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Old 03-17-2011, 12:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can not purge air from brake line

Hello all,
'99 sable LS, with ABS, drum rear brakes.
Did Bias plug install 2 years ago.
Here's the story.
Hit the brakes they went almost to the floor.
I still had minimal stopping power.
I drove the car 10 miles home, the brake light did not come on until I hit the brakes to stop in the garage.
I had blown a brake line just in front of the driver side rear wheel.
(Seems this is a common spot on these rides.)
I replaced the line from the splitter block at the firewall to the proportioning valve.
This line runs to the passenger side brake.
When I went to bleed the brakes I started at the rear passenger side.
After a quart of fluid and 40 minutes of two man bleeding, I could get 3-4 good stong air free bleeds out of it and then back to the spitting and sputtering of air fluid mix.
Next time I got that far I stopped before it started to spit again and went to the driver side front.
Same thing quart of fluid, 40 minutes of two man bleeding and I could get 3-4 good air free bleeds, then back to the spitting.
Next time I reached this point on the front I stopped, before it started to spit again.
I then went to the drivers rear brake.
No air what so ever here, 5-6 good solid air free, shoot the fluid across the room bleeds.
Went to the passenger side front same thing solid air free bleeds.
Returned to the Passenger rear, nothing but air came out.
Got it back to the point of a solid stream and had to go get more brake fluid.
When I returned I was right back were I started, minimal fluid lots of air.
I rechecked all my connections for tightness, inspected lines, looked for puddles.
Nothing everything is dry and tight.
I see no fluid dripping or running down the booster either.
After sitting all day with the cap off the master, the level is the same.

So now I'm thinking the master cylinder is shot, I replaced it two years ago.
I talked to the mechanic, told him that fluid shoots back into the master, from the rear, when the brake is depressed he said that was normal.
He also told me the master on this car is like every other master, even though it has the diagnol circiut pattern.
The front half is for the rears, the back applies pressure for the front.
Being able to bleed one rear and one front means the master is good.
Hhmm

So I figure the master must be holding air some how.
I cracked the lines at the master and blead them seperately.
I got huge amounts of air out of both front and back.
When I got airless bleeds on both I thought I was good to go but.
When trying to bleed the rear passenger again nothing has changed, still spitting away.

I got two friends over now, one to pump, one to crack the bleeder.
This way I can move around and try to listen and look for leaks.
Everything still tight, leak free.
However now I can pour fluid in as it is being blead.
After each bleed air erupts from the front hole in the bottom of the master.
Shut bleeder, let pedal up, wait a few seconds then air bubbling through.
It bubbles up with enough force to almost over flow.
WTF

So no leaks, no puddles, everything is tight.
6 hours of bleeding, 5 quarts of brake fluid through the Right rear, front left brakes.
I have clean new brake fluid coming out.
What do you think?
Should there be a check valve in the master that would keep air from returning?
I've done 40 years of brakes and never had such an issue.
Need less to say I'm pretty pissed off.
Between lines, couplers, unions, brake fluid I'm into this for $70.
A new master would be another $40, that's a $110.
It probably wouldn't have cost much more to drop it off at the shop.
AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Any help is appreciated.
Thanks
__________________
2000 Taurus SEL
3.0 DOHC Duretec
AX4N tranny
100,000 miles
------------------------
Has gone on to a new home
1999 Mercury Sable LS
3.0 DOHC Duratec
AX4N tranny
218,000 miles

Last edited by The Hound; 03-30-2011 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 03-17-2011, 07:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Hound View Post
He also told me the master on this car is like every other master, even though it has the diagnol circiut pattern.
The front half is for the rears, the back applies pressure for the front.
Being able to bleed one rear and one front means the master is good.
Hhmm
The diagonal is split at the M/C - each piston pressurizes a diagonal pair.

The front/back pairing (what the mechanic is describing) is called a horizontal split system (typically rear wheel drive).

What you're describing could be a problem with the M/C, however I can't see how the M/C would have been damaged from what you're describing (meaning: I can't see why the M/C would fail when all you did was replace a damaged brake line).
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Air is probably in the ABS pump and it needs to be cycled to remove the air. This is a Ford item I belive.
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Old 03-17-2011, 02:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loudsho92 View Post
Air is probably in the ABS pump and it needs to be cycled to remove the air. This is a Ford item I belive.
I agree.

To activate and bleed the ABS module, you either have to take it to ford, buy the specific tool (not cheap), or (like I do), take the car down a dirt road and get the abs to kick in.

