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Discussion Starter #1
I replaced the pads on my 90 bronco and bled the brakes. The pedal is still softer than any vehicle I've ever had. It does stop, but not like it should. To clear up any possible misunderstandings, I am not a mechanic. I can fix certain things on cars, but new cars with computerchips etc... are beyond my abilities. I realize this is my truck and might have a unique problem, so I am only asking for opinions. I don't want to throuw money at a problem I don't understand. Here, where I live if you take a car or truck into a brake place because you are having problems, they pull everything apart and tell you it's $1800 to $2500 because everything needs replaced. So with all the necassary waivers hopefully in place. What should I check on the brakes to stiffen up the pedals and get better braking. I've read brake fluid obsorbs moisture and becomes less effective. Should I replace the fluid and rebleed them? Any advice would be appriciated.
 

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Satyr of the Midwest
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You should adjust the rear brakes (see the Haynes manual on this procedure), then bleed them STARTING with the rear wheel cylinders, THEN bleed the front calipers. Always bleed starting with the wheel furthest from the master cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Istarted at rear passenger, rear driver, front passenger and front driver. I know one honest mechanic here, but he is an engine man, but hopfully he can help me out.
 

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What SigEpBlue said.
make sure the rears are adjusted out and bled.

The rears are self adjusting, so if they are not adjusted out you may have a stripped gear on the adjuster, a seized adjuster, or a worn out lever thingy not able to hook the gear tooth, or a broken cable......many possible things.

If you pull the drums off the back take a look at everything and manually pull on the cable and see if its turning the adjuster. If its not, identify the problem and fix it. You can also get a complete brake hardware kit and get everything new. They usually don't come with the actual adjuster though, so be sure its in good condition. pull it all the the way apart and clean the threads so it spins free. put a tiny bit of anti-sieze on it too.
If you just installed the brakes, you should adjust them out manually with the brake adjusting tool because it will take a while for it to get there with normal driving.



Once you know the rear brakes are good, bleed them. Don't try it by yourself because its so much easier to have another guy, and you can do a better job that way too.
Basically have someone pump the pedel untill there is pressure and hold it down, then you crack the bleeder loose while he's holding the peded so it will go to the floor. As he pushed it it will squirt fluid and any air in the system out. Try to get the bleeder closed before the flow stops and the peded hits the floor. That will keep any air from comming back in. If you got an air pocket in the line somewhere, it may take a lot of bleeding to get it to the rear wheel cylinder and out of the system. To be sure you may want to run a bit of extra fluid through it. Just be sure you DO NOT run the master cylinder dry, otherwise you're going to have to start all over again.
Once you've ran clean fluid through and the one back cylinder has no air comming out, go to the other side and bleed any air through there. You won't need to bleed it near as much since you already cleared the line from the master cylinder to the rear axle, just do it enoufgh to run clean flid through the short line from the "T" on the axle tube to the cylinder. When thats done, be sure all the bleeders are tight and go to the front and do the same thing.
After everything is done and master cylinder topped off again it should be good. If it still doesn't stop like it should, it may be because the new brakes havn't seated in with the rotors. Just do some driving and they will wear in and make full contact. As it is now you probably have some high spots on the brakes and they are not allowing full contact with the rotors.
 

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Driving Stuff Henry Built
-90 xlt, 351w, e4od, man 1356, 3.55, sag, warn hubs, 35s. -73, 400, np435, d20j twin, 35s
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On a 90 you have a rear abs valve that needs to be bled too. Using MikE2's routine & the order you used, bleed it after the left rear & before the right front. It's mounted on the inside of the left frame rail behind the front axle, sort of below the master cylinder.
 

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The rear brakes on these trucks don't adjust themselves under normal driving conditions; they auto adjust when you apply the brakes in reverse.

Find a nice straight stretch in a parking lot and start going in reverse. keep your foot on the gas and start pumping the brakes. Apply until the truck almost stops, then let up and repeat until you get a pedal feel that you like.

Justin
 
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