Question about Pontiac Firebird

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Power failure when braking problem

When pressing the brake pedal to slow whether it's a for approaching a bend, a corner or taking a turn etc. the pedal becomes stiff when barely pressed and the car dies, all power fails. The car ill start again but the problem continues when pressing the brake pedal. Feels like there's a brick under it and it can't go down. It's a 1973 Pontiac Firebird Formula 400 automatic.

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Sounds like your power assist vacuum unit is dead. i.e. your power brakes. pump your brake pedal 3 times and hold it. turn on engine-if the pedal sinks to floor its the brake master cylinder, if it pulses and comes up with your foot on it its its neither but if it stays right where it is>? BINGO-power assist! good luck.

Posted on Oct 17, 2013


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Brake problem (squishy sound)

A sound like that that you can hear inside has to be the vacumn assist tank leaking air. Did you bleed the new master cyl ?

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SOURCE: changing back brakes on 1995 pontiac firebird

these are drum brakes I assume, start but only taking apart one side and leave the other side to gether if you get lost in the reassembly, do not take the brake adjuster from one side of the car to the other they are different, one is right hand thead one is left, you need a blade screw driver and a pair of pliers some antiseize, springs hold everything together, go slow and you should be fine. Replace worn, cracked, pads, use sandpaper to clean up the drums if they are rusty from sitting, you can get them measured to make sure they are not worn out at you local supply store, if they are good reuse them, a can of brake cleans will clean up all the old brake dust and is much safer then compresed air, don't breath the dust! Lubricate behind the shoes where they contact the backing plate, you will see rub marks, turn the adjusters all the way in upon assembly, place drum on car and turn side to side, they should be free, turn out adjuster until it just starts to drag on the drum, bleed the brakes with a friend and check that drum is still free. Good luck.

Posted on Jan 18, 2010

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