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96 plymouth voyager brake problem

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May 17, 2009, 3:51 PM

Post #1 of 4 (2356 views)
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96 plymouth voyager replaced the brakes and bled the front brakes but when turned the car on the brakes went soft and right to the floor
3.3ltr engine
127000 miles

Loren Champlain Sr
Veteran / Moderator
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May 17, 2009, 4:30 PM

Post #2 of 4 (2349 views)
Re: 96 plymouth voyager brake problem [In reply to] Sign In

demismama; There are only a couple of reasons that the pedal will go to the floor. 1) Fluid leak, 2) Master Cylinder.
If this wasn't doing this before (as in poor rear brake adjustment) it is possible that you've ruptured the master cylinder during bleeding. The master cylinder has a piston with two seals (cups). If the secondary cup ruptures, it will leak fluid out of the back of the cylinder, into the booster. You may not notice 'a leak' until the master starts getting low as the fluid will go into the booster. If the primary cup leaks, it will by-pass pressure, internally, and you'll get a sinking pedal. Great care must be taken when bleeding brakes. Over time, debris will build up behind the primary cup. During the bleeding process, if the brake pedal is depressed further than what was 'normal', this debris can damage the primary cup and cause the problem that you are experiencing. Check the rear brake adjustment. If okay, try gravity bleeding. If those two procedures don't correct the problem, you'll probably have to replace the master cylinder. The master cyl. can be 'pre-bled' prior to installing, so that you don't have to go through the whole process agian.
SW Washington

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May 17, 2009, 6:05 PM

Post #3 of 4 (2347 views)
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Thank you so much for your response.
We did not change the back brakes, only the front. We bled the front brakes and were told to bleed the back ones too but we don't know how to do that, and never did it before with any other vehicle. The pressure was there, and when starting the brake pedal went right to the floor but in second and third applications seemed to stop the car. The pressure seems to come and go. I am not even sure if I can explain it any other way. We will recheck everything we have done in the morning.
Again, thank you so much.Smile

Loren Champlain Sr
Veteran / Moderator
Loren Champlain Sr profile image

May 18, 2009, 3:49 PM

Post #4 of 4 (2336 views)
Re: 96 plymouth voyager brake problem [In reply to] Sign In

demismama; The rear brake condition and adjustment will directly affect the brake pedal height. If the rear brakes need to be replaced, or at least adjusted, you need to do that, first. (I'm assuming that they are drum brakes in the rear). The front disc brakes are not 'adjustable'. The pistons must be depressed, back into the calipers, to accept the new pads. When doing so, the brake bleeder on the caliper should be opened so as not to 'push' old, dirty, fluid backwards thru the ABS system and into the master cylinder. If the master cylinder was allowed to go empty during the brake replacement, chances are that you will need to bleed the whole system, front and rear. Starting with a master cylinder full of new brake fluid, open the RR bleeder. While keeping the master cylinder full, allow the fluid to flow thru the bleeder until it is nice and clean, no air bubbles. Then, move to the LR and do the same. Then, the RF. Then, the LF. If this does not solve your problem, it would seem that the master cylinder primary cup has been damaged. When bleeding brakes, if someone pushes the brake pedal to the floor while bleeding, this can happen quite easily.Unsure Assuming the rear brakes are adjusted and all of the air is out of the system: If you can pump the pedal a couple of times and have a good pedal, Bad master cylinder. If you have a good pedal, with your foot on the brake, put in gear, and the pedal starts creeping towards the floor, Bad master cylinder (assuming no hydraulic leaks).
Now, with all that said, let me know if the rear brakes are disc. If so, then we need to do a little more. (try applying the parking brake while pumping the brake pedal to see if that helps)
SW Washington

96 plymouth voyager brake problem

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