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28joestella

Mk1 Soft Brakes

13 posts in this topic

Hi All,

I recently bought a 2000 1.8 zetec focus with some soft brakes. It was driveable but the brakes were not too sharp, on it's last MOT it had that the front pads were getting low and I could also see the disks were lipped. With that in mind I bought new pads and disks and fitted them just how I had on other cars.

However, for some reason I cannot seem to get any real pressure? I made sure that I took the cap off the reservoir when pushing the pistons back. With the engine off they feel hard with little travel but as soon as I turn the engine on I have to pump them to get any pressure which is then lost when the pedal is completely released? I took it for a spin at slow speeds and they are definitely worse than before?

I have changed the fluid and bled the system using one of them one man kits, to be honest, a notable amount of air seemed to come out of each wheel (which I did in order starting furthest from the MC).

I starting to fear its a Master Cylinder issue or perhaps the servo?

Any help would be much appreciated.

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We'll u have to check them first a lot cheaper then a master cylinder and adjust shoes while u there

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I think this is going to turn into one of those jobs you just wish you never started :(.

Trying to get a drum off, 3 of the 4 bolt come out after much huffing and puffing, the last is well and truly stuck! I've dowsed it with penetrating fluid and will see how it fares later.

Is there a way I can test the master cylinder whilst it's in place?

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I can't get the cap off! Like I said, quickly turning into 'one of those jobs'!

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dont be afraid to give it a bit of stick, will come off soon enough...can either replace the cap or if damage is only slight reshape it with a ballpein if only on a temp basis till you get replacement.

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Bleed the system some more it sounds like just air. If you have to pump the pedal to get it stiff that's air in the system. Tbh although those one man kit is how I do it. Its never good as two people because by the time you leave the brake pedal n go to the bleed valve, some fluid goes back in with trapped air.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Ford OC mobile app

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Still no joy. Checked the wheel cylinders, all looked fine, adjusters also.

Went round and bled the system again and yet more air came out of each wheel. Took it for a test drive and it's still pretty much the same, I think I'll take it to a garage to let them have a go at bleeding the system with their pressurised tools. If that doesn't work hopefully they will e able to point me in the direction of the problem.

Thanks for all the advice, if there's anything you can think of, I'm all ears.

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Gunson Eeezibleed is fairly cheap, approx £20 from places like Halfords

its a pressure bleeder that connects to a tyre to keep it at constant pressure, kit comes with various caps to connect direct to resevoir.

very simple to use, cheaper than a garage bill, only downside is having to drop your tyre pressure to approx 10/15 psi before applying, so will need to reinflate tyre after.

if that doesnt work then could be looking at a master cylinder.

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Hi Joe, I had a Mk1 Focus for 9 years and although I thought the brakes were fine, every time I picked my car up from Stanstead airport after spending a couple of weeks on holiday in a hire car, I'd approach the first roundabout, hit the brakes and wonder why I wasn't stopping fast enough. The bottom line is that the Mk1 Focus brakes don't seem to be as heavily servo'd as other cars, needing more force on the pedal. After a few miles I'd get used to it..... until the next time I went on holiday :)

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lack of servo would give you a harder pedal not softer

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