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CarJunky AutoAdvice

failed brakes

Showing 2 out of 2 Posts
Question From Guest on failed brakes

The master cylinder had a crack and caused internal leaking which caused me to have brake failure and crash my vehicle. My insurance company went against Nissan and they denied that there would be a defect or this would cause a brake problem. they have got to be kidding. Please advise if this would be the factor.

Response From Loren Champlain Sr Top Rated Answer

Year, make, model, please. Master cylinders have an internal piston with two rubber 'cups'. The rear cup (secondary) can leak fluid externally. The forward cup can leak causing an internal 'leak', or allow pressure to bypass, causing a loss of pressure. If the brake fluid hasn't been flushed at the suggested intervals by the manufacturer, they may have a 'case'. Debris can build up in the cylinder and rupture the primary 'cup'. Sitting at a stop, you'll notice the brake pedal beginning to 'fade'. Usually, by pumping the brake pedal, you'll regain a 'good' pedal. It is very rare that the master cylinder would fail 'all of a sudden' without prior warnings.

brake pedal fade

Showing 2 out of 14 Posts | Show 12 Hidden Posts
Question From Avery on brake pedal fade

I have a 96 Ford Explorer 4x4 w/ a 4.0 and the brake pedal fades to the floor if I let up on the pedal. Somebody told me to check the RABS module by pulling out a spring from behind a bung, then put the bung back in and see if it still fades. Not sure what they mean... I know where the RABS module is but not the bung. (or if this will even work)


Response From Discretesignals

Havent heard of the RABS spring deal.

The brake pedal fades to the floor when your pressing down on the brake pedal? How is the fluid level in the master? If the fluid level is good, you might have a piston seal leak in the master cylinder. You should also inspect the braking system on all 4 wheels to be sure they are in working order.

Response From Avery

Fluid level is full and I've been under the vehicle looking for leaks, can't see any. Thought about the master cyl. but wanted to ask first about the ABS and if it could be that. If I hold down hard on the pedal it doesn't seem to fade, only as I start to let it up. Like going down a hill... push... let up just a bit... push... let up just a bit. Soon it's to the floor.
Thanks for your help !!

Response From Discretesignals

Don't think a RABS modulator would cause something like that. Beside, doesn't yours have 4 wheel antilock brakes? I'd be more inclined to believe it would be a problem with the master cylinder or a seized caliper guide pin. If you try the master cylinder route, probably wouldn't be a bad idea to flush the brake system and inspect the rest of the components.

Response From Avery

I'll look into the MC a little better... is there a way to tie the lines together or disconnect them and plug them and then pump the pedal and see if it by-passes

Response From Hammer Time

You would have to make some type of flare end plug to plug off the master to test it. That's a little tricky.

Response From Avery

tried the 'slamming on the brakes' on the dirt road... stops real good but if I play w/ the pedal it still slowly will go to the floor if I pump it. Thinking I'm gonna be changing the master cyl here soon (just happy I have a 2nd car)

I really do appreciate the help... I'll let you know if that works

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Just curious - will this brake pedal fade if just sitting still, engine off without even a key in the thing? If so that is pretty damning for a bad master cylinder,


Response From Avery

Tom... no, it doesn't fade when the engine isn't running.

Trying to buy a MC today and they are asking about whether it's got a Proportioning Valve... how the heck do I tell that. It's got Cruise Control, that ones easy


Response From Tom Greenleaf

Didn't see that question for this. Did see cruise control or not. Adaptor came with a NEW one for ABS and mentioned if failure that I take as a blowout of fluid somewhere requires centering a pressure differential valve which sounds a lot like a proportioning valve to me elsewhere not in or on master cylinder itself.

That dang site I use can be all wet (as in wrong) too so take with a grain of salt,


Response From Avery

I found a part number using my VIN... BRMC 41. (???) Doesn't sound like a Ford part number but when I plugged it into the Motorcraft site it came up a new MC. Now if I can cross reference it to other manufactures. I like Motorcraft but dang $$$$$$

Response From Tom Greenleaf

You should get a NEW master cylinder. Near certain rebuilt ones are no longer available for sale here (MA) nor other assorted brake parts. My quick look showed this wasn't expensive for a whole new one with tank and a bleeder kit.

Search the web to your hearts content but when you want to buy unless in the boonies somewhere just call your favorite local parts store and ask and you can find if in stock and who made it hopefully right away,


Response From Hammer Time Top Rated Answer

If you're getting bypassing and not losing any fluid it can basically happen in 2 places. It can happen internally in the master cylinder or internally in the ABS hydraulic unit. I have resolved a couple of them by taking it onto a dirt road and slamming on the brakes so the ABS kicks in real good. When the bypass solenoids open internally it will sometimes flush out some trapped dirt particles.

Response From Avery

I live on a dirt road... gotta try everything...

