Car is a '85 tbird. Power Front disk/rear drum no ABS. Brakes have
worked fine until yesterday morning. Suddenly the pedal needed to be
pressed nearly to the floor to get any braking, and that was weak. I
checked the fluid and the front (smaller) section of the master
cylinder was low. I filled it up but its not helped. I don't think
I've ever had to add fluid in the 9 yrs I've had this car except for
when I bled the front calipers after replacing the hoses some years
ago. I "think" that perhaps only the rear drums are working at
present but am not sure.
Does this seem like a master cylinder problem or a leak elsewhere?
Why did topping off the low section not help? Since it came on
suddenly, I don't think it can be pads or shoe wear.
I would have thought a booster failure would result in the pedal not going
to the floor, just reduced braking effiency. To check front / rear braking,
drive down a road (safely if you can!) with what braking you have on, then
check the temp of the discs / drums. Front should absorb most of the energy,
if front is cold and rear hot, you are not getting braking to the front,
which would indicate master cylinder. Try bleeding the brakes again.
Understand exactly how you braking configuration works, and test. You should
figure it out and fix it before long. If not, go to someone who knows about
brakes, before you kill someone!
Thanks for the replies. Pedal comes up normally when releasing.
There is some braking, just lower to floor than before and not as
hard. It does seem like the master. I had a booster blow out on a
different car once and that one would push back when you pushed the
pedal and extreme braking effort. This one is not like that at all.
I also once had a '79 mustang with non-power brakes that the master
went out and would lose fluid. It would go down in one reservoir and
up in the other. That one would work OK if I kept up with topping it
off though. This seems a little different than that. Hopefully It
does not worsen as its too cold and snowy right now to dig into it, I
have 18" of snow in my yard and it was -10F the other morning! I will
see if there is any wetness around the wheels soon as I can though.
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