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Soft brake pedal

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Old 02-22-2003, 04:41 PM
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Question Soft brake pedal

Since I got my truck I have had a problem with a very soft brake pedal. Today I changed the calipers pads, and fluid but still the pedal goes almost to the floor before grabing. does anyone know what the problem might be, and how to fix it?

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Old 02-22-2003, 05:09 PM
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one thing is you may have a small leak in your brake lines, or might not have filled up the brake fluid all the way, the only other thing I can think of is that you need to replace the master cylinder
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Old 02-23-2003, 12:28 AM
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I think it is just the nature of the beast. My truck has had a soft pedal feel since new. Even with new pads, Powerslot rotors, and new rear brake shoes, there wasn't much improvement in the soft pedal feel.
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Old 02-23-2003, 07:45 PM
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I dont know if you have rear drums or not but if you do, try adjusting the rear brakes. That made a noticeable improvement for me.

Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:49 PM
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That made some difference but still the pedal feel isn't nearly as good as the newer trucks with the 4 wheel disc brakes.
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:41 AM
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Location: Clarkston, MI
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First, I'd bleed the system again. Start with the master cylinder. Bleed it the same way you would a wheelend brake, except the 'bleeder' screws are the brake lines exiting the MS. Make sure to do both of them seperately.

If that doesn't help, and you say you've already adjusted your rear drums, you MAY have a master cylinder [MS] problem.

With the engine running, make a firm brake application. Hold the pedal there for a few minutes. Does the pedal drop at all? If so, there is either a hydraulic system leak somewhere or the MS is bad.

Another check is to make a hard brake application...really hard, and hold it. Does the 'brake' lite on the dash come on? If so, this indicates a pressure differential between the front & rear systems that is either caused by air in the system of a bad MS.

Let us know what you find.

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Old 02-25-2003, 06:09 PM
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Not sure what kind of truck you have, but my '95 has a RABS that I also bleed when I am clearing the air. Just a thought.
Bill C.
'95 F-150 XLT SuperCab, 351, 4x4, E4OD
'88 Ranger, Reg. Cab, 2.3, 5sp O/D
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Old 02-28-2003, 02:53 PM
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I agree with the "nature of the beast" post. I have a 2000 truck with 4-wheel anti-lock disk brakes and my pedal's been soft since the day I drove it off the lot. My pedal's always been more than 50% down before I get significant stopping power. I brought it up with the service dept. at that dealership twice during the warranty and they said it was normal. Unless you're literally putting the pedal all the way to the floor, or are experiencing significantly higher than normal stopping distances (+20% or so, depending on loading), I'd say it's normal. We do drive trucks.

If you feel like you're taking too long to stop, though, then there may be a real problem. Of course, it's always far, far better safe than sorry when talking about brakes. Just make sure you're really not worrying over nothing.

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Old 02-28-2003, 04:50 PM
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You may have a bad power booster.
Ex1: Power Booster in a 67 mustang and it was not regulating the pressure on the diapraghm correctly. It was over boosted, you barely touched the pedal and the tires (all four ) would lock up.
EX2: Power booster in a 73 F100. it was not holding pressure and would allow the pedal to go to the floor. (when you had come to a complete stop it would just push all the way down to keep from moving forward) Replaced the master cylinder three times before trying the Power Booster. Once that was replaced everything went back to normal and had a firm brake pedal.
If nothing else is working, and there are no leaks, brakes are adjusted correctly, master cylinder gets replaced and it is still there try the booster, it may be a bit too powerful and giving you that soft pedal.
And if you are changing the master cylinder, make sure the rod that pushes the MCyl. is set to the correct length, that would cause a delay as to when the MCyl. became really effective and moved enough fluid to stop the vehicle.
Hope this all makes sense.
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Old 03-07-2003, 12:12 AM
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I would not panic, Low, Soft pedal is not uncommon with most of the ABS ford trucks. Feels especally bad when you need to stop fast after already being on the pedal to slow down. ( reminds me of coaster brakes on a bicycle.) Keeping the rears adjusted is helpful( going in reverse and stopping hard a couple of times will normally keep them up without too much trouble) Bleeding brakes with ABS systems can sometimes be tricky. You might invest some $ and have a shop bleed them for you with a pressure bleeder. Keep in mind that trucks with rear drum don't seem to use the rear brakes for much of anything. I had over 170,000 on my 99 and the rears were not noticably worn when compared to new shoes. I have always had better luck with factory pads or high performance aftermarket. The pep boys, Kragen, discount raybestos variety do have an impact of braking.
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Old 03-07-2003, 12:18 PM
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First step upgrade to Powerlsot rotors and HAWK PADS.Second step flush and bleed entire system w/ Castrol GTLMA Fluid. Third step notice a drastic improvement in braking performance.Next step wait for Russell Performance to finish making the Braided Stainless Steel brake lines like i am then upgrade them. Justa suggestion. And i don't want to hear from anyone about that is not practical. It is if you have to replace rotors and pads anyway. The cost is not much more and the improvement is worth the extra dollars especially if you tow.

Richard D.
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Old 03-08-2003, 07:17 PM
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A yearly flush of the brake hydralics is a pratical thing especially in hotter climates and a lot of places will do it for under 50 bucks
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