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low spongy brake pedal


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dmac0923
Enthusiast

Nov 23, 2009, 10:48 PM

Post #1 of 19 (6618 views)
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
__________________________________________________
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2002 Ford Ranger
2004 Toyota Corolla
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 24, 2009, 3:44 AM

Post #2 of 19 (6613 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal 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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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.



dmac0923
Enthusiast

Nov 24, 2009, 10:43 AM

Post #3 of 19 (6600 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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
__________________________________________________
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2002 Ford Ranger
2004 Toyota Corolla
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 24, 2009, 1:03 PM

Post #4 of 19 (6597 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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
Veteran / Moderator
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Nov 24, 2009, 6:26 PM

Post #5 of 19 (6585 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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, 7:20 PM

Post #6 of 19 (6579 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In


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
__________________________________________________
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2002 Ford Ranger
2004 Toyota Corolla
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1


dmac0923
Enthusiast

Nov 24, 2009, 7:22 PM

Post #7 of 19 (6578 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

also, btw dont the adjuster star wheels supposedly self adjust?? if so when does that happen?
__________________________________________________
2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee
2002 Ford Ranger
2004 Toyota Corolla
1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1


Loren Champlain Sr
Veteran / Moderator
Loren Champlain Sr profile image

Nov 24, 2009, 7:31 PM

Post #8 of 19 (6577 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal 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, 2:01 AM

Post #9 of 19 (6571 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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



Loren Champlain Sr
Veteran / Moderator
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Nov 25, 2009, 4:28 PM

Post #10 of 19 (6557 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 25, 2009, 4:56 PM

Post #11 of 19 (6554 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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



Sidom
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Sidom profile image

Nov 25, 2009, 5:18 PM

Post #12 of 19 (6547 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 25, 2009, 5:49 PM

Post #13 of 19 (6543 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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.



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

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
Veteran / Moderator
Loren Champlain Sr profile image

Nov 25, 2009, 5:53 PM

Post #14 of 19 (6539 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

Und ti hazend ufukted mi yit.Wink
Loren
SW Washington


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Nov 25, 2009, 9:23 PM

Post #15 of 19 (6531 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

Your an old phart so just admit it!


Holy crap - getting older didn't come with an owner's manual!



chickenhouse
Enthusiast

Nov 25, 2009, 10:21 PM

Post #16 of 19 (6527 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 26, 2009, 12:48 AM

Post #17 of 19 (6524 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

Egad - we are still alive after all this!

Tom



Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Nov 26, 2009, 5:36 AM

Post #18 of 19 (6516 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

I always wondered how I survived most of the antics I did back then.



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

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
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Nov 26, 2009, 8:19 AM

Post #19 of 19 (6510 views)
Re: low spongy brake pedal Sign In

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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