1965 Rambler Classic Brakes .

Our 1965 Rambler Classic was due for itís annual registration inspection end of November, so after doing the usual checks I do at home, lights etc, I drove to my local inspection station, on arrival the mechanic did his usual checks and while checking the stop lights, I noticed the brake pedal start to fade and go to the floor.. This had happened on this car before, so I thought the master cylinder needed replacing again.

The mechanic after doing his checks hooked up the brake testing machine and was going to take the car around the block to perform the brake test. As he back the car out from in front of the work bays, we noticed a pool of oil on the new laid concrete where my car had been parked. This service station had just reopened that day after extensive remodeling, new fuel tanks and new concrete driveways. I called out to the mechanic that there was a pool of oil from where my car had been standing, after checking my car for the usual oil leaks from wheel cylinders,( the pool of oil would have been from the middle of the car where it had been parked) this showed nothing, so he asked the other mechanics  what other cars had been parked there, and said no other cars had been parked there this morning. They did a check on the oil and sure enough it was brake fluid. OK where has it come from, a check of the master cylinder showed it was close to being empty. Filled the cylinder with fresh oil, and he again reversed out of the workshop leaving a trail of oil as he drove out, again we had to stop him from driving out to do the test. Where the hell is this oil coming from.???

The brake test was aborted while further checks were made, still no sign of leaks, so, it was decided I take the car home ( which was only a very short distance) and look further into this leak. After much searching I found that there are three lines which go from one side of the vehicle to the other, one from master cylinder to power brake unit, one from a three way union on one side of the car to a three way union on the opposite side of the car, then one from a three way union to the right front wheel. So decided the leak must be coming from one of these lines. BUT, which one.???

I decided to remove all three lines, but, the one from the three way union to the front wheel looked like a cow of a job, so decided  to just remove the other two at this stage. When removed I started up the air compressor and blew through the first line nothing, then the other line, bingo, air escaped half way down the line, on inspection a minute crack appeared from a spot which looked like it had had something rubbing against it. These lines are secured against the firewall with clips and it appears that over the last 45  years it finally gave way. I had two new lines made up by the local brake station, came home and had to bend them to shape and refit to vehicle , cost $55.00.

I would advise anyone with a 1965-6 Rambler to have these lines checked just to be sure. How lucky was I , as a couple of days later the car was being used for a wedding, can you imagine what would have happened if the brakes had failed on the way to the church.?? Lucky for me the car was due for rego at that time otherwise I would not have had the car out until the day of the wedding. You can do as much maintenance as you like, but, there is always the unknown.

Les Pendlebury, Club Technical Officer