Watch Me Catch A Serious Brake Problem Moments Before Heading Up One Of America's Most Dangerous Mountain Passes

Back in 2019, I completed a 4,000 mile road trip in a vehicle that, frankly, was destined for the junkyard. The series was wildly successful, garnering millions of pageviews, though one thing was missing: video footage. Jalopnik recently uncovered the lost footage, and now here’s episode No. 5, which shows the brake failure that left my me and my brothers stranded for *days in* a Days Inn a parking lot.

If you haven’t checked out last week’s episode, you need to, because it showed an awesome guy named Ed showing off his incredibly eclectic car collection in the middle of a field in Lamar, Colorado.


In this week’s episode, my brothers and I discover, and then spending days trying to fix, a brake issue. The initial problem, which I spotted just moments before heading up the perilous Wolf Creek Pass, was that my rubber brake hoses had been rubbing against my wheels and were nearly worn through.

Replacing the hoses with new ones led to the discovery of another issue. For some reason, I was unable to properly bleed the hydraulic system; I kept seeing air bubbles in the lines. Confused, I spent hours in my Days Inn hotel room bending and flaring new brake lines, but that didn’t solve the issue, either.


In the end, it was a faulty remanufactured brake master cylinder that was causing the problem, and that wasted two days of my road trip with my brothers. We drove nearly 100 miles to New Mexico to get a replacement part, but once that was in, the $500 Postal Jeep stopped with confidence. I headed up and down the pass without issue, eventually arriving in the off-road mecca of Moab, Utah.

My brothers had to fly out of Salt Lake City the following day. After spending a week with me on the road, it seemed unfair that they couldn’t at least experience some off-roading. So we hit a trail in the middle of the night, and I drove the Postal Jeep through a puddle of unknown depth. In retrospect, this was foolish, as it could have killed the Jeep right then and there. Instead, it just flooded the floors, but the Jeep kept running.

That cannot be said about the following day, when I took the Jeep off-roading with a group of Hummer drivers. The Jeep had major transmission issues, which I thought I fixed, but as I found out the next day when I went off-roading all on my lonesome: I had not fixed them. As a result, I wound up stranded on the trails of Moab for hours. More to come next week.



I’ve been from one end of the Rocky Mtns to the other (American, only.  No canucking for me) and the only pass that ever scared me was Wolf Creek.  Glad you found that issue before you wound up down a canyon somewhere that only the coyotes could find you.