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Old 04-11-2003, 02:58 AM   #1
ictus
 
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corvette brake system

Hello,

I am doing a mock court murder trial for political science and I am in need of guidance for technical details about power braking systems. I have a few questions.

Firstly, what happened in my case is : somebody drilled the brake line for a 2002 corvette convertible, and when the driver tried to use the brakes they went over a cliff.

The driver had driven for at least 6 hours before the problem. I am prosecuting the case. I have already stated that a piece of the drill used to drill the line was found stuck in the hole, thus reinforcing the leak and adding time. These are my questions:


1) is it possibly that you could drive for a while with a drilled brake line without noticing, giving that the hole is small (1/16") and a piece of a drill is stuck in the hole, and given a brake fluid of high viscosity.

2) is simply drilling 1 brake line enough to cause a completely loss of braking? i know there are 2 individual lines for front and back, but would a hole in either line deplete fluids? is there some master brake line that could be cut to drain all fluids?


basically what I am looking for is a feasable way to explain how the driver of a sabatoged car (1 brake line drilled) could have driven for 6 hours, and then experienced complete brake failure.

if drilling only one line is not sufficient this is bad news for my case
if driving 6 hours is not feasable (with very small hole that is clogged), this is also bad news.


ANY help at all would be GREATLY appreciated. I have had a hard time finding any hard facts on these issues, as most sites that turn up are installation guides etc..... if somebody could point out braking and fluid resources I would be very greatful.

Sincerely,
Ryan Brucks
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Old 04-11-2003, 04:09 AM   #2
vwhobo
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Ryan,

Wow, I had to sit back and contemplate that for a while. Unfortunately I have bad news for your case. The scenario you have given, while not entirely impossible, is extremely unlikely. I don't know how much explanation I can give here but let me hit the high points.

Yes the brake master cylinder is dual circuit, meaning that even if you completely cut through one brake line you will still have braking to two wheels. Even with the drill bit still in the hole the drill flutes would let some fluid escape. And brake fluid is very low viscosity so you couldn't use that.

Additionally after the first few brake applications (or less) the driver would recieve warning lights for both the standard hydraulic brake system (red light/pressure differential) and the anti-lock system (yellow light). I'm not 100% sure but I believe it also has a brake fluid low level sensor that would also cause the red light to come on.

Having a hole in the line, even a small one would feel essentially the same as having a bleeder screw open, causing a much longer brake pedal stroke. You would also have decreased efficiency of one brake (depending on the location of the hole) which would cause the brakes to pull on application.

So if I were you I would forget trying to prosecute based on the mechanical deficiencies. A drill bit stuck in a brake line is evidence enough this was purposely done. You need to convince me that the driver was unaware of the degradation of the cars braking capacity. Was he drunk, drugged, incompetent? Let me tell you if he was as aware of his vehicle as most of my customers he could have driven it like that for weeks and only found a problem when he ran into something. Was it his car? If not perhaps the owner told him don't worry about the lights on the dash, they're always on. My opinion is you'll have to go after the human factor.

I'm intrigued by this exercise so I'll see if I can find any online resources that will help and link them to you. Until then good luck.
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Old 04-11-2003, 04:15 AM   #3
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I'm gonna go buy some lottery tickets, I hit this site on my first try. Hope it helps.

http://www.raybestos.com/usa/yourbrakingsystems.htm#1
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Thanks for the pic, jedimario.

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Old 04-12-2003, 04:06 AM   #4
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This might help too.


http://www.innerauto.com/main.html
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