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Discussion Starter #1
I am a student and therefore financially restricted to carry out my own repairs. My 1996 155 1.8 t.spark failed on brake balance. will I need to replace the master cylinder? I have only recently blead the brakes. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanking you in anticipation,

AGC155
 

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1966-2013
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Left to right or fore to aft?

If left to right, you're likely looking at another bleed, a sticking caliper might not be out of the question, and a good inspection of the hard and soft lines to check for restrictions and/or kinks never hurt anyone, with the outside possibility that it's an alignment issue (toe specifically) rather than a brake issue.

If fore to aft, it may be correct and the inspectors don't know it due to the thingies put in to prevent the rears from locking. (the only time most folks can get the rears to lock is when going in reverse)

Hopefully someone with a bit more insight will trip along and offer something a bit more useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Brake force

Hello Tifosi, thank you for your insight. The wheels are not binding in the calipers and I've only just had the wheels aligned. I think it is more to do with brake force distribution between the front wheels, according to the report.

I've been looking at the workshop manual and the brake system is looking mighty complicated. There's the pump, the servo, the hydraulic-electronic unit, the regulator, I don't know where to start my diagnosis.

Regards,

AGC155
 

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If it's left to right on the front, then a bleed, then another bleed followed by inspection of the soft lines (twisted, kinked, rotted, internal collapse) and hard lines (kinked, clotted with poo)

While not impossible for the issue to be in the master cylinder, it's rather unlikely.

Servo wouldn't have anything to do with balance, (only pedal force neccisary to apply the brakes), and if it's the front only, the regulator wouldn't likely be suspect either as it's a rear brake only thing.

There's always the outside chance that the wheel not getting good brake effect has worn or glazed pads, or a glazed rotor.

That still doesn't eliminate the possibility of a sticking caliper, unless you're very certain that they both work pefectly well.

Now for a more off the wall scenario:

How is the tire pressure left to right up front?

Is the suspension in good condition and trim is pretty close to spot on?

No damaged anti-roll bar mounts or the like?

Any of those can make for a pretty serious pull one way or the other under braking to be sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Tifosi, thanks for getting back to me. I have been trying to get the car to skid but it is not happening. Either the ABS is kicking in or the brake force is rubbish in general, and not just a question of left-right balance. If it was the ABS, wouldn't I still get a broken skid mark, like a dotted line.

I know the wheels don't bind in the calipers and the brake pads are sweet, however, the lower suspension arm of the right front is a bit loose, which I suspect is from a worn bush. Tyre pressures are sweet.

Until I have inspected the lines properly I can't say if there is a problem there, however, on cursory inspection there are no obvious leaks.

It is starting to look like a combination of factors causing the problem.

I appreciate all of your advice.

Regards,

AGC155
 

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If you've got ABS, it could leave a chatter mark like you would guess, yes, though it doesn't happen as often as you'd imagine. At least not really obvious dark black marks anyway.

Do you get heavy pedal pulsations when it engages under hard braking? (you should be able to feel it quite readily when the ABS turns on)

How hard do you actually have to press on the pedal to get what feels like fair braking action? (not trying to lock up, just normal driving type stuff)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The brakes seem to work adequately under normal driving conditions. When I stand on the brakes to try and lock up I can't feel any pulsating on the pedal.

Do you think perhaps the ABS is not working properly or at all?

AGC155
 

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Oooh, I wouldn't want to get commited to a solid answer on that one.

However I can say that every ABS system I've been exposed to very definitely pulses the pedal to some degree or another, (fast pumping feel up through a really rapid almost virbration level sensation), when you're on the brakes hard enough to where they'd have locked in a non ABS system.

I'd probably lean toward there being an ABS issue, but that realistically shouldn't affect balance, unless the ABS is ony working on one side which I suppose 'could' lose any pulsation feel, (or at least half or less of the normal feel), which would also likely cause a pull one way or the other as one wheel would be braking much more effectively than the other.


At this point, the safe money would be the recommendation that you take it to a reputable shop and have it diagnosed.

Granted, you'll have to pay for the diagnostic, but it may end up being something you can fix yourself.

I'd rather hear how you dropped $50 getting the diagnostic and then doing it yourself rather than not taking it for a more hands on exam than anything we could offer on the board and end up having something nasty happen simply because there weren't real eyes and hands to inspect things.

Brakes is just one of them things you don't want to be too unsure about.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you, I'll start getting some quotations, things are very expensive here in London and as a student I have to priorities my disposable cash.

You have been a real diamond, thanks for all your sensible advice, I'll let you know when I've sorted it.

All the best,

AGC155
 
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