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Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spongy

Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spongy

Postby PistolPetesPints [OP] » Sep 25 2020, 6:13pm

Happy Friday all,
I have an issue that now feels like it's snowballing.

First off, not related to the install, but has anyone had issues with Power Stop? I ordered my front caliper and rear drum kit through Carid.com from Power Stop and received a box of discarded books instead of my rears. Literally books. Looked like some sort of scam where they filled a box with trash similar to the weight of the item and shipped it out. I'm now in a very lengthy and frustrating refund loop with Carid and Power Stop. I wouldn't recommend Carid.com, btw. I should have just stuck with rockauto.com and paid the extra $30 for the whole job. Ultimately both company's customer service departments have been atrocious.

Ok, onto the dilemma on my truck. 2010 Extended cab, 4x4, front disk, rear drum, 176K miles.

I installed new shocks, struts, and front calipers/pads. Whole process wasn't that bad except for the banjo washers on the calipers. Those suckers did not want to come off, much less while brake fluid is coming out all over me and making it pretty difficult/slippery to pry them off. Eventually everything is on, I bleed the whole system, I take her out for a test to do the Power Stop break in sequence they recommend, and my brake pedal is even more soft than before and quickly goes to the floor before braking. Ok, I assume that means the master is bad. Not super surprising since I was admittedly not brake savvy prior to this job and had let my fluid get very old and dirty. I order a new master and get that on a few days later, man, what a mess I made. I wiped everything down, but got it on with new fluid and re-bled the whole system again. Take her back out, same problem. Super soft brakes, not safe braking power. After getting home again after the test drive I open her back up and see fluid leaking between the master and the booster. New gasket didn't seal/seat properly, I guess?

I let it sit overnight hoping for some luck that maybe it will seat after a few hours. Take her out in the morning and still no good, plus it gets worse. I'm driving down the road and suddenly my truck goes electrically haywire. My locks flip locked/unlock a half dozen times like they're possessed and it feels like the truck goes into neutral somehow so the gas pedal does nothing but rev the engine. I roll for a few hundred yards with my hazards on looking for somewhere to pull off then everything goes back to normal suddenly. I turn around and limp home. I open the hood and sure enough the master has a small leak down the booster again. I shut the hood and haven't had time to touch the situation again since. I also clearly haven't been able to get to the rears yet that I spoke of in the beginning of this.

Another odd piece of this is that my truck actually did a similar thing to me while I was bleeding the system one of the times. I had the door open and was hopping in and out while doing a self bleed with a bottle trick and the locks flickered like that. At the time I was tired and mentally worn out so I thought I had accidently sat on my keys and hit the lock/unlock buttons or something, but this must be related. My first guess if this would have been independent would be to check grounds and battery cables, which I'll still do.

So, thoughts? Has anyone had/seen a leaky, new master? Or any experience with the master/booster causing electrical issues? I bled the system another time, this time with a partner on the pedal instead of the self bleed with a bottle, trying to be completely positive no air was in the lines, but I do admit I've seen it said here and there that an appropriate bleed can take as many as a half dozen attempts. Relatively lost at this point with anything to do other than to remove the master, clean everything up, make sure the seal isn't sitting off kilter or got pinched or anything, reinstall, re-bleed, check electrical, then test drive. Hit me with your best shot.

Thank you for giving this novel (sorry) a read and any insight you have!
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Re: Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spon

Postby nealinator » Sep 25 2020, 8:44pm

It sounds like you may want to have someone with a bit more experience take a look around that you may have missed something or cause another issue during your work.

Also, if the system is opened up such that fluid drains out of the ABS system....you then need a special scan tool to perform an ABS bleed.
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Re: Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spon

Postby duane4238 » Sep 26 2020, 12:31am

I didn't see anywhere in your post that you started by bench bleeding the master cylinder before you installed it. If you didn't, you'll never get a firm pedal. You'll always have some air trapped in the master unless you bench bleed it first. Then if your pedal is still spongy, you need to keep bleeding until you get all the air out of the system. Good luck and don't give up.
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Re: Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spon

Postby Chevy-SS » Oct 01 2020, 12:49am

1) Stop the leak from the M/C, you may need to replace it
2) Bench bleed the M/C
3) Bleed the whole system
4) Cycle the ABS, if needed. If no scan tool, go to dirt lot and lock up the brakes a few times to activate the ABS.

Bleeding brakes can often be tricky. I've worked on lots of different manufacturers, but Chevy trucks seem to be the worst, dunno why.

Don't drive it too much like that. As stated above, get some experienced help if you can't figure it out.
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Re: Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spon

Postby PistolPetesPints [OP] » Oct 04 2020, 9:03pm

Update and good news. First of all, I replaced the negative battery cable which seems to have fixed the electrical issue. No more possessed door locks so far. For everything else I decided to retrace my steps and it seems to have paid off. I removed the master cylinder and believe the seal was simply seated poorly against the booster. However, I did find a few ounces of brake fluid inside the bottom of the booster. I removed the booster as well and drained/siphoned that out, reinstalled the booster, re-bench bled the master, reinstalled the master, and bled the system. Still had a slightly spongy pedal but better, so went and found a dirt road and slammed the brakes on and activated the ABS six times. After getting back on the main road everything seemed great and has been so thus far. Hard pedal and no more leaking between the master and booster. Thanks for the advice, everyone.
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Firing on 1 cylinder [L1]
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Re: Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spon

Postby nealinator » Oct 04 2020, 9:38pm

Seems like I have seen a bunch of people on here saying the old braking on gravel to activate the abs was not the same as a bkeed with a scan tool. Glad you have found and fixed some issues and have good pedal now though.
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Nealinator's 5.3L 4x4 Z71 All Terrain188,885 miles
AMP Power Steps - Retrax Pro Cover - Terra Grappler G2 - Airaid MIT - Mobil 1
Borla Exhaust - Eonon GA7180 - Custom Catch Can - Bilstein 5100's - $ Cost $ - DiabLew Tune
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Re: Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spon

Postby Chevy-SS » Oct 04 2020, 11:37pm

Awesome news, thanks for posting. Congrats on the fix!
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Re: Front brake caliper/pad & now master install, still spon

Postby GrandPaJoe » Oct 14 2020, 6:26pm

Every once in awhile I've run into a stubbon MC that wouldnt fully bleed.
What I now use is the method below, vid is a bit long, but it has worked for me everytime.
It might be helpful to others in the future.

https://youtu.be/oi4BnNA3Ep4
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