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HELP brakes locking up


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captainmurphy
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Jun 7, 2011, 2:01 AM

Post #1 of 10 (2632 views)
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HELP brakes locking up Sign In

i just bought a 91 honda civic si hatchback with 170,000 miles. everything was going fine for a couple weeks and then as i was driving the car began to slow on it's own and unable to move, completely locked up. the rotors were glowing orange. the people who gave me the car helped me replace the rotors, calipers, master cylinder, lines, pads and brake booster. everything seemed to go well but on the way home the car did the same thing slowing down to a stop and unable to move for about an hour or so. only difference is that the rotors weren't glowing this time. it seems to definitely do it faster when it's hot outside, but either way i'm unable to drive more than a mile or two before the problem starts. could there possibly be a problem with the calipers i bought? also the brake light will sometimes stay lit but doesn't appear to be stuck, just barely lifting it a tiny bit with my toe will make them turn off. any help would be greatly appreciated as i am a student who works full time and can barely afford to feed and pay for my rent as it is. cars just aren't my strong point not even close. Thank You


(This post was edited by captainmurphy on Jun 7, 2011, 2:07 AM)


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 7, 2011, 5:57 AM

Post #2 of 10 (2621 views)
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Re: HELP brakes locking up [In reply to] Sign In

You system could be contaminated with an oil based product or the push rod for the master cylinder could be adjusted with no free play.




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We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



captainmurphy
Novice

Jun 7, 2011, 7:11 AM

Post #3 of 10 (2618 views)
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Re: HELP brakes locking up [In reply to] Sign In

push rod could be adjusted for no free play? not sure what that means. also i was reading about the brakelight switch on the brake pedal. mine has it's rubber stopper gone and has been replaced with a bolt bye the previous owner. the bolt head sticks out about 1/4 to 1/3 inch from the hole where the stopper used to be. i've never seen it before. is that about the right size or is it maybe too big and leaving a little of pressure on the brakes causing them to heat up..Thanks for any help, it's really been sort of a nightmare to deal with considering my low level of mechanic skills. thanks again


Hammer Time
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Jun 7, 2011, 7:18 AM

Post #4 of 10 (2614 views)
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Re: HELP brakes locking up [In reply to] Sign In

All master cylinders have to keep a small amount of free play in the pushrod to insure complete release. If the master doesn't completely return to it's stops, it will build pressure in the system. You can test this theory the next time the brakes lock up by loosening the hold down bolts for the master and pulling it 1/4" away from booster. If this release brakes, that is your problem.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



captainmurphy
Novice

Jun 7, 2011, 7:44 AM

Post #5 of 10 (2611 views)
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Re: HELP brakes locking up [In reply to] Sign In

i will try this in a few hours, definitely sounds like it may be the problem. how would i go about readjusting the free play or is it something that should be done by a professional? your help is much appreciated.


(This post was edited by captainmurphy on Jun 7, 2011, 7:47 AM)


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 7, 2011, 9:31 AM

Post #6 of 10 (2604 views)
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Re: HELP brakes locking up [In reply to] Sign In

Captain: As Hammer suggested this smacks of little to no good freeplay and seems like you said it has been messed with? It must have that to return fluid pressure back to master cylinder. Even when this happens brakes may behave cold and just engine heat will expand the fluid even without touching the brakes to expand it so basically it's applying its brakes whether you do or not.

Can you fix this? You tell us your mechanical skills to put this back to specifications or send it out if worried at all. Glowing brake parts is not part of what I will say they can tolerate without damage even after a fix hate to say it. That much heat could even damage wheel bearings or more IMO,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


captainmurphy
Novice

Jun 7, 2011, 1:45 PM

Post #7 of 10 (2596 views)
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Re: HELP brakes locking up [In reply to] Sign In

where exactly are the hold down bolts? is it the two bolts that attach the master cylinder to the brake booster?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 7, 2011, 1:56 PM

Post #8 of 10 (2594 views)
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Yes - and they should be exactly as manufacturer intended,

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


captainmurphy
Novice

Jun 7, 2011, 2:33 PM

Post #9 of 10 (2591 views)
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okay, so i am going to try and ride around my yard until the brakes clamp down on me again i am going to loosen the hold down bolts that connect the master cylinder to the brake booster (do i loosen all the way or just a little)? and then pull the master cylinder about a 1/4 inch and see if it releases the brakes am i correct?


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Jun 7, 2011, 5:29 PM

Post #10 of 10 (2583 views)
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Re: HELP brakes locking up [In reply to] Sign In

Just the 1/4 but DON'T LOSE THE THING - IT STILL NEEDS TO BE IN PLACE.

I don't like fooling with brakes. If that's been rigged up before I don't suggest rigging it again but get correct good parts in place and those that are adjustable adjust for pedal free play.
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Side note on this: Was a '92 Cadillac that clearly needed a new master cyl. Installed while customer waited (easy one) and tested it just a mile perhaps and done - customer heads home. OMG - it started doing just what you are going thru. Told lady not to drive it and went over myself and it had cooled down. Was fine??!!

Try to be concise but it did it again and I drove it back to my shop and didn't even touch the service brake and it started on me!

The story ended up that one parts maker didn't drill the centering hole on just one plant deep enough and all made there for a period of time had the same issue - bad part! That's not the case here but the symptoms are the dead on same and yours you said had been rigged up to hold the thing so no telling as I'm not there just how messed up that is??

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now




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