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Brake proportioning valve

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Old 02-28-2012, 02:05 AM
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Default Brake proportioning valve

So, I took my truck to a local shop to have the front brakes checked out since they were getting hot, smoking and sticking. While I was having the brakes checked out, I asked them to go ahead and flush the system. While they were checking they system to see what was causing the issue, they found that the rear brakes weren't getting any fluid. They traced it back to the proportioning valve saying that the valve was allowing fluid to go to the front brakes, but not to the rear. But they also said that since the ABS is in the rear, replacing the valve would be a job for the dealer since the ABS module would have to be messed with in some shape or form (I don't remember the exact details). Does it seem right that the ABS module would have to be messed with when replacing the valve? I'm asking because it seems like replacing the valve would be a fairly straight forward job, but the stealer wants to charge $108/hr. which seems absolutely ridiculous to me - we're talking about a 2001 Dodge, not a Mercedes here...
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:03 AM
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RWAL or 4WAL?

Is your brake lite in the dash on?
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:38 AM
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Its possible that it would have to be messed with...
For instance If you are bleeding your brakes you may need a scanner to activate the servo motor in you ABS unit to clear all the air from the system. I only have rear wheel abs in my 96 but disconnected it anyway due to the motor leaking.
As for the proportioning valve...
Its used to shut off fluid to the rear to prevent skidding out and causing you to lose control. If your rear brakes aren't getting fluid then only your fronts are stopping which would cause excessive glazing and front brake failure. You may want to sand your pads and maybe get your rotors cut.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
RWAL or 4WAL?

Is your brake lite in the dash on?
RWAL and no brake light in the dash. Although a few months ago, when I replaced front pads the brake light came on for a minute until I shut off and restarted the truck. Hasn't come back on since.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:48 AM
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If the light isn't on...... I would start looking for other causes.....
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:38 PM
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If the light isn't on...... I would start looking for other causes.....
So a bad prop valve would cause the light to come on? Would the master be the next logical source if there's no fluid coming out of the prop valve?
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Old 02-29-2012, 03:50 PM
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The proportioning valve serves a couple purposes.

First and foremost, it balances pressure between front and rear, (usually like 70/30) so the front brakes get full pressure, and the rears do not.

Second, its a safety valve.... if one circuit fails (front or rear), the valve inside it will be pushed off center, and turn on the brake light, and block pressure (or lack thereof) going to the failed circuit. Aside from an ABS failure, that is the ONLY reason the brake lite will come on. (ok, also if the e-brake isn't fully released....)

If the brake lite is NOT on, and you aren't getting pressure at the rear wheel cylinders, suspect the soft line going from body to axle FIRST.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
The proportioning valve serves a couple purposes.

First and foremost, it balances pressure between front and rear, (usually like 70/30) so the front brakes get full pressure, and the rears do not.

Second, its a safety valve.... if one circuit fails (front or rear), the valve inside it will be pushed off center, and turn on the brake light, and block pressure (or lack thereof) going to the failed circuit. Aside from an ABS failure, that is the ONLY reason the brake lite will come on. (ok, also if the e-brake isn't fully released....)

If the brake lite is NOT on, and you aren't getting pressure at the rear wheel cylinders, suspect the soft line going from body to axle FIRST.
I checked all the soft lines and didn't find any leaks or kinks. However, I did have a new development today. Took the truck for a drive around the neighborhood and the brake pedal was behaving as normal. Then, suddenly, the pedal became mushy and went down to the floor while still stopping the truck. I messed with it some more and found that when I step on it hard, it has some resistance, but when I ease into it, it just sinks down. I did a little bit of research and read that this can be cause by a bad master cylinder seal. Then I read that the seals can fail if the brake fluid hasn't been changed in a while and then you attempt to bleed the brakes. Something having to do with buildup at the end of the cylinder that doesn't get used under normal circumstances, but can cause damage when the pedal is dropped to the floor during bleeding, which would make sense since I don't know when was the last time that the system was drained before I had it done a couple of days ago. This is all fine and good, but could this also be the cause of the lack of rear brakes? I'm thinking no since the the rear brakes seem to have failed BEFORE the fluid drain, but input is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:43 PM
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Either that, or the rear brake line blew out.

Did the brake lite come on? Does it come one when you first start the truck?
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
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Either that, or the rear brake line blew out.

