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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The brakes on my 1998 2wd 1500 Suburban have been bad for a while.I didn't really notice that they were "broken" until today.Initial pedal effort was very hard, but I got almost no brake effect until the pedal was pushed maybe 1"-then it would brake, not great, but I did have brakes.
It finally crossed my mind that it was braking like a car with the engine off,and no power braking.
I finally turned the radio off and listened-there is a loud hiss when I press on the pedal.I got under there,and pressed the pedal with my hand,and with the other hand I could feel air blasting out of the brake booster.I can feel spongy foam stuffed inside the booster around the brake rod-guessing this isn't a seal, but it just foam to hold some lube?
1)Where can I buy a booster-OEM-most cheaply?Any online discount Chevy parts sellers.I bet autozone has a rebuilt one in stock, but I've had problems with autozone parts in the past.
2)How hard a job is it.I have a Haynes repair manual-it mentions that I might have to remove the lower dash panel,and unbolt the steering column to get access to the pushrod and booster mounting nuts. I sure hope I don't have to do that?
3)What trick is there to getting the lower dash panel off without breaking something?Those things usually have some sort of clips you can't see,and they always drive me crazy.
4)Any tips on the easiest way to do this?
Paying someone isn't an option.I'm broke(medical debt) in school( for teacher's certification),and substitute teaching($62/d),so it is strictly DIY.I'm not so flexible-57 yo-but I can get under the dash.
Any tips appreciated.
Thanks,
Charlie
PS-This is the first thing to break in 10 months of ownership on a 198,500 mile vehicle-not bad for $2950.The PO had the trans rebuilt at 185,000,and the AC,and intake manifold gasket at 155,000-so it is worth repairing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah,

It was the brake booster. I got a rebuilt one from auto zone -it was about $130 after I turned my old core back in.

It was a pain to replace on 2 counts.

1) I did have to break the seal on the mastercylinder and take the metal brake hose loose because there just wasn't enough room to get the booster out if I didn't. I got lucky and didn't have to bleed the brakes - I guess any bubbles just bubbled upward into the MC.

2) It was also hard to wiggle in underneath and disconnect it from the interior; I forget exactly what I did, but it worked fine with hand tools. You just don't have much room for your hands and arms and my hands are relatively small.

I was patient - it took maybe 2 hours for something that looks - at first glance - like an easy 20 minute on and off. The extra time was from taking my time and wiggling in and out.

Look,
Charlie

PS Once you hear that hiss , and feel that wooden brake feel it pretty much means the booster.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Glad it worked out ok. I remember that it was really tricky working under the dash near the firewall. I think I ended up using an old curved hemostat to hold "something" while popping something else in or out. I don't remember the details, but I remember feeling VERY LUCKY that I managed to get the firewall stuff apart and back together..

I drove around for about a week with no booster. Needless to say, it didn't brake very well with no booster; I kept my speed waaaay down.

Luck,
Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
1999c1500
Great tip-thanks!
I just took a look at it-looks like it it the plate the antilock brake mechanism is bolted to
You are right- 4 bolts-should move enough to allow not breaking the seal
Guessing that is exactly why they bolt it to a removable plate instead of just to the wheel well.
Thanks
Charlie
 
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