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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:41 pm 
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Site Admin
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 468
Location: southeastern ct
Here’s a post on how to diagnose the hydroboost system.

https://www.astrosafari.com/viewtopic.php?p=211065

And here’s a link on how to change it
https://diy-auto-repair.wonderhowto.com ... an-417299/

And here’s a link to buy one
https://www.summitracing.com/search/yea ... e-boosters

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Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD
np236 transfer case
Torsen equipped cast iron front diff
Torsen equipped rear w/3.73's
2" body lift
S-10 rear leafs
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
Stock for now


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:26 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:54 am
Posts: 15
Thank you very much for the links, Captn!

I will go home and test the system, but I have some questions about the process. From RECox286, in the other thread. My questions in color:

To check the brake booster:
▪ turn off the engine
▪ place some old rags under the p/s reservoir to catch the fluid that's going to spill
▪ press on the brake pedal until it looses all the reserve assistance, 4/5 times Meaning that the brake pedal gets harder to push?
▪ press on the pedal firmly it should be all the way up and turn the engine on while still pressing on the brake pedal "All the way up" means it will feel like the brake pedal isn't moving at all from it's furthest-from-the-floor-point?
▪ if there's a constant build of pressure then your booster is ok Meaning that the pedal gets easier to push because the booster is now assisting?
▪ if the pedal does not get soft then ur booster is gone Again, if the pedal doesn't soften...
▪ its super tricky to bleed the system if the booster needs replacement so good luck to you, remember to top off the p/s reservoir, clean any oil that might've spilled.

I realize my questions may sound stupid, but I've got it in my head that if you pump the assistance out of the system, the pedal will get softer. I'm pretty sure that's wrong, and just trying to verify that the opposite of what I think is actually true. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 468
Location: southeastern ct
I’ll run through the process with mine tomorrow and we can compare notes

_________________
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD
np236 transfer case
Torsen equipped cast iron front diff
Torsen equipped rear w/3.73's
2" body lift
S-10 rear leafs
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
Stock for now


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:51 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:54 am
Posts: 15
Sounds good, Captn, but don't rush to do it tonight on my account. Doesn't look like I will get to do it tonight.


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 3:15 am 
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I sleep in my van

Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:23 am
Posts: 811
Hi,

The hydro boost unit also has a long cylinder attached to it that is called an accumulator. The accumulator hold some additional pressure when the power steering pump pressurized the hydro boost. If the engine dies, or even if power steering pump fails, the accumulator provides some emergency power brake boost.

AP


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:10 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:54 am
Posts: 15
So I got up early and decided to try the hydro boost diagnosis. Here is how it went.

Pop the hood, loosen the PS reservoir lid, wrap reservoir with a big towel.
Get in van and slowly pump brakes 5-10 times. It feels like the first half of the movement is purely mechanical (meaning no fluids are moving, just levers). The second half of the movement feels like I might be pushing fluid, but is generally a bit hard. Letting the pedal out feels exactly the same as going in (but in reverse): slightly squishy fluid-feeling, then purely mechanical for last half. Over the course of the 5-10 pumps, the brake feel never really changes from what I described.
When I hold the brake pedal in (using a fair bit of force...I'm pretending like I'm trying to stop the van without the power aspect, so basically almost standing on the pedal) and turn on the van, the pedal moves/depresses/softens slightly...like maybe another 10-15% or the pedal range.
Now here's the weird part: even though my PS reservoir showed it having the correct fluid levels (above cold line, below hot line, on a dead cold engine) absolutely ZERO fluid came out of the reservoir. It looked like all I did was loosen the lid. I don't think the fluid level moved at all inside.

Images attached (I think).


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 468
Location: southeastern ct
Just performed the test on my van. Engine off, pump brake pedal. Hold pedal down. Start engine. Pedal drops and softens slightly. According to the test we both have good hydroboost units

_________________
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD
np236 transfer case
Torsen equipped cast iron front diff
Torsen equipped rear w/3.73's
2" body lift
S-10 rear leafs
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
Stock for now


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:21 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:54 am
Posts: 15
Did you loosen the PS reservoir cap? (I have no idea if that is vital, but I would think unsealing the system is important. Perhaps not.)

Your scenario sounds similar to mine, but my brake pedal does not feel right. Or at least it doesn't feel like it used to. Mine feels like it is half broken, or halfway engaged all the time.

I would say I was hoping my pedal would get twice a soft as it actually did, or maybe a better description is the same amount of softness, but throughout more of the stroke.

If my hydro boost is good, why don't I have power steering?

Back to drivetrain: rear driveshaft turns (visible confirmation) in neutral. Front driveshaft is disconnected from front diff, so theoretically, if the brakes are not binding when engine on, the vehicle should at least want to move, no? In other news, manually turning front driveshaft in the TC is crunchy and doesn't want to move, but I can't tell if that's because I have no leverage, or the TC itself.


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:23 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:55 pm
Posts: 2675
TheUnicorn wrote:
manually turning front driveshaft in the TC is crunchy and doesn't want to move

The transfer case puts some amount of preload on the clutch pack so no, you wouldn't be able to turn it by hand. However, a big breaker bar or pipe should. If the fluid is really worn out, the clutch packs will stick even more, which is why it's important to fill the TC with synthetic GM Autotrak II fluid and keep it fresh.

