Brake bleeding nightmare, asking your opinion

Reply

  #1  
Old 10-25-09, 12:32 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
Brake bleeding nightmare, asking your opinion

History: power brakes, front disk read drums, no ABS. Master cylinder failed, installed a new master and the brakes worked fine but the lid leaked. Replaced again and bled the brakes (after bench bleeding of course).

Installed on the booster and hooked up lines. In the process of bleeding I accidently ran one side dry. Filled it back up and continued bleeding, when I test drove it almost put me thru the windshield! Apparently one circuit isn't working, the first half of the pedal does nothing. The rear larger reservoir is the one that I ran dry which I believe is the front, I think that it's the rear that's not working.

I removed the master and bench bled again and then rebled all 4 wheels, no change. I get fluid out of each caliper and wheel cylinder when I bleed. Do you think that my proportioning valve stuck? Do you think that I just have air somewhere?

How long would it take to push a bubble from the master to the rear wheel cylinder? I used a 1 man bleeder when I did this and I took at least a full bottle out of each wheel when I bled it.
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 10-25-09, 02:51 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa fe /texas
Posts: 998
what are you working on?
can tou get some one to help you,pump the pedal & hold it down-you open the bleeder & look for fluid under pressure.
(post your results)
 
  #3  
Old 10-25-09, 05:00 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
What am I working on.... thats a complicated question.

It's a 1953 Ford F100 with a 1977 Monte Carlo front disk brake and rear drum system driven by a booster/master brake kit that I found out was from a 1977 Ford Granada....LOL

This truck has been on the road with this system since 2000 so it's proven to work, just this latest repair threw it into a loop.

What is your opinion of bleeding RR-LR-RF-LF or do you think that as long as you do both fronts and both rears together it's all good. I ask because being seperate circuits, I read that it didn't matter although I was used to doing it the other way. This time I did the front first, is it possible that I have shifted the proportioning valve by doing that and I can't get it right now?

I am getting help tomorrow, hopefully it was air sucking back around the bleeder threads. BTW, doing it myself I put the hose on the bleeder and left a little fluid in the bottle and just pumped as if I was flushing. In theory that should have worked.
 
  #4  
Old 10-25-09, 05:45 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,673
Regarding your questions:

The stuck proportioning valve = not likely. Most likely just air in the system.

How long to push a bubble to the rear = about four long throws of the pedal if only the one bleeder is open and you're shutting the bleeder completely between throws of the pedal.

Use the pattern you described starting with the wheel farthest from the master and working your way towards the master - unless - you have a diagonal configuration, then LR/RF/RR/LF.
 
  #5  
Old 10-25-09, 08:14 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa fe /texas
Posts: 998
i ask you to post-,what do you get-if a helper holds the pedal, when you open the bleeder.?
does the hyd pluming have a block that serarates the front brakes from the rear?(isolation valve/& several other names)
'if' so,can you post a 'photo' of it?
 
  #6  
Old 10-26-09, 08:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 105
Might I suggest that you call Red Greene up in Canada.

Red is pretty good with Homogenized vehicles, usually consisting of a old canoe, a outboard motor and a Dodge K car of unknown origins.

When you mix and match parts with no attention to detail and no engineering experience, you usually end up with a vehicle with no brakes and a very loud horn.

Not to worry though because Dodge K cars were never know to run very long or very far and you could always get someone with a chain to tow you home.

Here is a good example of what I am talking about.

Theo Spark: Video: Red Green Show - Honda Civic Boat Rack
 
  #7  
Old 10-26-09, 06:58 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
Tried again today....frustrated as ever! Have to replace the front bleeders, they are all boogered up now.

Tried to do a 2 man bleed, got fluid at every wheel, plenty of pedal until you start the truck, then you lose the first half. Jacked up the truck and applied the brakes, the rears work. I pulled off the line on the large reservoir and put the bleeder hose on it and pumped, it does move fluid. At first it seemed as though no fluis was moving in the bach reservoir, the front shot like a fountain. After a makeshift bench bleed on the truck. we reinstalled the line, I did get a bubble or to in the master upon release of the pedal.

