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Tech501
Tech501, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
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Experience:  38 years exp, ASE Mastertech with L1 Advanced Engine performance
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1994 Honda civic: no pedal..master cylinder w/new one..brake booster

Customer Question

1994 Honda Civic relined all brakes and now have no pedal bled several times, replaced ,master cylinder w/new one, replaced power brake booster, bled bled bled help!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
What else did you replace in the hydraulic system? Calipers maybe?
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: I didnt replace calipers this time   one about a year ago   i inspected all four wheels four and lines for obvious leaks and found none
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
Then something has to be installed incorrectly
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: is there an adjustment on the power brake booster that could cause this problem   i did adjust one under the dash that raised the pedal, but this was only after nothing else worked
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: you sent me info on a 2000 impala   im the honda brake problem
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
That was a mistake. That rod needs to be adjusted as to have a very slight amount of free play before hitting the master. Otherwise it will never release totally of relieve to the resevoir.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: i know this sounds simple to you, but it totally has me puzzled   i have replaced brakes many many times and consider myself a pretty good mechanic, but this one i cant fix   everyone tells me "air in the lines" there cant be air in the lines i have bled 2 qts thru it, alternating wheels as outlined in my manual ive checked and rechecked all wheels (calipers and rear cylinders) is there any way it could be a vacuum problem goint to the booster, and if so, how would i check that again, hard pedal w/engine not running, no pedal running
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Tech501's Post: are you there???????????
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.

If you have a good high pedal with the engine off and it drops with the engine running, it does sound like air in the system. Make sure you don't have a flex hose that is ruptured and stretching under pressure. It's not a vacuum problem. The booster is merely adding pressure and exposing the problem that's already there.


When your bleeding, have the person doing the pumping observe hour much pedal drop there is as each wheeel is bled. The one that drops the least is likely where the problem is.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
I did the entire job again   took the master cylinder off and bench bled it, bled all wheels. no big difference in pedal drop between wheels. maybe im not understanding you about the least drop indicating problem location. when the bleeder is open, pedal drops all the way to the floor on each wheel. can you explain
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.

No it doesn't drop all the way to the floor. I drops to the second set of brakes. It's a dual system and your hitting the second system. The amount of drop to get to the second set is an indicater of how much pressure you had on the fluid before opening the bleeder. For instance, if the pedal only drops an inch before hitting the other set, it would indicate you hadn't built much pressure and that's likely where you air is. If the pedal drops considerably when the bleeder is opened, chances are the side of the system is OK. Did you understand that?

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
no, i dont fully understand the dual stage how will i know when it hits the second system i bled once again, paying attention to pedal drop   he said all were about equal, certainly nothing noticable, but pedal does drop all the way to the floor as each wheel is bled   another question   when he pumps the pedal, what should happen in the master cylinder resevoir   i watched it, and there was only a tiny rise and fall of the fluid, and does any of this matter whether the engine is running or not   i bled brakes both ways, running and not running   after all the bleeding here was virtually no change in pedal action still hard not running and goes away running at first, i was bleeding by myself into a bottle filled with fluid, but now i had help and nothing changed
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
No, it doesn't go to the floor, it just feels like it does. It stops at the other brakes. It's a dual system. Hitting the second set will feel like the floor but it isn't. Your problem may not be hydraulic at all. You may have a pad out of place or something similar that not letting it get a firm seating. You may have reached the extent of you knowledge here and it may be time for someone else to look the system over. They may see something your not. Have you tried driving the car. That pedal feel can be deceiving when your pushing hard in a parked position. Sometimes the car stops far before that amount of pressure is used.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
well, i have to agree that i have run into a problem i cant fix   ive already checked all the pads and shoes to make sure they are properly installed, that parts easy   ive inspected all lines   each wheel bleeds as it should, couple of bubbles then clear    lets go back to the booster remember i adjusted it under the dash, with no apparant change in anything the rod going into the master cylinder is not adjustable from the master cylinder side   my manual says when i pump the pedal, fluid should "erupt" in the resevoir   my fluid only goes up and down so slightly you really have to watch it   i dont know if this is correct or not, but it seems to work properly when i am bleeding the brakes   i agree its time for someone else to look at it, but wihtout any brakes at all its gonna be hard to get it to a shop   please read back thru each of my responses one last time and see it anything hits you   remember, i had brakes when i started with the relining, then 3 master cylinders and 2 power boosters and nearly a gallon of fluid bled thru   after this one i wont bother you any more   thanks
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
It's difficult from where I'm sitting to know what was done wrong there. The only thing I didn't bring up because you said you didn't change the calipers is if they are on the wrong side of the car. If they are the bleeders will be at the bottom instead of the top and trap air that you will NEVER get out. Somebody could have removed them last time to get them bled. it's just an idea to throw out there. I know we haven't got you brakes yet but it wasn't because of lack of effort on my part. If you could click on the accept button on one of these answers, it would be greatly appreciated.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
calipers were not removed   trust me, all the simple things ive checked and rechecked   evetrything ive done has made absolutley no difference from the very first time i tried the brakes after relining
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
also, can you tell me what the fluid should do in the master cylinder when the pedal is depressed
Expert:  Tech501 replied 11 years ago.
Don't concern yourself with what happening in the master. It really doesn't tell you anything. You had brakes before you worked on it, right? Now you don't. Something you did is the cause. That's all I can tell you. I don't have the car here to inspect.

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