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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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Old 08-06-2012, 06:47 PM
jmgrif jmgrif is offline
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Spongy or soft brakes? 92 F250 4x4

Here's my story! Two days ago I had to take my boat to town for service! About 35 kms. Not many stops between my home and the service area. When I did arrive my brake pedal went almost to the floor? I could smell brakes? I discovered the parking brake pedal had not fully released to the top position. Did some errands in town and drove back home. I removed the rear wheels and drums to inspect the brakes and discovered the rear shoes were almost to the rivets? The leading shoes were OK! I purchased new shoes and installed them with little difficulty but after re-installing the drums and adjusting the brakes, the pedal was soft/spongy? Reading here on the forum about making sure the adjustment was correct I re-did the adjustment very tight then backed them off before taking a test ride! The brakes were too tight and started to smoke? I couldn't understand why the new brakes made the brake pedal soft/spongy so did a little research here on the forum! Could it be the vacuum assist? That should make the pedal hard not soft? The truck is new to me only a year ago and the master cylinder has checked Dec/09? It looked full and clear so I thought it was OK? Not! Upon closer inspection I believe the park brake cables are not releasing and was holding the rear shoe onto the drum. But that heat caused the brake fluid to boil and that is the reason for the spongy feel to the brake pedal! Today I did a rear only brake fluid flush and now were back to normal! I usually only use the truck in the bush so don't think I need the park brake for my normal use? The only reason for this long dissertation is I couldn't believe the cooking of brake fluid only could cause such a dramatic change to pedal sensitivity? Sorry for being so long winded!
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:28 PM
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BRay09 BRay09 is offline
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Yeah boiling brake fluid will cause a spongy pedal. Every few years you should drain/flush your whole system, especially if you tow a lot. Sounds like you got it figured out though. Parking brake cables tend to freeze up over time if not used, then if you do push it, it gets stuck applied. Make sure you got the adjusters on the right way, they are different threads for different sides
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Old 08-06-2012, 08:32 PM
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Toplait Toplait is offline
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Bleed your Brakes....

Bleed all four, "they will probably still be spongy still." Then go back and bleed them again. If they still are spongy bleed all four again... If that still does not fix it let us know.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:27 PM
jmgrif jmgrif is offline
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Yes I will bleed the fronts soon, but in the mean time I can't believe the improvement? As I said the truck is mainly used in the bush so a parking brake is not a high priority if ever used? My reason for posting was a result of trying to find out why my brake pedal was soft in spite of replacing the shoes with new? Lesson learned!
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:21 AM
XLT89F350cc XLT89F350cc is offline
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when you bleed your brakes, start at rear pass., rear driver, rabs, front pass., then front drivers, and possibly the master.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:21 AM
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