2000 Chrysler Town and Country poor "hard", sever

Tiny
WILLARD1
  • MEMBER
  • 2000 CHRYSLER TOWN AND COUNTRY
  • 6 CYL
  • AWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 95,000 MILES
Last spring I happened to drive my daughter's MY 2000 T&C minivan and noticed that the brakes didn't seem "right". I purchased this van in late '99 and gave it to my daughter about 4 or 5 years ago.

She had had Redmond WA Les schwab do some brake work in Nov of '07 and so she took it back to them and they flushed, refilled and bled the brake system.

Back in Nov they had installed (renco?) Rebuild front calipers, new brake pads, and turned the rotors.

I did not drive the van again until about 6 weeks ago and in my opinion there had been no improvement. Normal braking, basically stopping reasonably slowly, seems to be okay. It's when I apply the brakes really hard, I mean REALLY hard, that the brakes don't seem to be up to the level I remember it being when new.

I weight 235 lbs and am 6'2" and even applying as much force as I can muster the ABS will not kick in at all on a dry asphalt surface and with difficulty, not always, even on a wet asphalt surface.

About a month ago I returned the van to the same Redmond Les Schwab shop and they test drove it and said it appeared normal to them.

Not being satisfied I took the van to the Kirkland Chrysler dealer and was told that Les Schwab never uses good brake pads and I should replace them first before spending any money with Chrysler.

I bought NAPA ceramix front pads and installed them but that did not help. In discussions with my daughter I learned that a few years ago while they were on vacation in the bay area of CA the brake master cyclinder had been replaced due to the brake pedal "leaking" down after stopping.

I have the factory repair manual for the van and that indicates that our AWD version, ABS and disc brakes all around, uses a master cylinder with a different bore (25.4 MM, 1") than other T&C vans of that MY.

So I thought that maybe the wrong master cylinder had been installed. So I took it to Kirkland Chrysler and had a new master cyclinder installed, ~$500.00. The service technician agreed at the onset that the brake "feel" under hard braking was not right but agreed post changing the master cylinder had not helped.

There was a Les Schwab dealer right next door to the Kirkland chrysler dealer so out of frustration I drove into their shop and asked to have someone drive the van and render an opinion. The service technian came back agreeing with me that the hard braking "feel" was not normal.

He cross checked everything on the various invoices, service work and concluded that the wrong front calipers had been installed by the Redmond shop. He installed the "correct" calipers but seemingly even that did not help.

I have preliminarily examined the bore of the master cylinder removed by chrysler and it appears to be about 1/16th of an inch shy of the 1" stated by the manual.

I had also suspected that the ABS might be at fault and had myself verified, as best I could, that there was no pressure leakage through the ABS manifold. But the Chrysler techncian ran the entire ABS diagnostic procedure and found no ABS faults.

Help!
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Wednesday, August 20th, 2008 AT 2:12 PM

12 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
I am trying to figure out exactly whats wrong? They do/do not lock up? Are spongy, no stopping power? Excessive pedal travel? And does the ABS light come on and self test when the key is turned to on or start, and then go out? Ceramic pads are very good, but also very hard. Your truck may do better with semi metalics, or organic. Have Chrysler pressure test the prportioning valve. Too much pressure may be going to the rear brakes, where the caliper pistons or drums cant apply the correct stopping pressures that front calipers can! You have a diagonal braking system, the riht front and left rear are paired off the MASTER. AND THE SAME FOR THE OTHER SIDE. SORRY ABOUT THE CAPS LOCK!
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Thursday, August 21st, 2008 AT 4:45 PM
Tiny
WILLARD1
  • MEMBER
Les Schwab headquarters has just proposed they do the proportioning valve test at no charge to me.

So,

To be continued.
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Thursday, August 21st, 2008 AT 10:46 PM
Tiny
WILLARD1
  • MEMBER
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Thursday, August 21st, 2008 AT 10:51 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
I would like to add on and say that merlin is very correct by stating that ceramic pads may be too hard, also they are more famous for break fade, and the hard slamming of the brakes on can maybe be enough to cause your issue.

Since its split braking such as merlin says, chances are slim that both porportioning valves failed at the same time but possible.

My first thing would be try some cheap 15 dollar semi metallic pads and see if it stops better, also rough up the rotor with some emery cloth.
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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 AT 8:23 PM
Tiny
BADBO
  • MEMBER
I see no mention of rear brake repair. If it has drum brakes on rear and it has a soft pedal, pedal travels too far I suggest you be working on the rear brakes and leave the front alone. Just my thoughts.
Badbo
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Thursday, August 28th, 2008 AT 8:48 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
He answered "no" to a low pedal, that indicates the rears are at least in proper adjustment.
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Friday, August 29th, 2008 AT 12:41 PM
Tiny
WILLARD1
  • MEMBER
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Friday, August 29th, 2008 AT 4:17 PM
Tiny
WILLARD1
  • MEMBER
The minivan is AWD and therefore disc brakes all around.
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Friday, August 29th, 2008 AT 4:19 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
Bellow might be a bit interesting might wanna check that out! Thanks to bmrfixit for the re-search.

SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC -2000 Chrysler Town & Country Limited
Page 1 of 2
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
NHTSA RECALL BULLETIN
Reference Number(s): 06E022000 Related Ref Number(s): 06E022000
ARTICLE BEGINNING
VEHICLE DESCRIPTION
Model(s): 1992 - 2001 DODGE VIPER
1992 - 1997 FORD AEROSTAR
1995 - 2000 FORD CONTOUR
1995 - 2001 JEEP CHEROKEE
1995 - 2004 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE
1995 - 2000 MERCURY MYSTIQUE
1996 - 2005 CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY
1996 - 2005 DODGE CARAVAN
1996 - 2000 PLYMOUTH VOYAGER
1997 - 1998 DODGE DAKOTA
1997 - 2005 JEEP WRANGLER
1997 - 2002 PLYMOUTH PROWLER
1998 DODGE DURANGO
1999 - 2002 MERCURY COUGAR
2000 - 2005 CHRYSLER VOYAGER
2002 JEEP LIBERTY
Campaign No: 06E022000
Number of Affected Vehicles: 7440
Beginning Date of Manufacture: NO DATE

8/29/2008
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC -2000 Chrysler Town & Country Limited
Page 2 of 2
Ending Date of Manufacture: NO DATE
SYSTEM
SERVICE BRAKES, HYDRAULIC
DESCRIPTION OF DEFECT
CERTAIN AFTERMARKET BRAKE HYDRAULIC MASTER CYLINDERS SOLD AS REPLACEMENT BRAKE CYLINDERS FOR CERTAIN FORD, DAIMLERCHRYSLER, AND JEEP PASSENGER VEHICLES. THESE BRAKE CYLINDERS WERE SOLD UNDER THE BRAND NAMES OF NAPA, RAYBESTOS, AIMCO, AC DELCO, CARQUEST, BENDIX, AND WAGNER. ONLY PRODUCTS THAT WERE MANUFACTURED FROM JULY 27, 2005 THROUGH JANUARY 17, 2006 (DATE CODES 0529 THROUGH 0602) ARE SUBJECT TO THIS RECALL. WHEN SUBJECT TO VERY COLD TEMPERATURES, AN INTERNAL SEAL IN THE MASTER CYLINDER COULD LOSE FLEXIBILITY AND MAY CAUSE BRAKE FLUID TO LEAK.
CONSEQUENCE OF DEFECT
LOSS OF BRAKE FLUID CAN LEAD TO A DECREASE IN BRAKE LINE PRESSURE AND AN INCREASE IN STOPPING DISTANCE, WHICH CAN RESULT IN A VEHICLE CRASH.
CORRECTIVE ACTION
AFFINIA (BRAKE PARTS, INC.) WILL REPLACE THE SUBJECT BRAKE HYDRAULIC MASTER CYLINDERS FREE OF CHARGE. THE RECALL BEGAN ON MARCH 20, 2006. OWNERS CAN CONTACT AFFINA GROUP CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 1-800-323-0354.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration operates Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Eastern Time. For more information call (800) 424-9393 or (202) 366-0123. For the hearing impaired, call (800) 424-9153.

8/29/2008
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Friday, August 29th, 2008 AT 10:19 PM
Tiny
WILLARD1
  • MEMBER
The minivan is AWD and therefore disc brakes all around.[/Quote:3f968acf4d]

I give!

The proportioning valve has been replaced.

Yesterday, in the rain, I drove a used 2003 AWD Chrysler T&C minivan and it exhibited the same symptoms/problem.

Even on a rain slicked asphalt roadbed I could not get the brakes close enough to locking that ABS would activate. Just for comparison I went directly to a Toyota Dealer and drove a used 2003 Sienna.

Big difference.

Have Chrysler minivan owners been living with this absolutely SHODDY braking system all these years?

The only thing I know to do now to get decent braking on the front wheels of this van is to bore out the calipers and put in wider, larger diameter, pistons.

Dumping the damn thing for a different minivan isn't an easy option since I would be losing the T&C's F/AWD system. Sienna F/AWD system sucks, big time.

Suggestions?
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Thursday, December 11th, 2008 AT 7:29 PM
Tiny
BLACKOP555
  • EXPERT
You put in bigger pistons youll have a greater pedal travel to stop the vehicle. What you could do is look into performance pads adn rotors for better braking. Dont bore out the master cylinder either as youll be able to stop good low speeds, but high speeds you loose pressure and youll really be in for a shock when you step on the brakes.
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Saturday, December 13th, 2008 AT 9:21 AM
Tiny
WILLARD1
  • MEMBER
Insofar as I can tell, with the limited level of testing I have been able to do, the current master cylinder stroke travel is only about 2/3's of the maximum even with every erg my 245lbs can muster, apply, to the brake pedal.

The AWD series, front and rear disks, uses a larger bore MC than the FWD vans and I was concerned that maybe the wrong, smaller bore, MC has been installed in the past. The one currently installed came directly from Kirkland Chrysler and was installed by them.

Not to say we could ever be sure even Chrysler knows what they're doing, pulled the right MC.

We have now tried three different frictional material composition formulation pad sets, all of them seem to yeild pretty much the same results.
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Saturday, December 13th, 2008 AT 7:43 PM

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