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Hi All,

Oh the joys of owning an old car! Lately I've had an issue where my 1969 GTO pulls noticeably to the left when I brake. It's noticeable enough that I have to counter steer to the right when braking. On one occasion I had someone cut me off in traffic and hit their brakes hard, requiring me to brake VERY hard which started to rotate my car due to how much heavier the left front braked versus the right front!

This past weekend I bled the brakes (which was badly needed) but on a low speed test drive it still felt like my old Goat was pulling to the left when braking. The front brake pads still have tons of material left, and the rotors are in good shape as well.

I'm planning to pull the front wheels again and maybe pull the front calipers to inspect them for any issues. Also, I noticed this past weekend that when I jacked up the front of my car (on level ground) the LF wheel had barely left the ground by the time the RF was several inches off the ground. I'm going to check that the front shock isn't cracked or broken, but I assume it's fine as there appears to be no suspension issues at all when I'm driving.

Could a suspension issue cause braking problems like this? Any other ideas what could cause this issue or what I can check?
 

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Hi All,

Oh the joys of owning an old car! Lately I've had an issue where my 1969 GTO pulls noticeably to the left when I brake. It's noticeable enough that I have to counter steer to the right when braking. On one occasion I had someone cut me off in traffic and hit their brakes hard, requiring me to brake VERY hard which started to rotate my car due to how much heavier the left front braked versus the right front!

This past weekend I bled the brakes (which was badly needed) but on a low speed test drive it still felt like my old Goat was pulling to the left when braking. The front brake pads still have tons of material left, and the rotors are in good shape as well.

I'm planning to pull the front wheels again and maybe pull the front calipers to inspect them for any issues. Also, I noticed this past weekend that when I jacked up the front of my car (on level ground) the LF wheel had barely left the ground by the time the RF was several inches off the ground. I'm going to check that the front shock isn't cracked or broken, but I assume it's fine as there appears to be no suspension issues at all when I'm driving.

Could a suspension issue cause braking problems like this? Any other ideas what could cause this issue or what I can check?

Check tire air pressure - something simple can do this.

Alignment?

Bad bushings - may be worn parts causing a change/**** the suspension angle on just one side rather than even braking.

Wheel bearing too loose or too tight?

Disc pads are cheap enough, throw another set on, but use the more inexpensive brand. The higher grade are typically metallic and this could be causing a problem - one side having more metal in the pad than the other might grab differently.

May even be a back brake causing the car to pull left. If one of them is too tight or not working, this may have an effect on braking and you think it is the front's. Just another free thing to check.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
PontiacJim - I did already check air pressure and I'm even at all four corners, plus the alignment seems okay because the car never pulls when driving only when braking.

Good idea about the wheel bearing I'll check for play, and I'm going to have a look over the front suspension this weekend (hopefully) and will check the bushings, etc as they're mostly old.

Also, good point about the rears maybe factoring in. I did have the rear drums off this past weekend when I bled the lines and the shoes and drums were in great shape and there are no leaks from the rear wheel cylinders. I did not adjust the "star" adjuster though to make sure the shoes are properly adjusted. If I'm not mistaken you can semi-hard brake while reversing and the force from braking adjusts the shoes outwards towards the drum, so I'll try that.
 

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Check the RF caliper, might be frozen or not sliding. I had the same problem on mine. A set of new calipers solved the problem. Sounds like you are getting no braking from the RF. JUst something else to check.
 

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As far as a flexible brake line goes, it wouldn't collapse, but actually expand. A lower radiator hose can collapse without its internal spring to maintain shape from the sucking of fluid by the water pump. But the brake fluid is being pushed toward the caliper from the master cylinder not from it, the softer than steel brake line hose would expand in size causing a drop in pressure and less force exerted against the caliper piston. A stainless braided brake line does a better job containing the brake line from expanding although not stock in appearance. An old hose, expanding more than stock, would cause the wheel to have degraded braking force, so the right side is more likely in your case if that is the root cause.
 

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Brake lines collapse for several reasons. Typically, metal lines collapse from impact and rubber lines collapse due to age. ... The rule of thumb is usually if the vehicle pulls to one side while braking and the caliper shows no damage, then replacement of the brake hose is required.Jan 27, 2012
 

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Yes I agree about checking the right front caliper and hose, caliper stick often because the slides are not properly greased. New pads without greasing the caliper slides happens. A clogged or ruptured internal caliper hose.