Bleed the best you can,
take down dirt road to get abs pump to cycle
bleed again

Repeat 3 or so times.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So, I agree air is in the system.
Question is where?
I went out and bought a power bleeder from HF.
LR, RF still bleed perfect clean airless solid.
RR, LF are solid with an intermittent stream of tiny, tiny bubbles that I can not get rid of.
I blead two quarts through the RR, LF today.
The pedal sinks to were it should and is firm, I can not make it bottom out.
As hard as I can push it sits four inches off the floor and does not fade.
Start the car and I can push it with no effort to the floor.
So that means air still in the system.

I thought possiblly the MC was sucking air from the booster side, that's why I can not find a leak.

As for cycling the ABS I don't think I would have enough brake to drive the car.
Does anyone know how the wheels are synched in the ABS, rear to rear, front to front?
The car is up on four jack stands right now.
I thought maybe if the car was running, I could spin the wheels as someone else applies the brake lightly.
Causing the ABS to cycle, bleeding that wheel at the same time.
Think the system can be tricked?

Last thought two different shops have said it sounds like the proportioning valve is stuck to one side.
They are not talking about the one on the rear control arm.
So this must be part of the ABS solenoid block under the battery right?
I have wacked this unit with a rubber mallet numerous times trying to free it up.
Is there a better way?
Thanks for the help, I USED TO LIKE THIS CAR!
If you think of something else tell me.
__________________
2000 Taurus SEL
3.0 DOHC Duretec
AX4N tranny
100,000 miles
------------------------
Has gone on to a new home
1999 Mercury Sable LS
3.0 DOHC Duratec
AX4N tranny
218,000 miles

Last edited by The Hound; 03-30-2011 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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When air gets into the ABS pump it can not come out unless properly cycled. I recently faced this when I replaced my ABS pump. The only way to get the air out was to get the ABS Cycle Tool which luckily some one had and I used it. I was able to get all air out of the system. This is probably your problem.
The only way to get the tool is from Ford or some one on EBay selling Ford parts.

The only other idea I have is you have a pin hole leak somewhere that is letting air in.
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I still could not get the tiny tiny bubbles out of the RR, LF lines.
So I put her back together and started her up.
The peddle dropped but I got brake about an a inch from the floor.
I took it to the nearest dirt road and locked up the brakes 10, 12 times.
Brought it back and blead all four with the same results, air in RR, LF.
I adjusted up the rear brakes just cause I was out of ideas.
Nothing changed.
Took it down the dirt road a second time.
This time I got very synchronized bubbles coming through the line when bleeding.
5 inches of clear fluid, then half inch bubble, like clock work.
I ran a quart through the RR and never got to the tiny bubble stage.
Now, with car started the pedal goes to the floor and the brake light comes on.
I let it sit over night and had a beer or two.

Today I took the plunge and put in a new master cylinder, not a rebuild.
I was able to get the RR to the tiny bubble stage after almost a quart of fluid.
I thought I might as well see what the LF had in it and was able to bleed it clear of air for the first time.
At this point I ran out of time and brake fluid so I could not continue to bleed the LR, RF.
Now when started I have good peddle but it is still low, almost were it should be but low.
I've been driving around and even when I forget to watch my stops it brakes like I would expect it to.
Tommorrow I will buy more fluid and start my bleed over again getting all four wheels.
I hope I'm almost there, if I can just get that RR to bleed clean.
Thanks, I will post back with the results.
__________________
2000 Taurus SEL
3.0 DOHC Duretec
AX4N tranny
100,000 miles
------------------------
Has gone on to a new home
1999 Mercury Sable LS
3.0 DOHC Duratec
AX4N tranny
218,000 miles

Last edited by The Hound; 03-30-2011 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Well wish this had a happy ending for those who are having the same issues.
I ran quarts of fluid through the RR, always bubbles and never got peddle until I replaced the Master.
Once the master was replaced I got everything to bleed out proper.
My pedal is now firm and high best brakes since I owned the car.

I tried to get the old master to leak somewhere on the bench.
I pushed the piston in and out many times looking for a leak and could not fined one.
Best guess I have is that air was somehow being pulled in at the master.
Even though I could not find a leak.
Thanks for the help everyone!
__________________
2000 Taurus SEL
3.0 DOHC Duretec
AX4N tranny
100,000 miles
------------------------
Has gone on to a new home
1999 Mercury Sable LS
3.0 DOHC Duratec
AX4N tranny
218,000 miles

Last edited by The Hound; 03-30-2011 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Glad you got it fixed! Thanks for replying back with the solution.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hello Hound,

Please read my thread: Ford Taurus Forum • '99 Taurus Brakes Won't Bleed?????????????????? - Ford Taurus Forum

Sounds like my problem is identical to yours with some wierdly different symptoms. I am desparate for help!

Thanks.
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