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Thread: Brake Usage

  1. #1
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    Brake Usage

    Opinions, please.

    Whenever I drive down the street with a slight grade, I have to apply the brakes every five or six seconds or so, otherwise by the time I come to a stop sign, the speedo have reached close to 30 mph.There for, some times I have to shift to L2 gear to relieve stress on the drum and disc brakes.

    Which way should I control the speed momentum.

  2. #2
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    That question could (re)start a religious war, comprising at least these sides:
    - continuous light brake pressure.
    - intermittent firm brake pressure.
    - downshift the transmission.
    - 'check up' sooner.
    - take a different route.

    The usual counter to your tactic is that engine parts and transmission parts cost much more than brake parts.
    ... but, hey, they're your parts; do what you want.

    FWIW, I push the 'NO OD' button on long hills, dowhshift on steeper hills, and slow _way_ down if I also need the brakes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHalloran View Post
    That question could (re)start a religious war, comprising at least these sides:
    - continuous light brake pressure.
    - intermittent firm brake pressure.
    - downshift the transmission.
    - 'check up' sooner.
    - take a different route.
    Mike is right, each option has it's opponents and proponents. On a short gradient I will use the brakes, on a long downhill section I will downshift to a lower gear aided by judicious use of brakes as necessary. The UK Highway Code recommends; 'Select a lower gear before you reach a long downhill slope. This will help you control your speed.'

    I guess that using brakes continously on a long downhill stretch could overheat pads and shoes, using a lower gear introduces it's own braking effect and the braking load is therefore split between two systems rather than one. Should brakes fail then being in a lower gear will enable more control by limiting any speed gain.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

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    >>'Select a lower gear before you reach a long downhill slope. This will help you control your speed.' <<

    That is what I always do. I shift into L2 as I exit my driveway, NOT down shift while I'm well on the grade.

  5. #5
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    I use engine braking to maintain a constant speed on long downhill slopes. Ford seems to agree with me. A couple of years ago we rented a Mustang; driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway with the cruise control on it would change down several gears to keep to the set speed on downhill gradients. . . came as a bit of a surprise the first time it did it!

    As for using the brakes, intermittent firm pressure is better than continuous light pressure; ride the brakes & you'll generate a lot of heat, use them in short bursts & you give them time to cool down between applications.

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    Instead of replying to the thread, I'd like to start a new one. This is about a leaking radiator hose.

    Before I begin, the water pump on my 76 Chevy has been leaking slowly as far back as I can remember. Then a new leak started from the lower hose connection at the radiator. Needless to say, I had my mechanic repair this leaking hose. He fixed it all right, and lo and behold!, that not only fixed it, the water pump also stopped leaking. Can anyone explain this phenomenon?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChevyMan View Post
    Instead of replying to the thread, I'd like to start a new one. This is about a leaking radiator hose.

    Before I begin, the water pump on my 76 Chevy has been leaking slowly as far back as I can remember. Then a new leak started from the lower hose connection at the radiator. Needless to say, I had my mechanic repair this leaking hose. He fixed it all right, and lo and behold!, that not only fixed it, the water pump also stopped leaking. Can anyone explain this phenomenon?

    It may have been leaking at the water pump end and running down the hose. The lower hose especially can hide the actual leak for some time. Especially on the lower hose. I've even seen the mounting bolts seep a little. The 4 main bolts on an SB V-8 water pump go into the cooling system. He may have done something as simple as replace the hose and pull the bolts out and put some sealant on them.
    Honk if you love Jesus.

    Text if you want to meet him.

  8. #8
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    I doubt the leak originated at the pump, then run down the hose as I've noticed the actual dripping about 4 minutes after turning off the engine, and the lower hose itself was as dry as it can be. I think the mechanics did something to the hose end connected to the radiator. He tried to explain what happened but I couldn't make out what he said over the phone. As I mentioned, the pump had been leaking slowly as far as I can remember and the drippings were directly under the pump assembly.

  9. #9
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    A car that old can have very atypical failures.
    E.g. the water pump typically leaks a little for a while before the seal completely fails, then it leaks all the coolant out in a short time and you are stuck along the road.
    I can't explain why your water pump appears to have 'fixed itself', and I don't trust that it will stay fixed.
    If you can't remember when the water pump was replaced, it's time to replace it just for fun.
    For continued, trouble-free fun, replace the belts and hoses and thermostat at the same time.

  10. #10
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    Well, Mike, IIRC, the water was replaced not too long ago. I'll have to check my records in the morning and let you know all the details.

  11. #11
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    Well Mike, the water pump was replaced a little over 4 years ago

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