Bush Mechanics

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 03, 2003 at 17:56
ThreadID: 6343 Views:1688 Replies:3 FollowUps:1
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Evening All,

You touch the brakes and the pedal goes to the floor. After the initial shock you get your vehicle to stop and inspect what has gone wrong. You find you have snagged a brake line and it has been ripped off or a wheel cylinder has karked it.

First you have to isolate the problem area. In older vehicles with metal brake lines you can fold the line over many times to stop the fluid from escaping. On flexible pipes, fold and clamp with multigrips or whatever and tie to the chassis or somewhere with a plastic tie (always carry a handful of heavy duty plastic ties with you). Or you can use your own piece of wire or from a fence nearby.

The brake system will operate with almost any fluid. Water, milk, urine, wine. With regards to the latter, Chateaux Cardboard will do, but draw the line at Cabernet or Pinotage and don't use sparkling wine as it will cause a bleeding problem.

The other solution is to adjust the hand brake and proceed very slowly using it in conjunction with your gears.

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Reply By: Matt M - Sunday, Aug 03, 2003 at 18:06

Sunday, Aug 03, 2003 at 18:06
Willem, All good solutions, although, most vehicles out there have dual circuit master cylinders, so if you snap a line to the front you still have the read brakes and vice versa!!

You will have more pedal travel but it shouldnt drop all the way to the floor!
AnswerID: 26683

Reply By: GaryInOz (Vic) - Sunday, Aug 03, 2003 at 18:13

Sunday, Aug 03, 2003 at 18:13
Vegetable oil, engine oil,power steering fluid or A/T fluid will also work, more tolerant of heat too. After using any of the above methods it is wise to replace all the seals, o-rings and any other rubber bits throughout the brake system.
AnswerID: 26687

Follow Up By: Tuco69 - Monday, Aug 04, 2003 at 07:52

Monday, Aug 04, 2003 at 07:52
Gary, having seen the results of putting mineral oil (2 stroke) into a brake hydraulic system - my choice would be either vegetable oil (olive, canola, etc) or water.
The mineral oil very quickly attacked all the rubber components in the caliper piston 'o' rings, wheel cylinder cups, master cylinder rubbers and flexible lines.

As one who has had the misfortune to experience a damaged flex line, I now carry an unopened (sealed) small container of brake fluid in my spares kit.
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FollowupID: 18264

Reply By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Monday, Aug 04, 2003 at 21:40

Monday, Aug 04, 2003 at 21:40
Apparently a bit of OMO washing powder mixed with water is a good substute for brake fluid, not that you are likely to have this when out bush though !
AnswerID: 26793

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