I loostened the master and then held it in place, had my buddy push on the pedal and we confirmed that the master plunger begins to push right where it should.

I have a stock 1977 equalizer block too....
 
  #8  
Old 10-26-09, 08:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa fe /texas
Posts: 998
can you post a 'pic' of the proportioning valve?
not sure about "your" valve, but most will 'trip' if a hyd failure has happened.
the 'trick' is to -'re set' it.
have budy hold pressure-(eng off) on brake pedal,open a line at the m-cyl,-listen/for a 'click'-as the spool valve moves inside the valve.
'if' no 'click'-try the other m-cyl line.
the thing we are tring do do is get the spool valve back in the neutral position.
post/ updates-or p/m me
mike
 
  #9  
Old 10-27-09, 04:39 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Jersey
Posts: 526
You may want to borrow a neighbor and help you with the 2 man bleed system and get a workable language down.......like OPEN AND HOLD.........CLOSE, system and check your resivoir every couple of pumps starting with the furthest from the master cyclinder first and work your way forward.
This is foolproof unless you have a bad brake hose or bleeder that wont close all the way.
 
  #10  
Old 10-27-09, 06:28 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
I have attached a pic of the proportioning valve:



The ugly saga continues... I installed new bleeder valves and we pumped the brakes, they won't seal and it squirted brake fluid 3' in the air and onto my hood! We removed them and are going back for a non-check valve type.

I was told today that maybe my proportioning valve is stuck but riddle me this... I get fluid out of all 4 bleeders. Wouldn't one circuit be shut off if it was shifted and stuck. And BTW, this valve had no reset plunger.
 
  #11  
Old 10-27-09, 08:37 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa fe /texas
Posts: 998
Originally Posted by HotRod53F100 View Post
I have attached a pic of the proportioning valve:



The ugly saga continues... I installed new bleeder valves and we pumped the brakes, they won't seal and it squirted brake fluid 3' in the air and onto my hood! We removed them and are going back for a non-check valve type.

I was told today that maybe my proportioning valve is stuck but riddle me this... I get fluid out of all 4 bleeders. Wouldn't one circuit be shut off if it was shifted and stuck. And BTW, this valve had no reset plunger.
on the left side of this prop, valve. is there a rubber boot?
if so, it may be linked to the previous,post,
that i wanted you to try to put the prop. valve in the neutral position
 
  #12  
Old 10-28-09, 08:55 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 105
The brake reservoir is a sealed system, when you take the cap off, it cannot push fluid through the lines to the wheels.

It will either blow bubbles out the top of the reservoir or it will make a fountain like you explained.

When the cap is on, the fluid will push through the system.

When the cap is off, you can pour fluid into the reservoir and open one bleeder at a time and the fluid will drain out by way of gravity flow.

The brake block and the distribution block with proportioning valve is not always the same thing. The old cars had a block that had a rubber plug on one end and you had to push the rod back into the block to get it into the neutral position.

Most of the newer vehicles that I have seen has anti lock brakes and does not have any proportional valve.

Take it to a garage and have a mechanic look at it.

Probably the proportional valve is bad. Usually when a line blows, the valve goes into the one position or the other, to keep brake fluid against the brakes that still works = at least long enough to get it off the road or to limp it home.

The antilock brakes will pump all the fluid out of the system and you will have no brakes at all. At least that is how it is with a new Chevrolet truck
 
  #13  
Old 10-28-09, 12:52 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
I would consider borrowing a pressure bleeder to see if that will get the air out.
Other than that I would be at a loss too. The fluid (as I understand it) shooting out of the reservoir 3 feet and splashing under the hood would make me thing something isn't quite right with the master cyl., like the piston is in the wrong place somehow. But if the brakes were working fine, and the MC was never disassembled, then why a problem now? Rolled seal perhaps?
I definitely wouldn't be doing the bleed process one man, not without one of those check-valve tools that allow you to do it that way. Or a pressure bleeder.
Only other reason for getting a load of air in the lines that I know of (other than bleeding the brakes the way you are doing it) would be aerated fluid, like someone kicked the can over and now it's all agitated.
If you reall HAVE to do the bleeding 1 man, you HAVE to get a long section of preferrable clear tubing, hook it to the bleeder, run it down to the floor or ground, and put it in preferanly a clear container (old pickle jar or what have you, heck in a pinch I've even used an old peanut butter jar) and put enough clean fluid in the jar to the end of the hose is sticking in it.

