Brakes - '90 Plymouth Voyager

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Old 10-29-03, 07:24 PM
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Brakes - '90 Plymouth Voyager

This vehicle has the 3.3l v-6, 4-speed auto trans, 15" wheels from the factory and NO ABS. For a few weeks now, the brake pedal had been feeling a little spongy, and every now and then the pedal would go to the floor and set the BRAKE light. A quick, hard stab at the pedal would extinguish the light and restore more normal braking until the next time the sequence started again. I thought, " master cylinder time". After pulling the old MC off, I noticed dark brake fluid in the pocket of the booster where the pushrod comes out. I put the new MC on and set about bleeding the brakes (yes, I bench-bled the MC first). Right rear wheel yielded air even after new fluid was visible in the clear tube I was using to capture the old fluid. Left rear wheel quit passing air shortly after new fluid was visible. Right front did the same as the left rear, and the left front did the same as the right rear. Plus, I have constant BRAKE light and poor braking action. It seems the right front and left rear wheels are the only ones catching at all. The reservoir was never run low on fluid while bleeding, and I can see/hear no leaks. Is there a special procedure for bleeding "diagonally split" brake systems (assuming this is what I have), or for resetting the BRAKE light switch/proportioning valve/distribution block? Maybe I've got a/some bad wheel cylinder(s)/caliper(s) or the afore-mentioned switch/valve/block? I know it's dangerous to do so, but this is my ride to work, so I've GOT to drive it as is for now, and fix it as I can. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance - Chris
 
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Old 10-30-03, 01:55 AM
fatcatdj
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If you changed or checked for leaks on the wheel cyclinders and calipers,
changed the master, checked and bled all lines, then it must be the power cylinder. I hate power cyclinders because rebuilt ones are expensive---$59.00--up. Most come w/ a rebuilt master. I've changed many at General tire
and I find that they are a major cause for loss of pressure. good luck
 
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Old 10-30-03, 06:43 AM
Joe_F
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DO NOT drive the vehicle, it's dangerous. Find another way to work......you could lose the brakes and cause an accident.

Recheck your work, you have a leak somewhere.....What do the wheel cylinders look like? They are cheap, if they are original, I'd throw them out for new ones, they get rotten, lazy and soggy with age. Is there caked fluid dust in the rear wheels?
 
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Old 10-30-03, 04:18 PM
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Forget the booster for now. What kind of quality did you buy in a master cylinder. If you try to use an "el cheapo", that's what you end up with. I don't even like using remans at all. New is much better quality. I would highly suspect the new master but it may be just more bleeding. I'd say try bleeding the hell out of it first. As soon as you get the system bleed sufficiently, the proportion will balance and a hard brake push will put the light out. The slide valve that puts the light on can get stuck to one side but the bleeding process usually frees it up. Don't blame a booster as long as that light is still on. Make sure the master is full and the parking brake is fully off. they can put the light on too.
 
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Old 10-30-03, 08:31 PM
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Thanks, guys! I'm beginning to suspect the "el cheapo" rebuilt master cylinder as well as the lines from the master cylinder to the combination valve. The flats on the front line fitting were rounded to the point I had to use locking pliers to loosen and tighten. On the master cylinder, it looked like they had sandblasted the threads for these lines - I neglected to check the areas where the lines seal, but they probably hit them, too. And as much thick goo as was in the master cylinder, I'm pretty sure some of it made its way into the combination valve. I'm quickly growing tired of having to stand on the brake pedal; I think I'll replace the rear wheel cylinders (yes, probably original equipment), the combination valve, the lines and the master cylinder. Joe, do you think AutoZone will swap me the rebuilt (limited lifetime warranty) for a brand new unit?
 
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Old 10-31-03, 03:44 AM
Joe_F
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If the part is truly defective, perhaps they will give you credit toward the new part as an upgrade. Not sure of AZ's return/credit policy, you'd have to ask.

Never, never, never, never, ever, ever, ever put "el cheapo" and brakes in the same sentence. Your life or mine if you crash into me will be at ask due to your "savings" over the RIGHT part. Always buy the best you can in brakes, don't even sweat or look at the price.
 
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