Wrangler Brakes (first post) - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 13 Old 01-02-2016, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
RobTy04
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Wrangler Brakes (first post)

Hi everyone,
My name is Tyler and im new to jeepforum so
forgive me if im posting this question in the wrong thread.

1997 Wrangler Tj 4.0L Sport

Here's what im looking at:
-Barely any fluid in the resi on top of the master cylinder
-Soft brake pedal; almost have to push it all the way to the floor
and it feels like only the front brakes engage. i get pulled all over the
road if i have to brake quickly.
-Brake light on the dash is on at all times.

Ive given the jeep a once over to check for leaks and havent found anything
and i have yet to check the pads. My research has told my its most likely
a leak somewhere in the brake system, worn out pads or maybe e-brake.
if anyone has any advice or info to what the issue might be id appreciate it.

Stoked to be on the forum!
Thanks,
Tyler

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post #2 of 13 Old 01-02-2016, 04:20 PM
DilutedImage
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Hey Tyler - Welcome! The first thing I'd do is top off that fluid and bleed the brakes. Then, look for leaks. If it's not leaking from any of the obvious spots (brake line ends, hose-to-hardline couplings, bottom of the master cylinder), I'd pull the brake pads to check the pistons in the front, and remove the rear drums to check the wheel cylinders. If the pistons are leaking, you can rebuild them or replace the calipers. If the wheel cylinders are leaking, they can be replaced for around $10 each (though I'd probably spend another $30 to replace all the hardware in there).

So yeah. .. That's the approach I'd take. That said, I'm just a hobbyist, so take my advice as such.

Regards,
Steven
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post #3 of 13 Old 01-02-2016, 05:13 PM
jeepinjeffrey
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First the e brake is cable driven so you can rule that off. It sounds like you need to bleed your brakes for sure but the dash light is interesting I haven't seen that before

2003 Wrangler Sport
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post #4 of 13 Old 01-02-2016, 06:04 PM
Mousejockey
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How much pad is left on the front brakes? How much is left on the Rear? Are the Rears out of adjustment? Any signs of fluid between the master and booster?

You really need to inspect the entire system before you can get an accurate diagnosis
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post #5 of 13 Old 01-02-2016, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
RobTy04
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Santa Cruz
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Thanks for the quick replies guys!
Im going to get it up on the jack stands tomorrow so i can pull the wheels off
and get a better look at the brake system and caliper condition. No signs of fluid around
the master but i didnt check the booster; ill add that to my list for tomorrow. I havent even looked
at the rear since ive had the thing, which is about 5 years now so i bet ill find something
around there. Ill let you know how the bleed goes and maybe get some pictures up if i
stumble across anything im unsure about.

Thanks again,
Tyler
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post #6 of 13 Old 01-03-2016, 12:33 AM
TheBoogieman
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Add fluid and go from there. Welcome to JF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepinmichguy_ View Post
TheBoogieman is a jerk.
03' Rubicon/Zone 4" coils with 1" spacers up front/Rancho shocks/5.13 gears-35" MTZs/Black Magic brakes.
99' XJ /4.0L-AW4/ 5.5" lift / Rancho RS5000X shocks/33" DC Extreme country MTs. Jeep #18
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post #7 of 13 Old 01-03-2016, 01:18 AM
dwsutton
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Garage
Yeah filler up and look for the puddle - the fluid went somewhere. If the front pads were worn enough to drop that much fluid they are usually grinding Welcome to the forum !

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post #8 of 13 Old 01-03-2016, 10:28 AM
biffgnar
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Or you may not see a puddle. Cylinder leaking back in to the booster happens often.
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post #9 of 13 Old 01-03-2016, 10:49 AM
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobTy04 View Post
Hi everyone,
My name is Tyler and im new to jeepforum so
forgive me if im posting this question in the wrong thread.

1997 Wrangler Tj 4.0L Sport

Here's what im looking at:
-Barely any fluid in the resi on top of the master cylinder
-Soft brake pedal; almost have to push it all the way to the floor
and it feels like only the front brakes engage. i get pulled all over the
road if i have to brake quickly.
-Brake light on the dash is on at all times.

