View Full Version : Traveling Pedal

04-25-04, 01:55 PM
Driving my 69 Caddy hearse today and noticed at stop lights while holding the break pedal it gradually would travel all the way to the floor. Opened up the master cylinder and it is full so I'm not losing fluid via a leak. I think I need a new master cylinder but thought I'd ask for any ideas regarding this issue. Don't think it's the power brake unit. That's usally a really hard pedal and that is not the case. Thanks.

04-25-04, 09:45 PM
It's not likely to be anything but the master cylinder. Pretty soon the brakes won't be able to keep the vehicle from moving while it's in gear.

Also, if you've never tried it, bench bleeding a new master cylinder is wayyyy better than just bleeding it after you install it in the car. You're brake pedal will have less travel and be rock-hard and your brakes will work better than ever!

04-25-04, 10:25 PM
I second that. Had to replace mine when I got my car. http://kanter.com/ is where I got my master cylinder from. There site is a bit hard to use, but they have everything. When I tore mine apart, one of the pistons had detoriated bad enough that a rebuild kit wouldnt save it.

04-25-04, 11:07 PM
I second that. Had to replace mine when I got my car. http://kanter.com/ is where I got my master cylinder from. There site is a bit hard to use, but they have everything. When I tore mine apart, one of the pistons had detoriated bad enough that a rebuild kit wouldnt save it.
I third that!!!
I had to do the very same thing late last summer, i was on my way home when out of knowwhere my pedal dropped to the floor in very heavy trafic and it scarred the $%*t out of me .
anyway try to purchase a new master cylinder if you can ,come to find out that
the master cylinder i had in my cad was a $13.99 autozone or kragen cheapy rebuild and i got a brand new american made one at the local carquest parts store for $34.99 and i bench and car bled it and have had no problems with it:coolgleam
also i used the crapy rebuilt master cylinder as a trash compactor(threw it in the trash) hell there was'nt even a core charge!!!

good luck:coolgleam

04-26-04, 05:42 AM
Sounds good. Already have one ordered. How do I bench bleed? Thanks.

04-26-04, 11:25 AM
Found this on the web. Should help anyone else who had questions about bench bleeding.

After successfully rebuilding a master cylinder (or when fitting a new one) it is a good idea to bench bleed the MC before installing it in the car. This will fill the MC with fresh air-free fluid and in effect "prime" it for integration with your car's hydraulic brake system, making your on-the-car brake bleeding a little easier.

The basic idea is to create mini hydraulic system on your bench. You can use old brake line fittings if you have them but I didn't so I purchased a master cylinder bleed kit from my local auto parts store. A new MC may include the necessary parts already. The kit should consist of a number of plastic fittings which are designed to fit in the outlets (usually two, front and rear) of your MC. One end of the fittings will be threaded and the other will have a round smooth hose adapter. Thread the appropriate fittings into the outlets on your MC. The kit will also contain a length of plastic hose. My kit had black hose but I found some spare clear hose and used it instead - this will allow viewing of the air bubbles passing through the hose. My kit also had a plastic clip used to hold the two pieces of hose together and clamping to the edge of the fluid reservoir.

Clamp the cylinder firmly in a bench vise so that the cylinder area is level. If it is pointing upwards the air will remain in the cylinder. Slide the hoses onto the fittings. Cut the hoses just long enough to reach into the reservoirs and remain submerged - the shorter the length of hose the better. Place the other ends of the hoses into the fluid reservoirs (you'll probably have hold them in place somehow because once you start pumping they'll want to flail around in the air and spray brake fluid everywhere). If you can get a helper that is ideal.

Fill the reservoirs with new brake fluid, and pump the piston slowly and evenly, full strokes. I used a big Phillips screwdriver because its tip doesn't damage the piston and the handle gives you something to lean against. I would not worry about the fluid getting recirculated because it is brand new and you are creating a temporary hydraulic circuit with the hoses which will not become contaminated with dirt. The air which is still in the system at this point will be bled out. Pump the cylinder until the tubing contains no more air bubbles and no new ones emerge from the MC on the down stroke. On my MC this took about 15 strokes some may require more, some less. Keep going until the air stops as this will make the task of bleeding the brakes in the car much simpler. When all the air is out, mount the cylinder in the car. Here you have to be careful to prevent the fluid still in the hoses from spaying your car and any other painted objects nearby - brake fluid is a great paint remover! If you decide to remove the hoses before installing on the car, make sure to plug up the fittings - I just held the hoses up while transferring from bench to car. Once the MC is mounted in the car, remove the fittings and connect the brake lines. You'll lose a little fluid but the check valves in the cylinder should stop any major leakage. Now you are ready to bleed the brakes in your car and it should be a lot easier than if this step was avoided. :)

04-27-04, 04:04 PM
A good bench vise makes it a lot easier. It takes a lot of patience too.