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Unread 07-15-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
Aric_Heselton
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Hastings, MN
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Brake issue on 87 Cherokee

So, im not a mechanic or a know it all. I know very little, but i have a brain and ive always been hungry for knowledge and to get my hands dirty. I have a 1987 Cherokee, with a twist, it has a 1992 4.0 in it. Nothing matches up really and im becoming a self taught mechanic so i spend countless hours on this vehicle if my hands arent dirty im doing research. I can honestly say there isnt one issue with that vehicle i havent been able to fix and theres been alot. Until now. My pedal was spongy, to the point where stopping was hard, so after a few hours of surfing around i made damn sure what the problem was. I come to the conclusion its air in my lines, well that doesnt sound too bad to bleed the system ive seen it done as a kid. So lets go get our hands dirty, I bleed the system in sequence did everything the way my extensive research said to. I used a bottle with a hose submerged in brake fluid and a vent for the bubbles to escape, so after pumping the pedal and going through a big bottle of fluid (keeping the master topped off) theres absolutely no air bubbles i can see, now my problems worse. The rear brakes are drums and now it looks as if they arent even grabbing at all. Can anyone shed some light on this or help me out? Im from Hastings MN anyone near here willing to take a look im willing to drive it there or some posts on here would suffice as well. Im unemployed so cost is a factor I cant find a job for the life of me, like i said im becoming a self taught mechanic, its my dream and if i could get into college i would but thats not exactly an option. So until i can figure that out research and trial and error are my best options. Everyone says to scrap this vehicle, but im in love with Jeeps and if i wanna one day build a crawler without help i've gotta learn with some vehicle so why not this one. Kinda like my test dummy, i love the vehicle but shes a bit worn out. 210k miles, runs like a champ but all the parts just from looks alone say she wants give.

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Unread 07-15-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
bend
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Location: Boston, Massachusetts
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If you press firmly on the brake pedal, does it stay in one place, or sink to the floor?
Does 'pumping' the brakes help keep the pedal off the floor?
Did you get any bubble as you bled the brakes?
Are the front pistons right-side up?
Are your rear brakes adjusted properly?
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Unread 07-15-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
cruiser54
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Adjust your rear brakes.
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Unread 07-15-2012, 07:23 PM   #4
Aric_Heselton
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It sinks all the way down to the floor, when driving i fully compress the brake and it hardly grabs at all if im doing over 15 it will just be a harsh rolling stop. When the vehicle is off i pump it once (sinks to floor) and they stiffen but i can still compress it to the floor with ease. The brakes worked fine yesterday i mean the pedal sank but it was where i could atleast lock them up, only wanted to make them better because im planning on taking a 300+ mile trip. Was i supposed to compress the caliper pistons before bleeding? How do i adjust the rear brakes? and is that neccesary since they worked yesterday? Also should i disassemble the Master cylinder and clean it completely then bleed it and bleed the system? Yes i had several bubbles come out. The rear brakes are drums and the front are discs. Any info is helpful and i appreciate the replies.
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Unread 07-15-2012, 07:42 PM   #5
bend
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With the car running, but not moving, you can press the pedal all the way to the floor, right? Once that happens, try pressing it repeatedly, and see if the bottom of each press is now no longer at the floor. If this happens, you are seeing classic bad master cylinder behavior.

If you need a new master cylinder, consensus around here is to *not* buy remanfacutured, but go with a new one from a 'good' brand. I got one from NAPA for about $90 recently.

Separately, cruiser54 is suggesting your rear brakes may be mis-adjusted. They 'should adjust automagically, but often don't. If the MC is apparently good, that is a good thing to try.

And I'll just say one more thing - brakes are not something you can fix improperly, have fail, and always walk away from. Having your brakes not working, or fail, is life threatening for you and others. Be sure you understand what you are doing. Be careful!

Edit, to add:
No, you do not compress the caliper pistons before bleeding.
But flipped (upside down) calipers will trap air, and seem a common problem. The bleed nipples should face up.
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Unread 07-15-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
Aric_Heselton
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Well ill look up some how to on rear adjustment for drums seeing as i dont have money for a new MC and I'm pretty sure the MC is still good considering it was fine yesterday and didnt act up until i bled the system, I'll readjust and report back tomorrow. And yes, thats something i understand hence why i wanted to improve them in the first place as of now im driving my old buick, the brakes stop the vehicle but not enough to trust it if im doing over 30, which is every residential road.
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Unread 07-16-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
Aric_Heselton
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Well got the drum off, only to see every single piece inside covered in grease, im talking about quarter inch think grease on everything including the shoes. Now my shoes are riveted and by feeling the rivet is pretty far down meaning the shoes have life left in them im assuming. But the entire shoe, adjuster, cylinder all of it is caked in grease. is there any solvents or fluids i can use to help thuroghly clean yet maintain the integrity and stopping power of the shoe and drum? And why and how is there so much excess grease, do i have a leak or something spilling and compiling itself and dirt into this greasy gooey ****? thank you for the help so far!
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Unread 07-16-2012, 04:27 PM   #8
cruiser54
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Leaky rear axle seal most likely. New seal and new shoes is a bare minimum.
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Unread 07-16-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
Hudson
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Watch "Ericthecarguy" onyoutube. He has some great step by step videos that should show you the way. If you've never worked on drums before, watch this video from him. The first video is part 1, and the second video is part 2. It should clear up any questions you have.



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Unread 07-25-2012, 12:52 AM   #10
Aric_Heselton
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I actually did watch him, seems my cylinders were bad and im assuming all the grease was from them leaking and compiling dirt i cleaned it all up and put it back together the cylinder seemed to stick a little bit at first probably because i dried it out and everything but it seems to be working fine now, the grommets are a little warped but it all seems to work adequately, my stopping power still isnt desirable but its getting better, there was alot of grease on the shoes so i think if i run it enough they should clean off and get back my stopping power. I still have no parking brake and there was a snapped cable inside the drum im not sure what that is and i cant find a video of a drum that has that cable which im assuming is the parking brake the cable was about 6 inches long with a loop on one end and probably 1/8 inch in diameter. Apparently i have mysterious unknown brakes though i bought two possible cylinders a 92 and an 87 and neither fit so i did the best i could remanning the ones i have which seems to work well, but back to my previous question, is there anything i can clean the shoes with that isnt harmful or going to compromise the ceramic/ stopping power? Ive been without my beloved leaky rickety Jeep since i started this thread and its killing me.
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brake bleeding , brake failure , cherokee , help needed

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