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Discussion Starter #1
My '04 SSR has an issue with the brakes. First, the fluid is topped off and I have not added fluid since my last brake job. I have driven the R for a year since the brakes were replaced and have put about 3,000 miles on it. I have had zero issues/problems with the brakes.
I only drive the R about 5 or 6 days a month.
Last month after diving for about 30 minutes the brake pedal responded strangely.. I stops but at times the pedal goes to the floor. I now drive with handbrake in hand. The pedal response comes and goes. I'll have half a pedal. one stop then to the floor on the next.
Any ideas?
Skip
 

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I know someone with SSR braking issue experience will answer, but I found this - I would concentrate on the master cylinder and booster. Steve


One of the more common causes for the brake pedal going to the floor is a loss of brake fluid. When you're out of brake fluid, your brakes simply won't work. This is pretty easy to diagnose: You should be able to see brake fluid underneath the car if there's a leak in the system.

Another possible cause is a bad brake master cylinder. The master cylinder is where brake fluid gets compressed. Pressure on the brake fluid cases the brakes to be applied to the wheels. If your master cylinder doesn't work properly, or only works sometimes, you're going to lose braking power, and occasionally your brake pedal will go all the way to the floor.

Here's an additional reason a brake pedal could go all the way to the floor: a bad brake booster. The booster is a mechanism that uses vacuum pressure to take the force being applied to the brake pedal and amplify it. If the booster is bad, then the full amount of force needed to activate the master cylinder and pressurize the brake fluid isn't going to be there. The pedal will go all the way to the floor and the car will be harder to stop.

There's one more thing that could be causing the brake pedal to go all the way to the floor: you, the driver. The more the brakes are used, the hotter the brake fluid gets. The hotter the brake fluid gets the more liquid it becomes. It sounds silly, but it's sort of like what happens to Jell-O on a hot day: it goes from a thickish liquid to a thinner liquid. When the brake fluid gets hot and thin, it needs more force to be pressurized enough to operate the brakes; your braking system may not be able to generate the force necessary. So, if your brake pedal frequently goes to the floor and you can't find a mechanical reason, check out your driving style. Make sure you aren't riding the brakes, and always make sure you take off the parking brake before you head out.


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Discussion Starter #3
I know someone with SSR braking issue experience will answer, but I found this - I would concentrate on the master cylinder and booster. Steve


One of the more common causes for the brake pedal going to the floor is a loss of brake fluid. When you're out of brake fluid, your brakes simply won't work. This is pretty easy to diagnose: You should be able to see brake fluid underneath the car if there's a leak in the system.

Another possible cause is a bad brake master cylinder. The master cylinder is where brake fluid gets compressed. Pressure on the brake fluid cases the brakes to be applied to the wheels. If your master cylinder doesn't work properly, or only works sometimes, you're going to lose braking power, and occasionally your brake pedal will go all the way to the floor.

Here's an additional reason a brake pedal could go all the way to the floor: a bad brake booster. The booster is a mechanism that uses vacuum pressure to take the force being applied to the brake pedal and amplify it. If the booster is bad, then the full amount of force needed to activate the master cylinder and pressurize the brake fluid isn't going to be there. The pedal will go all the way to the floor and the car will be harder to stop.

There's one more thing that could be causing the brake pedal to go all the way to the floor: you, the driver. The more the brakes are used, the hotter the brake fluid gets. The hotter the brake fluid gets the more liquid it becomes. It sounds silly, but it's sort of like what happens to Jell-O on a hot day: it goes from a thickish liquid to a thinner liquid. When the brake fluid gets hot and thin, it needs more force to be pressurized enough to operate the brakes; your braking system may not be able to generate the force necessary. So, if your brake pedal frequently goes to the floor and you can't find a mechanical reason, check out your driving style. Make sure you aren't riding the brakes, and always make sure you take off the parking brake before you head out.


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Thanks for the reply. It sounds like it might be the booster. Driving has been between 20 and 45 MPH when it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update:
Drove the R today and all seemed normal. Did some hard repetitive braking and pedal held normal (not on the floor) like yesterday. We had our local area breakfast with the Houston SSR Fanatics today and several think it is the 15 year old master cylinder. So I am going to change it out, Cheap insurance.
 