Gilly
 
  #14  
Old 10-28-09, 12:55 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
PS the porportioning valve makes no sense to me either if you are getting fluid at all 4 corners. Oh and the bleeding sequence is fine. Have someone touch the brakes as you spin the wheels (up in the air) and see for sure which ones are applying first, then go after the lazy ones, those would be the ones with air. This help you determine if you have diagonal brakes as well.
Gilly
 
  #15  
Old 10-29-09, 05:55 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
UPDATE: it was recommended that I slam the brakes to possibly free up the proportioning valve which I did. I also found that I have a BRAKE light switch on the valve that is unconnected. I removed the and checked it, it appears that the proportioning valve is centered or I would see continuity across the switch. I noticed that I can hear the prop valve clicking when I step on the brakes, that tells me that it's working. I didn't try and re-bleed yet but now that I am convinced that it works, it has to be air or a bad master even though it is new.

Here is a fact that I didn't post before... I have full pedal with the motor OFF, I lose the first half of the pedal with the motor started. Should I bleed the brakes with the motor running maybe?

I got a MightyVac to help this time too, I gotta get this thing out of my driveway and iinto storage, I need my garage next week!
 
  #16  
Old 10-29-09, 06:33 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Owen Sound Ontario Canada
Posts: 541
I would try bleeding again with help
Just do the backs and see if that helps
Trick is not to pump and make disturbance in the system.
Have help slowly push pedel down and slowly open bleader then close bleeder. Then have help slowly release pedal.
When pedal up then take a brake for half minute or so and talk about trucks (or women or what ever)
Then do that same slow manouver 9 more times.

Pumping brakes creates small air bubbles
Dont pump
Want one big bubble to come out
 
  #17  
Old 10-29-09, 06:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
"Talk about women" ....LOL I'm not sure which are giving me more trouble, trucks or women...Right now, both subjects would not be enjoyable conversations... The wifes' car is broken too, I'm getting it from both sides!
 
  #18  
Old 11-01-09, 05:59 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
Update....I'm at wits end at this point, I have spent three evenings on this thing!

I borrowed a Mighty Vac and bled the fronts again... The passenger side bled perfectly, the drivers side seems to bubble air constantly, even with the bleeder barely cracked. I bled for AN HOUR with no change. It seems as though sometimes when I push on the pedal I get a restricted flow from the drivers front, it doesn't push freely.

Here's the real kicker, the last new master worked fine except it blew fluid out of an unknown area... I figured out what it was. This lid does not fit right, it teeter totters on the top and does not seal. I put the lid from the old master on it and it fits right. Had I left the 1st new master on and switched the lid I would have been good.
 
  #19  
Old 11-07-09, 02:54 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
Another Update... I replaced the master AGAIN... I bled with a mighty vac and I get good fluid at every wheel. I also did another 2 man bleed. I get plenty of pedal until I start the truck, then it's almost to the floor. I removed the vaccuum from the booster and the pedal stays high.

I'm not sure what else to do with it unless I pressure bleed it. I needed my garage for wood staining on my deck project, my buddy came over today with his enclosed race car trailer and we loaded it up. It will live at his house for a few days. After that I will either trailer it somewhere to have it looked at or bring it home again.

I don't get it, brakes are SIMPLE..... I have never had this much trouble with brakes EVER!
 
  #20  
Old 11-07-09, 04:18 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
Get it in the air, have someone gradually apply the brakes, see if one is braking way before the others or if one is really late in applying or not applying at all. Check any rubber hoses, like at the front knuckles or between the chassis and rear axle.
What was the failure with the master cylinder you replaced first, the so-called "original" one?

Gilly
 
  #21  
Old 11-07-09, 04:29 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 105
Open the hood and listen to the engine running. Can you hear a loud hisss?

More then likely the booster is bad.

I have no other advice other then to try another booster that you know works. A new / used booster that will bolt up.

