An update on the saga of my bird's brakes

Roboplex

Registered User
Sounds like $5 well spent, at least in the short term.



Not unless they're already intimate with the SC...

Did you use a new (correct compound) o-ring on the accumulator?

Did you get under the car and see if the pump itself is leaking badly?

Is the ARC pressure switch leaking at all?

Linking this in case you haven't seen it already:
http://www.sccoia.org/articles/anti-lock-braking-system/
I didn't check. I will now real quick before I go to bed. The only grimy/wet area I found earlier was in about a 0.5" radius around that tube connecting the fluid reservoir to the pump. I also noticed some white smoke coming from the area around around the master cylinder when I parked it today. I'm not sure if that was the pump burning, or just the excess brake fluid burning off from where it was leaking. I might put a few drops of UV dye in the reservoir just to see exactly where its leaking from. I didn't put a new O-Ring on since the one already on the accumulator was in perfect shape, so I just lubed it up with some brake fluid. Actually, the whole accumulator seems to be in pretty immaculate shape. Better than my previous one at least.

Just to let you know, I might not be on the forum very much for the next few days, as I will be in Miami to see a new doctor. (I'm not taking the T-Bird on the drive xD)
 

KMT

Registered User
I might put a few drops of UV dye in the reservoir just to see exactly where its leaking from. )

Not sure that is a good idea...

Just clean the suspect area, refill the master cylinder to the line, do a proper inspection and don't let it run dry.

And just for the record...if you promise to not share your medical stories with me, I'll keep mine to myself, thanks.
 
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Roboplex

Registered User
Not sure that is a good idea...

Just clean the suspect area, refill the master cylinder to the line, do a proper inspection and don't let it run dry.

And just for the record...if you promise to not share your medical stories with me, I'll keep mine to myself, thanks.

I'm actually not sure how to clean the area without taking out the assembly, or even just the reservoir. I have pretty big hands, and I don't think there's enough room from under the car to get to it. Would it be safe to just use some brake cleaner spray from below/above and let the grime run off? When I get home I'll jack the car up and get a better look from under.

Sorry if I'm TMI'ing a bit with the whole medical crap. Chronic illness kinda consumes my whole life, and I sometimes include it in places where it's really not applicable, just because I'm always having to explain it.
 

sam jones

Registered User
Good evening

I recommend using a good degreaser, Industrial spray bottle (Walmart) and a rag to clean the accessible area once the car is on jacks. I use Super Clean@. Watch your eyes and hands when using this stuff. Have someone in the car key on "pumping" the brakes. Use the good head lamp to search underneath. You will find having your hand free of a standard flashlight will be much less taxing. I would not be surprised if the supply hose is failing internally. I seen Thunderbird (both super and turbo coupe), Lincoln Continental and Mark VII salvage yard TEVES hoses in this condition when I was hunting for spares. If it has failed you will need to find a hose brake fluid compatible.


Good Luck.
 

Roboplex

Registered User
Good evening

I recommend using a good degreaser, Industrial spray bottle (Walmart) and a rag to clean the accessible area once the car is on jacks. I use Super Clean@. Watch your eyes and hands when using this stuff. Have someone in the car key on "pumping" the brakes. Use the good head lamp to search underneath. You will find having your hand free of a standard flashlight will be much less taxing. I would not be surprised if the supply hose is failing internally. I seen Thunderbird (both super and turbo coupe), Lincoln Continental and Mark VII salvage yard TEVES hoses in this condition when I was hunting for spares. If it has failed you will need to find a hose brake fluid compatible.


Good Luck.

So after installing the new accumulator from a 91' Jag XJ6, I noticed it's leaking a lot more. The pump is running longer when I turn on the car, but not when I'm braking anymore. When inspecting the accumulator, I noticed the connector was a bit different. It was an open nozzle, not the little pin sized hole in the middle of the nozzle. It screwed in perfectly, and worked fine, so I left it in.

