Urgent brake help - F78


Hi guys, hope you can help with this worrying issue. Over the last few days my brake pedal seems to have been getting closer and closer to the floor. Pumping the brakes a bit helped but today i nearly sh!t myself coming home from work! Approaching a tight bend i slowly started to apply pressure to the brakes and the pedal went right to the floor. Pumping them furiously i managed to get some braking power but it happened again and again coming down my drive. I really neeed to investigate this urgently and was wondering if any of you might be able to throw some ideas at me...

Help Any help greatly appreciated Help


Brake help

Hey mate, I'm new here, so don't know what your mechanical knowledge is like, so i dont mean to be condescending. If your pedal travels quite a bit before you get any pressure at all, you are probably low on fluid. If it feel spongy, then it's air in the system. Either way, you have a leak of some description in your braking system. Check your fluid level, and if it is low, then check around the system for signs of where fluid might be escaping. ie master cylinder, servo, brake lines, inside of wheels if its from wheel cylinders. If its been hapening gradually, then if you top up then you should be able to get to your nearset garage safely enough, but I never said that! Don't take risks with brakes. It's not worth it. If you find the source of the leak, replace the part (or seals). Fill up with new fluid, bleed the system of air, and re-check fluid level, and bobs your uncle. Hope that helps.

its a fluid leak or the seal

its a fluid leak or the seals in the master cylinder, either way dont drive it till its fixed, the only possible exception is to closely follow the wifes car to the nearest garage. if u hit somebody else your insurance will probably refuse any claim leaving u to foot any bills and compensation.

Have you been playing in the

Have you been playing in the mud recently? And how far does the handbrake lever come up. If the answers are "yes", and "a long way" then your rear brake shoes are probably caked in mud, and have worn due to it. Pull the drums off, and clean it all up, basically hosing it all out. Then manually adjust your rear shoes. If you dont know how to do this, learn to. I have removed my self adjusters, as I have found them more trouble than they are worth, and dont work properly anyhow. Just monitor your handbrake adjustment to know when the rears need adjusting.


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Growing old is compulsary, growing up isnt.
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Thanks for your replies guys.

Thanks for your replies guys. I've got a day off work today so will have a look at some of the things you suggested.
DieselDaz, i did notice some play in my front n/s wheel indicating to me that the wheel bearings were probably knackered...never thought of that as a possible cause for brake failure, ta. Will see what i can find today, if not, i may have to call upon my mechanic matey to help!

cheers guys

*** '96 Fourtrak Forester ***

sat in 4trak this morning and

sat in 4trak this morning and pedal went straight to the floor. checked fluid, none there! (there was last night). checked front lines and around discs, nothing. checked lines backwards and couldn't see any sign of leakage, there was no sign of fluid on the ground either. had the brake fluid fairies been at my truck i was thinking. luckily i had some brake fluid in my shed so i put some in and started to pump the pedal, i could hear a compressed air sound coming from under the truck, looked underneath and hey presto, broken brake line at rear wheel!
I think i will ask my mech mate to lend a hand with getting it sorted as i've never done anything with brake lines before.
Thanks for your help guys, it turned out to be a bit easier to find out than i thought it might be. Wink

*** '96 Fourtrak Forester ***


Hi Gillie,

Check your brake fluid level, I wouldn't expect it to be low but its easy to check. If it is low then have a look at all the brake pipes and around the calipers and around the rear drums. I would think it is probably not a leaking pipe, because once the fluid has leaked out there is none left to pump the pedal back up.

Make sure you haven't got a badly worn wheel bearing, causing the wheel hub to drop and the disc to sit at an angle in the brake caliper. This pushes the piston back into the caliper causing the long pedal when you first go for the brakes and the need to pump the pedal.

The next thing is your rear brakes could be a long way out of adjustment. They are self adjusting but overtime as the hand brake cables stretch ( and you're pulling the lever through the roof), so the cables get adjusted. But if the handbrake cables get over adjusted this pulls the brake shoes close to the drum (giving a nice short feeling lever) but away from the self adjusters working range. The brakes then don't self adjust at all so eventually you need to start to pump the pedal as the brakes wear.

If all that seems ok then it may just be you've got very old & contaminated brake fluid. Overtime the brake fluid absords moisture from the atmosphere or from deep water wading. When you build up temperature in your brakes this boils and bubbles the bits of water air bubbles in the fluid. The more this happens the more compressable the fluid is giving you the long pedal.

Lastly and most expensively is the master cylinder leaking internally passed its seals.

If you have any doubts about your skill with spanners then get the help of a mate that you trust ( with your life) or leave it to the professionals.

Hope this is of some help, Daz


A major tip ..... buy the correct grade of fluid. Also bleed the longest run first, next longest, and shortest last. Never re-use any brake fluid.