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Long brake travel


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Hi,

Im having trouble with my brakes and wondered if you guys could help me.

When i press my brake pedal with the engine running the pedal goes almost to the floor leaving about inch before it hits the floor. When the engine is not running the pedal feels ok (about the correct travel) but not fantastic. With both the engine off and running the pedal doesnt seem to creep. I have replaced many brake components now and still having no luck. Parts replaced : new lucas master cylinder, new brake pipes (not flexis), new brake pads, rebuilt rear calipers and put many litres of brake fluid through the system through bleeding (normal method and eazi bleed).

I have had this problem for a while now, and the parts i have replaced arent making any difference. They have been bled so many times before and after replacing parts and its costing me a fortune.

I Have also tried the vacuum pump test (holding brake on firmly then starting engine) and the pedal does go down to the floor much more, which when the landy is standing feels alot worse. Ive also pulled the vacuum pump hose of the servo and there feels a decent vacuum.

Another thing is, the back brakes dont seem to be working on the full width of the disk as they arent removing any surface rust off other than in the centre (hense why i rebuilt the rear calipers). Ive clamped the rear flexi hose and the pedal is far higher, but is this due to it blocking fluid being pushed??

Its a 300tdi 97 defender 90

If you could shed any light on this i would be really greatfull as im stumped with it to be honest. thanks, Josh

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Just out of curiosity-you've not managed to put a calliper or two on upside down(bleed nipple at the top)after rebuilding them have you? as this will trap air inside the calliper as even using the easi-bleed it'll still not expel all of the air,I had a similar problem many years ago with my 110 when I bought a brand new front calliper from an auto-jumble(Sodbury I think)and it was the wrong side for the one I changed out, As I did'nt realise that were handed

HTH

John

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As above, if this is happening on the road and on a second pump of the pedal it feels fine then wheel bearings or warped disks are a good candidate. The "wheel wobble" these can produce pushed the pistons back into the calliper so the first press of the pedal most of the fluid is used to move the pistons back out to where they should be, hence a second push normally feels OK.

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Thanks for the replys guys.

Just looked at my rear calipers and both bleed niples are closest to the floor. I have tightened the wheel bearing recently after checked them at 12 and 6 when jacked up and they seem fine now (passed MOT too). The problem happens both when the car is stationairy and moving and there isnt any juddering when the brakes are applied.

Thanks alot

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my post should've read the bleed nipples should be at the top but when I did the calliper swap my bleed nipple was at the bottom-hence why I could'nt bleed them properly-sorry about that!!-note to self re-read before posting, been a long day

I feel quite embarrassed now-bugger unlike me to do that when posting info on here!!

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One thing that I don't think has been mentioned is the flexi hoses, have you replaced them ?

Old flexi hoses can "balloon" under pressure and give a really soft feel to the pedal, one of the reasons to use the stainless brade type is they give a more solid pedal as they don't suffer from this. This can get really bad on a tandem system like the RRC where you have 5 of them but even with the 3 on a Defender it can make a big difference.

What did you do before the problem started ? You haven't fitted a new set of EPC pads ? They can feel absolutely rubbish until the break in surface has worn off, you get a really long brake pedal and feel like you are using jelly for brakes.

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Thanks for the replys guys.

Just looked at my rear calipers and both bleed niples are closest to the floor. I have tightened the wheel bearing recently after checked them at 12 and 6 when jacked up and they seem fine now (passed MOT too). The problem happens both when the car is stationairy and moving and there isnt any juddering when the brakes are applied.

Thanks alot

calipers are fitted to the wrong side of the vehicle, any bleed screw has to be at the top of a component to allow any trapped air to be bled out, thats why you cannot get your brakes working properly

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Thankyou folks youve been fantastic. So to summarise the calipers being fitted to the wrong sides are stopping my rear brakes working because i cant bleed them properly due to the nipples being at the bottom of the calipers. That must be why when i clamp the rear flexi the brake pedal feels perfect.

I feel so embarressed now making a fool of myself having the calipers on the wrong sides (must of been when i painted them when i first had the landy)

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just swap the calipers over, might be worth keeping the pads on the side they are working now as they will have bedded in with the disc. & re-bleed the brakes, I highly suspect you'll feel a vast improvement in brake performance & feel.

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Bleed nipples always have to be at the highest point of the caliper/cylinder/slave, so that air will rise to the top and be bled out. If it's a lot of work to swap them all over, then unbolt the caliper, invert it so that the nipple is at the top and bleed each one, then replace. You only need to get the air out, so once the system is ok, just leave them where they are.

Les.

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Right ok will do that. Thanks. I have also checked the front calipers and the bleed nipple on them are both closest to the floor, is this correct. Or have i again (what a fool) put them on the wrong sides?

Wrong again :lol:

so spanners out to swap the front calipers too, bleed screws must be as high as possible on any brake or clutch hydraulics, otherwise you'll never get any trapped air out. .

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This is what I love about this forum, new guy joins, asks a question, admits a mistake. no one shots him down in flames just helps him sort it out.

Jason.

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This is what I love about this forum, new guy joins, asks a question, admits a mistake. no one shots him down in flames just helps him sort it out.

Jason.

You should take a look at one of the other groups (Landyzone) which I no longer enter as the only thing I learnt there was that not all Defender/ Landrover sites are the same. LR4x4 is the one I now enter on a regular basis mainly because of the reasons in your post. It's the only one I have on my desktop. What a great group of peeps.

Kev English

(Peter Pan in a Defender)

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:rolleyes: i did exact same once, couldnt figure out for life of me why my front brakes wouldnt bleed and feel firm after discs/pads/calipers. Put a couple of litres of brake fluid through and then gave up, drove (bad with dodgy brakes i know but only 1 mile at 30mph) and mechanic took 1 min to spot my error. Both on wrong side so nipple at bottom.

Wont ever make that mistake again :D

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  • 7 years later...

Just wanted to say thanks for this thread.. Found this forum from google as I'd just fitted new calipers to my defender, used a pressure bleeder with no air to be seen, yet had a really soft pedal :( Turned out i'd put the calipers on with the bleed nipples at the bottom so the whole system was bled apart from the caliper it would seem! Found this thread, shouted DOH! and swapped them over and et voila :)

 

 

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Looking forward to hearing the finished result !! 

Thats the most important part of starting a thread IMHO. You get to learn and see what the outcome was......

The way this forum operates is the way I started funding it about two years ago with regular monthly donations. Not much but you can see the forum getting stronger and stronger when other forums are fading away......

👏😊👍

 

(right off to post my good news.....)

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It baffles me that Land Rover allowed this to be actually possible (but then again on reflection it is Land Rover...), a good friend had this issue and he'd done the same (once I'd stopped giggling I pointed out the error of his ways) and indeed I've nearly done it to on occasion, but once you're aware of it then it will never happen again ;) important thing is you got to the bottom of the problem.

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The truck I just bought had the front calipers on the wrong side.  They were free of air.  All that I can figure is they did a reverse bleed.

There are actually two other problems that were caused by them being on the wrong side.  The first is that the caliper fouls the tie rod ends at full lock.  There is a clearanced area on the bottom of the caliper to clear the TREs, that is not on the top.  The second problem is that the hard lines sit higher and hit the spring perches at full lock.

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