97 F-350 brakes barely work - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:24 PM
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97 F-350 brakes barely work

Hey guys,

Im new to this forum, so this is my first post. Lately the brakes haven't been working like their suppose to. Theres almost no resistance on the brake pedel until it gets more than 3/4 of the way down. Theres not even enough brake pressure to stop the truck if its idling in drive until it's more that 3/4 down. And when you push it all the way to the floor theres still barely enough to get the truck to stop. The brakes probably havent been replaced in awhile but the pads don't seem like the problem, cause it doesnt sound like metal on metal, it just seems like the petal isnt doing much. I dont know if it has much to do with it, but the belt just started to squeak. I was looking up what the problem might be for that, and someone said that there vacuum pump was squeaking. But I'm pretty sure its the alternator thats squeaking, but i could be wrong. If anyone has ever had a problem like this or heard about one, please let me know what you think. Thank you!

Colin
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:01 PM
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Vacuum pump issue usually results in a too-hard pedal (not enough vacuum boost), not too-soft.

Try this - truck in Park, rev it up to keep the vacuum pump pumping, pump the brake five or six times. If the pedal firms up, that suggests (but doesn't prove conclusively) an internal failure of the master cylinder.

Have you visually inspected all the lines, and the calipers and rear cylinders, for brake fluid wetness? Can we presume that the reservoir fluid level isn't crazy low?

If you don't see any external leaks, and the fluid is full, the next thing to try is simply to bleed the brakes. Start with the right-rear (furthest from the M/C), then left-rear, etc.

Belt noise - remove the belt and spin each driven pulley (A/C, P/S, alternator, vacuum pump, water pump, tensioner, both idlers) by hand. The water pump and P/S pump will normally provide some resistance, and the vacuum pump will provide a bit (it should sorta "puff"), but none should be noisy, or loose.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:42 PM
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sounds to me like you have air in your lines. check your lines and make sure you dont have a leak. the smallest little drip will pull air in your lines and totally screw them. the post above me is good tips. good luck
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:06 AM
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Ok, thanks guys. I'll try some of those things tonight. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks alot!
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:32 AM
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Sorry about that madpogue, i should have said something about that, the brake fluid is fine. Its about a half inch under the max line. I'll look through the brake lines and try bleeding them out. Its probably a pretty simple task, but I don't really know where to start with it. My buddy says he knows how cause he did it on his cummins once. I would guess that you just loosen the connection somewhere and pump the brakes until the fluid starts to come out, right? So I will try that and see what happens. Thanks again for the tips!
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbodieself350 View Post
Sorry about that madpogue, i should have said something about that, the brake fluid is fine. Its about a half inch under the max line. I'll look through the brake lines and try bleeding them out. Its probably a pretty simple task, but I don't really know where to start with it. My buddy says he knows how cause he did it on his cummins once. I would guess that you just loosen the connection somewhere and pump the brakes until the fluid starts to come out, right? So I will try that and see what happens. Thanks again for the tips!
Don't disconnect any line ther should be a bleeder nipple on your brakes. Really simple. Push petal down and have some one open the nipple. When the petals hits the floor yell to close the nipple. Keep going till no bubbles come out
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:28 PM
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ok, i probably messed it up now. I loosened both back bleeder nipples without a problem. They didn't have those rubber caps on them either. I went to one of the front ones and sprayed it with some rust breaker. then i went to loosen it and i guess i tried a little too hard. so now the thing is pretty stripped out. I dont get why its so stuck because the ones in the front both had rubber caps on them. Pretty stupid move on my part i guess. So now im stuck again. How would you go about getting something like that off?
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:51 PM
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They get stuck after years. I would start by adjusting your rear shoes. Can you keep pumping the pedal and it get higher and higher? If so you should start with adjusting shoes then bleed lines.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:10 PM
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if i keep pumping the pedal i dont think it makes too much of a difference. It just seems to do the same thing no matter how much i pump it. Thanks alot for the reply though. i need all the help i can get. but that the nipple thing is stripped out. does anyone have any suggestions on how i can get it unstuck. any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks again to everybody who replied.
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Old 05-24-2011, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbodieself350 View Post
if i keep pumping the pedal i dont think it makes too much of a difference. It just seems to do the same thing no matter how much i pump it. Thanks alot for the reply though. i need all the help i can get. but that the nipple thing is stripped out. does anyone have any suggestions on how i can get it unstuck. any advice would be much appreciated. Thanks again to everybody who replied.
Could u maybe take a pair of visegrips to it? Never hurd of a nipple being so stuck it stripped .
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