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2000 Deville with soft brake pedal.

6713 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ewill3rd
2000 Deville with 55,000 miles started having a soft brake pedal out of the blue today. Pedal goes to the floor. I can pump it back up but if I hold my foot on the pedal it will go to the floor. Fluid was down a shot glass full. Brakes will stop the car but something is wrong. Never a problem with the brakes and fluid not leaking out of any of the wheels or master and no codes.
Sounds like a leaking caliper or master cyl. What do the experts think?
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Either you have an external leak, which should be very evident or your master cylinder is leaking internally at the piston seal and needs to be replaced.
Spot on Ranger. This car was probably just worked on and a brake pipe didn't seat. I get it from Escalades these days when doing a BPMV. I haven't heard of a DeVille master leaking but certainly possible.
Justin_J, what is the history. Has anyone opened the brake system recently?
That's what has me stumped. No evidence of fluid and the brakes have not been worked on. They were checked for wear about 2,000 miles back and the pads showed little wear. If the master is by passing the seal would I see air bubbles or movement of the fluid with the brake applied and the cap off?
I was under the hood before this started checking the air filter. Could I have knocked a line off? I looked last night but could not see or hear any lines off.
Thanks for your help guys.

I found the leak! When I removed the lower valance pan I moved the brake line causing it to leak. Can't understand that with 55,000 miles but it is now leaking at the rubber or plastic conection that curves up from the straight piece of aluminium line that runs along the bottom of the radiator. The line looks like it goes to the right front caliper. Will I need to replace the entire line? If so do I need to remove the engine for access? :) Any quick fixes?

It can be repaired, but involves the right fittings and flaring tools. You are wiser to replace the line if it is available in the correct length with bends.
Thank you for your reply. I have looked at the line and can't see any way of repairing with a flairing tool and fitting because of the limited space. I agree with you on replacing the line and will take it to the shop. Oh, good luck it's a holiday weekend.rant2:


Can't find anyone to look at the brake line until next week because of the holiday weekend and can't find a new line. With your help I will attempt to make repairs until I can find a new line. What material is the rubber/plastic looking material the metal line runs into before it curves up beside of the block? Looks like a formed sleeve to me. Does the metal line run inside of that? Since the fluid is leaking out of the union between the steel pipe and the sleeve I need to know if I can cut back that area to get to the area that is leaking so I can put a fitting on the line. What size is the line?
I am not exactly sure what you are talking about, where it is or how you are going to attempt this temporary repair, but be advised that you put a lot of pressure into those brake lines when you step on the brakes. If your repair is not good and it ruptures when you step on the brakes, particularly in a panic stop, you'll be in for a BIG shock. Be careful.
Thanks Ranger. I was going to repair the line with a compression fitting but have changed my mine due to the saftey factor. I will buy straight line, go fitting to fitting and bend it with a tube bender to match the old line. The old line looks rusted and I am not going to take any chances.

I was going to repair the line with a compression fitting
:tisk: That would probably come apart on the first brake application. Are you buying preflared lines and then doing your own bending? That would be the way to go.
The lines must be fabricated.
There are a couple of ways to do this, but the method you speak of should work... however.

Be aware there are 2 types of crimps that GM uses.
One is a standard type double flare, that will come on any pre-made lines.
Also use a lot these days is something called an ISO flare.
It is much harder to make a reliable ISO flare than a double flare and it requires a special pipe flaring tool.
Making your own flares can be tricky, but it is doable.
The best pipe flaring kit tool on the market (to my knowledge) is this one:

We have one like this but it was a bit cheaper because it only has a small number of anvil sets in it.

Don't use compression fittings, replace pipe in complete segments if possible. You can buy unions for flare fittings but each length of pipe will need a quality flared end on it.

Good luck, Lord knows I hate fabricating brake lines, but I have made some really nice ones in my day.
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The lines must be fabricated.
I know I have seen pipes at Napa, but maybe they are for something else. Never paid that close of attention since I was not in need.
They do have pre-made pipes with ends on them true... however you'll find that it is impossible to get the exact correct length.

I usually use the pre-made pipes to bend, cut to length and then put a new flare on one end to complete the line.
Most of the lines end up with a double flare on one end and an ISO flare on the other.... at least according to my semi-functional memory.

So yes Ranger, they do have premade lines in lots of lengths with ends on them.
Sometimes I get a 50' length of pipe in a box that is rolled up, I have to straighten it, then rebend it and put the ends on.
It is not much fun at all really.
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