1992 Mazda 323 low brake pedal

Tiny
AUBREYRME
  • MEMBER
  • 1992 MAZDA 323
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 176,000 MILES
The pedal bottoms out, so there is no reserve pressure. In most cars, I can push the pedal and feel pressure after the brakes are locked, but not this one. It feels like the brakes fade. The emergency brake seems to stop the car faster than the main brakes. If the car sits for a few days, the right rear wheel will skid the first few times the brakes are used, but if I jack up the rear wheel, it spins freely, so that brake is not dragging. Parking brake works. After repairing leaky brake lines, replacing both rear wheel cylinders, replacing the master cylinder, and bleeding all the lines, I still have this problem. There are no leaks now. Rear shoes are possibly over half worn, but not worn out. Is it possible my adjusters are not working or drums are oversized, so the shoe travel distance is too great? What else could cause this symptom?
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008 AT 9:48 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Is it still going down when stepping on it
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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 AT 6:20 PM
Tiny
AUBREYRME
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I am not sure what you are asking. Yes the pedal moves when it is pushed, but feels like it is at the end of it's travel before the brakes are fully engaged and pressing harder won't move the pedal any further, or make the brakes grab any harder.

From reading some of the other posts, I am now suspecting a problem with the booster, although I had always assumed brakes would still work manually without vacuum assist, if you just press harder on the pedal.
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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 AT 6:38 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • EXPERT
Try adjusting the brake shoes to the inside diameter of the drum by using a brake gauge. Or adjust the brake shoes thru the inspection hole of the star wheel tighten it till the drum won't move then back off a bit and see what happen
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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 AT 6:45 PM
Tiny
AUBREYRME
  • MEMBER
Thanks for the prompt reply. Sounds like you agree with my initial suspicion about the adjusters not working. I'll have to take another look to be sure, but I don't think this car has a star wheel, or I would have adjusted manually. The adjuster is a notched arm on a spring. It might be easier to replace the shoes, instead of trying to figure out how to manually adjust these.
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Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 AT 7:50 PM

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