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low spongy brake pedal


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dmac0923
Enthusiast

Nov 24, 2009, 12:48 AM

Post #1 of 19 (5000 views)
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low spongy brake pedal Sign In

2002 Ford Ranger 4wd 4.0ltr V6 Auto/
155,000 miles
Front disc/ rear drum brakes with abs.

front rotors and pads just done
rears drums and shoes replaced approx 1 year ago

this problem has been going on for some time now, and doesnt seem to be affected by replacing new/old brake parts.

my brake pedal seems to be spongy/soft for the first half of its travel with very little braking affect noticed....but then gets a normal firm feel the second half with normal braking results.

with the engine off, the pedal is firm all the way to the top.

bad master cylinder???? usually they seep down at like a stop light...
air in the lines??? the lines havent been opened tho
__________________________________________________

2002 Ford Ranger
2004 Toyota Corolla
2011 Mercedes C300
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
1968 Ford Mustang 302 Coupe


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 24, 2009, 5:44 AM

Post #2 of 19 (4995 views)
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Re: low spongy brake pedal [In reply to] Sign In

Are you getting excessive travel or some other reason not to consider this normal as you stated it stops normally when it counts.




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dmac0923
Enthusiast

Nov 24, 2009, 12:43 PM

Post #3 of 19 (4982 views)
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yea excessive travel describes it.....you go to stop and the pedal keeps going down with no result giving you that "OHH SH.." feeling then the brakes grab hard
__________________________________________________

2002 Ford Ranger
2004 Toyota Corolla
2011 Mercedes C300
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
1968 Ford Mustang 302 Coupe


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 24, 2009, 3:03 PM

Post #4 of 19 (4979 views)
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That sounds like an over active booster then.




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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.



Loren Champlain Sr
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Nov 24, 2009, 8:26 PM

Post #5 of 19 (4967 views)
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dmac; Make sure that the rear brakes are properly adjusted. Did you open the bleeders when depressing the caliper pistons? Hopefully, you didn't push back a bunch of 'junk' into the system. After the rears are adjusted, flush the system.
Loren
SW Washington


dmac0923
Enthusiast

Nov 24, 2009, 9:20 PM

Post #6 of 19 (4961 views)
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In Reply To
dmac; Make sure that the rear brakes are properly adjusted. Did you open the bleeders when depressing the caliper pistons? Hopefully, you didn't push back a bunch of 'junk' into the system. After the rears are adjusted, flush the system.



nah i didnt open the bleeders......to tell you the truth, not sure why i never thought of doing that with all the brake jobs ive done.

i just open the master cylinder cap and compress them slow enough to not shoot fluid over
__________________________________________________

2002 Ford Ranger
2004 Toyota Corolla
2011 Mercedes C300
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
1968 Ford Mustang 302 Coupe


dmac0923
Enthusiast

Nov 24, 2009, 9:22 PM

Post #7 of 19 (4960 views)
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also, btw dont the adjuster star wheels supposedly self adjust?? if so when does that happen?
__________________________________________________

2002 Ford Ranger
2004 Toyota Corolla
2011 Mercedes C300
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
1968 Ford Mustang 302 Coupe


Loren Champlain Sr
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Nov 24, 2009, 9:31 PM

Post #8 of 19 (4959 views)
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Re: low spongy brake pedal [In reply to] Sign In

dmac; The rear drum brake 'self adjusters' (if they work properly) adjust up when you are backing and 'hit' the brakes. Don't rely on that. You must manually adjust them to start off with. Adjust them so tight that the drum won't turn. Hit the pedal a couple of times to 'center' the shoes, then back off the adjusters by putting a screwdriver through the hole in the backing plate to hold up the adjusting lever while 'de-adjusting' the star wheel to the point that the drum turns freely. I like to 'hear' just a slight contact between the drum and the linings.
Loren
SW Washington


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 25, 2009, 4:01 AM

Post #9 of 19 (4953 views)
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As an owner of a zillion old cars over the years the "self" adjust of rear drum brakes hasn't lasted so revert to manual adjust. Backing up hard if they are working will self adjust but they have to be in good shape for that to work and rarely are IMO.

Just me perhaps: Tires rotated and dust dumped out of drum brakes and adjusted by hand each time even for plain GIFs (grease oil and filter) -- don't dump dust indoors! That dust is a hazmat old or newer cars! I smoke but don't breath a smidgen of that - it's 10 times worse!

T
_________________________________________
Long retired now


Loren Champlain Sr
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Nov 25, 2009, 6:28 PM

Post #10 of 19 (4939 views)
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Tom; I've been doing brakes for almost 40yrs. Remember 'arcing' the shoes to fit the drums? Just enough heel and toe clearance? LOL. I've probably breathed in enough asbestos to insulate my house. Oh, and taking the air hose to clean the brake dust...Just because that dust would 'take your breath away' didn't give us a clue that it was bad for us. OSHA? What the hell was that? Oh, the good old days. Deb, could you pass me the oxygen tank? I need a breath.
Loren
SW Washington


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 25, 2009, 6:56 PM

Post #11 of 19 (4936 views)
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OMG - Memories! Surprised I'm still alive!

Brake shoe arching - now your showing your age! Old pharts unite! - Or is that untie? If I could recall I would get thrown out of the old phart club!
Tom
_________________________________________
Long retired now


Sidom
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Nov 25, 2009, 7:18 PM

Post #12 of 19 (4929 views)
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A couple of quick checks you can do to see if it makes a differences would be, apply the park brake, pump the pedal a couple of times and see if the helps the height, if it does, then the rear shoes are out of adjustment or get a pair of needle nose vise grips and pinch off the hoses, 1st the rear hose and then the 2 frt hoses see if this ever brings up the pedal, if it does it will help narrow down where the problem is......






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Hammer Time
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Nov 25, 2009, 7:49 PM

Post #13 of 19 (4925 views)
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Brake shoe arcing...........
I learned how to do that but always said "to Hell with that"

Not only did I inhale enough black asbestos to turn my nose black about every day, but we used to paint cars with no mask. I would cough up the color of the car for a week.




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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.



Loren Champlain Sr
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Nov 25, 2009, 7:53 PM

Post #14 of 19 (4921 views)
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Und ti hazend ufukted mi yit.Wink
Loren
SW Washington


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 25, 2009, 11:23 PM

Post #15 of 19 (4913 views)
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Your an old phart so just admit it!


Holy crap - getting older didn't come with an owner's manual!
_________________________________________
Long retired now


chickenhouse
Enthusiast

Nov 26, 2009, 12:21 AM

Post #16 of 19 (4909 views)
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I did too, clamp the shoe in the holder, grab the handle and go back & forth till the ends fit the contour of the drum. O K, I still have an anvil to rivit asbestos lining to a metal brake shoe. Used to do that to my A's.


Tom Greenleaf
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Nov 26, 2009, 2:48 AM

Post #17 of 19 (4906 views)
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Egad - we are still alive after all this!

Tom
_________________________________________
Long retired now


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 26, 2009, 7:36 AM

Post #18 of 19 (4898 views)
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I always wondered how I survived most of the antics I did back then.




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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.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 26, 2009, 10:19 AM

Post #19 of 19 (4892 views)
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LOL - should be dead already Rust is an issue here - including fuel lines and the gas tank. Oxy/acet and the slag from cutting off exhaust parts can be real exciting! Oh - didn't notice the dripping gas and wasted a couple fire extinguishers over the years!

T
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Long retired now




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