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Problem Bleeding Brakes

3rd Generation Acura Integra (1994-2001)

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Old 06-07-2009, 03:38 AM   #1
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Unhappy Problem Bleeding Brakes

94 Acura Integra -

I had some serious break issues come up, where especially on hot days the pedal would go all the way to the floor and the only way to stop the car was to feather the breaks and get the little bit of grab they were able to offer. After reading through the forums I decided it was time to 1. Replace the Master Cylinder 2. Replace the pads and 3. Bleed the break lines.

So I followed the instructions I found here and in the Chilton's Manual.

* Used a turkey baster to empty out old Master Cylinder of break fluid.
* Removed old Master Cylinder.
* Bench Bleed the new Master Cylinder.
* Installed new Master Cylinder.
* I then went around to each wheel and removed the old pads.
* Greased the necessary areas.
* Put new pads on. (As a note I had to release some of the pressure from the bleeder valves at the calipers in order to get the pistons into position... I did this with a tube on the nipple of the bleed leading into a container, the hose end submerged in new fluid.)
* So starting with the Front Driver Side Wheel as per Chilton's I attempted to bleed the brakes at that Caliper. (another note: I do not have the ability to get the car up all all 4's, I can only raise one wheel up at a time.)

The problem: The darn think won't bleed! Here are the steps I am taking.
* Check Reservoir to ensure its mostly filled.
* Replace cap on Reservoir (though later I tried with the cap off as well)
* The same tube/nipple/container+fluid setup I mentioned before.
* Buddy in the car pumps the breaks 4-5 times. (now here is the problem, unlike a normal pedal which would stop about half way down the pedal in my car is dropping to the floor the the weight of my buddies foot/leg.)
* He leaves it pushed in.
* Opne bleed value 1 full turn and I get a VERY VERY VERY slow trickle of break fluid entering the tube. The pedal can't "fall" because its already all the way down.)
* After leaving it open for a time (I tried everything from 5-10 seconds to a minute) close bleeder valve.
* Buddy lets off of the break.

After trying this for at least 30 mins with no change in pedal travel and no change in the flow of fluid I started changing thing sup to make it work.
* I tried with the cap off. (no change.)
* I tried using the replace fluid method where you just make sure there is fluid in the reservoir and then open up a valve and pump the break to try and suck all the fluid out (this had the same slow slow trickle from the valve and nothing else.)
* Having my buddy pump the breaks more times (no change.)
* Checked all of the rubber brake lines for expansion/leaks (found nothing.)

I am really not sure what I am doing incorrectly or what more could be wrong. Any help would be great appreciated!

Thanks in advance,
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:53 AM   #2
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Have you followed the brake lines from the master cylinder all the way to the rear of the car? theres a plastice coving over them under the car. Check to see if any of the fittings are leaking.
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Old 06-07-2009, 02:38 PM   #3
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i have the same problem with a new master cylinder and decent pads. i'm ready to drop a f***ing anchor.
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #4
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when bleeding the brakes you should be starting with the passenger rear, then moving on to driver rear, front passenger, and end by bleeding the driver front caliper.
Originally Posted by Samurai_Blue View Post
and i bet youre gonna sell it in 5 months
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Old 06-07-2009, 03:03 PM   #5
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The reason its dropping is due to the fact you opened the system and let air in. You need to keep pumping the pedal until you get a strong flow of brake fluid and do that all the way around. Then start the car and try it. I had the same problem wit mine, but mine was beacuse i did an abs delete. Keep me posted and let me know.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:10 PM   #6
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Some more detail on bleeding procedure I used:

(I referenced a Chiltons Manual which told me to start Driver Front side... I am going to try order listed in Haynes tonight.)

Two man operation - Guy 1 (me) at the Caliper and Guy 2 (friend) inside the car at the break pedal.

