Hi andrew rivera. Excuse me for butting in. Both guys are right, but there may be an easier and faster fix. The clue to the constricted hose is the brake pedal will be higher and harder than normal. Also, if you shift to neutral, you should be able to push the van by hand on a flat surface or it should creep downhill on its own. If you're on a slight incline, (not a steep hill because we don't want to read that you had to chase after your van!), Put a block a few inches downhill from a tire, then reach behind the wheel and open the bleeder screw. If the brake releases, suspect that hose. You can also loosen the steel line momentarily at the master cylinder to double-check and most likely the brake will not release from there. Sorry I can't tell you which line to loosen. I never got to that point.
The front hose has a metal bracket crimped around the middle of it. Rust builds up inside that crimp and squeezes the hose. You can force brake fluid past the restriction, but the fluid can't release back to the reservoir so it holds that brake applied. The real quick and permanent fix is to use a large pliers to open that crimp up a little.
We used to learn about hoses tearing inside and acting like one-way check valves, but in doing brake work every week for over 25 years, I never once saw that actually happen, ... Until it happened to a Voyager I own. That vehicle sat for a long time until I needed it for my students to practice on. It developed that high and hard pedal and the right front brake would not release. The kids found the problem to be the hose and there were no outward signs of rust on the bracket, but opening the crimp just a fuzz solved the problem. Two weeks later a student in another program had the same thing happen on his Neon. Never saw that in all those years, then had two in two weeks. Since then I've been hearing about this happening quite a bit. It's common on the rear of many Chrysler products too.
Thursday, July 7th, 2011 AT 8:53 PM