1998 Dodge Ram poor stopping performance

  • 1998 DODGE RAM
Brakes problem
1998 Dodge Ram V8 Four Wheel Drive Automatic

When making emergency stops, the brake pedal becomes rock hard and the stopping power is very poor. I have changed the pads and shoes with premium ceramic units, It has had the master cylinder and proportioning valve replaced several years back with llittle improvement. Any help you can give will be very much appreciated Marv Edman
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have the same problem?
Friday, January 30th, 2009 AT 9:56 PM

1 Reply


Lack of power assist may be due to low engine vacuum, a leaky vacuum hose or a defective booster. Sometimes a faulty check valve will allow vacuum to bleed out of the booster causing a hard pedal when the brakes are applied. This condition can be diagnosed by starting the engine (to build vacuum), shutting it off, waiting four or five minutes, then trying the brakes to see if there is power assist. No assist means a new check valve is needed.

A quick way to check the vacuum booster is to pump the brake pedal several times with the engine off to bleed off any vacuum that may still be in the unit. Then hold your foot on the pedal and start the engine. If the booster is working, the amount of effort required to hold the pedal should drop and the pedal itself may depress slightly. If nothing happens and the vacuum connections to the booster unit are okay, a new booster is needed (the vacuum hose should be replaced, too).

On vehicles equipped with "Hydroboost" power brakes, a hard pedal can be caused by a loose power steering pump belt, a low fluid level, leaks in the power hoses, or leaks or faulty valves in the hydroboost unit itself (the latter call for rebuilding or replacing the booster).
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Saturday, January 31st, 2009 AT 5:16 AM

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