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Soft brakes!

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Old 08-14-2010, 12:06 AM
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Default Soft brakes!

So i have replaced the MC, all the brakes and have bled them very well(including bench bled) I know there is no air in the lines or the MC. Problem is the pedal goes 3/4 way to the floor. Truck stops fine but the pedal is super soft for my liking. I did add one ton wheel cyl's awhile ago but i dont think thats it since they arn't leaking and they don't take the much more fluid to fill. I also used the right MC for my truck (its the 8800lb one). Any ideas guys? I have seen a lot of people with this issue and no real fix for it. I can pump the brakes when its running and they won't get harder. and the pedal is firm with the engine off after pumping a few times.. I am at a loss now...


Josh
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:46 AM
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did you manually adjust the rear brake shoes up tight (slight scrub). ?
i like to adjust to where its locked up, then back off until it spins with just the slightest of ticking/scrub.

the proportioning system won't allow the front brakes to really work hard until the rears kick in.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:35 AM
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Yup as i said rears are adjusted
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:41 AM
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If the pedal is spongy, there is still some air in there...... Draft a friend, have him pump the brake pedal three times, hold, and then you crack open the bleeders. Go all the way around the truck, starting at the passenger rear, then drivers rear, passenger front, drivers front. Each time, build some pressure, then release the valve. Do that several times at each wheel. See if you get any air. (I am guessing you will.)

If the pedal has a lot of travel before anything starts to happen, rears need a bit more adjusting. When you adjusted them up initially, did you step on the brakes a couple times before/during adjustment?

Did you bench bleed the M/C before you installed it?
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:03 PM
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I have bled the brakes several times so i know there is not air in there(and yea i bench bled till i had no bubbles) Im beginning to wonder if my old MC was bad and this new one i got is bad also...
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:22 PM
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So is it spongy, or low pedal? Or both.....
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:37 PM
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not spongy.... Just goes down to far(almost to the floor) and if i pump the pedal it wont firm up at all.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:30 PM
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Are you sure that both circuits are pressurizing properly? The symptom sounds a lot like a failed master cylinder that's pressurizing only one circuit.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:53 PM
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would a strong squirt of brake fluid from both front and rear when bleeding prove that both circuits are pressurizing ?
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:28 PM
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The pressure in a sealed system is a helluva lot greater than it gets with a bleeder screw open, and a master cylinder piston seal that won't work to make useful line pressure can often make a fine squirt out of a bleeder screw.

Have you observed the soft lines for swelling under pressure? The brake system doesn't really move a lot of fluid in one piston stroke (as you can see by the narrow cylinder and short stroke of the piston) so any swelling will rob you of system pressure. Run the engine for a moment to get the booster charged, then with the engine off and while you observe a soft line, have your assistant stand hard on the pedal with both feet, pushing like he wants to break off the driver's seatback, and hold that for 30 seconds. There should be no visible swelling, and the pedal should not sink after full force is applied. Repeat (starting at charging the booster) for all of the soft lines. Any swelling or pedal sinking is indicative of a problem.

The not so wonderful part: It often happens on older vehicles that boosting the system pressure with replaced components exposes the other failures that were just waiting to happen.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:53 AM
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ME TOO! I had soft baked pedal, I paid to get them looked at, I was told they bled them, put new pads and rotors on front, but the sliders that locate the front pads had wear marks where repeated use has left notches on spindle. These were welded then ground down to be flat so the pads weren't hanging up anymore (The pads were replaced because they were worn off more on one end more than the other). the job cost me 485$. but the brakes are still soft, now they say I should get them to change the booster another 100$ plaus their labour (another 100$) with no promises this will help. I said I'd pay for the booster but they can eat the labour if it doesn't fix the problem with the soft brakes, they said good-bye. (Good thing I put my shorts on backwards that day)now what I think perhaps it may have soemthing to do with the antilock brakes, the light doesn't come on when I start the truck, nor has it ever come on. There is no wiring for the relay under the hood (1994 5.2 litre, 4x4 Dakota SLT.) I have checked the hoses all apear to be in good shape, rear brakes were set up to drag just slightly, what the hell else can I look at???
FLICKER needs help please and thanks.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:02 AM
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Soft pedal is one of two things, air in the lines, or mis-adjusted rears. (rears control pedal height as well.)

Air in the lines may be from a poor bleeding job after having the system open, or, from a leak in the system. The line going to the rear brakes is notorious for rusting out, and springin' leaks...... which are not always obvious. May also be an internal failure in the M/C.

A bad booster will give you very little braking power for a LOT of pedal effort.

Are you losing any fluid?
Does the pedal go down further than you think it should before anything starts to happen?
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Old 05-26-2012, 05:54 PM
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If I pump mine, I get about half the stroke on the second push, and nearly half of that on the third...and i can stand on the pedal and it does not sink.


Gotta be air, swelling in lines, or MC piston seals leaking by.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:49 PM
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Or rear brake adjustment.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
Or rear brake adjustment.


....OR rear brake adjustment.....and having one ton cylinders is not an issue, as I have changed mine.
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:30 PM
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Supposedly you can put her in reverse and then SLAM on the brakes a few times and the rear's will adjust....
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewie01 View Post
Supposedly you can put her in reverse and then SLAM on the brakes a few times and the rear's will adjust....
Does that work for our trucks?
i know it works for older models
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gertie240 View Post
Does that work for our trucks?
i know it works for older models
Supposedly. I wouldn't hold my breathe though....
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Old 05-26-2012, 08:48 PM
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With engine Off, does the pedal feel soft or hard after a few pump? if it is still soft, you got a problem. If it turns hard, you should be OK.
If you alrdy bleed it, then it can't be air. As some mentioned, it could be your rear drum brake. Take off drum and inspect, sometimes Spring or the Shoe falls off because it is too old.

It could also be low quality brake pad that you use too.
If you want to isolate the problem, simple Pinch off your flexible brake hose one at a time, see which one you pinch off give you a solid pedal. also try to Punch Both front, or Both Rear to isolate the system.
I doubt it could be the booster. The Booster is nothing but an Air assist unit, if it fails, you get no assist, not a soft pedal.

If you Pinch ALL 4 Brake lines, and it still sinks to the floor, you probably need a master cylinder.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:34 PM
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Just don't mash on the brake pedal with the rear drum off! Long time ago way before I had a clue I took the passenger rear drum off my S10 Blazer (can't remember why) and pressed down on the brake pedal, man I caught hell getting the drum back on....
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:34 PM
 
 
 
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