While you are at it, take the vacuum hose off the booster and see if the pedal gets hard. You should get 3 pumps out of it.
 
  #22  
Old 11-07-09, 04:54 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
I think if you take the line off the bosster you will get "zero" pumps out of it. If you run the engine, then stop it, THEN you will get 3 pumps out of it. (check valve)
Gilly
 
  #23  
Old 11-07-09, 06:41 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa fe /texas
Posts: 998
you have tried every thing, except what we suggest.
something to suggest.
remove master cyl & lines.
is the booster -push rod adjustable/threaded-?
no- put m/cyl back on-& disregard.
yes-dump fluid out( to lessen the mess)
hold pushrod at booster-ose what ever you can find to lengthen the threaded part -1/2 turn at atime.
carfuly placing m/cyl bak on & 'feeling' for the push rod to 'touch' the piston.
stop/possible- back off 1/4 turn.
reassemble-give it a try.
 
  #24  
Old 11-08-09, 07:06 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
I may not have listed everything that you suggest, but I think that I covered them.

"Original problem" rear master seal leaked and it came out the weep hole between the master ane the booster. "Second master".. brakes worked fine but the first hard stop I had brake fliuid everythere. Didn't realize until later that the mfg provided the wrong lid and it didn't fit tight. "Third master"..here I am, no pedal when the motor is running and the lid doesn't fit. I accidently ran the rear resiovoir dry during bleeding. "Forth master" lid fits, still no brakes when the motor is running.

Actuator rod.... I intentionally wound out the adjustable rod too far. I then mated up the master and it wouldn't sit flat. I wound the rod in a little at a time until the master would sit flat up against the booster.

Booster.... pulled off the hose and I get hard pedal. Started the truck with the pedal down and it sinks close to the floor but not flat. This booster was rebuilt probably 1200 miles ago, it had a leaky front seal and I could hear vaccuum under the dash.

Proportioning valve... removed and disassembled. The spring and shaft was gunked up and stuck, the spring eventually released in my hand. I cleaned everything and reassembled.

Lines.. I removed all lines between the master and the prop valve and blew them out. The front brake hoses are new, probably 100 miles on them.
 
  #25  
Old 11-08-09, 01:41 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
Rear brake hose?

Gilly
 
  #26  
Old 11-08-09, 02:31 PM
Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Owen Sound Ontario Canada
Posts: 541
Yes I do think that the system is a basic one so the problem had to be of simple nature.
If it were my car I would go get a short premade brake line from the auto store and put in place of either the front or rear brake line from the master cylinder.
I would then crimp that steel line so no fluid can come out of it. Likely easier to do that on a bench with it off.
I would then bleed the active (front or rear) circuit and see if the pedal is good with engine running.
If you get one to work and the other not to work then at least it narrows it some.
If both do not still work even when the systems have been disconnected (Front and back )the it is likely the master.

The fluid should act as a solid unit.
Things to “give” would be things like:
Air in system
Expanding flex line front or rear (as said above)
Loose wheel bearing
Rear shoes out of adjustment.

Make sure the bleeders are on the top of the callipers. Don’t laugh. I did that once. Could not figure out why I could not get them to bleed. I was 16 and it was late OK!

Let us know if you try the blanked brake line thing and the results
 
  #27  
Old 11-08-09, 02:51 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
I have not done anything with the rears other than bleed them. I did put new shoes, all new hardware, and one new brake drum about 300 miles ago. I have noticed that one rear brake sounds like it could be dragging or too tight. The truck only gets a couple of hundred miles a year and when I pulled it out of the garage I could hear it making noise, I just attributed it to rust in the drum from sitting.
 
  #28  
Old 11-08-09, 03:18 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
The hard pedal with the engine off I think is normal.
 
  #29  
Old 11-08-09, 04:19 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
Yes, I agree, the quandry is what difference it makes when the engine is running and there is vaccuum on the booster. Granted, now that there is vaccuum on the booster I now have a 3-4x mechanical advantage, but there is no pedal on the first half at all, I mean NO resistance at all!
 
