Classic/Antique Car Repair/1982 Chrysler brakes


Hi Vern-

I have a 1982 Chrysler Lebaron convertible with power front disc/rear drum brakes and no ABS. A little over a year ago I seen brake fluid on the floor of the garage and took it to my local mechanic. He said one of the steel lines to the rear brakes had a hole in it and while replacing that he suggested doing a brake job on all 4 wheels as they looked like they hadn't been replaced in quite awhile. I agreed and when I got the car back I didn't think the brakes felt like they were stopping as good as they should. Took it back and he dove it around and agreed that they should stop better but the brake pads need to be broke in and will get better as I drive it.

A year and a 1,000 miles later I still don't think the brakes (for being new) stop as good as they should. I figured if I push as hard as I can on the brake pedal while moving the wheels should lock up. Am I wrong to think that I should be able to lock the wheels? I don't remember the brakes feeling this poor before being fixed. I took it back last week and he drove it again and he said everything seems fine. I disagree, thoughts on what to do/check?


Hi Jim:
Since you and your mechanic disagree, I would do two things...

1. Check the manual and see if there is a stopping distance chart in it.
Some mfg provide that at certain speeds for you to test your brake with.

2. It sounds like your mechanic didn't bleed the brakes properly and there
maybe some air still in the line. However, if he didn't suggest bleeding the
brakes again, then I wouldn't trust him to do the job. Take it to another place.

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Vern Bullock


I can answer most questions about autos built in the 1920 through 1990. Mechanical issues and technical questions are my expertise. I also have a general knowledge of most older automobiles. Keep in mind, I can only provide answers if the questions are very specific and complete. Without details, I can only speculate and that's not good for solving your problem.


I have owned and maintained Silver Shadows for over 10 years now. I find most mechanics and even Rolls Royce mechanics have very little knowledge about these automobiles. I have researched these cars in quite a bit of detail and can pretty much tell you what is wrong, if you can describe the behavior in detail. I have saved quite a few RR owners a lot of money and aggravation due to improper diagnosis. I am the owner of Classy Transportation, LLC a luxury limousine service specializing in antique cars, classic cars, vintage cars and exotic cars.

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