn't give you the whole story. The base brake system on all C4s, regardless of model year, can be manually bled or pressure bled using common tools any service facility and even some DIYs would have. What's different about the 95-96 brake system is that it has ABS 5 instead of ABS 2 or ABS 2S. In the case of a soft pedal after bleeding the base brake system, the service facility needs to run the "auto bleed" procedure on the ABS 5 brake modulator. To do that requires either a TECH 1, Mastertech or TECH 2 scan tester with the appropriate software.

    Again, we're trying to diagnose a brake problem w/o actually seeing or testing the car, but as I see it you have two choices:

    1) Go back to the dealer and tell them you want them to run the ABS autobleed procedure. If they say they did it, then, I'd go looking for a brake specialist shop. If they say they don't have the proper equipment, I'd ask to see the Fixed Ops or Service Manager and explain to him/her that, if they never did Autobleed, then the job wasn't done right. Try and negociate some kind of settlement then, locate a shop or other dealer which has the right equipment to run Autobleed on an ABS 5 system and take the car there.

    2) Find a shop or dealer with the right equipment for Autobleed and have them bleed the system.

    Based on your description of the problem and what's been done so far, my best guess is they either did not or could not do Autobleed. That might be because they do not have a tester which will do that on a 95 or they may not have known about the procedure. If you do get someone to "rebleed" the system including Autobleed and the pedal firms-up, well...you have your answer.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLC5 View Post
    Does the service manager admit that there is still something wrong with the braking system on your vehicle?
    No

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LLC5 View Post
    Does the service manager admit that there is still something wrong with the braking system on your vehicle?

    No, he does not.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Guy View Post
    No, he does not.

    Ok, that's a tough one if you want the dealership to fix it a no charge. Find the person who verified the original problem (tech, advisor, etc) and ask to speak to them and get their opinion on if the problem is solved. It needs to get back to the service manager or general manager of the dealership that your original problem still exists. I know that is a lot of hassle, but a manager needs to be told (and confirmed) that the problem you spent money on is not fixed.
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  7. #7
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    OK. I took the car to a Corvette specialist. He adjusted the pushrod between the Power Brake booster and the master cylinder. That gave me a little more pedal. He did a Auto Bleed. And yes, he does have the right equipment.
    I still do not have the confidence that I can stop the car in an acceptable distance in a panic situation. He said there is no problem with the brakes.


    What else is there left that can be done to this car to improve the brakes. Sure would like to hear from other 95-96 Corvette owners about their brakes.

  8. #8
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    It's been some time since I've checked-in on this thread.

    Does this problem still exist? If so, have you tested the car's brakes in a panic situation, ie: coming off a freeway ramp and applying maximum pressure to the brake pedal? If so, what happened?

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