Again, I think the humming and hawing serves only to prolong this topic. The problem will be quickly diagnosed once you get your hands dirty.


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 468
Location: southeastern ct
Yup


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_________________
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD
np236 transfer case
Torsen equipped cast iron front diff
Torsen equipped rear w/3.73's
2" body lift
S-10 rear leafs
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
Stock for now
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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:54 pm 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:54 am
Posts: 15
Gentlemen,

I appreciate all the help and insights. I certainly agree with the concept that I won't really know any answers until I "get my hands dirty." However, I rent a 1BR apartment and am specifically forbidden from working on my van in my uncovered parking spot. So as much as I'd love to avoid an outside mechanic and do this all myself, I have neither the tools, the place, nor the permission to do so.

I also have two different mechanics I need to see, because one doesn't do anything other than drivetrains. And to complicate things further, I need to arrange for a tow truck to drag my van (or I have to push it) through a 50 ft tunnel out to the street, where there is an active bike lane, no street parking, a trolley, and a school with kids getting dropped off every morning, and then on to the mechanic. Or I have to take several hours off work to arrange the tow during less congested times, but work is a bit too busy for that of late.

I wouldn't call what I'm doing and asking as "hemming and hawing" so much as it is trying to learn as much as possible before handing my van over to mechanics who charge by the hour to figure things out and have limited space for a van that currently doesn't move other than by being pushed. And the specifics of what I learn also inform which mechanic it goes to first.

So again, thanks for all the insights and helpful diagnosis. I will update when I learn what is broken and gets fixed!


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 468
Location: southeastern ct
You’re in a tough spot for sure and we all want to see you succeed. Wow-forbidden from wrenching?!? I guess that makes sense or anarchy will prevail and there will be the sound of air tools at 2am and engine hoists and big block swaps but order must be maintained for the greater good. That’s the tough part with renting for sure. My neighbors still wave to me even though I do most of my work in the driveway and between the air tools, the three ft. tall speakers in the shed and the old Harley with a racing header I am noisy for sure.
You’ve searched the forums and can’t find an answer which means whatever happened to your van is not a common occurrence. I personally have a couple of hours invested in searching and researching what could be wrong with your van. If I lived nearby I’d have tow strapped that thing to my house by now just to put MY mind at ease.
Get AAA+. It’s not that expensive and you get a couple of free rows. Then order a rebuilt transfer case and a reconditioned hydroboost unit. Tow it to the drivetrain shop and have it installed. Yours is bad it has to be done. If the van is fine, return the hydroboost. If the van isn’t fine, call AAA and have it towed to the next shop.
Better yet ask your other shop if they will do the tc swap. It’s only something like 18 bolts and that’s counting the ones to the u joints! I’ve done it in the driveway in under two hrs drinking beer it’s very straightforward. That will save you a tow. We are rooting for you

_________________
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD
np236 transfer case
Torsen equipped cast iron front diff
Torsen equipped rear w/3.73's
2" body lift
S-10 rear leafs
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
Stock for now


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 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:09 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:54 am
Posts: 15
Thanks, Captn,

Yeah I wish I could work on it, but here in the city it's pretty tight quarters both to other cars, and neighbors' windows. And I really appreciate all the help and thoughts and searching assistance!

I do have AAA Premier (the only level that will tow a motorcycle, I learned the hard way) so the tow itself is less the issue. It's more all the logistics around it out on the street.

And while the TC is likely the bigger issue, I'm going to bring it to the non-drivetrain guy because he's open on Saturdays...a much better time to cause a bit of kerfuffle on the street. And I'm going to order a rebuilt TC and just get him to install it while he's sorting the steering/brakes issue. As you said, I could probably do it myself (if I had some air tools) so I'm sure he can handle it, if I do the ordering.

Hopefully he can sort out the steering/brakes because I really have no idea what to look for at this point.

Thanks everyone! Stay tuned!


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:15 am 
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I am merely driving my van
I am merely driving my van

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:54 am
Posts: 15
Well things just got a little weird...in a good way I think.

I went out to raise the front, turn it on and spin the front wheels to check to see if the brakes were definitely preengaging (not sure if I checked with engine on last time, and mechanic asked me to check). But first I said to myself "just give it a try; maybe it will work." for some reason. ...And strangely enough, it moves! I have no power steering and no power brakes, but it goes backwards and forwards (at least the 4 feet I tested it...won't press my luck until tomorrow when I can get a tow and the mechanic is open, in case it goes south).

There is a bit of a fluid on the ground under the front. It is a bit oily (not water) and looks like new brake fluid, but neither reddish like the PS fluid, nor dark, like my actual brake fluid that definitely needs changing.

So now I'm very excited to be able to drive my van to the mechanic...my only fear is that the fluid is in fact brake fluid from somewhere in a line, and I'm going to get halfway there and lose my brakes.

But at least my TC isn't completely munched! Mysteries abound, but happy to not need to fit the tow truck around bikes and trolleys...


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 Post subject: Re: Van locked up/died in parking spot
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:32 pm 
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Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:10 pm
Posts: 468
Location: southeastern ct
The AstroSafari gods have smiled on you-you are the chosen one! Top off the brake fluid before you drive it. Leave extra space for stopping good luck

_________________
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD
np236 transfer case
Torsen equipped cast iron front diff
Torsen equipped rear w/3.73's
2" body lift
S-10 rear leafs
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
Stock for now


Top
 Profile  
 
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