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Excessive brake pedal travel after disassembly


Old 06-07-2011, 11:19 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Eaton, Ohio
Posts: 21
Excessive brake pedal travel after disassembly

Hello everyone,

I have a strange issue with my brake pedal. When I press on the brake pedal it has more travel than it used to before the truck actually starts stopping.

I should back this up with a story first. When I first got the truck 2 years ago the brake pedal felt similar. The front brakes needed attention so I replaced the front calipers (pistons cracked), pads and had the rotors turned. The pedal height was the same after the brake job.

This spring I replaced the rear pads, rotors and emergency brake shoes due to issues with the emergency brake pads separating from the shoes.

To my surprise, after the rear brake job, my pedal height felt right and it took little foot effort to get the truck stopped.

Last week I had a reputable local shop replace the upper/lower ball joints and tie rod ends. I noticed that the brake pedal felt low again. I've only driven about 50 miles but haven't noticed an improvement on pedal height. The brakes seem to function just fine, even when slammed. The pedal travel is much more than I'd like though.

The pedal height was perfect before I had the work done. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out why this may have happened to cause the lower pedal height.

I read the sticky on Soft Brake Pedal Resolved but I'm hesitant to adjust anything as the height has been fine at one time without performing the rod adjustment as described in the sticky.

Any ideas on what might have happened to cause this? I plan on calling the shop tomorrow to ask if they have any ideas but thought I'd ask here first in case someone else may have been through a similar experience?
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:57 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Eaton, Ohio
Posts: 21
I spoke with the shop that did the work and all they did was remove the brake calipers to perform the ball joint replacement. I'm stumped on this one. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to check?
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:06 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,155
you need to have that shop rebleed your brakes (FOR FREE hopefully)

When they removed the calipers they must have got some air into the system that they did not bleed out properly.

A full brake bleed (done properly) should return your pedal to the previous performance.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:27 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
Posts: 2,063
^2nd. Bleed the brakes on all 4 corners before dumping time/money into parts or labor.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:53 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Burleson/Athens/Brownsboro, TX
Posts: 25,185
Find out if they actually broke the lines open and removed calipers or if they just took the calipers off the rotors and "hung" them still connected. There is really no reason for them to break open the fluid lines and get air in the system. I really doubt bleeding will help. Plus, if there was air, the brakes would be spongy and pump up, not just a low pedal. I would look at doing the rod adjustment.
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