Drum brakes '84 Pontiac Parisienne


Old 10-16-04, 07:48 PM
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Drum brakes '84 Pontiac Parisienne

Tried to install wheel cylinder kit because one was leaking. When I tried to bleed the brakes, sometimes fluid came out...sometimes not. Brake pedal goes all the way to the floor. Any ideas? If you need more info, ask, cuz I'm not sure what you need and I wanted to keep this initial post short. Thanks!
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Old 10-17-04, 06:02 AM
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Describe the EXACT steps you are using to do the bleeding; you may just have a procedural problem.
Old 10-17-04, 08:36 AM
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Before I go into the exact steps on the brake bleeding, I think I should tell you that prior to putting the wheel cylinder kits and shoes on the rear, I installed new bearings, races and pads on the front and replaced the master cylinder with another used one that was working when I took it off of another vehicle.

On bleeding the brakes, I first topped of the master cylinder reservoir with brake fluid, replaced the cap, started the car and had a friend pump the brake pedal 10 times, then hold it down. I then opened the bleeder valve on the drivers side rear. At first, no fluid at all came out. After repeating the above steps, a small amount would "dribble" out. Kept repeating steps with same result. Basically the same result on the other side.

It really acts as if there is little or no pressure in the lines. I should mention that front brakes work fine and also that brake pedal would not "pump up" after shut off, before or after all of this work. If this isn't enough info, please ask and I'll try and give more to you. Thanks again.
Old 10-17-04, 09:58 AM
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Manual Bleeding
Pressure bleeding is recommended for all hydraulic systems. However, if a pressure bleeder is unavailable, use the following procedure. Brake fluid damages painted surfaces. Immediately clean any spilled fluid.

1. Remove vacuum reserve by pumping brakes several times with engine off.
2. Fill master cylinder reservoir with clean brake fluid. Check fluid level often during bleeding procedure; do not let reservoir fall below half full.
3. If necessary, bleed master cylinder as follows:

1. Disconnect master cylinder forward brake line connection until fluid flows from reservoir. Reconnect and tighten brake line.
2. Instruct an assistant to slowly depress brake pedal one time and hold.
3. Crack open front brake line connection again, purging air from cylinder.
4. Retighten connection and slowly release brake pedal.
5. Wait 15 seconds, then repeat until all air is purged.
6. Bleed the rearward (nearest the cowl) brake line connection by repeating steps a through e.

4. Loosen, then slightly retighten bleeder valves at all four wheels. Repair any broken, stripped or frozen valves at this time.
5. Start with the furthest wheel from the master cylinder.
6. Place transparent tube over bleeder valve, then allow tube to hang down into transparent container. Ensure end of tube is submerged in clean brake fluid.
7. Instruct an assistant to slowly depress brake pedal one time and hold.
8. Crack open bleeder valve, purging air from cylinder. Retighten bleeder screw and slowly release pedal.
9. Wait 15 seconds, then repeat steps 7 and 8. Repeat these steps until all air is bled from system.
Old 10-17-04, 12:46 PM
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Used master cylinder?If the master cylinder was not properly bench bled you can stop trying now until you do so.That master cylinder is mounted at an 11 degree angle and if not bled at the bench you will never get the air out of it.Overhauling wheel cylinders is also a thing of the past.If you pushed the new cups in too far the fluid can't get to the bleeder hole.Start at these suggestions and get back to us.
Old 10-18-04, 04:52 AM
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Thought there was probably more to the story. Would have probably been better off getting a rebuild kit for the master cylinder or a rebuilt unit rather than installing the used one in an as-is condition. I would suspect Davo's right - air in master cylinder.
Old 10-20-04, 05:05 AM
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keep also in mind...

...that it has split braking system (front and rear) in case of a hydraulic failure. even with air in the system you should be able to get fluid from the rear. bleed in this sequence...the master cylinder first as described by previous posters...then start by bleeding the farthest away from the master (RR)...then LR...then RF...the LF. you may have to repeat this several times because when you opened the system in all those places...you in effect caused a hydraulic failure and the valve in the valve block (located on the frame down below the master cyl) has moved to shut off the circuit with the leak (the system is split so that if you blow a wheel cylinder, you'd still have some braking capability with the front brakes only...and vice versa)...this is why only dribbles at the rear. sometimes "popping" the pedal quick and hard a couple times will move the valve back to center and when actually bleeding, long slow pedal strokes are best to keep from aerating the fluid. the valve can get stuck on older vehicles...be patient, have plenty of fluid on hand and you'll get it.

as for a used master...remans are cheap...that would have been a better choice...and most wheel cylinders have rust in them...if there were ANY pits at all left after you rebuilt them...they'll likely leak soon. they are also pretty cheap to replace...good luck
Old 10-21-04, 11:35 AM
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Thanks for all of the input...as a backyard "wannabe" I only have time to work on it on the weekends and then only if it doesn't rain! (has all week!). Hopefully, I'll get to it this weekend. I'll let you know. As always, the people who post replies help make this site! Thanks!
Old 10-21-04, 02:59 PM
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I would NEVER install a used master cylinder on anything. Your just asking for trouble. Also as Davo stated, you just wasted your time putting kits in those cylinders. The reason they leak is because the get pitted on the inside. They are too cheap to even try rebuilding.

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