2002 international 4400 rear brake drag

Showing 6 out of 6 Posts
Question From vmaxmadmike on 2002 international 4400 rear brake drag

I have owned the truck for a year 2002 international 4400 box truck with air brakes . Came time to change the rear brakes,linings were worn.Apon removal found the drums need to be changed as well, as they could not be reused.After installing new parts the bottom linings are sitting very close to the drum the top are in correct adjustment.this is causing the bottom linings to rub just enough so as that I can watch my fuel gauge go down.Three different mechanics plus the original one that did the work can't explain this problem.they all say that everything is working fine from the s-cam to the slack adjusters.I have removed the dust covers my self and can see the problem but don't have the solution. Can anyone help? (both sides)

removed Italics from text. Too hard to read.

Response From Sidom

Since you've put different linings on. I would suggest turning the drums.

Doesn't happen a lot but a couple of times when I've had to change linings & drums, with all the new stuff on & the adjuster backed all the way off, everything was too tight.... After a couple of different sets of shoes I just wound up cutting the new drum to get the clearance I needed for the correct adjustment....

Response From nickwarner

have you checked the air pressure on the spring brake chamber when the parking brakes are released? If it is getting just enough to cage the spring but not enough to do it fully it can cause you grief. Also, what condition are the anchor pins and bushings in? Did you replace them with new ones or were they too frozen into the backing plate and left be? A worn anchor pin can screw with your dimension. Honestly I would double check for yourself that the s-cams are genuinely good. With the shoes off and slack clevis unhooked check front and rear bushings for play. If the hardware is still hooked up when you check it would have to be really bad to get play .

Response From Hammer Time

Have you tried a different set of linings? Cheap linings may not be molded properly.

Response From vmaxmadmike

http://autoforums.carjunky.com/images/toolbar/undo.gifyes I had the original mechanic take the heavy set off and replaced them with a med . duty lining.

Response From Hammer Time Top Rated Answer

I don't know what you mean by heavy duty and medium. There is only one size and dimension for that truck, just different quality lining and bondings. You could have a problem with a flex hose not releasing properly too.

Brake pedal going down the floor when braking

Showing 2 out of 9 Posts | Show 7 Hidden Posts
Question From Aldy on Brake pedal going down the floor when braking

Hi! this is also about my 1991 Honda Civic sedan 1.5L. The brake pedal goes down the floor when braking but this is not consistent. Sometimes the braking is okay and sometimes not. There is no leak anywhere in all 4 wheels & I checked the disc brakes and the rear drum brakes are still okay. The brake fluid level in the reservoir is full. I suspect that the the brake master assist is failing. How will I fix this. I'm a DIY guy. Please help. . . . . .

Response From Sidom Top Rated Answer

Those are classic symptoms of a master cylinder bypassing. The internal seals can't hold the pressure & since it's internal there is no fluid loss.

A power booster won't cause the pedal to go to the floor.. When they fail you lose you assist & the pedal is hard....

Response From Aldy

Hi Sidom, thanks again for your reply, so does this mean that I can just replace the master cylinder gaskets and my problem is solved or will it be easier to just change the whole master cylinder?

Response From Sidom

It would be better to change the whole master cylinder

Response From Hammer Time

Although Sidom is right that the master cylinder is usually the cause, I have had 2 vehicles in the past month with the same symptoms that BOTH of them turned out to be debri stuck in one of the valves of the ABS unit. The way i cured it was to slam on the brakes on a gravel road so the ABS activates and clears the debri. I had already changed the master on both of these cars and still had the same problem until flushing the ABS valves this way. Pressure bleeding did nothing for the problem.

Response From Aldy

Hi Hammer,Thanks for your reply, my car doesn't have ABS so I think Sidom is right.

Response From Hammer Time

I would say he's right also.

Response From Sidom

That's interesting Hammer.... I haven't run into that yet but I see where it can happen

Just a couple of quick questions on those....

Was the ABS light on? and Was it the same symptons as a bypassing master (sometimes a pedal, sometimes not) or was this like a total failure & just couldn't get the pedal back??

Response From Hammer Time

No ABS light. No brake light as long as the reservoir was full, although you could put the light on if you let the pedal drop enough.
It was EXACTLY the same as a bypassing master. One of the solenoids just wasn't closing all the way. As soon as I activated the ABS a couple times, the pedal got solid and no further problems. I had already replaced the master and flushed the system on both of them. No further bleeding was needed for either one also.
One was a GM and one was a Ford.

brake goes to the foor

Showing 2 out of 2 Posts
Question From eyob07 on brake goes to the foor

Hi there everyone this is a 2001 corolla with abs, when I stop at stop light the brake pedal slowly goes to to the floor, all we did was replace the rear shoes, there is no way that air is introduced into the system, could this be internally leaking muster cylinder, any ideas please thank you.

Response From Hammer Time Top Rated Answer

You already have a question open on this car and this problem.