View Full Version : More Brake Trouble

02-24-2001, 08:34 PM
Okay, installed the new front wheel cylinders. Now, it's time to bleed (aside from at the knuckles). The passenger front and driver rear brakes bleed fine, but not a drop from the driver front or passenger rear. In addition, neither of those two brakes will accuate either. I'm thinking it could be a bad master cylinder. Any clues? http://www.vcvc.org/ubb/confused.gif

[This message has been edited by smiley (edited February 25, 2001).]

02-24-2001, 09:46 PM
smiley did you fail to keep the master cyl full while accomplishing the bleeding process?if so you may have got air in your master cyl.what you will need to do is bleed your master cyl.depending on what type of master cyl you have installed you will need to either run a bleeder hose from the two bleed ports of your master cyl or disconnect the two brake lines and install bleed hoses into the reservoir portion of the master cyl.if you don't have these hoses go down to your auto parts store and pick up a master cyl bleed hose kit.they cost about $5 and come with all the adapters you need.with hoses installed pump your master cyl till all air is removed.then proceed with lines hooked up to bleed your entire brake system.start from the left rear counterclockwise to the left front brake.making sure your topped off at the master cyl during the entire process.this should cure your problem.good luck tom.

02-25-2001, 01:26 AM
Thanks for the info Tom. I called the 24 hour auto parts store here and they have no idea what a master cylinder bleed hose kit is.

Are you saying that air gets trapped in the piston chamber that won't come out with normal bleeding techniques?

02-25-2001, 07:36 AM
thats exactly what i'm saying.whoever you talked to was a clown.this tool is available at any auito parts store,just tell them that you need to bleed your master cyl and they'll know what i'm talking about.usually this kit is located in the same section that pickle forks,brake bleeding kits,help section etc.,is at.

02-25-2001, 11:02 PM
Or you can just use a coulple short flared lines and nuts.........thread them in to the cylinder and curve them around in a cirle so they go back into the resivior..........then pump the cylinder till no bubbles come out.

02-26-2001, 02:37 AM
Thank you both for the info. I'm going to do that Tuesday, while the rest of this miserable city is out acting like fools on Mardi Gras day.

02-26-2001, 08:17 PM
He's gonna bleed while everybody else gets beads........

Hey, try livin outside of Detroit, every stupid crime joke uses it for a punch line.

02-27-2001, 08:19 AM
hey smiley, i got to do brake work before i head to the rally, yikes!!! as you guys know, i am in st louis, as for idiots at mardi gras, we got a whole city of them, i went one year and it was a joke! if you want to go to a real mardi gras, go to louisiana!!! people there know how to party!!!

good luck on your work smiley.


03-03-2001, 11:28 PM
You can try just using plugs at the outputs of the master cylinder, it forces the air the other way. Any Ideas on flushung brake lines, mine have set for 6yrs and or a little on the dry side??

03-04-2001, 06:20 PM
Take em loose at the wheel cylinders and pump n fill, pump n fill.....

03-06-2001, 05:45 PM
smiley,just curious whether or not you ever did solve your brake dilemma?tom

03-07-2001, 07:33 AM
No, not yet. Still can't find anyone local that knows what a master cylinder bleed kit is. In addition, I've been thinking about how I was bleeding the brakes and I think I may have created a vacuum.

I would have my (very patient) wife pump and hold the brake down; I would then open the wheel cylinder valve until the fluid ran solid; then I'd close it off while she was still holding the brake in. From what I have read since, I'm supposed to have extra fluid in the jar and was supposed to let the brake back out to draw the fluid back into the system.

I pretty sure I'm a dummy or something similar.

I've been itching to get out there and see if I can get it right, but it's been raining nearly every day for a week.

I'm being very patient though. A garage is on the way!

03-07-2001, 08:28 AM
I replaced my regualr bleed screws with Russell Speed Bleaders

They eliminate the problems with bleeding the break lines and one guy can do it himelf.

They have a spring loaded check ball that stops air getting back in durring the bleed procedure.


03-09-2001, 08:51 PM
Hey Smiley..You are not a dummy/or something..You are bleeding it the correct way..One line comes from the master to a juction block that splits off to right front and left front..same for the rear..check the lines going to the ones that wont bleed and make sure the lines aren't smashed shut somewhere or bent too sharply causing the line to collapse togeather..If they look ok, find the junction block(near the master cyl for the front and I think on the rear end housing for the rear)..Have your wife pump the brake pedal and hold it down, loosen the line that goes to that side(use a LINE wrench) and see if fluid comes out..If it doesnt ,the junction is plugged..If fluid comes out , the line is smashed shut or the new wheel cyl is screwed up...I have even had some in the shop that they forgot to drill the bleeder screw properly(that will drine ya nutso)!Have you taken the bleeder all the way out with the pedal depressed?(with your face and eyes AWAY from it!) If you want a cheap (free) master cylinser bleeder kit with simple instructions, e-mail me with your address and I will send you one................JD....A Master cyl problem will not cause the problem you describe as there is only one line coming out of it for the front and one line for the rear. They split at the junction to rt and lt.

