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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WOW - did ya'll think I'd kicked off? Nope just MIA over the winter since Emmy had to sit stored.

SO... we finally got some decent enough weather to take her out and here is my issue. She has NO brakes. It appears to be air in the brakes. So, has anyone used ramps to get their GT up or are they too low? I really hate using a jack and jackstands cuz it takes so much longer, but I need to bleed the brakes and don't have a lift.

As a secondary note: can anyone think of how she may have gotten air in the brakes just sitting? I've started her up about once a month or so just to keep her running, etc. She was fine when I stored her and I didn't dink with the master cyl or use the emergency brake since. This is not good methinks....
 

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Welcome back, Kristi!
Was the master cylinder full when you parked it? Do you feel any resistance in the brake pedal? You may be able to reach the front bleeders by turning the wheel and reaching around the wheel. Check the inside of the wheels for any sign of brake fluid leakage. Then check the brake lines or look for puddles under the GT. The fluid had to go somewhere.
 

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Well, I hate to tell you this, but I'd suspect that a rear wheel cylinder has developed a leak. The rubber seals usually go after sitting for a long time. You can check this by looking for fluid that has dripped down the back of the tire. It could also be a seal in the master cylinder that has failed. Look for leaks. For some reason, I have never seen a front caliper let go while sitting.
If you have to pull the rear wheel and drum to check it all out, you'll have to use the jack and stands, instead of the ramps.
Bestus,
James
 

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self admitted opel addict
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Same experience last winter.
I had a very small leak in my brake line.... could BARELY see any fluid on the floor. Was enough to accumulate some air while it sat for the winter . Fixed the leak, bled the brakes and have never had any more problems.
Mine was already on jack stands....
 

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Kristi said:
So, has anyone used ramps to get their GT up or are they too low? I really hate using a jack and jackstands cuz it takes so much longer, but I need to bleed the brakes and don't have a lift.

Just days after I got my '72 I purchased a nifty bundle from Wal Mart. It's got a small floor jack, two jack stands, 4-way tire tool and two tire chocks. I've found that placing the jack stands under the front or rear jacking brackets works quite nicely. I use my ramps under the rear axel when I elevate front and rear. My car had been sitting in storage for ten years and there is scum in the master cylinder reservoir. Not only are the brakes spongy but the front disks drag. A rebuild kit is on the way. I'm new, but I learn fast.
;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okie dokie - thanks for all the help.

Um, point 1: there is no fluid leak, no puddles, and I checked the fluid, it is more than full - just where I left it in November. So now what do we think it could be? I did have her in the shop for almost a month fixing various and sundry things, but mostly on the rear-end and inside the cabin. I wouldnt think they would have bumped anything...?

point 2: So did we rule out ramps and decide that GTs are jackstand only for bleeding brakes? (I'm slow... gimme a break) :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh, and in response to Gary's Q's:

* Yes the MC was full (and still is)

* No I get nothing but the floor when I press the brake pedal (and the red "brake" dash light come on) unless I pump the brakes, then I'm good for one stop. I mean if I squish it to the floor it does stop the car but not well.....
 

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On a semi-related topic, to replace all the rubber in the system you need to get the fluid res-master cyl; master cyl seals; front piston seals; front piston dust covers; rear wheel cylanders; and 3 rubber hoses. Does this sound right? I'm doing all my brake work and switching to Dot5 so I want to make sure I get all the rubber out of there.

Dan
 

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Kristi,

Dont let that car sit in storage, drive it until the tires fall off.
Enjoy it now.....

Stanley P
 

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Gt and Car Ramps

Have you checked that you have enough clearance to get your GT nose up your car ramps? I seem to recall the angle is usually too sharp. Glad to see you are still among us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Stanley: with the way Opel's rust and the current lack of a heater, she's not a good canditdate for Iowa winters. :)

OpelGT: That was my question! :) I didn't know if an opel would clear ramps or not..... (and thanks for the welcome back!)
 

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I had to raise the car and shove the ramps under. What I don't know is if the angle on all ramps is the same so if you already have your ramps you can test fit it and visually see if it will clear. At least on my ramps it was clear the nose would not clear.
 

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I can hardly get a jack under the front of my gt =( I either have to lift the bumper slightly or go in from the side now.
 

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Ramps

Back before I had a hydraulic jack, I tried to use a set of ramps, but they would not fit under the nose of my GT. My solution then was to get a steel extension made for the front of each ramp, which made the angle more gentle, and moved the ramp further forward when it contacted the tire.

When I discovered the merits of hydraulic jacks and jack stands, I abandoned the ramps and have never used them since. I think I sold them at a garage sale back in the '80's.
 

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I picked up a cheap set of stamped steel ramps at a local auto parts store. They actually look very much like the yellow ones in the link above, same color too. They were about $40. The angle is shallow enough to just fit them under the front or rear of the GT with no problems. Ramps are nice, no jacking, no worry about punching though the floor pan, and pretty stable. They are not for everything though. I never use them to bleed brakes, I use 4 point jack stands (part of a Sears 3 ton roll around floor jack set, $100) so the wheel area is more accesable.
 

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Opeler
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Ramps

Ramps, Can't resist that one, would that be why most GT's I work on have these two custom inverted pleats in the under pan :) But I do imagine an Opel Gt would not be heavy enough to crush a ramp. Too many years of working in junk yards, seen too many ramps bent in more weard ways then you can imagine, nop not me, no way, never. Floor Jack and double locking jack stands, and an extra jack stand never hurt!
jb
 

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I use ramps all the time with my GT. I bought them from Advance auto. Plastic and grey in color. You can drive forward onto the ramps to get the front off the ground. You need to back onto them to get the rear off the ground. Bleed the rear first and then the front. By the way you don't need to raise the car to reach the front bleed screws and I'm not postitive but I thought you could reach the rear also. If you had brakes before you parked it and the level in the MC never got low, I doubt that bleeding will help. Sounds like a MC failure. It only takes a few minutes to try bleeding so I would start there.
 

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I flush and bleed the brakes once a year in the spring. I have zero tolerance for old brake fluid. No ramps, just two large floor jacks diagonally across from each other at the lift points. You can use jack stands on the other two lift points if the car is going to be off the ground for more than a few minutes. This method is not stable or safe: DO NOT get under the car.

Please use full size locking jack stands on all 4 lift points or an automotive lift found at most auto repair shops, if you have to get underneath your car.
Also make sure you have a buddy around when you visit the underside of your car, you never know when gravity will kick in. I hope this is of some help.
 

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Rockauto.com has Opel rebuilt master cylinders for about $40. I had good luck getting rear wheel cylinders, brake hoses rotors etc there. Since you're not losing fluid, I would think something amiss with the master cylinder. Good luck.
 
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