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Thread: Project BigB... a 1977 Dodge Van 6x4!

  1. #111
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Chico, CA. USA
    The brake lines are known to swell shut. Replace them and try again.
    95 Montero SR
    05 Nissan Frontier 4x4
    78 4x4 Dodge Transvan
    05 Honda CRF 450x
    02 Polaris RMK 800
    96 Yamaha Phazer
    11 Polaris RZR 900

  2. #112
    Again, great info!

  3. #113
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I think you should look at a GM Hydroboost setup out of a late 80-'s van. They have a stepped fluid reservoir and would/should fit right in there w/out all the funky vacuum booster crap.

    I am running Hydroboost on my big arse CrewCab Land Rover and it is amazingly strong.

    Just a thought...
    Michael Slade

  4. #114
    I don't know about a '77, but my '89 has a proportioning valve. It is not adjustable to my knowledge, but perhaps your could be stuck, and allowing only slight hydraulic pressure to reach the rears. There is a single wire going to it that illuminated the parking brake light when one of the start adjusters fell out in the drum.

    Here's a diagram of a Ford one, the Mopar looks similar.

    I must also depress my brake pedal further than most any other car I've driven. Could be a Dodge Van thing. The first application when driving another vehicle is always a little shocking.

    There is the possibility of adjustment on mine, but the whole booster must be removed to get to it.

    Are the brakes on the Tag Axle hooked up?

  5. #115
    Thanks for that info, and in fact you are correct, according to the Haynes manual there is a twin piston in the Master Cylinder that triggers the brake warning lamp whch is on. I was alone, and it says you need 2 people to reset it. One to push the brake pedal and the other to release a union to "Recenter it". I will be out there in a few days and hopefully someone will be there to assist.
    Yes, the brakes on the Tag axle are functional!

  6. #116
    Seems the above info was wrong... the brake proportioning valve is downstream, not on the master cylinder... I assume it will be on the chassis rail on the drivers side... thats where the hard line go.
    Last edited by Keyblazer; 03-27-2010 at 10:18 PM.

  7. #117
    Mine is almost directly under the MC, on the frame rail. If you wanna pay for my gas from SD to OC and back, You've got a helper.

  8. #118
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Chico, CA. USA
    If it has sat for along time without being driven the master cylinder maybe bad. Every vehicle I've restored that has sat has had to have it replaced. I would still check those brake lines, the swelling shut info came from a Dodge truck forum.
    95 Montero SR
    05 Nissan Frontier 4x4
    78 4x4 Dodge Transvan
    05 Honda CRF 450x
    02 Polaris RMK 800
    96 Yamaha Phazer
    11 Polaris RZR 900

  9. #119
    I agree with you, based on the condition of the front hoses, I plan to replace or rebuild all the braking system, but hoped to just get it home first, rather than it being 80 miles away from all my tools.
    The PO, say the pedal went right to the floor when he started, and moved it after its 5+ year slumber.
    The brake warning lamp is on, and it feels like there is two stages to the pedal travel. The first stage I feel on the pedal gave me no braking, and the second locks the front wheels easily.
    This adds up to info I read about the brake proportioning valve applying pressure to the rear drums until the pads contact, or if the travel is exceeded, the piston in the valve moves over triggering the warning lamp and cutting off flow to the rear brakes to stop fluid loss.
    Reading the manual in detail I think I get it now. You have to release the front bleed nipple to recenter the piston, reversing the original issue.
    The lack of brake pressure in the rear circuit, closed the valve.... because I could not get fluid into the rear circuit, there was no back pressure when I bled the fronts, that would have normally done the recentering of the piston.
    I think that I will go out there again next week and replace the rear flex hoses, and try to recenter the brake proportioning valve again.
    Last edited by Keyblazer; 03-28-2010 at 06:11 AM.

  10. #120
    Digging into the brake issue threw me a great idea.
    There are cost effective kits out there for converting the rear Dana 60 drums to disc brakes. This improves braking/are self cleaning and saves about 50lb per axle.

    With all the weight I have out there and the plan to do some off road stuff, that might include water crossings, I thinks it would be good!

    Oh, in an earlier thread, someone said about the turning circle... and it is bad!
    I assume it is limited by the steering lock available more than anything?

    Researching the Vancharger/pathfinder conversion, I found this cool stuff!

    Whats funny is that the top pic is exactly like the one that was the base for my Van...

    Oh, and the thick pile of receipts I have in the folder add up to about $60,000 in work over a 20 year period!
    Last edited by Keyblazer; 03-29-2010 at 07:16 PM.

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