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  #1  
Old August 12th, 2012, 08:58 PM
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Tony Brooks
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Soft brakes

Continuing to go through the new truck . . .

Upon arrival it had essentially no brakes. There was no fluid in the reservoir and upon refilling there have been no obvious leaks. I just finished bleeding the brakes and got a touch of air out and some older fluid, no leaks reappeared. It now has some brakes but only at the bottom of travel. Thinking master cylinder is the culprit. Any thoughts on further diagnosis? Drum braked Salisbury in the rear, front pads looked fine.
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  #2  
Old August 12th, 2012, 09:05 PM
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try a hose clamp on the rear hose ... that way you can eliminate the rears. If thats good clamp each front in turn ...

when you clamp the problematic one the pedal will firm up ...

in none firm up then either ... you have more than one problem or the master cylinder is at fault.

Upgrading to braided hoses is in-expensive and can help firm up the feel especially if the hoses are in poor condition.
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  #3  
Old November 21st, 2012, 09:35 PM
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Same problem here, mostly. I have a NAS 90 and took it into the dealership (I know, I know) to diagnose why my brakes are so soft. I can depress the pedal but the brakes seem so weak, almost like I'm trying to stop while pulling an overloaded trailer. Anyway, the LR dealership wanted to charge me $950 to replace the vacuum brake booster that they said had a leak. No problem. I laughed historically at them all the way home to my my computer where I bought a new booster on the cheap. Installed it a week later when it arrived with no improvement in the brakes. Now, I have full fluid with no leaks and bled the brakes. No improvement.

I guess I'll try the clamp solution soon and see where that takes me...

Tony, any love solving your problem?
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Old November 21st, 2012, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curry View Post
Same problem here, mostly. I have a NAS 90 and took it into the dealership (I know, I know) to diagnose why my brakes are so soft. I can depress the pedal but the brakes seem so weak, almost like I'm trying to stop while pulling an overloaded trailer. Anyway, the LR dealership wanted to charge me $950 to replace the vacuum brake booster that they said had a leak. No problem. I laughed historically at them all the way home to my my computer where I bought a new booster on the cheap. Installed it a week later when it arrived with no improvement in the brakes. Now, I have full fluid with no leaks and bled the brakes. No improvement.

I guess I'll try the clamp solution soon and see where that takes me...

Tony, any love solving your problem?
Probably not your issue, but I had a wheel bearing that was bad on one wheel (and I didn't know it). As such, the pads were sort of flopping all over and the brakes felt "soft" because it wasn't grabbing properly at that corner. Started to wonder the same thing (was it the booster/etc). Discovered the bum wheel bearing, replaced it, and brakes came back to normal. May be worth checking...even though we obviously did the front bearings on the truck, have you checked the rears?
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  #5  
Old November 21st, 2012, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nathanwind View Post
May be worth checking...even though we obviously did the front bearings on the truck, have you checked the rears?
Not sure what you mean there, but thanks for the tip. I'll check front and rears.
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  #6  
Old November 21st, 2012, 10:10 PM
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I've replaced the master cylinder, replaced a rear wheel cylinder that had a stripped nipple and replaced the fronts with NAS calipers and rotors after finding a leaking front caliper as well as doing stainless flex pipes in the front. I've bled them 2-3 times but either still have a little air in the system or a slight leak somewhere.

I'm beginning to think I'm not sacrificing the right type of chicken to the rover gods.

Hope to have the truck back on the road in the next week or two and will be able to do more troubleshooting then.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 08:06 AM
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they like Rhode Island Red's. I have tried many different breeds but the male Red seems to please the rover gods the most- perhaps because its from the colonies ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhode_Island_Red

In all seriousness what you describe sounds like the rear shoes aren't adjusted correctly.
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 130Tdi View Post

In all seriousness what you describe sounds like the rear shoes aren't adjusted correctly.
Hmm that's a possibility. FedEx apparently dropped off the last parts at home yesterday (we are in NH), so next week I should be able to get her on the road and can see if the brakes are still soft or if they just feel a bit different than past trucks.
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  #9  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 11:33 AM
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You need to bleed the master if the res went dry. Have someone work the pedal while you crack the lines at the master. Wrap them with a rag do as not to fuck up your eyes or paint.
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  #10  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 11:49 AM
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You may be on to something!
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  #11  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Buy a pressure bleeder. Your life will be a lot better...

Make sure the shoes are adjusted. There are two adjusters per wheel.
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  #12  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 12:11 PM
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I've used the motive bleeder 3 times and bled it conventionally twice. Ill check the shoes and bleed the MC next
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  #13  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 12:12 PM
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You can make a pressure bleeder on the cheap. I made one out of one of those pump pressure weed sprayers (Round-Up or something made it). Worked great on my G.
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  #14  
Old November 22nd, 2012, 12:20 PM
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To bleed the brakes its much easier to have 3 people.. Crack the nipple open and hold your finger over it lightly... Have someone slowly operate the pedal.. Every time the pedal is pressed the fluid goes out and when they let the pedal up your finger stops the air going back in.. Kinda like a one way valve.. The third person just keeps topping up the reservoir.. This stops the problem of the air just staying back and forth in a high spot in the line by keeping it moving.. You also get to flush out the old fluid until you get nice clean fluid this way.. It's a bit messy to do it this way but its the best.. Just make sure to hose everything down with water afterwards... If your rear shoes are out of adjustment your first application of the pedal will be low and a quick reapplication of the pedal will be higher.. The first application travels more because it has to push the pads out further but the second is higher because the shoes are already out there...
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Old November 22nd, 2012, 06:12 PM
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In the past I have taken off the drum and used tiewraps around the shows to hold then in tight. The main idea is to force the pistons of the slave cylinder right in. This reduces the size of the void in the cylinder therefore meaning less chance of air being left in there.

After that it is a case of working around the wheels starting with the one furtherest away from the master cylinder. In the uk means passenger side rear then driver's rear, then passenger side front and finally driver side front.

You may have to do it a couple of times to get it sorted.

Last thoughts, brake shoes to low and need replacing, drums to worn and need replacing, flexi pipes old and expanding under pressure and need replacing.

G
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Old December 15th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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Just to close the loop on this, master cylinder was fine, the rear shoes just needed adjusting. And it turns out that a little adjustment went a long way. Thanks for all the help!
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  #17  
Old July 11th, 2013, 08:37 AM
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I've got a similar problem and was wondering if someone can tell me how to tell if the brakes need adjusting and how to do it.

I just put in new front rotors and pads and a new caliper on the left front. My brakes now are soft. That is normal driving they work fine and I really don't notice anything but if I go to hit them hard it just slows down but I couldn't lock up the tires if I wanted to and the pedal does feel soft. I have bleed them and if I pump the pedal it doesn't help or do anything.
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