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Old 03-06-2006, 08:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hard Brake Pedal

Yesterday just out of the blue when I went to hit my brakes, the pedal was very hard. This has never happened before. Can anyone tell me where I need to start to check out this problem? I got out and pulled the vacuum hose off the booster and a friend held the hose while I cranked the engine. No vacuum. After I throttled the engine the vacuum came up? Any suggestions would be greatly welcomed.
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Old 03-06-2006, 11:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Unless you sprung a leak in the vacum hose the vacum pump is bad. These pumps are not extremely long lived if they are new and even less if rebuilt.
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Old 03-06-2006, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Do the vacuum test on my gallery......
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Old 03-06-2006, 06:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Most likely the vacuum pump.

The pulley removal / installation is important. Pulley comes off with a power steering pulley remover.

DO NOT reinstall the pulley by pounding it on with a hammer. A certain un-named half man / half robot did that and ruined a perfectly good pump.

To install pulley, it should be pulled onto the shaft with the hole in the middle of it. Get a metric threaded bolt, nut and a few washers (8mm I think, I just walked the darn thing into Home Depot and matched it). Find one with plenty of thread, then cut off the unthreaded part. Thread the stud all the way into the shaft hole, put the washers on, then run the nut down on top of the washers with an impact wrench until the pulley is all the way on.

You can also use a plain bolt and washers, but it's more work because you have to keep puting more washers under till the pulley is all the way on and you risk stripping the shaft hole threads.
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Old 03-08-2006, 02:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

When that happens, watch for your emergency brake light. It may be coming on letting you know that your pump is going bad / vacuum leak somewhere. I would do the check soon. My pump failed when coming off of a freeway off ramp. That was exciting [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:30 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

last summer i had a broken vacuum pump along with bad brake booster/internal rabs leak. it was fun trying to drive, one second you would have to stand on the pedal to stop and the next it was all the way to the floor. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

I belive Napa auto parts sells the kit, its from KD tools and has bacome very handy doing steering and vacuum pumps, save a ton of work especially when installing the pulley on the new pump. I think its around 90 dollars and it worth every bit of it.
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Old 03-08-2006, 08:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Any news? Check the tension on the belt and belt condition too. I replaced my vacuum pump last year after the same symptoms.

Buy or borrow a vacuum guage and do the vacuum dianostic procedure. Measure the vacuum after it is repaired to know your new baseline.

--Hugh
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Hello everyone,
Sorry for the delayed response. I am a landscaper by trade and I have been extremely busy. I did do the vacuum test that was suggested and here is what I came up with: Test 1 I checked the vacuum pump and it read 22Hg on the gauge. Test 2 I hooked the gauge up and I got a reading of 18Hg and when I pressed the brake pedal, it dropped to 10hg and slowly crept back up to 18 after releasing the pedal.
I dont really know any more now than when I started becouse I have been driving it and the problem has not occured since. Does anyone know where to go from here? According to the test It says replace the booster but I want to make sure before I just start replacing parts. I priced a new vaccum pump at Advance Auto and it will set me back 268.00 Lord only knows what a booster would be. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for all the replys.

Jr
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Just recently replaced the booster on my 89 250 and it was about $60 - $80 at Auto zone.
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Old 03-09-2006, 11:35 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

I think you deserve a visit to....... the Shop diesel web page for your next NEW vacuum pump.
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Old 03-09-2006, 12:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

The link above is a better price than I got for $130. You will reuse your old mounting bracket and vacuum pulley. Was that price you quoted for just the pump? or installation too?

Your brakes failed once, so they are bound to fail again in the future.

Lots of helpful info by searching vacuum pump in the search function for 7.3L (non-powerstokes).

--Hugh
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Old 03-09-2006, 09:56 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Thanks for the link cdnsarguy, that is a far better price. Hugh the 268.00 is the price that Advance gave and I will have to install it myself. I guess for peace of mind, I will go ahead and get a vacuum pump and put it on. This is a great place for advice and I appreciate everyones help. Thanks
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Old 03-14-2006, 08:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Well since the last post everything has been fine until tonight. As I was turning in the driveway, the pedal got hard again. I have noticed that the last time it done it and this time that the hard pedal occured when I let off the accelarator. Is it the vaccum pump or the booster? Any info is appreciated. Thanks
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:23 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Hard Brake Pedal

Well if you decellerated to turn then engine would be at curb idle, if you used the brakes then the vacuum would be depleted. At curb idle the vacuum pump is slow to recover but there is a minimum time on the test I believe.
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