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Old 02-24-2013, 04:03 PM
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Default Trouble bleeding brakes.

Let me first say I've done many of complete brake jobs in my life including masters.
I've never had trouble bleeding brakes ever before. I used to wonder why so many people had trouble on all the car forums I belong to.

Well, I'm having trouble.

1983 El Camino with power brakes. Front Disc and Rear Drum

Just did a complete brake job.
New front calipers, rear cylinders, master cylinder, all 3 hoses and of course pads and shoes. Rotors and Drums were both turned.

I bench bled the new master using instructions that said "New and Improved Procedure" You just put plugs in the 2 ports and keep manually pumping with a dowel until no more bubbles appear in the reservoir.
That was a new one on me. In the past they always came with tubes that you clip onto the rim of the master and pump the fluid all the way through.
Anyway, I did it the new way and it worked the way they described.

After getting it back on the car, I was able to bleed the brakes normally. I got my wife to pump the brakes for me. I went all the way around 3 times.

I thought I got all the air out. It acted like it. All the brakes were working with the car up in the air.

Test drove and have a mushy pedal. It will stop the car, but they don't feel good at all and the car didn't stop without pushing pretty darn hard. It feels like the pedal is going all the way down when I do that.

I put the car back up in the air and used my vacuum bleeder. RR, LR, RF and LR. Pulled about 3 oz of fluid out of each one.

Still got the mushy pedal that feels like it goes all the way down.

Should I re-bleed the master or do I just have stubborn air trapped somewhere else?

Oh, I didn't change the proportioning valve. It's original and 30 years old. Should I replace that?
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  #2  
Old 02-24-2013, 05:27 PM
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No on the proportion valve,, wont cause a mushy pedal,, here is what i did to stop a two person job,, get yourself a motive power bleeder,, under 60.00 and they have improved the resivoir cap to prevent leaks,, it looks like a small garden spray pump,, the last brake job i did on a g body I used the Motive pump, bled the brakes myself and had a great pedal afterwards,, if you do the old pump method,, be sure to block the proportion valve needle in the open postion,, have someone pump the pedal and you will see "rod" come out under pressure,, many people including myself did not realize that you need to hold this rod in the open position or it will proportion the fluid going back to the rear wheels and make pedal pumping a pain,, i will try to find Motive link,, Matty man
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:39 PM
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It's probably not the proportioning valve causing the spongy pedal. It may be air in the system and the rears may not be fully adjusted. Replaced my master cylinder last fall using the New & Improved bench bleeding method and that worked okay for me. That was a first also for that method.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:13 PM
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Rebuilt or new master? Thinking maybe you got a bad one. Everything you did should be sufficient to get a good pedal. Hell their ain't no ABS to screw up the bleeding on these.
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Old 02-25-2013, 01:18 PM
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I'm going down to O'Reillys to get one of kits where I can bench bleed the master the standard way.

I'll do that and re-bleed the system and report back here how it comes out.

I'm thinking there is trapped air in the master.

I'm wondering if the "New Improved" method is really the "More Profit" method.

It's a Wagner rebuilt btw.
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:47 PM
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Since this ain't your first brake job, I d say rebleed the mc the way you (WE) know.

Their are several different brake bleeding tools on the market such as one that forces fluid up from the rear, which is supposed to be better at trapped air. But no use spending extra money on something you won't use often. Vacuum (mitivac) worked fine for me in past.

Proportioning valves tend to first leak when going bad, which is mainly caused by dirty fluid. Rear brakes not adjusted out can give a mushy pedal also, but I'll assume you know how to adjust them already. Hope the mc rebleed does the trick.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:04 PM
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That's a yes on the rear brake adjusting. I've got them adjusted up to a slight drag. I even put new adjusters in. The teeth were worn a little on the old ones.

I just got back from O'Reillys with the bleeder kit and more fluid. It might be Thursday before I'm able to get it all done. Not sure I'll get a chance to work on the car tomorrow.

Btw, for interest sake here are the instructions that came with my Wagner m/c:

http://www.cardone.com/tech-help/bra...ding-procedure

It's from the Cardone site but it is word-for-word the same as the instructions packed with my Wagner.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:44 PM
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I know what the problem is::: smart people can't use instructions made for idiots that couldn't get it right the first time.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:07 PM
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I'd start back with a bench bleed with the mc still in the car. Have your wife pump the pedal up n HOLD it - loosen the break line on the mc slightly while your wife's foot pressure pushes out fluid or air + fluid out. Repeat until only fluid comes out. I know that's elementary but start over with the basics. You can "bleed" every connection until no air spits out as long as your wife don't let pressure off the pedal you won't introduce more air into your lines. Repeat repeat repeat. At least until your fluid coming out is clear.
I'm not a break guy but that pedal shoul be harder than Chinese arithmetic.
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:08 PM
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This may sound like a Stupid Question, but I thought I would ask. This happened to me when I added disc brakes on the front of my 1967. My question is::::: When you installed your Front Calipers did you install them with the Bleeders on the Calipers in the top position. If you installed your Calipers with the bleeders on the Bottom you will Never get all of the Air Out. Check your Calipers
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Old 02-25-2013, 05:16 PM
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I'll put it back on the bench. You are supposed to bench bleed them because the brake pedal doesn't push the plunger as far as using a dowel will.

And yes, my calipers are installed with the bleeders on top.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:04 PM
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After you re bleed the m/c and you know it's right,if it is still no good try getting a brake line clamp and clamp one wheel off at a time to see if you can narrow it down to a particular wheel.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:09 PM
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Default Motive Power Bleeder

I have a Motive bleeder I bought for my Vette and, works great. The problem is that the master cylinder for the Vette has a round cap. I looked at Motive's web site for an adapter and, they want as much for the adapter as I paid for the whole kit. I went to the pick and pull and got rectangular master cylinder cap off another g body and I am going to drill the top and put in a hose barb that will fit the hose from the Motive pressure tank. Hopefully, I can make it hold enough pressure to bleed the system. I'll let you know in a couple of weeks - when I get the truck back together.
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Old 02-27-2013, 11:41 AM
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Back on this project today.

I went to the auto parts store and picked up a master cylinder bleed kit so I could put the master back on the bench and bleed it the old conventional way.

Got the master back on the bench and have been bleeding it for an hour with the conventional method.

I cannot get the rearward (front brake) part of the reservoir to quit spewing tiny bubbles from the inside. I'm warn out from pumping. No bubbles at all from the front reservoir compartment. That appears to be bled just fine.

This does not sound normal to me. It seems that everytime I've done this in the past, the tiny bubbles would completely disappear. Sometimes that would take a good deal of pumping. But, I've pumped this one to death and it keeps doing it.

Bad Master?

Again, this is a Wagner re-built I got from RockAuto.

Advice will definitely be appreciated. I'm about ready to eat this one go to NAPA and get a new and not re-built one.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:31 PM
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Sounds like an internal leak.I say go with your instinct & get another.
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