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Old 03-22-2015, 11:56 AM
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Need help with my brakes guys

Since last fall, I had noticed that on warmer days the Jeeps brakes have little resistance and if I pump them, the pedal will eventually hit the floor. I drove all through the winter and when it was cold, no visible problems.

I had my 33s mounted about 3 weeks ago and since that day, my E BRAKE light has been on and flashing when I drive. I took it back to Tire Discounters and told them it started when they mounted my tires and to see what was going on. The told me my rear left wheel cylinder was leaking, so I bought a rear break kit and replaced it. I've bled the system multiple times and the pedal feels good at first, but about 40% of the time, it still goes to the floor, especially if I pump the brakes.

The only thing I can think of now is a bad master cylinder. Anybody had this problem or have a way to test?

Its an 03 TJ X and does have a body lift but none of the lines seem to be leaking.

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Old 03-22-2015, 12:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cwev222 View Post
Since last fall, I had noticed that on warmer days the Jeeps brakes have little resistance and if I pump them, the pedal will eventually hit the floor. I drove all through the winter and when it was cold, no visible problems.

I had my 33s mounted about 3 weeks ago and since that day, my E BRAKE light has been on and flashing when I drive. I took it back to Tire Discounters and told them it started when they mounted my tires and to see what was going on. The told me my rear left wheel cylinder was leaking, so I bought a rear break kit and replaced it. I've bled the system multiple times and the pedal feels good at first, but about 40% of the time, it still goes to the floor, especially if I pump the brakes.

The only thing I can think of now is a bad master cylinder. Anybody had this problem or have a way to test?

Its an 03 TJ X and does have a body lift but none of the lines seem to be leaking.
Bad master

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Old 03-22-2015, 12:41 PM   #3
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Are you loosing fluid


That light on dash comes on die e brake really a park brake and for main system out of ballace

May been blead properly

If hot air in system do all for longest to shortest
Ie right rear then left rear then right front then left front and is resivour goes dry on process gotta start all over
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Old 03-22-2015, 06:43 PM   #4
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If you are not losing fluid, change the master cylinder. Follow the bleeding procedures that come in the box with the new part. This is typically done before you install it. If you do this it should not require much bleeding after it is installed.
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Old 03-23-2015, 10:12 AM
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Thanks, I think that's what I'll try today. I bled it as thoroughly as I could the first time, even with two people and a bleeder kit and I was 99% sure there wasn't any air left. Chaning the master cylinder today and I'll report back!
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:51 PM
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Just now got a chance to go look at my master cylinder and I'm not seeing any leaks anywhere. Also, the tank is still full of fluid so I can't imagine it leaking anywhere. I've heard about the booster, can anybody tell me how to test it? Could it just be a flush that I need? The fluid looks pretty old.
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:55 PM   #7
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The pedal going to the floor in any automobile usually tells a mechanic to check the Brake Master Cylinder first off. Then I'd check your brake lines for a rip, tear, puncture or incorrect attachment to the calipers.

