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Old 07-25-2009, 10:54 PM
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No brake pressure in 4WDB 58 Edsel

Hi all, it's been a while since I've had to ask anything, but you've never let me down, so hopefully you all can figure out my latest dilemma!

Anyways. The car is a 58 Edsel Pacer. It's been an ongoing project for many years. For the last 3 years, my routine has been doing a mad dash trying to get it going for the Goodguy's show about two months early, I'd run into major snags, then get burnt out for a while. I've done this for the last few years. But I think this is the year! I should have the engine running tomorrow with the simplified Holley 4 bbl (vs. a 3x2 setup I didn't have the time, money, or knowledge to sync properly). As far as the brakes, I scrounged either an LTD II or Granada front spindle setup many years back, and rebuilt and installed it all this last year. Out back, I have a narrowed Mark V rearend with the matching disc brakes. I have an adjustable Wilwood proportioning valve, and the master cylinder is a 68 Corvette Big Block manual 4 wheel disc unit. I've gone through two with the same issue.

And the issue is no pressure. I've used a handheld vacuum pump to suck it through, and the good ole pump method. Got no pressure. I did get it to barely activate the front discs, but nothing I'd move it 10 feet with. I even bought a Phoenix Systems bleeder system, which is awesome BTW. It works by forcing fluid into the bleeder, and up through the master cylinder, using the tendency of bubbles to flow up to it's advantage. I tried that system today, and didn't really get any bubbles. I got a nice steady flow of clean fluid into the M/C though. On another note, I hadn't touched this car since November. I opened the M/C and the fluid was to the brim, so there aren't any leaks (like I had issues with last year).

So basically, with no airbubbles using the Phoenix Systems bleeder (as seen on Gearz TV ), I don't get a hard pedal. I get a 'little' feeling towards the final 3" of travel, but not even close to where it should be.

Any suggestions? I'm kind of leaning towards the master cylinder. I would think the Edsel would have way more travel than the Corvette would, so I would imagine it's using the full stroke of the M/C. Are the car gods just mad at me for putting a Corvette part on an Edsel? Or might there be a potential problem with that M/C on this Ford 4WDB setup?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 07-26-2009, 06:26 AM
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Have you checked to make sure you are activating the M/C correctly. The pedal travel is different I'm sure and rod length is an important factor in making a master cylinder work. You may not have enough travel or you could have to much pre-load which won't allow the cyl. to draw fluid from the res. Hopefully someone here has the correct resting measurements for this master cylinder.
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Tony
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Old 07-26-2009, 09:43 AM
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did you put the calipers on the proper sides of the car. If not the bleeders will be at the bottom of the caliper instead of the top and you will never get the air out. I have seen this a lot, it is a common mistake.
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Old 07-26-2009, 10:41 AM
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I know the bleeders are in the correct positions, there's no question there.


As far as the pedal travel, it's been a few years, but I'm 90% sure I verified that it doesn't have any preload, and the M/C is activated as soon as you start to press the pedal down. I'm going to work on it again today, so I'll try and double check.
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