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Old 02-16-2009, 06:35 PM   #1
Jason in LA
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Default Need some help with my brakes

'94 Ford Explorer, 2WD.

The brakes pretty much went out. I had to push the pedal all the way down to the floor to get it to stop. When I would press it half way there was no response. So I was thinking that it was the master cylinder.

I take it to a shop, telling the mechanic the issue and that I thought that it was the master cylinder, and after he inspects it he said that one of the brake calipers was leaking and needed to be replaced (when the problem first happened there was smoke coming from one of the wheels, which was probably the fluid leaking and burning). He then said that the other caliper looked bad, so it needed to be replaced. He then tells me that I need a complete brake job, for $525 for the fronts only. So I take it to PepBoys for a second opinion.

The guy at PepBoys also said that the caliper was leaking, and he also wanted to do a complete brake job, but he also wanted to do the back brake pads as well, for $850. He also told me that one of the brake pads on the drivers side, which was the side that was leaking, was missing.

So I'm not trying to pay that much for this brake job. I decided to do it all myself. I've changed the brake pads a few times, but I've never done the job that I was about to do. I figured that I'd install new rotors as well. So I get all the parts from Autozone for about $140.

The break pad that was missing had somehow rotated upwards, so when the guy was inspecting it, he didn't see it. I don't know how it rotated upwards. The caliper was pushing right against the rotor, and it cracked the rotor.

So I do the complete job, which was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. The caliper was only one bolt, and the rotor was simple after I finially figured out it. I had to go on youtube and watch a video, because I had no clue on how to take it off. I didn't know that I just had to simply pop the cap and everything pretty much slides out.

So now the entire job is complete. New rotors, calipers, and pads, the leak is gone, but the problem is still the same. When I press the brake pedal down, I have to press it all the way to stop. I figured that I needed to pump fluid into the calipers. After pumping for a while, it still didn't work. I checked the master cylider and there is fluid in there, and I even put some more fluid in to fill it up. I did notice that the fluid looks kind of brownish, like the color of whiskey. When I poured the fluid out of the container it was clear.

So I'm kind of stuck.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:38 PM   #2
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did you bleed all of the air out of all of your brake lines? i think brown fluid usually means dirty fluid or fluid with water in it.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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did you bleed all of the air out of all of your brake lines?

I can't say that I did. So how do I do that?
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:43 PM   #4
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you can get a bleeder kit at an auto center. $20 or less probably. basically your brake system works on the compressibility of brake fluid (brake fluid is incompressible). as you press on the brakes, the fluid in the system applies pressure to the brake components to make them work. if the compressibility is incorrect due to bad brake fluid (old, dirty, and/or moisture contaminated) or because there are air bubles in the lines, then you may have to press extra hard to compensate (i.e., pressing all the way to the floor) before the brake components start to work. after any brake work, you want to flush all of the lines and refill the whole system with new, clean fluid and then use a bleeder kit to make sure all air is removed from the system.


http://www.aa1car.com/library/2003/bf90347.htm

Last edited by Gort; 02-16-2009 at 06:48 PM..
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:43 PM   #5
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Okay, I looked it up online. I'll try bleeding the brakes.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by WhoIsJohnGalt View Post
you can get a bleeder kit at an auto center. $20 or less probably. basically your brake system works on the compressability of brake fluid. as you press on the brakes, the fluid in the system applies pressure to the brake components to make them work. if the compressability is wrong due to bad brake fluid (old, dirty, and or moisture contaminated) or because there are air bubles in the lines, then you may have to press extra hard to compensate (i.e., pressing all the way to the floor) before the brake components start to work. after any brake work, you want to flush all of the lines and refill the whole system with new, clean fluid and then use a bleeder kit to make sure all air is removed from the system.


http://www.aa1car.com/library/2003/bf90347.htm
I'll give that a try tomorrow. Hopefully it is as simple as that.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:49 PM   #7
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I have never used a brake bleeder kit. all i ever do is have someone pump the brakes. hold it while i open the line to the caliper. You may need to do this a few times. keep doing it until the brakes are firm again
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:56 PM   #8
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All the bleeding advice sounds good, should take care of the problem.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:56 PM   #9
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Get thick soled shoes...
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:05 PM   #10
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Get thick soled shoes...
I thought I might have to open the door and stick my foot out to stop for a second.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:08 PM   #11
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I thought I might have to open the door and stick my foot out to stop for a second.
....
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #12
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while bleeding make sure that you keep the master cylinder full or you will end up putting air into the lines and accomplishing nothing.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:47 PM   #13
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Jason you need to check the rear brake adjustement. I'm a former ASE certified auto tech and I currently own a 96 Exploder 2wd truck (well, it's my wifes)

Most of the brake pedal ''feel'' is in the rear brakes - check to make sure that the rear emergency brakes are adjusted properly.

If you need any further assistance feel free to PM me and i'll help you out as much as I can.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
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The advice for bleeding is also good - but only if the hydraulic system has been compromised. I just re-read your post, if you indeed did have a leaking caliper then yes you will need to bleed the system.

Another way to bleed if you do not have a partner or a Vacula (bleeding kit) is to first gravity bleed the system by cracking the bleeder of the caliper and letting it drip bleed for a few minutes at a time.

