Brake problem today

Well, took the girl out today for a not really all that spirited ride ( my wife was along) for lunch over in Cimarron which is near Philmont, the scouting ranch near us in New Mexico. About a 2000 ft elevation drop along a very twisty road. Along the way I started smelling hot brakes which I had hoped was the car in front of me, but in a few minutes, when I tried my brakes, I had no initial peddle. Upon a second push, I gained some pressure and could slow down. Made it to Cimarron, had lunch and when I got back in, had full function again. I had fluid in both reservoirs, although the rear one was lower. I assume I had a sticking piston, but why would that cause the weak peddle in the first place? Any ideas on where to begin looking?

The sticking piston causes the temperature to increase and if your brake fluid has accumulated moisture, that will boil and cause the sponginess.

And over heated pads don’t grab worth a @%#$

Ole, thanks. I’ll change out the fluid. It’s been a looong time. Guess I’ll wish I had the external rear bleeders. :wink:

You’re welcome. Oh yes, they do make that task a lot easier. One tip in case you haven’t thought about it, is to use a syringe (or similar sucking device) to empty your reservoirs before starting to bleed. Empty then ad fresh fluid and then bleed. When do you have new brake fluid in the system ? Dunno, it a little like Magic, unless someone has a tip for that.

Definitely a good idea. Hmmm the only syringe I have is a meat injector. Wonder how my brisket will taste after that?

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That is exactly what I use to add lube to the CVs on my other car:


Found it at Goodwill, but Walgreens and such sell a selection of plastic syringes (I think for feeding meds to babies).

Is there a farm and ranch store near you, like Atwoods? They carry the kind of syringes of various sizes vets use. I’ve seen up to 60 cc in stock. I keep several in various capacities in the tool box.

Mighty Vac for bleeding

60 cc irrigation syringe and tube for removing old fluid

I hope that does it for you but, I don’t see how bleeding will free up a sticking piston?

You’re right, It wont.

There is one over in Taos about 45 minutes away. Will try them. Thanks for the tip!

But the piston didn’t stick after the cool down. So first I’ll get everything flushed and then see how the brakes act. I might get lucky.

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Larry, my first step would be to repeat the problem and determine which brakes are sticking. The answer to that would help determine how to proceed.
All wheels overheating my be an indication of lack of free play or small mc piston issue

One or the other front brakes may be swelled hose or sticking piston.

both back brakes may be rear hose sticking

One back brake may be sticking piston.
This list is not complete. Servo issues, etc.

Also, how long since the fluid changed. And how long since system rebuild. Depending on how long, maybe you want to rebuild the whole system.

At least a way to get started.

Agree with all of the above. Everything was rebuilt in 97 and only occasional miles since. Six years in storage with little driving. Rubber gets old. Have seen that on clutch slave cyl. and heater hoses and valve. Will take one step at a time in finding out which one brake and what part.

Larry, I just posted my experience bleeding my brakes and clutch in the topic “Motive Pressure Bleeder”. I’m a first time user of this pressure device, but I’m now a believer. Here’s a video I made: