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Eric, Automotive Repair Shop Manager
Category: Honda
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Experience:  20+ yrs. experience as repair shop manager and technician.
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1995 Honda Accord LX: the master cylinder-bench bled it..brakes

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1995 Honda Accord LX with 4 cylinder engine (non-VTEC) and auto transmission. Recently replaced the master cylinder-bench bled it and bled the system twice. The first time I had someone push on the brakes while I bled. Suspecting more air in the system I used a MightyVAC and bled it myself again. I bled at least 2-3 oz. from each line. The brake pedal seems to hold pressure except when you first start up the engine. I tested the booster according to the AllData instructions, but it seems when I start the engine the pedal is supposed to only drop a little. It drops more than a little--to the floor. With the engine running I never liked the fact that I could push the brake down probably 3 to 4 inches before I could feel the pressure. Ideas?





Another brake work done recently?


what order did your bleed the wheels in?


was the problem present before replacing the masdter cyliner, or did it start occurring after replacing the master cylinder?


Abs, or non-abs?



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
<p>No brake work done recently that I know of-just bought this used from sister-in-law who can't remember. The front pads look like they have a lot of life left. I can't see the rear pads until I pull the drums. I couldn't get them off today. The Haynes says use some 8 mm bolts for this. On the first bleeding I started with the right rear, then the left front, then left rear, then right front. Alldata says left rear, right front, right rear, then left front (did this way today). The problem was there before the master cylinder issue. The master cylinder died within a week of buying the car. I believe non-ABS since I can't find the ABS panel under the hood anywhere.</p><p> </p><p>Thanks,</p><p> </p><p>Tom</p><p> </p>



Ok, just want you to do a quick check. Look at the bleeder screws on the calipers and tell me what position they are in- above or below where the brake hose connects to the calipers

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
They are above and slightly forward.



Ok last question before proceeding - how far to engage the e-brake- does it engage after 3-4 clicks, or will the e-brake handle pull all the way up?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I recently adjusted those also. It engages at approximately 3 to 4 clicks. I adjusted from inside the car, not at the rear brakes.



You need to adjust at the rear brakes - the further the drum-to- shoe clearance, the further the pedal has to travel before engaging firmly.


A good rule of thumb to use when adjusting the rear shoes- With rear tires off the ground, spin each one by hand. If should make 1 to 1/2 revolutions. Anymore than that, they are out of adjustment. If it doesnt make 1 complete revolution, they are over-adjusted.


Once this is done, if pedal is still soft, then it is time to do a brake line clamp to test in order to accurately identify where problem is occurring:


For a brake line clamp test, you need either 4 brake line clamps, or 4 pairs of vise grips(wrap the ends with cloth to prevent damage to brake hoses).


Place a clamp on each flexible brake hose about midway between the caliper and steel line. Do it at all 4 wheels for testing.


Now, test the pedal- should be nice and firm. If it drops to the floor, then the master cylinder is defective out of the box and needs to be replaced . If good, then start at RR and go to LR, RF, then LF- remove a clamp and test pedal. If good, move to next wheel. At whichever wheel the pedal drops, that is the wheel with the problem - kinked hose, damaged caliper that isnt pushing out...

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
O.K., I'm guessing you meant 1 to 1 1/2 revolutions. Do both wheels have to be off the ground at the same time or can I use the jack and do one at a time? I think I may do the line test first to see if the master cylinder is bad since this was the most recently replaced item. I have not seen any leaks anywhere and have not noticed the fluid level decreasing from the reservoir. I cannot see the rear pistons and seals since I couldn't get the drums off. Is there an easier way without using the 8 mm bolts?





Yes, you are correct 1 to 1 1/2 revolutions- sorry about the typo.


You can raise one wheel at a time. Being a front wheel drive, the rear wheels will each spin freely with the others on the ground.


As far as getting the drums off, you can use a 2lb handheld sledge hammer to smack the face of the drums a few times. Usually the drums will pop off.


If they dont, you could use 2 large screwdrivers placed opposite of each other between the back lip of drum and drum backing plate. By prying back on each screwdriver(alternately), you can "walk" the drum off.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I'll give it a shot. Would you agree that I should attempt the line test first?





Being that I have gotten as many as 3 bad master cylinders in a row that were defective, starting with the line clamp test would make sense

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