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Old 10-08-2009, 12:38 PM
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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!

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Old 10-08-2009, 01:04 PM
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it could be the master cylinder.. or the booster. booster can be checked easily..

detach the master cylinder, hold it carefully in your hand and ask a friend to push the brake pedal.. try to press against boosters "button".. (what´s it called? sorry.. lack of vocabulary..) if you can hold it back, then the booster is broken..
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:10 PM
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I assume by "booster button" you're referring to what pushes on the master cylinder to move the pistons?
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:49 PM
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Sounds pretty much like your master cylinder is by passing....best thing to do is replace it. Be sure and bench bleed the new one before you put it on.
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:36 PM
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Klutch, didn't you post this a few months ago, and had a bunch of replies?
You mean it still isn't fixed?
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Old 10-08-2009, 03:40 PM
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I think I may have but I dont remember what everyone said. until i just read your post i had completely forgotten that I posted it lol. therefore i didnt check my forum history and reread my thread haha. the cougars been sitting in the driveway for quite a while. i tore the engine apart to replace a head gasket and havent had time to get it put back together. got the heads and the manifolds back on, but thats it. so ill get that done, put a new master cylinder on, and sell it! btw anyone wanna buy it? LOL
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