Brake Pedal Has No Pressure
I have a 1986 cougar my friend gave me to work on, and in the process of getting it home, something happened to the brakes. It had a blown head gasket, so I couldn't drive it home without burning it up, but I had it running to drive it out of the yard so I know the brakes worked fine before I towed it. I was in the cougar on the way home while my wife pulled me with the truck. Because it had the head gasket problem, the engine temp would shoot up too high after about 30 seconds of the car running, so I just had to put the ignition in run position to unlock the steering wheel, but I couldn't start the engine to get vacuum to the brake booster. The problem with that is my wife got a little crazy with the gas when she was towing me, and of course the brakes don't like to be applied with the engine off. So as I'm trying to slow down from 45mph I have to push really hard on the pedal to get any braking action, and I had to do this a lot, especially when we started going down hill. The closer we got to home, the less braking power I had regardless of how hard I pushed the pedal. Well, we got home and I started the cougar to try and drive it to where I want it instead of pushing it, only to find out that I have NO BRAKES whatsoever. The pedal has a decent amount of "spring" feeling to it. There is a little resistance when I push it down, and it springs back up quickly, but there seems to be no pressure. Brake fluid is not leaking anywhere, and when I take the cap off the master cylinder and have someone apply the brakes, there is only a tiny ripple at the top of the fluid, rather that the usual spurty action. I can push the brake pedal over and over again all day and at the end I still have the identical level of fluid left in the master cylinder.
I'm assuming that it's a problem with the master cylinder, like one of the pistons is not sealing or something, but I wanted to ask first. A master cylinder is only $17 + core, but if it's not the problem, why waste my time! haha. So any help here would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!