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New Master Cylinder - Spongy Brakes - Bleeding Problem

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Old 05-09-13, 05:57 PM   #1
bigzaphod
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Exclamation New Master Cylinder - Spongy Brakes - Bleeding Problem

I'll try to make this question as short as I can. I've searched the forums and can't find anything that describes my specific issue so I'm hoping someone can help!

1995 ES300, ABS light has been on for several months, but, brakes were working fine so no worries. Pads and rotors serviced as needed. A few weeks ago my wife began to complain of soft/spongy breaks. Checked rotors/pads, all seemed fine, so I bled/flushed the brakes with new fluid, and seemed to have some marginal improvement. Though after a couple of days she complained that it wasn't much better, and, admittedly, they were a bit soft. My father-in-law was convinced it was the master cylinder, which I replaced last night (didn't adjust the brake booster rod, not sure how and don't have the tool mentioned in the service manual). Bled the cylinder, then the brakes (pass rear, driver rear, pass front, driver front). I did get one set of big air bubbles from the pass rear, but not much else on the rest (I'm pretty sure I bled them all well). The first three bled fine, pressure building as expected when air is eliminated, until the front driver. After the first time the bleed screw was opened, all pressure in the system was gone, pumping didn't seem to help. Bled it like normal. But, now the brakes go basically to the floor, very little if any pressure. I took it for a drive, less than a block, and it's not remotely safe to drive now. I've seen reference to need a scan tool to bleed the ABS appropriately, but no mention of that in the shop manual that I have.

I've gone from possible problem, to undriveable. I'm not a tech, but I've got repair experience, I've worked on brakes, and I have the shop manual for the Camry of that series (which as I understand it is basically the same car). Anyone who can offer advice or help would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to avoid spending several hundred on a trip to the shop, or more for a trip to the dealer.
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Old 05-09-13, 06:15 PM   #2
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Did you bench bleed the master cylinder?
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Old 05-09-13, 06:24 PM   #3
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I bled it as instructed in the shop manual. Without lines connected, but with master cylinder bolted to car, press brakes, cover holes, release brakes, did it 3 or 4 times..until it seemed that all the air was out and it was squirting fluid out of the holes.
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Old 05-09-13, 06:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigzaphod View Post
I bled it as instructed in the shop manual. Without lines connected, but with master cylinder bolted to car, press brakes, cover holes, release brakes, did it 3 or 4 times..until it seemed that all the air was out and it was squirting fluid out of the holes.
I would bench bleed it again, using little kit you can get from local auto parts store. it comes with adapters and lines. You fill up reservoir and start pumping. I just did master cylinder swap in our 05 Legacy GT. I pumped it many times (with s screwdriver) and then let it sit a few minutes to let out any air bubbles in fluid and pumped it again a few times. Once installed on the car I bled whole system. Having speed bleeders helps too.
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Old 05-09-13, 07:04 PM   #5
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This might seem a silly question, but, I've now been told 3 different things by 3 different people today (everyone is trying to help, lol). Should the car be off, key in ACC, or running while I bleed the brakes? I've been doing it with the key in ACC....

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Old 05-09-13, 08:08 PM   #6
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Car should be off, no need to have it on. You do have to properly bleed your master cylinder though or you will never get air out of it.
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Old 05-09-13, 08:15 PM   #7
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Car should be off, doesn't matter if the key is in ACC or whatever as long as the engine is not running, a running engine will make the pedal far too easy to press.

edit - what mitmaks says, you don't bleed the master cylinder correctly the air will never come out and the brakes will never feel right.
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Old 05-11-13, 11:30 AM   #8
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How concerned should I be about air trapped in the ABS block? (I'm back working on it today and I've got a repeated leak on the front/side brake line where it screws into the master cylinder. I crossthreaded it the first time I put it in, but ran a tap through it and everything seemed to connect fine after that......)
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Old 05-11-13, 11:30 AM
 
 
 
 
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