Could that be causing it to leak more? It's a slow leak (not a stream), but overnight I lost about a 1/2 inch of fluid from the reservoir. Enough to make the brake light come on. I'm going to bring it to a mechanic tomorrow so I can get it up on his lift and really inspect from below, but I'm not sure if the new accumulator could've made the leak worse. Thoughts?

If it's the pump that's failed, and not the proportioning valve or something, I'm just going to bite the bullet and convert to conventional I think, depending on if I can get a part in good condition for a reasonable price.
 
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sam jones

Registered User
Good afternoon

I have installed both "pin hole" and "open mouth" nipple accumulators and have not experience leakage at the threaded section of the TEVES unit. However the length of the accumulator nipple does matter. On original Thunderbird TEVES accumulator there is an illustration giving the "x" dimensions for proper length. I have installed a JAG accumulator and with the open mouth nipple design I had no leak issue. The accumulator was unfortunately empty.
One potential area that has not been address is the brake pressure switch. It is located on proportional valve bellow the TEVES unit. It is bolted to driver side frame with a two pin electrical connector. Trace the TEVES brake lines to locate it. It has a nasty reputation of cracking causing a leak. A quick inspection is put the front end on jacks remove the connector. If it is full of brake fluid the switch is bad. If the switch body is wet suspect a bad switch. The pressure switch is no longer available from Ford or the aftermarket so another trip to the salvage yard and or members help will be necessary.

Good Luck.
 

KMT

Registered User
One potential area that has not been address is the brake pressure switch.

The ARC pressure switch was brought up earlier, if that's the one you're talking about. The main pressure switch is still available. But yes, unobtainium, so, used if you get lucky...plugged off if desperate, but that doesn't sound like the current culprit.
 

Roboplex

Registered User
Good afternoon

I have installed both "pin hole" and "open mouth" nipple accumulators and have not experience leakage at the threaded section of the TEVES unit. However the length of the accumulator nipple does matter. On original Thunderbird TEVES accumulator there is an illustration giving the "x" dimensions for proper length. I have installed a JAG accumulator and with the open mouth nipple design I had no leak issue. The accumulator was unfortunately empty.
One potential area that has not been address is the brake pressure switch. It is located on proportional valve bellow the TEVES unit. It is bolted to driver side frame with a two pin electrical connector. Trace the TEVES brake lines to locate it. It has a nasty reputation of cracking causing a leak. A quick inspection is put the front end on jacks remove the connector. If it is full of brake fluid the switch is bad. If the switch body is wet suspect a bad switch. The pressure switch is no longer available from Ford or the aftermarket so another trip to the salvage yard and or members help will be necessary.

Good Luck.
I'll see if the switch is leaking, whether it's at the mechanic or in my garage. Not sure quite yet, probably mechanic. But I just put in the old accumulator, and it's leaking just as much as the new Jag one was last night. Maybe it was the pump having to pump the new ball full of fluid that made it leak more in the short term. So I'll be putting the Jag accumulator back in.
 

S_Mazza

Registered User
I'll see if the switch is leaking, whether it's at the mechanic or in my garage. Not sure quite yet, probably mechanic. But I just put in the old accumulator, and it's leaking just as much as the new Jag one was last night. Maybe it was the pump having to pump the new ball full of fluid that made it leak more in the short term. So I'll be putting the Jag accumulator back in.

It's possible for the switch to leak around the housing, but unlikely unless you disturbed it. It more likely leaks internally through the body of the switch due to a ruptured pressure diaphragm. But that wouldn't be a very big leak, I think.

Most common leak spots are where the pump motor seals to the pump, and the suction hose between the pump and the reservoir.

The pump hose is actually available from BMW parts lists, but supply of the OEM may be sketchy. I am sure there is a universal braided EPDM out there as well. The BMW part number is 21-52-1-163-714-M21. Made by Contitech, sold as a brake and/or clutch reservoir hose.

As for the pump motor seals, I actually have placed a manufacturing order for a run of compatible seals in EPDM. I expect they will be ready within a month. A separate thread will be posted regarding that, sometime soon.
 

