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Neal
Neal, Dodge Mechanic
Category: Dodge
Satisfied Customers: 8351
Experience:  30 years experience in Dodge Chrysler and Plymouth
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2004 Dodge Ram 1500: My brake pedal..put new..calipers..brake fluid

Customer Question

2004 Dodge Ram 1500. My brake pedal was a little soft. I put new pads in today and resetting the calipers was a little harder than usual even with the brake fluid lid off. After getting the new pads in the pedal now travels all the way to the floor and the brakes do not engage at all. It is much softer still when the truck is running. I had to drive back home using the gear selector and parking brake (which works fine). I don't see any leaks and the fluid was full. I tried to bleed the brakes but after a friends pumping and holding there was no pressure or fluid flow at the valve.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dodge
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.

I'm Neal and I am here to assist you. Only accept when you are happy with my assistance. If I can't help I will open your Question to other experts.

That sounds like you had a master cylinder going bad and resetting the calipers finished it off. Not an unusual occurance. The pads being thin will not make the pedal soft, that had to have been the master cylinder.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will replace the Master Cylinder then. That is actaully what I was thinking, but wasn't crazy about changing the wrong part. Is it okay to wait to accept your answer until I can change that?
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
You can accept whenever you like, it does not end our session and I will continue to help you either way if it is needed.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Any advise for installing the new master cyl.? I am afraid of getting air in the lines. Or is that outside the scope of my question?
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
Make sure you bench bleed it and when you remove the lines from the master, switch them over to the new one right away, have it ready to go so that you get less air in the lines.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Bought the new part, will be installing it tomorrow. Then I'll accept the answer.

Thank you Neal !
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
Ok, let me know how it goes!!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Neal,

I got the new master cylinder in after bench bleeding it. Everything seemed to go very smoothly. I filled up the container to the max. No pedal. So I went to bleed the brakes and after pumping and holding I get no pressure, no fluid, no air, no flow. I tried both front brakes. So I pretty much gave up and was moving my truck to the side for the evening. The only difference was then discovered. Considering the pedal travels all the way to the firewall I did finally get a bite on the brakes around 80% pedal. Not sure why I'm not getting any pressure at the bleed valves. The only thing I can figure is that there is still a problem in the system.The parking brake still works perfectly and the fluid level hasn't changed from max.

Help,
Mark
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
It sounds like there must still be air in the system, what method are you using to bleed it? Did you bleed it at the master?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I used the manual method with the truck off then running, no change. I get nothing at the bleed valves. Seems there is no pressure in the system to move fluid. My helper pumps four times, holds the pedal down, I open the valves.... and nothing ever comes out...
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
Did you bleed the master after you installed it?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Neal,

I don't know how to do that?

Mark
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
Have your assistant pump hold the brake pedal down and you loosen the lines one at a time on the master just a little just like a bleeder to get residual air out of the master.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will try that today!

Thanks Neal,
Mark
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
You're welcome, it may take a fair amount of bleeding to get all the air out.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was thinking about purchasing a manual bleed pump kit today and trying that. See link...

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/OEM-Liquid-siphoning-vacuum-pump-kit/_/N-25j2?itemIdentifier=70116_0_0_
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
Those work well, but you still need to bleed the master first
Neal and 2 other Dodge Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Neal,

Bled master but only one side produced fluid or brake movement. The other side barely dripped. No big change after doing this.

Bled all four wheels with a pump kit. Nice but I wouldn't recommend it because it leaked pressure at the valve.

I've got pretty good pedal now and everything seems to be working fairly well. I think if I might return this $40 kit and go buy the $60 at Advance Auto Parts. It was much nicer. Then one day, when I'm really bored, I'll bleed them again.

I am sorry for waiting to Accept your answer, just didn't want to get left hanging, forgive me for not trusting you!

Thank you,
Mark
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
No problem at all on waiting to accept, definately return that kit if it does not work right and I am glad you are back on the road.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Neal,

Still not working corretly. I am going to point some previously mentioned facts for you and then a few new ones...

1. When I reset the front caliper it was VERY difficult, much more than normal.
2. When manually bleeding the front brakes no fluid escaped except a drip or two.
3. When manually bleeding the master cylinder only one side produced fluid.
4. New: The front rotors have surface rust on them, no contact being made.
5. New: Pedal is still really weak after bleeding with a pressurized bleed kit.
6. New: When braking rear tires keep locking up and smell really bad after.

It's very obvious the front brakes are not pressurizing or making any contact at all. Why?

Mark
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
If there is no pressure from the master then it has to be bad, even if it is new. And if the caliper was that hard to reset, it is either bad or the fluid is not free to flow back up to the master. You can test that by opening the bleeder to see if that helps.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Should both sides of the master bleed equally? Perhaps one for front and one for rear?

Mark
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
One line from the master goes to the front brakes and the other goes to the rear. They should both have the same amount of pressure when you bleed them.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Too bad we didn't catch that sooner in my email...

You replied

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 9:35 PM EST

Neal,

Bled master but only one side produced fluid or brake movement. The other side barely dripped. No big change after doing this.

Bled all four wheels with a pump kit. Nice but I wouldn't recommend it because it leaked pressure at the valve.

I've got pretty good pedal now and everything seems to be working fairly well. I think if I might return this $40 kit and go buy the $60 at Advance Auto Parts. It was much nicer. Then one day, when I'm really bored, I'll bleed them again.

I am sorry for waiting to Accept your answer, just didn't want to get left hanging, forgive me for not trusting you!

Thank you,
Mark
Expert:  Neal replied 5 years ago.
I thought it was a problem with the kit or the bleeder when you first mentioned that, it is pretty unusual for a master to be bad right out of the box.