You can take the wheel off and have a helper press the pedal then spin the right rotor by hand...will it spin? If it spins the caliper piston is not exerting pressure on the rotor or the shoes on the drum if you have drum brakes. Look over the hose as well, sometimes their is visible damage, other times internal failure, but if blocked the caliper or cylinder will not deploy the brake pads or shoes.

Also check your fittings at the master cylinder for leakage at the line that goes to thr right front wheel, a small leak can cause the caliper or cylinder not to properly deploy.

Stay with it you will get it!,
 

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Also check for broken spring on right front or A arm jammed in to sway bar, the upper ball joint and generallylook over the suspension for not letting the right side drop.....that should be a visible difference.....
 

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If the car is not pulling when you are driving, then your alignment, tire pressure, and suspension are fine.....Pulling when braking is an indication of a brake issue. Since your car is pulling to the left (hard) when braking, that is an indication that the left side of the car's brakes are working better than the right. As others have suggested, with the car on jack stands, spin the tires as a friend applies the brakes. Most likely the piston in your caliper (or drum) is stuck (fully or partially). If so, a simple rebuild should suffice. Good luck
 

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with all due respect .....

just last fall .... got the motor home all loaded up for a camping fishing clamming trip to the washington coast .... ohhhhhhhh yah .....

I head towards my non ethonal gas station to fill up the 88 454 fuel tank
std GMC dually frame and suspension

I feel a tug left on the wheel stopping at a light 1/2 way there ...

hmmmm wierd .....

tug goes away ,,, next light .... whoooow nelly !! hard left pulll

WHAT ???? 40.000 original easy miles hmmmmm

pull in to the gas station ..... hop out look at the left front ,,, air is ok ...

wheel is cool around the lug nuts ... I kick the wheel all seems fine ...

my buddy pulls up in the chase car ...we use for running around and leave camp set up....

I walk to the passenger side and WOW the smell of hot brakes ....

yup that wheel is TOASTY warm ....

fill up and head home .... using the e brake .....

jack up the right front .... spin the wheel ... hmm spins ok ...

start up the rig .... hit the brakes .... release the brakes .... right brake is still locked...

go in to get tools and a drip pan and make a few calls...

come back out with tools 10 minutes later the wheels spins ....

ok ........ off to napa for 2 brake hoses ..... replaced that side

and was gone within an hour with a little gravity bleed ....

felt just like old times .... yah I still need to do the drivers side ....

moral of the story is ........

I think if its a braking problem dont forget to look at the other side...

if its suspension ... look on the left side,,,,,

look very closely at tire wear ... run your hand backwards on the tread...
feel any sharpness to the tread edge ?

if its not brakes,,, maybe you lost some upper control arm shims,,,
control arm bushings.... tie rod end ... all come to mind...

DONT DRIVE IT .....

PM sent

we cut the hose apart at the camp ground ,,,
and
the end of the hose where it went into the steel crimped end had seperated in
layers and the inside rubber delaminated from the corded reinforced rubber
at the caliper end ... it would let pressure by ,,,, but would fold over on release we think
and hold pressure , plugging the return hole, and slowly releasing ...

whew ,,,,

glad I didnt hop on the freeway and needed fuel ........
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Everyone - Wow, thank you for all of the replies and suggestions! The more I think about it, the more I believe the issue is more-so that the RF is braking too little (or not at all) as opposed to the LF braking too much.

This weekend I'm pulling the RF wheel again and having a closer look at the caliper, pads and rotor. Also, I'm looking over the entire front suspension although I don't expect to find any issues as the car is pretty comfortable when cruising and never pulls, knocks, pops, etc.

Hopefully I can even trick a friend to stop by and assist by pressing the brake pedal for me so I can watch what does, or doesn't, happen when the brake pedal is pressed. That way I can compare RF versus LF.

Hopefully it's just a stuck piston in the caliper, or a simple brake hose that needs replaced. Fingers crossed.

I'll be sure to update once I know more.
 

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Had the same problem on 2 different cars in the past. It was a flat spot on the front tire on the side of the car it was pulling to. Switch wheels from one side to the other. If it pulls to the other side, you have a bad tire. Paul
 

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A nice young lady came into the tire store ....

can we help you today the repairman asks ?

yes sir. .. I was told by another driver , my tire had a flat and
I needed to get it repaired..

ok mam , he replies ... lets go look and see ..

but its only flat on the bottom ... she replied ... the rest of it is fine ...


oh thats an old one .... sorry had to do it .....
 
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