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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody!
Noticed a leak where Brake cyl. connects to booster. Guessing it's the cyl. leaking. Any advise on how to go about fixing it? Can it be just the rubber ring?
Thanks, Mario
 

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Hi Mario,

Sounds like a new brake master cylinder is in order, a typical replacement and not a big deal. Good opportunity to flush and refill the brake system, too..
 

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If you're seeing it there, it's coming out of the MC, and changing the o-ring won't help. Fix soon, the brake fluid is getting sucked into the booster. You should try to get all you can out of the booster while the MC is off.
Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you're seeing it there, it's coming out of the MC, and changing the o-ring won't help. Fix soon, the brake fluid is getting sucked into the booster. You should try to get all you can out of the booster while the MC is off.
Andrew
Hi Andrew!

How do I get the fluid out of the booster? Do I just wipe off with a rag or something? I'm somewhat handy, but never done this before. Do I need to drain the brake fluid before removing the MC?

Thank you, I appreciate your help!
 

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Paper towels typically absorb better than rags, also a turkey baster or some similar way to siphon. Getting any out is better than getting none.

If your brake fluid is old, you'll want to bleed out a good amount after you swap the MC, but there's no need to drain first. Keep rags and whatnot around the MC, as some fluid will invariably drip. If you want to siphon out the reservoir first that'll help reduce the mess. You will have to bleed, regardless, to have any brakes at all.

Andrew
 

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Unless the new BMC that you ordered comes with a new reservoir, you will have to remove the existing reservoir from the existing BMC, and then install it onto the new BMC. I find it easiest to do this before you remove the old BMC. Preparation is key when working with brake fluid. Cover the fenders and cowl with fender covers or old bath towels. Shop towels or similar under the BMC. Suction as much fluid as you can from the reservoir, secure cap. Have a drain pan or similar nearby to put the dripping reservoir into once it comes off. Grasp reservoir with both hands and slowly pull STRAIGHT up. You don't want to break the ports off the bottom of the plastic reservoir. Bench bleed the new BMC before you install it and then bleed it at the 3 BMC outlet ports.
 

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Just to state the maybe-not-obvious, brake fluid harms paint, so be very careful with it. Prep, as mentioned above, having your pans, rags, wrenches, etc., readily at hand is a big help so you're not standing there with a dripping reservoir, wondering where the [heck] that dang wrench is.

Be careful threading the brakes pipes in the new MC. Go slowly, make sure a couple threads have caught before you put a wrench on them. They're all too easy to strip. Flare type wrenches will help on R&R without ruining and rounding off the flats.

Andrew
 

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If you have access to a pair of dope smokers (hemostats), these holding a wad of paper towel are the best method of removing brake fluid from the booster. They reduce the chance of accidently leaving some paper towel in the booster. You can clamp a wad of towel in the hemostats and leave the thing in the booster for a while to soak up all you can and do somethig else while the towel wad is doing its absorption. Harbor Freight Tools sells a large pair of hemostats at a reasonable price if you have an outlet close by.
What you do with the dope somokers after cleaning out the booster is none of my business!

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you guys so much, I really appreciate all your help and suggestions. But I'm having second thoughts about doing this job myself, because the car is near pristine, and has only 21k miles on it. I can be very sloppy and don't want to risk messing this baby up. Now if I can get a mechanic who would agree to work on it...lol
 

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If you do decide to tackle the job yourself, remember that brake fluid is VERY caustic to auto paint. Before you start, get the garden hose ready and close by to immediately flush away any brake fluid which spilles on the paint work, inside the engine compartment as well as on the outer paintwork. If your car is that pristine, you don't want to take a chance on doing damage to the paint just because no one warned you about brake fluid being so caustic.

Robert
 

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Discussion Starter #14
After closer inspection, I believe the clutch MC is leaking as well. Seems to be leaking from underneath the reservoir. Guess I'll have to have the clutch MC replaced as well!!

There's only one Alfa specialist in OC, he's booked 4 moths out!! None of the mechanics I know, wanna touch the car. I may HAVE TO do this myself; your instructions and warnings have been invaluable!!
 

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The brake and clutch systems on an 88 Spider are basic stuff. I mean, if you've ever done a MC on any older car there's basically nothing of any consequence different about the Spider.

You can't find *any* local mechanic who's willing to give it a shot?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The brake and clutch systems on an 88 Spider are basic stuff. I mean, if you've ever done a MC on any older car there's basically nothing of any consequence different about the Spider.

You can't find *any* local mechanic who's willing to give it a shot?
It seems fairly easy, but I have never done one before. I don't know how much pressure there is in the system and don't want to mess with the pristine original paint ( car has only 21k miles!). I know a few good mechanics, they are reluctant to work on it; they don't want the car taking up space in their shop because it takes a long time to get parts in case something goes wrong, and with Alfas, something always goes wrong!!..lol
 

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Just a thought, but if the MC and the clutch reservoir are leaking, I'd take a look also at the clutch slave cylinder underneath the car...maybe someone with more photo tech skills than I can post a snappy. The thing about brake fluid is that its caustic and craps the seals, so if it's been sitting there for a while (even on a 21k example!) it can also cause problems with the clutch slave.

I've always had a fear of any brake work (even though i do it), b/c of the caustic nature of the fluid and like you have (and appreciate!) pristine paint, so when there's brake work to be done, I look over everything that uses it so I'm only exposing the fluid once.
 

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Stewart Sandeman I believe is still in business in OC. You can probably find him on the AROC site, tech advisor and/or repair shop references.
Andrew
 
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