So I drove my Cougar back to Texas from Michigan this week. Between Chicago and St.Louis I noticed my brakes were going. I stopped in Perryville, MO and a shop there replaced the master cylinder and the booster. They spent a long time bleeding the brakes over and over again, but could never get a solid pedal. They adjusted the rear shoes until you could barely slide the drum over them and were then able to get a firm pedal about half way down, but the top end was still soft. I managed to drive it the rest of the way home like that. Let it sit two days in the garage and went to take it to the car wash tonight to get the Michigan salt off her and the pedal went all the way to the floor. It wouldn’t even hold well enough to keep her from rolling down the moderate slope of my driveway until I pumped them several times. I’m thinking the new master cylinder is bad or they never managed to get all the air out of the lines despite their repeated attempts. Any other ideas or solutions? I don’t see any brake fluid leaking out anywhere.Front and rear reservoirs of the master cylinder are still filled to the top with clean fluid.
Are the calipers on the correct side - with the bleed valve at the top
Take a look at all brake cylinders as well. Had some bad seals once that didn’t leak but let air in when pedal was released.
Yes the bleeders are on the top. The wheel cylinders in the rear are new. I’m not sure about the condition of the calipers. All pads and shoes are new as well as all the springs in the rear drums.
To me, it sounds like the master cylinder is no good.
If you are bleeding by pumping the pedal you can not push it to the floor, only about half way. To the floor can move the MC plunger past the end seal and then it bends the plunger seal area backward when it comes back through the seal, can damage it. Also when a system has been opened up for a major repair air can get stuck in all the bends and connectors. The best way is to apply a pressure bleeder to the top of the MC, pressure it and then open all the bleeders so the air can’t move to another line.
They were pumping the master cylinder all the way to the floor so I’m thinking they damaged the new master cylinder with their bleeding process. My friend in Missouri is checking with the shop to see if there is a warranty on the master cylinder and what parts supplier they got it from to see if I can get it replaced.
I replaced the front hoses and calipers today and after bleeding them, I have good brakes. Now to see if it lasts. I’m thinking I am good now as the brakes are the best they have been since I got it back from the shop.
I also tightened the screw on the steering box a half turn and though it still isn’t perfect, the steering is much better. Thinking I am still going to have to replace the steering box, but I am comfortable driving it the way it is now.
Did the restore shop in Muskegon MI finally finish your convertible?
For the most part they did. I finally got it back, but have some work to do on it still. I got the brakes fixed now, but I have several issues to fix with the steering and several electrical issues to figure out. Now that the brakes are fixed it started having a problem losing power to all the dash gauges and seatback release solenoids. I don’t have power to any of my windows, fuel gauge and low fuel light don’t work despite new low fuel sending unit.