Brake lines or master cylinder?

Joined
Nov 15, 2006
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BROOKLYN NY
Weird story, but I'll proceed.

On Thanksgiving night, I had my FJ62 broken into. They damaged the lock cylinders on the hatch and the driver-side door, and eventually entered by breaking the rear, driver-side door window. Long story,short, I booked an appt with A Touch of Glass for the window replacement. My car has a bunch of issues, but brakes wasn't one of them, until I took it to the window replacement shop.
I pulled up to the shop yesterday afternoon, and parked in one of the driveways, leaving keys in car, as instructed. I am always a bit dubious of other drives, because my FJ has a 4-speed manual transmission (converted it from automatic in 2008- thanks José Rivera. Great job!), but the emergency brake has never worked, so I put it in 1st, when parking, so that it being in-gear prevents any rolling... Anyhow, I leave it, after the attendant/mechanic says "he's got it". I'm told it'll take about an hour to replace window, so I head out to the street, on foot to kill time. I walk a few blocks, and pop into a nearby auto store for a few mins, then walk back toward the window repair shop, to sit in their waiting room. As i approach, I see that my car being reversed into the street, which leads me to think it's about to be worked on.

I go to another nearby deli, grab a juice, and stroll back over to the shop. The repairman does his job, without issue (other than my pain in the butt, electric window not rolling down, however, he jumps the switch somehow, and proceeds with the fix.)
Upon completion, I tip him directly ($10, as he didn't have to jump the switch, and could have left me high and dry (this is NYC- remember?), with no window until I got the switch fixed.), pay the receptionist the the $138 cost, and head out to my truck.

By this point, the repairman has driven out of the garage, where the repair was performed, into the street, waiting for me to receive my vehicle. I thank him again, get in and see the brake light is on. I think odd, but I also see the non-working, emergency hand-brake is in the pulled-up position. I figure that is the cause of the brake light. I put it down and the brake light stays illuminated. I pull over to the side walk, to get out of the double-parked position in the street, to see if I'm low on brake fluid. I pull up the hood and low and behold, it's below the "minimum" line. I have some fluid in the hatch area, so I pour some into the brake container. It's literally drinking the fluid, and not filling up at the rate I would expect. I keep pouring and finally get it to the acceptable level. Go inside the truck and the light is now off, but the brake are still very weak and mushy. I'm able to press the brake pedal to the floor.

Any ideas on what happened? I'm the second owner of the truck. As far as I know, the master cylinder is the original one. it's very rusty, but I don't see any leaks. The ball joints, by the front wheels are very gucky and greasy, but I'm not positive that guck is related to a brake-line. Or is it the brake booster?

Any thoughts? I don't have a lot of money, and I use this car occasionally, for family needs and short errands, so I'm hoping to be as economical as possible on this fix. I have some tools, and would love to work on this myself, but I do not have access to a garage to do this.

Thanks for any feedback. This car means a lot to me, but I don't have the space to give it the attention it needs, however I do have the tools and the desire.

kwest
 
Joined
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Ontario - Canada
Check for leaks - signs of fluid on the insides of the tires and in the ground under the truck. Fluid levels go down as friction pad material wears, but not enough to get below the low point.

It could be any number of things. A bad wheel cylinder, a bad flex hose, a leaking hard line... All can be fixed, but you have to pinpoint the leak first.
 

NeverGiveUpYota

Dare me.
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East Hampton, CT
 
If it was the slave or master you’d see evident leaking. The slave will gush out onthe pavement when your parked below the diz area on the passenger side. The master usually will leak behind the clutch pedal inside the truck.
If your gunky behind the tires where the axles meet the back of the tire area your knuckles are probably crap.
A mushy pedal “could” be a blown booster diaphragm. How’s the trucks idle? If it’s stalling out when you depress the brake pedal could be your booster is shot.
Lots going on there but I’d stop driving it until you can get a clear understanding why your pedal is so soft and why your losing fluid.
 
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down in a hole.
 
 
fluid has to go somewhere...remove drums and inspect rear wheel cylinders. inspect back side of all tires for tell tale leaks. if you do not find any leaks, you might consider removing the master from the booster to make certain the masters seal didn't go and dump its guts I to the booster. you'll find it, but you're gunna hafta go looking for it. do not order or replace parts without finding a problem...
 

NeverGiveUpYota

Dare me.
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Yep I’ve got them... if your access is w/ your phone and you can’t see them holding the phone w/ the rectangle face vertical turn the phone to horizontal and they’ll appear.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
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Location
BROOKLYN NY
Thank you all for the feedback. I'll do what I can to hunt this leak out and report back. I own the FSM for my truck and definitely referred to it, but, as I mention in my original post, without having someplace to really dig in (other than the street), I am limited as to how far I can go in taking things apart. Alternate side parking in NYC and the elements conspire against me.

I did see some strange trails of liquid on the gunk by the knuckles, so I will look there again, as well as inside the vehicle by the clutch.
 

NeverGiveUpYota

Dare me.
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Curious where you are in Brooklyn? My sister lives there on Ocean Parkway. Its been a handful of years since I was there but I swore I remember seeing a 60 (but I see its a 62 you have) in that area... could be wrong too or have high hopes.
 

micruz60

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Joined
Nov 6, 2006
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1,542
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just out of the J-Hole
 
 
The brake fluid leak would be more shiny (on a tire) than the usual knuckle gunk on the axle, hopefully you can isolate it.

Wrt to pedal pressure, can you pump it up to resistance when the engine is off, then start the engine, does the pedal go to floor or hold?

Working in the elements on the streetside will be challenging. Old truck, but lotta love!
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
14
Location
BROOKLYN NY
Curious where you are in Brooklyn? My sister lives there on Ocean Parkway. Its been a handful of years since I was there but I swore I remember seeing a 60 (but I see its a 62 you have) in that area... could be wrong too or have high hopes.
I'm currently in Bed Stuy, but I lived in Carrol Gardens/Red Hook area before Bed Stuy.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
14
Location
BROOKLYN NY
If it was the slave or master you’d see evident leaking. The slave will gush out onthe pavement when your parked below the diz area on the passenger side. The master usually will leak behind the clutch pedal inside the truck.
If your gunky behind the tires where the axles meet the back of the tire area your knuckles are probably crap.
A mushy pedal “could” be a blown booster diaphragm. How’s the trucks idle? If it’s stalling out when you depress the brake pedal could be your booster is shot.
Lots going on there but I’d stop driving it until you can get a clear understanding why your pedal is so soft and why your losing fluid.
The truck idles fine when the brake is depressed. Does "diz" mean distributor cap?
 
Joined
Jan 9, 2004
Messages
1,542
 
 
 
Thank you all for the feedback. I'll do what I can to hunt this leak out and report back. I own the FSM for my truck and definitely referred to it, but, as I mention in my original post, without having someplace to really dig in (other than the street), I am limited as to how far I can go in taking things apart. Alternate side parking in NYC and the elements conspire against me.

I did see some strange trails of liquid on the gunk by the knuckles, so I will look there again, as well as inside the vehicle by the clutch.
When you say inside the vehicle by the clutch do you mean the fire wall behind the clutch pedal? If that where you mean I would check the master cylinder. If you can't find a leak somewhere on one of the lines or at a wheel then check the booster. Sometimes a leaking master will fill the booster with brake fluid.
 
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