Roboplex

Registered User
It's possible for the switch to leak around the housing, but unlikely unless you disturbed it. It more likely leaks internally through the body of the switch due to a ruptured pressure diaphragm. But that wouldn't be a very big leak, I think.

Most common leak spots are where the pump motor seals to the pump, and the suction hose between the pump and the reservoir.

The pump hose is actually available from BMW parts lists, but supply of the OEM may be sketchy. I am sure there is a universal braided EPDM out there as well. The BMW part number is 21-52-1-163-714-M21. Made by Contitech, sold as a brake and/or clutch reservoir hose.

As for the pump motor seals, I actually have placed a manufacturing order for a run of compatible seals in EPDM. I expect they will be ready within a month. A separate thread will be posted regarding that, sometime soon.
I did notice the area around that hose was wet where it connects to the pump, and the bronze nipple was partially exposed. But I can't get my hands in enough to push it back in. I'm not sure if that's the whole problem, but it could be worsening things. It's going to the mechanic tomorrow, so depending on what he finds, I might contact you about the seals if that's the culprit.
 

Mike Puckett

SCCoA Member
The high pressure switches can leak internally and drip. I had one do it. A new pressure switch cured it. I found pressure switches on Ebay, both used and new. There were some new ones for the Buick Regal but the connector was different. It has been suggested to cut the wiring harness off of a Regal and make an adapter with it and the old bad switch. Mine came off of a Saab Turbo and is identical except for the color. Spinning Wheels SC has accumulator balls for $115. I bought one a couple of weeks ago. Be sure that the o'ring is in place at the bottom of the fitting if it is leaking there.
 

KMT

Registered User
The high pressure switches can leak internally and drip. I had one do it. A new pressure switch cured it. I found pressure switches on Ebay, both used and new. There were some new ones for the Buick Regal but the connector was different. It has been suggested to cut the wiring harness off of a Regal and make an adapter with it and the old bad switch.

eBay ACDelco 25530882 GM Original Equipment Brake Pressure Warning Switch, $USD122 new shipped - exact connector fit on my '90SC.
 

S_Mazza

Registered User
I think that the Buick Reatta switch changed connector design midway through the run. The one KMT linked fits our cars. I think that is 87-88? The later one does not fit (a pigtail is needed to convert it, and the pigtail is not available new). So as long as the proper switch is available, it just makes a lot more sense to buy that one.
 

Roboplex

Registered User
I did notice the area around that hose was wet where it connects to the pump, and the bronze nipple was partially exposed. But I can't get my hands in enough to push it back in. I'm not sure if that's the whole problem, but it could be worsening things. It's going to the mechanic tomorrow, so depending on what he finds, I might contact you about the seals if that's the culprit.

So the mechanic said the master cylinder was leaking. I'm not sure if they sell just the master cylinder anymore, but he suggested we take it to Ford to get that done. So we have an appointment with the Ford Dealer on Monday to get it looked at. He said that also, the bolts on the supercharger were messed up. I'm not sure how, but he said that Ford would be able to look at that also. He said that otherwise, the car is in great shape. It's just the lady who owned it didn't drive it, so it deteriorated a bit sitting in her garage.
 

sam jones

Registered User
Good afternoon

I am little bit concerned with the mechanic recommendation to have Ford correct the discrepancies. Did the mechanic give explanations/reasons for not taking on the projects? I am not saying your Ford Service Department is not capable. It is just going to be very expensive. Please keep us informed on progress.



Good Luck.
 

S_Mazza

Registered User
So the mechanic said the master cylinder was leaking. I'm not sure if they sell just the master cylinder anymore, but he suggested we take it to Ford to get that done. So we have an appointment with the Ford Dealer on Monday to get it looked at. He said that also, the bolts on the supercharger were messed up. I'm not sure how, but he said that Ford would be able to look at that also. He said that otherwise, the car is in great shape. It's just the lady who owned it didn't drive it, so it deteriorated a bit sitting in her garage.