1. Guy 1 opens the reservoir and checks to ensure fluid is sufficient (2/3 full because the car is propped up) then replaces the reservoir cap.
2. Guy 1 moves to chosen Caliper (was going to Front Driver side as per the Chilton's Manual.)
3. Guy 1 removes the nipple cover from the bleeder valve.
4. Guy 1 attached clear rubber tubing to bleeder valve nipple.
5. Guy 1 ensures that the non-nipple side of clear rubber tube is leading to a clear container where it is submerged in 2 inches of new brake fluid.
6. Guy 1 says "pump"
7. Guy 2 pumps the brakes 4-5 times. (Note: That the pedal has slight resistance in it and travels all the way to the "floor")
8. Guy 2 holds the pedal all the way down and says "Down"
9. Guy 1 opens the bleeder valve 1 full turn.
10. Guy 2 already has the brake pedal all the way to the floor so he can't tell Guy 1 when the brake pedal drops all the way.
11. So, Guy 1 leaves the bleeder open for 10-20 seconds and then closes it fully.
12. Guy 1 tells Guy 2 "Up"
13. Guy 2 releases the brake pedal and it does come up to resting position on its own.
14. Repeated this exact cycle at least 50 times.

Some things that were/weren't happening -

In Step 9: After opening the bleeder valve the flow of brake fluid is negligible. In 50 attempts at the cycle less then 1/4 inch of fluid has been removed from the Master Cylinder Reservoir.

In Step 7: The pressure at the brake pedal never noticeable increased. What more the brake pedal was always able to travel completely to the "floor"

Other variations that were tried:
* We tried leaving the cap off of the Reservoir with no change.
* Guy 2 would pump the brakes and then lightly hold them down about 3/4 of the way. Guy 1 would open the bleeder valve. The pedal still would not "drop" to the floor.
* Guy 2 increased brake pedal pumps from 4-5 to 10-15.

* We tried the "drain out the old fluid method"
- Open reservoir
- Open bleeder valve
- Pump the brakes
Even trying this we were unable to get any more fluid to flow through the bleeder valve.

Somethings I to note/I am concerned about:
1. Only one "wheel" of the car was jacked up while trying to bleed (I went out today and purchased tow more jack stands so that I can get all of the wheels off and the car level)
2. The car has ABS, however, it has never worked since the car was purchased. It throws and error code that indicates the cpu for the ABS needs to be replaced and the ABS has never engaged.
3. The Brake Boot might be shot if either of the seals are broken... I don't know how to test this.
4. The Pressure Regulator valve is shot. I do not know how to test this.

Any ideas on:
1. What I am doing wrong in the bleeding procedure or what to try differently?
2. How to test to see if the Boot and or Pressure Regulator are shot?
3. What else could be causing the problem, and how to test it?
4. How would I go about systematically checking for a small leak/break in the metal lines?

Thanks guys, I tried to give as much detail as possible cause I know that overlooking or missing the smallest step can make a project fail horridly.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:53 PM   #7
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My advice is to have a mechanic do the job.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:07 PM   #8
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Are you doing this with the key in the ignition in the on position?
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:30 PM   #9
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i would start over. pump the brakes up as much as u can and bleed the lines on the master cyl, then go to the wheels. or get a vac pump bleeder.
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:07 AM   #10
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Got it working!

I went out and picked up a Mighty-Vac... for the money and the versatility of the tool its something I would recommend to anyone looking into or trying to bleed their brakes (or anything else for that mater.)

I started from scratch....
*Pulled each bleeder valve completely out and washed them, used a small wire brush to clean/remove any buildup, and then finally hit them with the fast drying spray on break cleaner.
*Used the Mighty-Vac to bleed the Master Cylinder.
*Used the Mighty-Vac to bleed each caliper (RR, FL, RL, FR)
*Put the wheels/tires back on.
*Took it off the jacks.
*Checked/Filled the air pressure in all 4 tires.
*Made sure the reservoir was nice and topped off.
*Broke the breaks in using the (5x15mph, 5x25mph, 5x40mph gradual stops)

The pedal is rock solid and the car hasn't braked like this in years.

Thanks for all the help and suggestion guys I really appreciate it!

*** Bottom Line - Save yourself the trouble and worry over it being something terrible if you can't get the brakes to bleed, go out and get a Mighty-Vac. I think Autozone shops (and probably others) even rent them if your really tight on green!****
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Old 06-09-2009, 04:31 AM   #11
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got a picture of what a mighty vac looks like?
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Old 06-09-2009, 12:42 PM   #12
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The website: http://www.mityvac.com/
I got mine at Napa - however Autozone had one with the MightyVac branding on the handle but the package said OEM on it.

I will link a better image latter but if you are trying to get something done today I found and linked this one:
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