Did the brake lite come on? Does it come one when you first start the truck?
I would agree with you, but there are no leaks and the reservoir is full. I assume you're asking if the brake light is malfunctioning - it comes on with the rest of the warning lights when I turn in the ignition and also when I use the parking brake.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:23 PM
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Try to bleed the rear brakes. If you do not get sufficient fluid out, the lines are bad.

And I have vehciles that are as old as I am (and I have 10 grandkids to give you an idea) and vehicles with over 250,000 miles, and I don't and haven't changed brake fluid. Only drain some as cylinders are changed, etc. If fuild is clean, it is good. If it isn't you may need to change, but do it by bleeding. And then find out why it is getting dirty, like poor seal on master cylinder.....
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by gdstock View Post
Try to bleed the rear brakes. If you do not get sufficient fluid out, the lines are bad.

And I have vehciles that are as old as I am (and I have 10 grandkids to give you an idea) and vehicles with over 250,000 miles, and I don't and haven't changed brake fluid. Only drain some as cylinders are changed, etc. If fuild is clean, it is good. If it isn't you may need to change, but do it by bleeding. And then find out why it is getting dirty, like poor seal on master cylinder.....
I'm sorry, I'm not trying to shut down every suggestion you have because I know you're very knowledgeable and I look forward to reading your posts, but the reason I found out that the rears weren't getting any fluid was when we tried to bleed the brakes, and found that the fluid doesn't seem to be getting past the prop valve (unless I'm misunderstanding the direction of the flow through the prop valve. Fluid comes out of the top opening closest to the fender on the driver's side of the top valve. Fluid does NOT come out of the lower opening closest to the fender on the driver's side of the prop valve.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:03 AM
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Follow the lines for which way flow is going. Should be easy to find the rear brake line, and crack it loose at the p-valve, and see if anything comes out. Step gently on the pedal, or all it will do is offset the safety valve in the p-valve.

If you don't get any fluid out there, crack open the FEED line for the rear circuit, (which I think is actually the FRONT line on the M/C. See if you get fluid flow there.

Just crack the lines loose a bit, and have someone step down on the pedal, and HOLD it there. Re-tighten the line before they let the pedal up, to keep from sucking air into the system.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iacordero View Post
I'm sorry, I'm not trying to shut down every suggestion you have because I know you're very knowledgeable and I look forward to reading your posts, but the reason I found out that the rears weren't getting any fluid was when we tried to bleed the brakes, and found that the fluid doesn't seem to be getting past the prop valve (unless I'm misunderstanding the direction of the flow through the prop valve. Fluid comes out of the top opening closest to the fender on the driver's side of the top valve. Fluid does NOT come out of the lower opening closest to the fender on the driver's side of the prop valve.

Is the master cylinder good? Wheel cylinders and master cylinders have a lower MTBF than proportioning valve. You can crack the lines on it as mentioned by HeyYou, but I would do it at MC as it may be easier to get to. If MC is not right, PV will not get enough fluid. But it should throw a code if PV is bad. Should.....but then again.....not everything works as it should I suppose.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:54 PM
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I pulled the rear proportioning valve off both my dodges and threw them in the trash. They are worthless and just cost more money in the end to replace when they blow. I just replaced them with a flex line and haven't had any problems.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:21 PM
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I pulled the rear proportioning valve off both my dodges and threw them in the trash. They are worthless and just cost more money in the end to replace when they blow. I just replaced them with a flex line and haven't had any problems.
That really screws up your brake bias.......
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:32 PM
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That really screws up your brake bias.......
Speaking of brake bias... I swapped out the master and that seems to have been the problem. Bled the system and got fluid to come out of all 4 brakes. The problem now is that the rear brakes lock up with mild braking. What the hell could be the issue now. Also, does anyone know the purpose of the buttons on top and bottom of the prop valve?
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:55 AM
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How's the pedal feel? Maybe still some air in the fronts?
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
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That really screws up your brake bias.......
I don't feel a difference when braking, I have been running them this way for years and tow everyday with them without any issues. Reguardless The proportioning valve only limits fluid to the rear under hard braking, under normal braking it does nothing giving a 50/50 split, So changing that will only effect hard braking performance

ALSO read here....
http://dodgeram.info/tsb/1998/05-04-98.htm
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Last edited by THEGOLDPRO; 03-04-2012 at 12:16 AM..
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