[This message has been edited by JD (edited March 09, 2001).]

03-12-2001, 11:47 AM
It's really got me scratching my head because i get a bleed from one front and one rear (left front and right rear). I've got to get it in motion soon, because we're moving into a new house in 2 weeks. http://www.vcvc.org/ubb/confused.gif

03-12-2001, 08:56 PM
smiley, you can make at bleed kit from a piece of vacum hose, matched to fit the bleeder screw, and a large plastic bottle with lid. cut a hole in the lid just big enough for the vacum hose, slid hose thru and fill the bottle with enough brake fluid to cover the end of the hose. attach at the bleeder screw and pump to your hearts content. just make sure the bottle doesn't over-flow. also bleed your brakes furthest away from the master cylinder, first the rear then the front. good luck.

03-14-2001, 01:15 AM
When I replaced my brake system on my 66 I had to bleed the master cylinder before it was mounted. This way (if my brain cells remember it correctly) you hold it at an angle that will bleed it completly. Good luck and I will check back to see how it goes.

03-20-2001, 11:41 PM
Well, here's the latest state of affairs...

I went out to rebleed the brakes, the proper way. Started at the driver rear, then passenger rear (one of the trouble spots) and it bled properly (yea!), then the passenger front, then the driver front (the other trouble spot), but it still didn't bleed. I then took the advise of many and loosened the feeder line at the equalizer block and fluid came out. So far, so good. I then loosened the the line where the hard line meets the flexible line. More fluid. Lastly, I loosened the flex line at the wheel cylinder. No fluid. So I bought a new flex line and now the driver front bleeds fine.

Once I put the new line on, I went back and rebled the entire system. Everything bled well and I kept the master cylinder full at all times. However, the brake pedal still goes to the floor.

What am I doing wrong?

I don't have a bleed screw on the master, so I may have to use another method if the master has air in it.

Could it be that the master cylinder is going out?

I drove it around today anyway and it "stops" evenly. If I take my hand off the wheel and mash the brakes, it doesn't pull to one side.

For the most part though, downshifting is my current braking method. I don't plan on taking it out again until I can figure out what's up and correct it.

03-21-2001, 12:14 AM
Hey Smiley,
It sounds like you have air in the master cylinder, but let me ask you something:
Are the brake shoes properly adjusted? They need to be adjusted so that the shoes ride just barely off the drum. If there is too much space between the brake shoes and the drums, you will have a loss of braking power. Generally, in this case, pumping the brakes makes them work well. I have a lot of trouble keeping my brake shoes adjusted properly.

If the pedal feels "spongy," like you aren't pushing it hard at all and it slams to the floor, or if your brakes "fade" (you feel them grab and then loosen up again when you hold the pedal down, then the problem is your master cylinder. You really need to bench bleed the master cylinder before you install it.


03-21-2001, 07:58 AM
I haven't removed or replaced the master cylinder. When I was bleeding the brakes a month ago, I may have allowed some air to get in by not keeping the cylinder full.

Since I can't seem to find a master cylinder bleed kit anywhere, I'm gonna have to make one like mentioned above.

There are two brake lines leaving the master, do I need to bleed both ports at once, or one at a time? I would also guess that I'll need to bleed the wheel cylinders afterward as well.

03-21-2001, 08:19 PM
You should bleed both valves at the same time. This is going to be a pain to do it with the master cylinder still installed. Also, if you have carpet in the van,cover the area around the master cylinder cover with rags in case the fluid splatters. Then, yes, you do have to bleed all the wheels again. If your master cylinder is old, you may want to consider replacing it.


03-22-2001, 11:37 AM
Okay, end the suspense, and seemingly endless running around, I found a new master cylinder for $14.99 at Autozone, so I going to pick it up and install it tomorrow after work. It's also the only way I can get a bleed kit locally. No one sells them without the master cylinder.

03-22-2001, 07:19 PM
Jeez, for 15 bucks I bet ya wish ya did this a LONG time ago......... http://www.vcvc.org/ubb/biggrin.gif

03-22-2001, 08:30 PM
Yeah, I wish I had!

When I got home from work, I pulled the old one off. Then I had to get to school, where I am right now. When I get home tonight I'm going to put the new one on and bleed some more. I'll let you know how it goes in the morning.