Usually a system with air trapped in it feels spongy, make sure that you're not experiencing a leak - press the brake pedal and hold it, if it continues to drop you have a leak in the system somewhere. Also, keep in mind that the brake pedal should be equal to the accelerator pedal - roughly.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:56 PM   #15
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Get thick soled shoes...
Bought carbon Metallics about a month ago for the personal vehicle... but yeah, Jason. Try bleeding the brakes. Make sure you have extra fluid too.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
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The advice for bleeding is also good - but only if the hydraulic system has been compromised. I just re-read your post, if you indeed did have a leaking caliper then yes you will need to bleed the system.

Another way to bleed if you do not have a partner or a Vacula (bleeding kit) is to first gravity bleed the system by cracking the bleeder of the caliper and letting it drip bleed for a few minutes at a time.

Usually a system with air trapped in it feels spongy, make sure that you're not experiencing a leak - press the brake pedal and hold it, if it continues to drop you have a leak in the system somewhere. Also, keep in mind that the brake pedal should be equal to the accelerator pedal - roughly.
He also mentioned the color of the brake fluid currently in the car (brown/red) that sounds like dot3. And the color he is putting in the car (clear). Is that a dot5 synthetic. If so, that's a no no. Is there such a thing as dot3 clear? Just curious.

One is hydroscopic the other isn't. But the two shouldn't be mixed. You have to flush the whole system to make a change over to synthetic.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:50 PM   #17
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Jason,

I went through this exact same thing after doing some brake work on a Honda I used to have. I eventually ended up rebuilding the master cylinder. My advice would be to throw the car away before you ever do that! What a pain.

I had the exact same problem. (Pedal pressing down too far.) Bleeding the lines helped a bit, but only seemed temporary.

Darkhorse sounds like the guy to ask, but it sounds a little to me like there's still a leak somewhere, or you have a master cylinder issue.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:51 PM   #18
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Silly question, too... but I assume you're checking your fluid level, in general?
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyhorse View Post
He also mentioned the color of the brake fluid currently in the car (brown/red) that sounds like dot3. And the color he is putting in the car (clear). Is that a dot5 synthetic. If so, that's a no no. Is there such a thing as dot3 clear? Just curious.

One is hydroscopic the other isn't. But the two shouldn't be mixed. You have to flush the whole system to make a change over to synthetic.
Almost all brake fluid is clear. The only difference between the fluid is the boiling ponit. If your brake fluid has turned brown then it is dirty. You have either gotten water in it and it has eaten away at the brake line or dirt. Either way you need to get that our of there. If you leave it in there then you are going to have the same problem down the road.

P.S.
If you did not bleed your brakes that is your problem. No offence but people really need to research the work they do on there own before doing it. Cars can kill and not bleeding your brakes is a good way to do it. I am not bagging on you so please don't take it that way, it's alot of fun to drive but its alot more fun to stop.
DO NOT GET BRAKE FLUID ON YOUR PAINT!!!!!

Have a great day.

Last edited by Quoydogs; 02-17-2009 at 01:16 AM..
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Old 02-16-2009, 11:54 PM   #20
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Does anyone have any extra blinker fluid i could borrow? i was told the resivour is in the back tailight assembly and that i needed a metric creceant wrench to get into it. another guy told me it was by the muffler bearing... Baffeled please help
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:14 AM   #21
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Does anyone have any extra blinker fluid i could borrow? i was told the resivour is in the back tailight assembly and that i needed a metric creceant wrench to get into it. another guy told me it was by the muffler bearing... Baffeled please help
I think what you are looking for is called head lamp adjuster fluid. Call sears they backordered it for me a year or so ago.


If you really want to screw with the parts guys, call up and ask for parts off of an 1983 chevy corvett. Let them know that it is for that year only. Just see what anwers you get meaning they did not build a corvett in 1983.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:31 AM   #22
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Almost all brake fluid is clear. The only difference between the fluid is the boiling ponit. If your brake fluid has turned brown then it is dirty. You have either gotten water in it and it has eaten away at the brake line or dirt. Either way you need to get that our of there. If you leave it in there then you are going to have the same problem down the road.
I wont argue about color. I didn't know if different types were different colors. I used a dot5 fluid in the mustang when doing the brake system. The fluid was purple BTW. You are incorrect about the only difference being boiling point. There is more difference than that. You cant mix different types of brake fluid.

I agree that if the fluid is brown I personally would flush the system. With water being in the system it's probably a good idea to replace the lines. If the existing lines are steel you'll have dirty fluid again. You can buy pre-bent lines.

If I flushed my system I would go with a synthetic. Synthetic is not hydroscopic. Which means you wont be getting rust in your system because it doesn't attract water.

Last edited by crazyhorse; 02-17-2009 at 05:36 AM..
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:25 AM   #23
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Does anyone have any extra blinker fluid i could borrow? i was told the resivour is in the back tailight assembly and that i needed a metric creceant wrench to get into it. another guy told me it was by the muffler bearing... Baffeled please help


Dude, you're a dick...

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Old 02-17-2009, 11:25 AM   #24
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Thanks for all the advice fellas. I'm going to bleed the brakes tomorrow morning and I'll let you guys know how that worked out. Hopefully that's the quick fix.
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:34 AM   #25
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If you hand bleed them (not using a vacuum pump) go to the right rear brake and start there (it's the farthest from the Master Cylinder)-

this might help-
http://www.popularmechanics.com/auto...o/4213448.html
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