From your last post you need to replace the Brake Master Cylinder and I would disconnect the brake lines at the calipers (10mm socket I believe) and let all of the fluid drain out. Then reattach and put in new fluid and bleed the lines (helps to have a second person to push down the brake pedal, pump, pump, pump and holllllllld) lol.
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:38 PM
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See I took it to Tire Discounters and I thought they would have checked the master cylinder too but the ended up telling me it was a leak from the rear passenger wheel cylinder. Not a single mention of the master cylinder. I replaced that rear wheel cylinder and the pressure has gotten better definitdely, but the pedal still goes to the floor when I hold on it at a stop light or pump.
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:17 PM   #9
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See I took it to Tire Discounters and I thought they would have checked the master cylinder too but the ended up telling me it was a leak from the rear passenger wheel cylinder. Not a single mention of the master cylinder. I replaced that rear wheel cylinder and the pressure has gotten better definitdely, but the pedal still goes to the floor when I hold on it at a stop light or pump.
If you can pump the brake pedal and STILL have it go to the floor that's not right. It should get harder actually.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:35 PM
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Exactly! But what's happening is that it feels firm on the first engage, then if I either hold on it (like at a stop light) or pump it a few times in a row, it just gives out. I don't know what's going on with it. I might just replace all the pads, flush the system completely to see if the fluid is contaminated and see what happens. If its still bad, I'll change the master cylinder and go from there
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:02 PM   #11
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I'd still bet on the master cylinder, the system is closed so if you're bleeding pressure but not loosing fluid it may be an internal leak in the master cylinder. There is some kind of valve in there that allows fluid to flow from the resevoir, but closes when you step on the pedal to build pressure, probably an o-ring on a piston. if the o-ring get's even a small nick it'll bleeed pressure back into the resevoir. There's really no way for pads to help it, a fluid flush can't hurt but where is the pressure going? When you replace a rear wheel cylinder you should probably do both sides, they're only 8 bucks.
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:28 PM   #12
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If the master cyl is still full and there's no leaks anywhere , change the m/c
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:20 PM   #13
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Google "how does a master brake cylinder work". There are several tutorials. You will see that you likely have a failing cylinder and you are braking on 2 wheels only.
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:32 PM   #14
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Maybe but he has a know leaking brake cylinder and a questionable bleeding process so while possible both a seal failed in a brake slave cylinder and a master also failed at same time, common things being common first fix the known identified issue and do a complete careful system bleed before we replace a master and then start questing the quality of the replacement master when the issue remains
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Old 03-24-2015, 06:56 PM   #15
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Maybe but he has a know leaking brake cylinder and a questionable bleeding process so while possible both a seal failed in a brake slave cylinder and a master also failed at same time, common things being common first fix the known identified issue and do a complete careful system bleed before we replace a master and then start questing the quality of the replacement master when the issue remains
^ very good point!
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:45 PM   #16
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Just to add a few points to what Digger said-I wouldn't yet condemn the Master Cylinder. My focus would be on 12 year old brake fluid that is hydroscopic(absorbs water) so it needs to be completely flushed out. I would recommend a Motive products power bleeder for simplicity and it is a one man job that one. If you do go the route of pedal bleeding place a 2x4 wood block on your floorboard to keep brake pedal from going all the way to the floor possibly damaging your master cylinder

Secondly and just as important I would replace all of your flexible brake lines. They are 12 years old as well-just because you don't see cracks on the outside doesn't mean they are holding their shape under pressure. If suspect you have a weak spot in your old brake lines-if they haven't been replaced previously they are overdue in my opinion
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Old 03-24-2015, 09:03 PM   #17
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One other tip do not reuse copper crush washers on the banjo fittings unless you anneal them to make them soft again

New ones or anneal the old as using old ones that are work hardened will have you chasing your tail with undetectable tiny leaks
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:13 AM   #18
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He said he replaced the leaking wheel cyl in his first post
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:38 AM   #19
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He needs a chronological accurate accounting
He had no symptoms until suddenly appeared when he got new tires?
Symptoms were what?
Steady or progressed and how?
Took back blamed tire store and told leaking rear cylinder but no fluid loss???
Self changed cylinder attempted bleed and got better?
But still not right and still no fluid loss?
So no way to make recommendation with sketchy data
Maybe never was bleed correctly after repair maybe small leak where he replaced parts maybe master but until you have better specific info cannot recommend throwing more new parts at it

And what he calls an ebrake light was much more likely a pressure imbalance due to air or leak at leaking slave
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:59 PM   #20
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He needs a chronological accurate accounting He had no symptoms until suddenly appeared when he got new tires? Symptoms were what? Steady or progressed and how? Took back blamed tire store and told leaking rear cylinder but no fluid loss??? Self changed cylinder attempted bleed and got better? But still not right and still no fluid loss? So no way to make recommendation with sketchy data Maybe never was bleed correctly after repair maybe small leak where he replaced parts maybe master but until you have better specific info cannot recommend throwing more new parts at it And what he calls an ebrake light was much more likely a pressure imbalance due to air or leak at leaking slave
perfectly said! Thank you
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:07 PM
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I appreciate all the responses! Here is the chronology:

Last fall: Had a replaced head gasket and some engine work, shortly after, noticed the brakes felt slightly loose, figured it was pads.

