Loss of brake pedal height

Tiny
RSDMITCH7
  • MEMBER
  • 2003 SATURN L200
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 150,000 MILES
Car has disc brakes in the front, drums in the back. I did brake job on the rear. Replaced the cylinders, pads, clips and drums. Bled system. The pedal has never returned to its original height, I have had it looked at by the GM dealership and they adjusted the brakes, but no better. I was then told buy the parts counter rep that this was a problem that happens after you do the first brake job. I asked about the booster and master cylinder and he said it would not change even if I replaced them. Any thoughts?
Thank You,
Bob Mitchell
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Monday, November 7th, 2016 AT 9:06 AM

7 Replies

Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
The rear brake shoes are probably not adjusted all the way out. This will cause excess pedal travel. Provided they were put together correctly they should self adjust but you want to get them as close as possible when you put the wheels back on. I don't know why the dealership told you that, but its incorrect. Is the pedal soft like there might still be air in the system as well?
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Monday, November 7th, 2016 AT 10:46 AM
Tiny
RSDMITCH7
  • MEMBER
No, the pedal is not spongy. I used brake pads from Auto Zone. I made sure they were the same size in length and width.
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Monday, November 7th, 2016 AT 1:58 PM
Tiny
AL514
  • EXPERT
Yes I'm sure you have the right parts, but the brake shoes need to be adjusted so they are all the way out almost making contact with the inside of the brake drum. There is and adjuster on the inside of the backing plate below the bleeder for the brake cylinders. There is a slot where you can get to the adjuster to move the shoes out towards the drum. Rule of thumb is spin the wheel (with the tire on) and you will have a very slight drag from the brake shoe on the inside of the drum, do this on both sides so the pedal will make contact with the drum immediately, and you will no excessive travel. If they were installed correctly, this is the problem. Did you replace the springs and hardware as well? It should all be done together.
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Monday, November 7th, 2016 AT 3:40 PM
Tiny
RSDMITCH7
  • MEMBER
Yes, all new parts. I will readjust the brakes. Thank you very much for your time and knowledge. This is a terrific site and will be sure to let friends know about it.
Thanks Again
Bob Mitchell
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Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 AT 7:15 AM
Tiny
CJ MEDEVAC
  • EXPERT
Let's hear some good news now!

The Medic
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Tuesday, November 8th, 2016 AT 4:24 PM
Tiny
JOHNNY G.JR
  • MEMBER
Drive car in reverse apply brakes for a few cycles, this will adjust drum brakes(old school)
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Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 AT 8:05 PM
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
That's not a good way to get the rear brakes adjusted correct you just have to manually adjust them.
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Friday, November 11th, 2016 AT 6:46 AM

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