This is unbelievable! We always joke that everything comes in pairs. Two head gaskets in a row. Two bad struts in a row. Two of everything. I had this same problem with my '89 Grand Voyager two years ago after it sat outside all winter, and I just developed this problem today, (well, yesterday), with my daily driver '88 Grand Caravan. In my case the actual fix took less than ten seconds. It took longer to find the needed screwdriver.
I suspect you have the same problem but it will require replacing the rubber flex hose. On mine there is a metal bracket crimped around the middle of the hose. Rust builds up inside that crimp and slowly constricts the hose. It is easy to force brake fluid through that restriction by pushing on the pedal but the fluid can't return to the reservoir when you release the pedal. That makes that brake stay engaged and dragging. To fix mine I just had to twist a large screwdriver in that crimp to open it up a little. The symptoms were very subtle at first. Being a brake system specialist I could sense there was something wrong but it wasn't until it suddenly started having no coasting ability, and was hard to accelerate that I knew what was going on. On the other van two years ago the clue was the pedal was real high and hard because no fluid was going to one wheel. Under light braking. After hard braking which forced the fluid through, it would drag very badly and get real hot.
You can verify this by getting it to drag, then park on a slight incline in neutral, place a block a few inches downhill of one of the tires so you don't look silly chasing after the car when the brake releases, then open the bleeder screw on the caliper of the suspect wheel. If the brake releases that proves brake fluid was trapped. You can also loosen the steel lines at the master cylinder. If that lets the brake release we have to discuss fluid contaminated with a petroleum product. That's a very expensive repair. Lets hope the brake does not release when you loosen the lines at the master cylinder.
Your hoses also have a metal bracket near the middle but those are just stamped tin and aren't stiff enough to cause this problem. What you DO have is six crimped connections instead of the normal two; one on each end. I don't know why they made it so complicated but rust can build up in any one of them.
Saturday, April 27th, 2013 AT 1:36 AM