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Bleeding brakes by yourself?

  1. Bill Manning profile image75
    Bill Manningposted 7 years ago

    I thought I'd throw this out there and see if anyone knows what I should do. I have an old 1997 dodge ram van, 2500. I put new front calipers and shoes on it.

    It already had a little air in it, which is why I did this as I can't get the bleeder screws loose on the old ones. But NOW I have no pressure at all.

    I tried bleeding them by myself using the tube in a can of brake fluid trick. However there is nothing at all, no air, fluid or anything comes out.

    The pedal goes right to the floor each time, nothing. I noticed no fluid leaked out of the hose when I disconnected the banjo screw.

    Could it be plugged up? Anyone know how I can get at least a little brake pressure back? Thanks, if nobody knows that's ok, I don't expect an answer. smile

    1. Bill Manning profile image75
      Bill Manningposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Oh, yes the master cylinder reservoir is full. smile

      1. Randy Godwin profile image95
        Randy Godwinposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Ask Earnesthub!  He is an expert on things such as this.  Have you tried loosening the lines from the master cylinder to see if there is fluid coming from it when the brakes are pumped?  I always bleed the first brake in the line first, close the screw and go to the next, assuring no air gaps in the lines.

        It may be you have a malfunctioning master cylinder which was allowing air to enter the lines even before your recent repairs.  Good luck, Bill!

        1. earnestshub profile image88
          earnestshubposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          I think you are on to it there Randy. Sounds like hydraulic failure.

  2. Bill Manning profile image75
    Bill Manningposted 7 years ago

    Thanks for the tip, I'll wait a bit and see if he sees this. The brakes were fine until I changed the shoes a while back.

    I unscrewed the banjo bolt before knowing I did not have to. I did a bad job of bleeding it but it worked,,,, until now.

    So that's why today I changed the calipers, so I could open the bleeder screws. But I can't get anything out.

  3. Bill Manning profile image75
    Bill Manningposted 7 years ago

    Well today I bought a brake vacuum pump for 60 bucks and tried that for two hours. NOTHING!

    Something must be more wrong than the air in the calipers. So I'm done with it, time to take it to the garage.

    Sometimes it's much smarter and well worth the cost to just let someone else do a job for you. big_smile

    1. Robertbloggert profile image70
      Robertbloggertposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      I wouldn't take it to the garage yet Bill. That just sounds like your Master cylinder is bad.

      All you need to think about is how the MC works which is basically like a bicycle pump. If that rubber seal has worn, Well then just like the bike pump theres nothing to force the pressure. Thus you could pump all day and the air/fluid is just gonna flow right over the seal (path of least resistance) and not out the end. Also this would feel like air in the lines when the seal first starts to wear.

      Also has that vehicle sit much? If so the seal could have become dry which could have caused it to crack when you started putting pressure on it. I would put the vehicle somewhere with a clean area underneath pump the breaks if you have no fluid leaking anywhere I would try a new MC.
      You really should get someone to help you bleed them after though.

  4. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 7 years ago

    Did you get it sorted Bill? The advice you have had from Randy sounds good.
    I can discover the problem but will need to know exactly what has been done up until now. Unless I have missed anything it sounds like you may have dumped a neoprene piston rubber from the master cylinder or the wheel cylinder.

    1. Bill Manning profile image75
      Bill Manningposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Hi there. Here is what happened. I called up a mobile mechanic, they are popular in the city here. After lots of work he said the master cylinder was bad.

      So we get a new one and,,,,,,, it works,,,, a little. But sometimes when you hit the pedal it works, other times there is nothing. Strange huh? So finally he said it must be the ABS thing.

      You know, that whole thing with 6 lines going to it and sensors. It's not working right. So that's when I decided to say the hell with it and got my new Chevy car.

      I ended up selling the truck to someone who had the same type for parts for 400 bucks. So it's done and over now. smile

  5. earnestshub profile image88
    earnestshubposted 7 years ago

    Not a bad move Bill. The problem with ABS is you need some special equipment to bleed the system.

    Frankly, getting rid of it was not a bad idea. Which new Chev did you buy Bill?

    1. Bill Manning profile image75
      Bill Manningposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah I was glad to get rid of it, and also glad the guy buying it just wanted it for parts. I think you commented on my Chevy in another thread. It's that 2000 model Chevy Cavalier.

      Yeah I know, they have lots of problems. But this one seems to be in damn good shape, being in Florida it looks new. I'll just baby it and be careful with the transmission. smile

      1. earnestshub profile image88
        earnestshubposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        You may have got a good one Bill, I have heard of good ones! smile
        Seriously, if I were you I would look at some preventative measures other than good maintenance and care.

        If you have the time you could deny it's tendency to self destruct! Sorry mate, I know there is a lot to like about it, I have done the same, bought something notoriously unreliable such as the 1750 Alfa with all the heavy wiring connected to the ignition switch making it catch fire! lol
        Is isn't alone with design problems, have you seen the current list of recalls? It's bigger than the Old Testament!

        Good luck with it Bill, I hope it does the job.

 
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