no brakes...again...pedal sinks to floor, no leaky fluids, ideas?
So after I bought the truck about 1-1/2 months ago, I had the rusty brakelines replaced, new rotors, new calipers, new pads, new drums, new shoes, brakes bled...the works.
So it worked at first.
But on the way home from a friend's place today the pedal felt soft. The pedal was easy to push to the floor, and by the time I was halfway home, they had no resistance at all. The "brake" and "rear antilock" lights came on, so I pulled over and took a peek underneath:
-no leaky fluids
wtf?!? I would expect that a brakeline is blown.
Now the last time I had all that brakework done, it cost me ~$1,000. Like hell am I getting it done at a shop again, so where should I start looking to fix this thing before work tomorrow?
Oh, and don't give me any of this "you got ripped off doing it at a shop for $1,000! I replaced my front pads myself for $20!"
check the master cyl. and the brake booster if power brakes.. take the master cyl. apart from the booster... see if there is any fluid between the master n the booster, if no fluid between those 2 then the booster should be ok..unhook the lines from the brake controller see if fluid comes out.. also make sure fluid comes out of the lines at the brakes, take the lid off the master cyl. tank.. when the brakes are pressed, see if fluid comes pouring out of the tank.. im havin the same problems.. only differece is my caliper froze up.. i got fluid coming everywhere i unhook.. but no pedal at all.. so i narrowed it down to my master cyl.. just waitin for the parts to show up.. to make sure thats what it is..
Yes, that seems likely that it could be the master cylinder.
We talked about the possibility that you put the wrong adjuster screws on the wrong sides before didn't we ? -- did you ever check that out? If you did, the brakes would automatically UN-adjust themselves as you drive. The result would be increasing piston travel of the rears to the point where your entire pedal travel is necessary just to get them out to the drum.
The two adjuster pieces are reverse threaded relative to one another.
If you master cylinder is not bad, check that again. I can't remember if you said you checked that or not. I actually rebuilt one side after the adjuster piece got loose and ground up in the rear brakes, and put the wrong one on and had this problem, even though it was just happening on one side (yes, that was dumb not to check them, lol...)
John Griggs -- Kennett Square, PA
2002 Ranger 4x4, SAS'd, with too many other mods...
If there are no signs of a fluid leak and the master cylinder is working, (not leaking, and you are able to bleed it at the cylinder itself), I would take a serious look at the RABS valve, (Rear Antilock Brake Solenoid). A rear abs valves work by bypassing fluid within the system, if the valve fails to close, you will get both lights and a very soft pedal.
A stuck of bound caliper or caliper slide will also create a soft pedal, this can be checked by gently pinching off each front brake line, (be careful not to damage a line by over pinching it).
Usually if the RABS valve fails, you will still have some braking action, but the pedal will be soft and very low, depending on how much fluid is leaking past the valve. There are electrical test procedures for the RABS valve but that won't always detect a mechanical failure. The RABS valve is located inline with the rear brake line downstream of the mastercylinder.
So it IS spraying fluid...apparently it was the parking brake assembly in the rear and it requires a new hardware kit.
Anyone know how much this should run me? Midas wants another $75.
Are you talking about wheel cylinders. Those aren't hard to change at all. If you don't have new adjusters and springs in your drums do it now since you have to remove them to get at the wheel cylinders. Those are the only things that the fluid enters in the drums. Nothing to do with the parking brake
Forgive my ignorance, but arent most parking brakes mechanical? There shouldnt be a hose and it definately shouldnt give you a soft pedal
Yes, absolutely. Something isn't quite right in his description, but maybe the mechanics didn't explain it well. It was either the parking brake, or it was the hyrdraulic brakes -- don't know what he's talking about in this case.
The parking brake is mechanical, but if the parking brake linkage is broken or badly damaged on a rear drum brake system it can cause a low pedal by simply allowing too much free play in the rear shoe adjustment. If the actuator arm or link are missing, out of place or bent it will be imposible to adjust the rear shoes and there will be no parking brake operation.
My question would be why they didn't replace the rear brake hardware when they did the brakes? There are three hardware kits for the rear brakes, one is the basic spring kit (retainer kit), another usually comes with the parking brake hardware, and the other is the adjuster kit. The kits aren't that expensive and if the old hardware looks even the slightest bit suspect it should have been replaced when the brakes were done.
Its not worth taking the chance with if the hardware is old and worn.
It sort of sounds to me like something fell apart and damaged a wheel cylinder causing a leak if they're now telling you that you need a hardware kit.
They could also be refering to a wheel cylinder kit if they intend to rebuild the leaky cylinder, if that's the case, it could have very well just be a normal failure. I usually prefer to replace the whole cylinder with a brand new one though. If the lines on your truck were real bad, the old wheel cylinders may not have been working for a while, now that you ran new lines, they are seeing good fluid pressure for the first time in a while. If one wheel cylinder is bad, make sure they do both sides, not just the one that's leaking now, if one is bad, the other isn't far behind. Also, old lines don't have to be leaking to be bad, both rust and dry rotted rubber can clog brake lines and restrict or even totally block fluid flow.