1989 Chevy Caprice pedal to the floor

Tiny
RHONDAJEAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1989 CHEVROLET CAPRICE
  • V8
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 20,000 MILES
So I replaced my brake lines, power booster nad master cylinder. Bled the brakes all was goo started the car and pedal went right to the floor what happened and what do I do next?
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Friday, April 24th, 2009 AT 8:36 PM

10 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
If there's no leakage anywhere best double check the master cylinder new or old internal leak inside will cause the pedal to sink like that. Do you have ABS unit?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+3
Friday, April 24th, 2009 AT 8:45 PM
Tiny
RHONDAJEAN
  • MEMBER
No ABs and cant find a leak anywhere. Its weirds because when the car is off the pedal is tight but as soon as you start it the pedal goes to the floor
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Friday, April 24th, 2009 AT 8:47 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
PEDAL SINKS TO FLOOR A dangerous condition caused by a worn master cylinder or a leak in the hydraulic system will not allow the brakes to hold pressure.

A quick way to check the vacuum booster is to pump the brake pedal several times with the engine off to bleed off any vacuum that may still be in the unit. Then hold your foot on the pedal and start the engine. If the booster is working, the amount of effort required to hold the pedal should drop and the pedal itself may depress slightly. If nothing happens and the vacuum connections to the booster unit are okay, a new booster is needed (the vacuum hose should be replaced, too).

On vehicles equipped with "Hydroboost" power brakes, a hard pedal can be caused by a loose power steering pump belt, a low fluid level, leaks in the power hoses, or leaks or faulty valves in the hydroboost unit itself (the latter call for rebuilding or replacing the booster).
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Friday, April 24th, 2009 AT 8:52 PM
Tiny
RHONDAJEAN
  • MEMBER
We did replace the power booster already and still went to the floor when we started When the car is off they are tighter but when the car is runed on ther mush
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Friday, April 24th, 2009 AT 9:20 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Triple check the master cylinder this is the one that creates the hydraulic pressure thru out the brake system How about the wheel cylinders on the back did you inspect for leakage. Fluid on the rim or tires is an indication of it leaking
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
+1
Friday, April 24th, 2009 AT 11:58 PM
Tiny
RHONDAJEAN
  • MEMBER
Hi ok there is a leak got to go reinspect. But why is it tighter when the car is not running and as soon as I turn the car on I lose pressure
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, April 25th, 2009 AT 6:29 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
You need to test the master cylinder. Even if the brake booster fails you should still have pressure if there's no leak

Its due to vacuum and atmospheric pressure and also depends on the type of brake system you have, such as a hydro boost type using power steering fluid

Check the brake hose check valve and test the booster.

You can check the valve by removing it and trying to blow through it from both sides. It should pass air from the rear but not from the front.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Saturday, April 25th, 2009 AT 3:03 PM
Tiny
RHONDAJEAN
  • MEMBER
I understand what you said about the check vavlve and how to test it but how do I test the master? And is there a better way to bleed the brakes on this car?
Check the brake hose check valve and test the booster?R.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, April 27th, 2009 AT 6:42 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER
Master cylinder testing

Apply and hold brake pedal look for bubbles or fluid swirl at compensating port in reservoir. If so Replace master cylinder.

Bleed the brakes from RR, LR, RF, LF

Bleeding the brakes should be the last step in a brake job. Opening the bleeder screws at the calipers and wheel cylinders allows you to drain, flush or siphon the old fluid from the brake lines and replace it with new. Bleeding the brakes is always necessary if a brake line has been opened, or if a caliper, wheel cylinder, master cylinder or ABS hydraulic modulator or pump has been replaced.

Bleeding is well worth the effort because it removes air from the lines that could cause a soft pedal (air is compressible while hydraulic fluid is not). It also replaces the old moisture-contaminated brake fluid with fresh, clean fluid. After several years of service, brake fluid is often saturated with water. As the moisture content goes up, the fluid's boiling temperature goes down. This increases the risk of fluid boil and loss of pedal under hard use.

Though most brake systems are designed with enough cooling capacity to prevent the fluid from boiling under normal driving conditions, the built-in safety margin can vanish under prolonged hard braking (as when driving down a steep mountain in a heavily loaded vehicle). Fortunately, this kind of brake failure is rare, but it can happen, and often with tragic consequences.

A more common problem is a soft pedal following a brake job or other brake repairs. When brake lines are opened or hydraulic parts are replaced, air enters the system. Air may also be trapped inside new components. Bench bleeding a new master cylinder will remove most of the air from the unit before it is installed, but the brake lines, calipers and wheel cylinders must still be bled after these or other parts have been installed to get the air out.

When air is trapped inside the hydraulic system, it usually migrates to the highest point. This may be the master cylinder, but it can also be trapped behind the caliper or wheel cylinder pistons, or inside an ABS unit.

When you step on the brake pedal, the trapped air compresses causing the pedal to travel farther than normal. Instead of a nice firm pedal, the pedal feels soft and spongy. If there is a lot of air in the system, the pedal may go all the way to the floor without applying the brakes! Pumping furiously may recover enough pedal to stop the vehicle, but this is not something you want to ever experience firsthand.

Air in the lines can also upset brake balance and the normal application of the brakes. If one caliper contains air, it won't apply with as much force as the caliper on the opposite wheel. This can cause a brake pull towards the stronger side.

When the brakes are bled, the goal should be to get all the air out of the system and to replace all of the old dirty fluid with fresh clean fluid. This will assure a firm pedal and restore the corrosion-inhibitors and lubricants that help protect the metal and rubber parts inside the brake system. Use the type of fluid (DOT 3 or 4) specified by the vehicle manufacturer.

How you bleed the brakes is up to you. Gravity bleeding is a slow and tedious process. Manually bleeding the brakes is faster because pumping the brake pedal pushes fluid through the lines. But manual bleeding requires a helper (someone to pump the pedal while you open and close the bleeder screws), unless you use one-way check valves on the bleeder screws to prevent air from being siphoned back into the system during the pedal return stroke.

A much faster technique is to pressure bleed the lines. By attaching a pressure tank to the master cylinder reservoir, you can force fluid through the lines to quickly bleed the system. Pressure bleeding requires the right adapter for the vehicle being bled. On some vehicles, the metering valve or "hold-off" valve must also be held open while pressure bleeding because the power bleeder doesn't generate enough pressure (usually 15 to 20 psi) to open the metering valve by itself.

Vacuum bleeding is another technique that works well and saves time. With this method, a vacuum bleeding tool is attached to the bleeder screws to pull fluid through the system. The tool uses shop air to create a vacuum that siphons fluid out of the system. Just remember to keep the master cylinder full of fluid so it doesn't run low and allow air to reenter the system.

Regardless of which technique you use to bleed the brakes, follow the recommended bleeding sequence for the vehicle you are bleeding otherwise you might not get all the air out of the system. On some ABS-equipped vehicles, you may also have to cycle or reposition the ABS solenoids or valves with a scan tool. Many also have additional bleeder screws on the ABS unit for bleeding the system.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, April 27th, 2009 AT 7:37 AM
Tiny
RIKSWIRLD
  • MEMBER
When you installed the new master cylinder, did you bench bleed it prior to installing it. If not you may still have trapped air in the system.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 AT 10:42 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides