Brakes not working properly

Tiny
IRINABYRNE
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 FORD COUGAR
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 6,790,211 MILES
Hi, I don't know what happened to my brakes but I have to play around with them for the car to slow down. Please watch the video for more understanding.
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Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 AT 5:13 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi and thanks for using 2CarPros.

It's hard to tell what is actually happening. Is the brake pedal hard to push? Do you have to pump them to make them work? Is the brake pedal going excessive low?

Take a look through these links and let me know if anything in them mirrors what you are experiencing.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/brake-pedal-goes-to-the-floor

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/car-pulls-right-or-left-when-driving-or-braking

Now, also let me know if it feels as if the anti-lock brake system (ABS) seems to actuate.

I will watch for your reply.

Joe
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Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 AT 5:52 PM
Tiny
IRINABYRNE
  • MEMBER
I have to pump them to make them work.
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Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 AT 2:06 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

First, check the brake fluid level and make sure it isn't low. Next, I want you to try a test. Put pressure on the brake pedal and hold it. Does the pedal slowly go to the floor? Last, do you have rear drum or disc brakes? If they are disc, when you look through the wheel, you will see a brake rotor that looks the same as the front. If they are drum brakes, you will see a drum and it will look different than that front.

I attached a picture of the master cylinder picture 1. It is under the hood mounted on the driver's side firewall. I also attached pictures of what a brake rotor looks like (disc brakes) and what a brake drum looks like (drum brakes). You can use them what checking the rear brakes for me. Picture 2 is the rotor and 3 is the drum.

I need to know about the rear brake design because drum brakes are adjustable and disc are not.

Let me know,
Joe
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Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 AT 7:09 PM
Tiny
IRINABYRNE
  • MEMBER
Brake pedal does not go to the floor. It is drum brakes.
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Friday, February 15th, 2019 AT 7:34 PM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

Okay, then it's not the master cylinder. With that in mind, the first thing I would try is to adjust the rear brake shoes. Also, the rear brakes may be worn or need replaced. What happens is the self adjusters never seem to work like they should. As a result, the space between the brake shoe and drum becomes excessive as the brakes wear. Then, you have to pump the brakes to cause the shoes to reach and work.

___________________________________________________

I am going to provide the directions for replacing the the rear brakes because I have a feeling that is what may need done.

Here is a link that shows how rear brake shoes are replaced in general. It will help guide you through the process.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-rear-brake-shoes-and-drums

These directions are specific to your vehicle and also include adjustment. The attached pictures correlate with these directions.

__________________________________________________

PROCEDURES
Removal
1. Loosen the wheel nuts.
2. Raise and support the vehicle.
3. Remove the wheel.

picture 1

4. Release the brake shoe automatic adjuster.

picture 2

5. Remove the brake drum.
1 Remove the retainers (if equipped).
2 Remove the drum.

picture 3

6. Make sure that the hub flange is in the correct position as shown.

picture 4

7. Remove the hold down springs.

picture 5

8. Disconnect the parking brake cable.
1 Lever the secondary shoe outwards.
2 Disconnect the cable from the secondary shoe.

picture 6

9. Disconnect the shoes from the anchor block.
1 Disconnect the shoes from the anchor block.
2 Remove the lower return spring.

picture 7

10. CAUTION: Do not damage the wheel cylinder boots.

Detach the shoes from the wheel cylinder.

11. Hold the wheel cylinder pistons in place with a rubber band.

picture 8

12. Remove the upper return spring.

picture 9

13. Remove the primary shoe from the strut and brake shoe adjuster.
1 Rotate the adjuster counterclockwise.
2 Remove the primary shoe.

picture 10

14. CAUTION: Take care as the strut support spring is under tension.

Detach the secondary shoe from the strut support.
Detach the strut from the shoe by levering the strut against the shoe.

picture 11

15. Remove the parking brake return spring.

Installation

NOTE: Install new shoes as axle sets.

picture 12

1. Clean, check and apply Silicon Dielectric Compound D742-18A331-A or equivalent meeting Ford specification ESA-M1C171-A to the backing plate contact points.

picture 13

2. Install the parking brake return spring.

picture 14

3. Install the secondary shoe to the strut and brake shoe adjuster.

picture 15

4. Install the primary shoe to the strut and brake shoe adjuster.
1 Install the primary shoe.
2 Rotate the adjuster fully clockwise.

picture 16

5. Install the upper return spring.
6. Remove the rubber band holding the wheel cylinder pistons in place.

picture 17

7. CAUTION: Do not damage the wheel cylinder boots.

Position the shoes to the wheel cylinder.

picture 18

8. Position the shoes to the anchor block.
1 Install the lower return spring.
2 Position the shoes to the anchor block.

picture 19

9. Install the hold down springs.

picture 20

10. Install the parking brake cable.
1 Lever the secondary shoe outwards.
2 Install the cable to the secondary shoe.

picture 21

11. Install the brake drum.
1 Install the drum.
2 Install the retainers (if equipped).

picture 22

12. Install the wheel.
13. Operate the brake pedal to achieve automatic adjustment.

Let me know if this helps or if you have other questions. Please remember, I am basing this on the pedal not reaching the floor and the brake is full and not leaking.

Take care,
Joe
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Friday, February 15th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM
Tiny
IRINABYRNE
  • MEMBER
But how will it affects my driving? Will it get worst over time?
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Saturday, February 16th, 2019 AT 9:41 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
That is what is hard for me to answer without knowing the problem. If it is the master cylinder, yes it could be dangerous. If the rear brakes are out of adjustment, it will slowly get worse. However, the vehicle will not stop as fast as it could, so that can be dangerous.

I wish I could give you a definitive answer, but without being there, the best I can do is help you diagnose the problem. Since it is brake related, please be careful.

Feel free to let me know if you have other questions.

Joe
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Saturday, February 16th, 2019 AT 8:28 PM
Tiny
IRINABYRNE
  • MEMBER
The rear brakes are out.
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Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 AT 5:31 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

When you say out, I assume you are referring to adjustment. Is that correct? Or, do you mean they do not actuate at all?

If so, have you tried adjusting them? If you take a look through this link, toward the end it discusses how to adjust brake shoes.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-replace-rear-brake-shoes-and-drums

Let me know if this helps or if I misunderstood, let me know.

Joe
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Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 AT 6:18 PM
Tiny
IRINABYRNE
  • MEMBER
The brake pedal feels normal, but car does not stop.
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Thursday, March 21st, 2019 AT 12:20 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Welcome back:

Without being there, it is hard to say what is happening. However, if you feel that it may be unsafe and can't confirm exactly what is happening, you need to have it checked. Please keep in mind, I'm not there to experience what is happening. I can only go on what is being said. If they feel normal but the vehicle is struggling to stop, starting at the brakes themselves, everything needs checked. If they feel normal, then each wheel should be checked to see if the brake is actually working.

Joe
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Thursday, March 21st, 2019 AT 6:27 PM

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