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Old 11-16-2011, 01:20 PM
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66 Continental brake pedal sticks. New calipers, master, and shoes

Hello everyone! i've come to realize that every time i have a question about an older car and i google it i always end up at this site! glad there is such a great consolidated resource for older vehicles! sorry this post is so long but it is through!

Got a unrestored 1966 lincoln continental (prepping for restoration), Factory rear drum, front disk, and power brakes. Just replaced the shoes, pads, calipers, rotors, and master cylinder.

fully flushed and bled the system without any problems. with the engine off and pumping the pedal to firm (about 3-4 pumps) the pedal does not fully return to the up-most position, although it does retract a bit by itself from the springs in the drums i believe (about an inch.5 of movement when pumping after firm), and the brakes remain engaged/the car will not roll until i grab and lift up on the pedal manually. i removed the check valve on the brake booster, same story. google results: most people installed helper return springs on the pedal. i believe this is more of a band-aid than a solution. if the vehicle didnt come with a spring from the factory, it shouldnt need one now. especially with all new components.

With the engine running, check valve installed, the pedal travels almost to the floor and sticks (with no retraction at all) and even in drive, the vehicle will not roll.

Placed paper towels below each hub and below master cylinder, no leaks in those places, or anywhere for that matter. re-bled, no air.

after some googling i decided to remove the master cylinder (without opening up the system) and check the adjustment of the rod coming from the booster. everything appeared to be perfectly aligned. with the cylinder off i pumped the the pedal and found a fair bit of resistance in both directions. could pull it back 50% and it would stay in the position i left it in.

now, most of my experience in braking systems is with 90's+ vehicles, usually with all wheel disks. and i've never had to diagnose/replace/or even mess with a brake booster. in fact, i wasnt even entirely sure how they worked until i read the howstuffworks.com article (great site!)

my assumption is that the booster is the culprit in this situation, i believe there should be little to no resistance with the master cylinder removed from the booster. (im not gona go remove the cylinder on my mazda to confirm this theory lol)

In your expert opinion(s) do you believe my diagnosis is correct or incorrect? and based on this information what should i do, check, or replace next?

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Old 11-17-2011, 02:09 PM
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Did you replace the Brake Hoses?
When they get old the inner lining will collapse and act like a Check Valve not allowing the Brakes to release. It's happened to me several times and usually after doing Brake work, moving the Calipers around etc.. can easily damage weak/old Hoses.
An easy check is if they release after you open the Bleeder Valve.
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