Ive given the jeep a once over to check for leaks and havent found anything
and i have yet to check the pads. My research has told my its most likely
a leak somewhere in the brake system, worn out pads or maybe e-brake.
if anyone has any advice or info to what the issue might be id appreciate it.

Stoked to be on the forum!
Thanks,
Tyler
You've got so many things going on it's hard to figure out where to start.

Low fluid means you have a leak. The light tripped on the dash means the leak it bad enough that it kicked the shuttle valve over due to differential pressure from the leak. Higher pressure on one side kicks the valve to the other side to slow down the amount of fluid that is being lost.

Pedal to the floor means that it can be out of adjustment rear shoes, a leak, air in the system due to master running low, or some combination there of.

If air is in the system from the master being low, it may need to be bench bled. If you do a bleed on the system and the pedal is still spongy barring any other issues, bench bleed the master.

In order, what I would do is the following-

Pull rear drums and inspect shoes. Manually adjust them to drag when turned by hand with the tires.

Go over rest of system visually for leaks.

Pull master and look into booster with flashlight for signs of fluid. If there is fluid, replace master AND booster.

Trying to bleed with the light on won't work. Find out why it has tripped, fix the issue, pull switch out of combo block and manually move valve back until the detent shows in middle of port, reinstall switch. Then do your bleed starting at the back.

Bleed will also tell you which end is shut off. Helper should push pedal to the floor with the bleed screw open and do so with a lot of enthusiasm and stop at the floor. You watch for high amounts of flow out of the bleed screw. If you don't get it, that is the end that has the problem.

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post #10 of 13 Old 01-03-2016, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
RobTy04
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Santa Cruz
Posts: 5
Still waiting for my buddy with the jack and stuff but im pretty sure i found the leak.
The rear passenger side drum looks wet (see pictures), so does this rule out
any leaks in master/booster?

Side note: Seafoaming engines is for idiots looking to waste money right?
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post #11 of 13 Old 01-03-2016, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
RobTy04
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Santa Cruz
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
You've got so many things going on it's hard to figure out where to start.

Low fluid means you have a leak. The light tripped on the dash means the leak it bad enough that it kicked the shuttle valve over due to differential pressure from the leak. Higher pressure on one side kicks the valve to the other side to slow down the amount of fluid that is being lost.

Pedal to the floor means that it can be out of adjustment rear shoes, a leak, air in the system due to master running low, or some combination there of.

If air is in the system from the master being low, it may need to be bench bled. If you do a bleed on the system and the pedal is still spongy barring any other issues, bench bleed the master.

In order, what I would do is the following-

Pull rear drums and inspect shoes. Manually adjust them to drag when turned by hand with the tires.

Go over rest of system visually for leaks.

Pull master and look into booster with flashlight for signs of fluid. If there is fluid, replace master AND booster.

Trying to bleed with the light on won't work. Find out why it has tripped, fix the issue, pull switch out of combo block and manually move valve back until the detent shows in middle of port, reinstall switch. Then do your bleed starting at the back.

Bleed will also tell you which end is shut off. Helper should push pedal to the floor with the bleed screw open and do so with a lot of enthusiasm and stop at the floor. You watch for high amounts of flow out of the bleed screw. If you don't get it, that is the end that has the problem.

Once I address the leak will the brake light turn off? Is it the
bleed, renewed pressure, or proper drum adjustment that
does it?
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post #12 of 13 Old 01-03-2016, 02:00 PM
DilutedImage
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2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Temecula
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobTy04
Once I address the leak will the brake light turn off? Is it the
bleed, renewed pressure, or proper drum adjustment that
does it?
...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine
The light tripped on the dash means the leak it bad enough that it kicked the shuttle valve over due to differential pressure from the leak. Higher pressure on one side kicks the valve to the other side to slow down the amount of fluid that is being lost.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine
Find out why it has tripped, fix the issue, pull switch out of combo block and manually move valve back until the detent shows in middle of port, reinstall switch. Then do your bleed starting at the back.
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post #13 of 13 Old 01-04-2016, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
RobTy04
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Santa Cruz
Posts: 5
Turns out both of the rear brake cylinders were leaking.
Replaced those along with new shoes. No more brake light
and no more soft brake pedal.

Thanks for all of the input, it helped a lot!
Tyler
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