  #30  
Old 11-08-09, 04:53 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
Pretty weird. Hey can you look in the holes in the bottom of reservoir and tell if the piston moves right away when you get the "no resistance" for that first half of the pedal movement with the engine running? Or even engine off as far as that goes. Be interesting to see if the system maybe even isn't trying to work for that first half of a stroke.
When you do get the pedal feel, does it FEEL mushy like there is still air in the lines?
Gilly
 
  #31  
Old 11-08-09, 04:57 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,673
It sounds like your adjustment between the booster and the master cylinder is messed up.

Decide what vehicle the master originated from, then go to the AutoZone site, register, and look up that vehicle on the site. Go to the brake booster and its adjustments. I imagine when you get that fixed you'll be in business.
 
  #32  
Old 11-08-09, 05:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
When I get pedal with the motor off, its rock hard, no mush at all.

As far as the rod adjustment, I have heard two problems of having the rod out of adjustment, you can get a brake to drag or too much travel. I'll check out AutoZone, the booster and master fits a 1977 Ford Granada V8.

Update... AutoZone doesn't have a listing for that car.
 
  #33  
Old 11-08-09, 05:30 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
I am referring to when the engine is running, I don't care if it's hard with the engine off.
 
  #34  
Old 11-08-09, 05:32 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,673
It sounds like too much travel in the pedal with the engine running = booster rod out of adjustment.
 
  #35  
Old 11-08-09, 05:36 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
OK, lets talk about adjusting this pig.... If I wound out the rod until the master wouldn't sit flat on the booster and then I backed it off a little at a time until it sit flush, did I miss something? I don't recall there being any preload on the master. Is it possible that there is not enough freeplay?
 
  #36  
Old 11-08-09, 05:40 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa fe /texas
Posts: 998
you did not state what the donor vehicle is for the disk/drum set up(or you may have & i over looked it)
alot of rear shoes have an inside ( side of shoe that faces the backing plate)-poss at fault-?
is it possible to have 'missed' the wheel cylinder -push rod/installment?
incorrect ft pads can cause the caliper to be high on the outer part.
'im' just suggesting-there has to be something-over looked.
 
  #37  
Old 11-08-09, 05:47 PM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Evansville, WI
Posts: 329
Originally Posted by GillyWI View Post
Hey can you look in the holes in the bottom of reservoir and tell if the piston moves right away when you get the "no resistance" for that first half of the pedal movement with the engine running? Or even engine off as far as that goes. Be interesting to see if the system maybe even isn't trying to work for that first half of a stroke.
Gilly
.......................................
 
  #38  
Old 11-08-09, 06:19 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
This is one of those "brake kits" for hot rods that include a pedal, a master, and a booster. I only know what else it fits because the company who rebuilt the booster figured it out and I purchased a master for the same car and it was correct.

I purchased a master for a 1977 Ford Granada V8 with front disk and rear drum.

The confusing thing is that the original master worked, the second master worked but the lid leaked, after that... nothing, and nothing else was taken apart. I had eventually taken the drivers side caliper off so I know that it's right. Is it possible that the rear drums being too tight could be related.. I'm thinking not though.

I'm curious about the rod adjustment, can I have it out too far and the piston isn't coming back to a resting position causing the pressure not to build?
 
  #39  
Old 11-09-09, 07:35 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: santa fe /texas
Posts: 998
yes,you can.that is what i tried to explain in an earlier reply.
just to test-try-loosen the 2 nuts that hold m/cyl to booster,a turn or two.
 
  #40  
Old 11-21-09, 06:52 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 551
UPDATE: loosened the rod to be sure that the master's piston was fully returning, no difference.

I removed the master and bench bled it again. I hooked the bleeder to one part and plugged the other and vice versa. I then plugged both circuits and confirmed that I could not push the piston. At this point I'm 100% convinced that the master is not the problem.

I removed the proportioning valve, put a tee in the front circuit and installed an adjustable valve in the rear circuit. I bled the system again and no change. Now I know that it's not the proportioning valve.

Next, I bought a line plug that fits where the brake line and the flex hose connect. I plan to plug front left and then front right and see if plugging either side resolves my problem. Hopefully this will allow me to isolate the problem.

6 evenings and counting!
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes
'