Spongy Brakes (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Nashville, TN
Hey everyone,

This site is a wealth of knowledge and have appreciated everything I’ve learned from here. Quick question, I’ve yet to find a direct answer to this, but I have a 1996 Cruiser with some brake issues.

When I push the brake pedal down, it feels like there is little to no resistance. When I push the pedal down immediately thereafter, I can feel the brakes be activated. Almost as if the initial pedal push loaded the hydraulic lines. Would this indicate an internal leak within the system? The brake fluid reservoir is not empty and I worry this is an issue with a master cylinder or LSPV. Has anyone else had this issue?

I appreciate any guidance on this! I’d love to be able to solve this issue myself if I could accurately diagnose it. Thank you all in advance!
 

ppc

M Go Blue
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
3,368
Location
Nashville, TN
One possibility that your wheel bearings are not properly adjusted causing excessive runout of the rotors pushing the brake pads away from the rotors. First push of pedal brings the pads closer to rotor, second push makes contact to the rotor. If you have rear drum brakes then they may not be adjusted properly.
 

ProjectsNMotion

SILVER Star
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Messages
260
Location
New York
I think your brake booster is on it's way out. It's a common failure on these vehicles. Do a search, there's a quick test procedure to diagnose the brake booster as having failed.

Cheers
 

ppc

M Go Blue
Joined
Aug 18, 2003
Messages
3,368
Location
Nashville, TN
Even though the title of the thread is spongy brakes, the description the OP has provided describes something very different.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Nashville, TN
Hey everyone, thank you for all the guidance on this. I decided to take it to a brake shop as this got way out of my driveway mechanic comfort zone.

Here’s the update since it turns out it was a few more things (according to the shop) than anticipated.

1. blown front driver caliper
2. blown master cylinder
3. failing front bearings

Unfortunately, this has led to new front calipers/rotors/pads, replaced bearings, new master cylinder, and a full-system bleed. The good news is, I should be able to stop again...

I appreciate the help you all provided. I’m hellbent to keep this thing on the road. I bought this vehicle secondhand not more than about 3 weeks ago with 160,000 miles with an engine rebuild at 158,000. The previous owner had mentioned the brakes weren’t great so I’m guessing this was a compounding issue that finally caught up to this truck after it’s 24 years on the road.
 

flintknapper

SILVER Star
Joined
May 22, 2004
Messages
9,452
Location
Deep East Texas
Hey everyone, thank you for all the guidance on this. I decided to take it to a brake shop as this got way out of my driveway mechanic comfort zone.

Here’s the update since it turns out it was a few more things (according to the shop) than anticipated.

1. blown front driver caliper
2. blown master cylinder
3. failing front bearings

Unfortunately, this has led to new front calipers/rotors/pads, replaced bearings, new master cylinder, and a full-system bleed. The good news is, I should be able to stop again...

I appreciate the help you all provided. I’m hellbent to keep this thing on the road. I bought this vehicle secondhand not more than about 3 weeks ago with 160,000 miles with an engine rebuild at 158,000. The previous owner had mentioned the brakes weren’t great so I’m guessing this was a compounding issue that finally caught up to this truck after it’s 24 years on the road.

Thanks for the follow up. You should be good to go now...for many more years.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,669
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
Hey everyone, thank you for all the guidance on this. I decided to take it to a brake shop as this got way out of my driveway mechanic comfort zone.

Here’s the update since it turns out it was a few more things (according to the shop) than anticipated.

1. blown front driver caliper
2. blown master cylinder
3. failing front bearings

Unfortunately, this has led to new front calipers/rotors/pads, replaced bearings, new master cylinder, and a full-system bleed. The good news is, I should be able to stop again...

I appreciate the help you all provided. I’m hellbent to keep this thing on the road. I bought this vehicle secondhand not more than about 3 weeks ago with 160,000 miles with an engine rebuild at 158,000. The previous owner had mentioned the brakes weren’t great so I’m guessing this was a compounding issue that finally caught up to this truck after it’s 24 years on the road.
Make sure the shop properly torques the front wheel bearings or you'll be back sooner than later. FSM states 30 LB-IN and that's incorrect. It SHOULD be 30 LB-FT with the outer nut at 45 LB-FT. This is well documented here.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
7
Location
Nashville, TN
Make sure the shop properly torques the front wheel bearings or you'll be back sooner than later. FSM states 30 LB-IN and that's incorrect. It SHOULD be 30 LB-FT with the outer nut at 45 LB-FT. This is well documented here.

Thanks for the heads up! I’ll give them a shout in the morning to give them the info you passed along so I’m not back there again before I should be!
 

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