"They" (Ford) don't really sell any of this anymore, but most of it is available here and there, as we have been discussing. The hardest part to source, and the one that most rarely fails, is the master cylinder itself. You may be able to get a reman one from Cardone. From what I understand, it's not the kind of thing you would want to rebuild yourself, due to the likelihood of damaging internal parts. I rebuilt the pump motor on my car without much trouble, but I never had any reason to tear into the pump or master cylinder, because they always just worked. (One pump I had became non-functional, but I think it was just an airlock from sitting open... and I swapped it without tearing it apart.)

I have heard of these MCs failing occasionally, but not by an external leak.

There are rubber grommets between the plastic reservoir and the body of the MC. These grommets are also available from BMW parts books, as it turns out. (ATE part 34-31-1-160-133-M4.) So maybe it could leak from there, but I haven't seen it. Also, I am not aware of an easy way to remove the reservoir. I think it's pinned to the MC in one spot, but it also may "click" in somewhere else. I pulled on one for a while and decided I couldn't budge it without breaking it, so I left it alone.

If you can get any more information out of the mechanic about exactly where the leak was, that would be helpful.
 

Roboplex

Registered User
Good afternoon

I am little bit concerned with the mechanic recommendation to have Ford correct the discrepancies. Did the mechanic give explanations/reasons for not taking on the projects? I am not saying your Ford Service Department is not capable. It is just going to be very expensive. Please keep us informed on progress.



Good Luck.
The local (not Ford) mechanic we brought it to said he didn't have the equipment to do the job, and didn't feel comfortable doing it by himself. I do know that the Ford parts will be quite expensive, but my dad has worked with them before, and said that they might be able to install second hand parts I found of eBay or SCCOA. Or Ill just find a good brake shop and have them look at it.

(Any recommendations for SC friendly mechanics near Daytona, FL?) I don't have the know how to do it myself, and even if I did, my parents would never let me work on brakes myself. They're willing to pay, but I still just want to keep costs low. So if anyone has a spare master cylinder, I might be interested xD.
 

KMT

Registered User
I am not saying your Ford Service Department is not capable.

Back when I first got my Anny, I went to a local Ford dealer and paid them to bleed the brakes. They left the master cylinder 100% full and I had to deal with that mess on my own... I can't think of any good reason to let any dealer near these cars, these days. They just aren't familiar with them any more.

I went to Sears for a 4-wheel alignment - they told me the rear wasn't adjustable. Kept looking until I found a shop that actually wanted to do the work.

I only know one speed shop in the area that I'd let work on my SC and that's only because the tech I talked with drives one.

I'll keep doing my own work as long as I can.
 

Roboplex

Registered User
"They" (Ford) don't really sell any of this anymore, but most of it is available here and there, as we have been discussing. The hardest part to source, and the one that most rarely fails, is the master cylinder itself. You may be able to get a reman one from Cardone. From what I understand, it's not the kind of thing you would want to rebuild yourself, due to the likelihood of damaging internal parts. I rebuilt the pump motor on my car without much trouble, but I never had any reason to tear into the pump or master cylinder, because they always just worked. (One pump I had became non-functional, but I think it was just an airlock from sitting open... and I swapped it without tearing it apart.)

I have heard of these MCs failing occasionally, but not by an external leak.

There are rubber grommets between the plastic reservoir and the body of the MC. These grommets are also available from BMW parts books, as it turns out. (ATE part 34-31-1-160-133-M4.) So maybe it could leak from there, but I haven't seen it. Also, I am not aware of an easy way to remove the reservoir. I think it's pinned to the MC in one spot, but it also may "click" in somewhere else. I pulled on one for a while and decided I couldn't budge it without breaking it, so I left it alone.

If you can get any more information out of the mechanic about exactly where the leak was, that would be helpful.
He didn't say. I'll ask specifics when I pick it up tomorrow. Like I said, I'm not really comfortable doing anything else with it at this point, just because I'm not experienced. I'll have the Ford mechanic pinpoint the leak (if the local one didn't already). Maybe I could source a new grommet or something if that's the issue and have them install it. I just don't want to try to fix it, and end up breaking it.
 
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