Brake Pedal Too High After Overhaul -
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-16-2013, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Tampa
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Brake Pedal Too High After Overhaul

Hi All - I am new here but hugely appreciate what the forums have to offer! I will also say thank you up front for any and all assistance. I have searched not only the forums but also the internet in general and have not come up with one thing on the pedal being too high after a repair was made.

The story is that the brakes on my 96 recently when coming to stop would all of the sudden 'give' and it was actually pretty scary. I took it to a 'general mechanic' (not a Jeep shop) and he replaced the master cylinder and brake booster. He checked all the calipers and pads and all was fine. After two weeks he still has not been able to figure out why the brakes are so spongy (lots of info here on that issue) but can't find anything on the fact the brake pedal is probably 3-4" higher than it was originally and higher than on most any other vehicle. It is significant, not just a small amount higher which could be normal after replacing everything and bleeding.

My gut says he put on parts that were wrong but then he said he checked that and changed everything out but I seriously doubt that he did. I'm wondering if anyone out there knows the differences in the parts between models... An issue is that right before this he did work on my 99 Grand Cherokee so maybe he mistakenly asked for those parts. The 96 has a 5.2, the 99 a 4.7 so maybe he confused the engines and said the 96 was something smaller, even perhaps a 6 cylinder? I'm sure many things could lead to getting or providing the wrong info but anyone know if another model would result in the pedal being higher? In other words, it would all seamingly all fit together right, just way off on the pedal height?

I guess should also confirm that there is no adjustment on the pedal height correct? Then just to be certain on the spongyness, the general concensus that just needs a proper bleeding? He said he hooked it up to a machine to bleed it but not sure on that either. When I saw him attempting to bleed it, it wasn't right how he did it in general. He has ties to a dealership though so perhaps he did take it and get help though. He does have 'incentive' to get it fixed and I think he has tried hard because my biz is next to his shop and they've borrowed, and I'm sure they wish to continue, to borrow my forklift and just generally stay in good graces.

Thanks again for any help and insights!

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post #2 of 6 Old 06-16-2013, 08:29 PM
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1997 ZJ 
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I'm thinking he installed a wrong booster.

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-16-2013, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Tampa
Posts: 3
Thanks, after some thought, it probably will be best to just to start over and replace the booster and master cylinder and see where we are at. The pedal is at an unsafe height so obviously something is wrong and it's either one of those parts. Perhaps start with the booster so don't have to disconnect the lines from the master cyclinder but since he couldn't get the system blead, not a huge issue.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-16-2013, 11:16 PM
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1995 ZJ 
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did he bench bleed the master cylinder? if not that's the spongy feel. bench bleed that then re-bleed everything.

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post #5 of 6 Old 06-17-2013, 07:45 AM
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2002 WJ 
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ZJs are meant to be notorious for poor brake feel even straight off the production line, so the sponginess isn't necessarily evidence of insufficient bleeding. Can't hurt to re-bleed everything though.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-18-2013, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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1996 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Tampa
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Yeah, his bleeding sucked as I watched him for a few mins but my bigger concern is until the pedal is at a safe height, it's a bit of a moot point. Just to give you an idea, when I first picked it up I almost got into an accident and I'm not being overly dramatic at all, but when I went from gas to brake, my foot was literally and fully behind the brake pedal. It's not like I just hit the side of it, I had to really figure out my foot was fully behind it and act quickly. Then tried to see if it would be OK and could get used to it and not really, you have to literally lift your foot to go from gas to brake instead of just pivot your foot and that's an accident waiting to happen and I have others with work use the vehicle which is a huge consideration.

I think at this point I probably need to be done with mechanics on this issue and just get what I know are the right parts and do this now. I have had nightmare experiences with mechanics lately as I've recently tried to transition from doing such work myself but end up spending 3 times the amount of time than just doing it myself. I'm also not cheaping out, I pay what they ask, these are real shops... Oh well, thanks for the input.
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