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Agree with others on master cylinder.
Just be sure to bench bleed and bleed at lines to master cylinder to prevent air getting into system.

Brake fluid's base ingredient is ethylene gylcol, the same as coolant and its viscosity remains consistent through a large temperature range. The only worry is it boiling and turning to a vapor which will cause air pockets. This typically only happens on old contaminated fluid and riding the brakes in situations like desending a mountain. This is why automatics have manual gear ranges to provide engine braking thus preventing the need to ride the brakes on desent.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Agree with others on master cylinder.
Just be sure to bench bleed and bleed at lines to master cylinder to prevent air getting into system.

Brake fluid's base ingredient is ethylene gylcol, the same as coolant and its viscosity remains consistent through a large temperature range. The only worry is it boiling and turning to a vapor which will cause air pockets. This typically only happens on old contaminated fluid and riding the brakes in situations like desending a mountain. This is why automatics have manual gear ranges to provide engine braking thus preventing the need to ride the brakes on desent.
Thanks. Good to know.
 

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BAD BOW TIE
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My advice is if and when your brake pedal goes to the floor, ever, don't drive it again until it is fixed as it may happen again at anytime and the next thing you know you are three feet in the trunk of the guy in front of you. Very hard to repair body parts these days. Just sayin.
 

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Super Road Rocket Pilot
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Thanks for the reply. It sounds like it might be the booster. Driving has been between 20 and 45 MPH when it happens.
No, the booster would normally cause a hard pedal with vacuum loss. You have an open line with air getting in or a bad seal. It sounds more like a master cylinder issue as others noted but you could have a problem anywhere there is fluid. Lines, cylinders, ABS, etc..... Once found, make sure you bleed the system really well to insure things won't reoccur.

I have seen where a few SSRs have leaked at the rear seal of the master cylinder, sometimes you will see some leakage or moisture where the booster and master meet if that is the problem.


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BAD BOW TIE
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Based on a reply about a year ago the master cylinder may have to be rebuilt because at that time no after markets were available. I hope I am wrong. The guy that posted back then said he tried several but they did not work properly. Like I said hope I am wrong. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replies. I am changing out the master cylinder. I have had no fluid loss during this whole episode.
 

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Hey skip, if you have not had the brake fluid flushed then have that done when the master is replaced. Even if they did it a year ago I would advise doing it again. If seals in the master failed then you will have broken down seal particles contaminateing the fluid. If you have not had it flushed at all then it is most likely dark and contaminated with moisture.
Greg
 

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BAD BOW TIE
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Lots of replacement choices on RockAuto, other parts outlets should be similar.
I found the night mare posting that I recalled about the master cylinder. Go to this section:
Brake Master Cylinder
Put that in search and it is very lengthy but explains all the problems.
 

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Daily Driver
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Mine went to the floor on the way to the Springfield rally. It was the master cylinder. Wilkerson's repair facility said we can get a rebuilt today or a new one tomorrow. Since I was at the rally and wanted it running I chose the rebuilt. Nope, put it in and it was bad, new one the next day worked.
On the up side I got to watch them load the truck with all the upright roll away parts and tool boxes and Wilkerson's Mustang funny car on the upper deck.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Update:
Had master cylinder replaced. Had other issues. Right front caliper was stuck. Had front calipers and new pads replaced.
Picked up R and drove about a mile in traffic. Noticed R was stopping on its own and taking more throttle to get it moving. I pulled into a neighborhood and waited several minutes. The brakes released a little. Drove home slowly with many stops to let brakes cool down. Called my mechanic and told him to send a tow truck and take the R back to the shop.
The master cylinder, a new AC/Delco, was bad and is now being replaced. Will pick up Monday. Hope all is well.
Skip
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Discussion Starter #19
Got the R back to today. All is good. The mechanic has now installed the third AC/Delco NEW master cylinder and all is working well and. Installed one on Thursday, one on Friday and one today Monday.
Anyone else have problems with new AC/Delco defective parts?

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BLU SSR
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Got the R back to today. All is good. The mechanic has now installed the third AC/Delco NEW master cylinder and all is working well and. Installed one on Thursday, one on Friday and one today Monday.
Anyone else have problems with new AC/Delco defective parts?

Skip
Third Time's a charm ? Not a very good recommendation for AC/DELCO.
Glad you're up and runnin' again!
 
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