Winter: Didn't get a chance to chance the pads, but when it got cold, pressure returned to the pedal. That made me think it was air in the lines.

February: I started my Zone lift, only put on the 1.25" BL and motor mounts, had no major difference in brakes, still slightly loose, pedal gave when it was warm out.

Week after: I took it to Tire Discounters to have my 33s mounted, dropped it off as described, but when I went to sit in it after the mounting, the brake pedal had NO pressure and the E Brake light was on continuously.

Same week: I got it home and thought I would bleed the system and look at the pads and lines. Bled the system, saw no signs of leaks anywhere. Pads need replacing but aren't totally worn out. The fluid was slightly low so I took it back to TD and asked them to diagnose it

Weekend: They told me it was a leaking rear wheel cylinder, so I bought a rear brake kit, replaced the cylinder and bled the system.

Now: Since the replacement and bleeding, the pressure has gotten better but at a stop light when I hold for awhile, I can feel it giving, almost in stages. Same when I pump the brakes, goes to the floor a little more with each pump. Brake light is still on constantly but now I'm not losing any fluid.
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Old 03-25-2015, 03:15 PM
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I didn't blame it on Tire Discounters, but when I went to sit in it after they mounted the tires, that was the moment the shit it the fan. When I left it with them, it was driveable with what felt like air in the lines, but the moment I sat in it in their parking lot and started it up, the pedal had NO pressure, and that was the beginning of the light staying on all the time. After I replaced the cylinder that THEY told me was causing the pressure loss, the symptoms improved back to where they were before I ever mounted the tires, except the light. The light was never on before I took it to them but now its constantly on.
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Old 03-25-2015, 06:13 PM   #23
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When u replaced the wheel cylinder, where the brake shoes and drum wet with brake fluid? Damp? Soaking wet? Dripping ?
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:02 PM
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Not soaking or dripping. Damp yes.

UPDATE: I think it has to be the master cylinder. I went out yesterday and bled the brakes very thoroughly, inspected all lines thoroughly and I have no leaks. While bleeding, the pedal built pressure normally, but when I continue to hold, it eventually slowly falls all the way to the floor but almost immediately rebuilds pressure. I'm waiting about a week til I get paid to go ahead and replace it and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 03-26-2015, 04:38 PM   #25
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As long as you're getting a good stream of brake fluid out of all 4 bleeders, I would still suspect mc. Not terribly expensive. Make sure you bench bleed new mc before install. Good luck!
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:15 PM   #26
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I am still voting leak small at repaired slave or its connection
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:58 PM   #27
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Could pull the wheels and drums to check
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Old 03-26-2015, 07:02 PM   #28
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If you are NOT getting a good stream of fluid to the rear, you may have tripped the combination/proportioning valve which would trigger the "brake" light.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:23 AM   #29
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Another vote for a failing master cylinder.
Couple of things. When the tire shop checked for the problem, the wheel cylinder was an obvious one. With it bad, they couldn't check for an additional fault until that was corrected. You correcting the wheel cylinder problem now shows you had multiple leaks. One external, and one internal.

And why it's more obvious in warmer weather vs cold. Simple. The brake fluid is slightly thicker in viscosity when it's cold. And it's not leaking past the bad seals inside the master cylinder. When it warms up the fluid thins out and now slips past the seals easier. Same would occur with the seals themselves.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:38 PM
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Thanks for all the responses guys. I have definitely decided to go ahead and change the MC when I get some cash, I have eliminated other leaks because I've inspected the wheels and all are totally dry now, drums and all. Good flow from all wheels during the bleed so we'll hit 'er with a new MC hopefully this week and I'll update. Thanks again, you guys are the best.

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