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Unread 07-19-2009, 05:06 PM   #1
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Default Power brake booster 97' Ford Escort?

A friend of mine asked if I could do some repair work on her dad's 1997 Ford Escort wagon - they don't have a lot of money, so I said I'd do what I could. Her dad knows nothing about cars, but he said the car sat for about 7 months, then when we went to drive it again, it seemed for for a week or so, then suddenly the brakes stopped working. He said the pedal feels locked in the "up" position - said it felt like a 2x4 was stuck under the pedal. He said it felt like he had 5-10% of the original braking power. I'm assuming it's the power brake booster? And what am I getting myself into by agreeing to help? I've done calipers/brake lines, etc, but I've never messed with the master cylinder before, and if I understand correctly, I have to remove the master cylinder before I can get to the booster, right?

It's 1997 Escort wagon, completely base, no ABS. He doesn't know if it's got discs or drums in the back, I'll have to go check on that this week.

If anyone has suggestions and/or (preferably "and " ) I'd be really grateful. As I said, I'd like to help them out, I just hope I'm not getting in over my head here.
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Unread 07-19-2009, 05:39 PM   #2
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ask and ye shall receive:



REMOVAL & INSTALLATION


1991-96 Models

See Figure 1

The power brake booster is the same for all 1991-96 vehicles, including those equipped with an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS).

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

2. Remove the master cylinder assembly.

3. Loosen the vacuum hose clamp and remove the hose from the power brake booster.

4. From inside the vehicle, remove the pin and discard.

5. Remove the clevis pin.

6. Unfasten the four booster mounting nuts and remove the booster. Remove and discard the gasket.





Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the power brake booster mounting-1991-96 models
To install:

7. Install a new gasket over the studs and position the power brake booster.

8. From inside the vehicle, install the four mounting nuts and tighten to 14-19 ft. lbs. (19-25 Nm).

9. Lubricate the clevis pin with white lithium grease and install.

10. Install a new pin.

11. Position the vacuum hose to the booster and install the clamp.

12. Install the master cylinder, making sure to check the master cylinder pushrod clearance.

13. Adjust the brake pedal as follows:
1. Press the brake pedal several times to eliminate the vacuum in the booster.

2. Carefully press the pedal and measure the amount of free-play until resistance is felt. If the free-play is 0.16-0.28 in. (4-7mm), the pedal free-play is within specification. If the free-play is not within specification, continue with the procedure.

3. Loosen the rod locknut and rotate the rod either in or out, as necessary, to obtain the specified free-play.

4. While holding the rod in position, tighten the rod locknut.

5. Measure the distance from the center of the brake pedal to the floor. If the distance measures 7.60-7.72 in. (193-196mm), the pedal height is within specification. If the pedal height is not within specification, continue with the procedure.

6. Unplug the brake light switch electrical connector, loosen the switch locknut and turn the switch until it does not contact the brake pedal.

7. Loosen the rod locknut and turn the rod until the brake pedal height is within specification.

8. Turn the brake light switch until it contacts the brake pedal, then turn it an additional 1 / 2 turn. Tighten the brake light locknut and the rod locknut.

9. Attach the brake light switch electrical connector.



14. Connect the negative battery cable.

15. Bleed the brake system.

16. Check the operation of the brake lights and brake system.



1997-99 Models

See Figures 2, 3 and 4

A scan tool is absolutely necessary to bleed the brake hydraulic system on 1997-99 models equipped with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS). If your vehicle is equipped with ABS, be sure to refer to the ABS bleeding procedures in this section before performing any work on your vehicle's brake hydraulic system.

1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

2. Unfasten the brake booster hose clamp and disconnect the hose.

3. If necessary, remove the battery tray.

4. Remove the master cylinder.

5. On 1998-99 models, unfasten the nut on the back side of the hood release handle and set the handle aside.

6. Unfasten the instrument panel steering column cover retainer(s) and remove the cover.



7. Unplug the light switch rheostat resistor electrical connection.

8. Remove the self-locking pin and the clevis pin.

9. Unfasten the four brake booster nuts and the booster.






Fig. Fig. 2: Unplug the light switch rheostat resistor electrical connection-1997-99 models


Click image to see an enlarged view


Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the self-locking pin (arrow) ...


Fig. Fig. 4: ... and the clevis pin (arrow)-1997-99 models
To install:

10. Install the brake booster into position.

11. Install the booster nuts and tighten them to 14-19 ft. lbs. (19-25 Nm).

12. Install the clevis pin and self-locking pin.

13. Attach the light switch rheostat resistor electrical connection.

14. Install the instrument panel steering column cover and tighten the retainer(s).

15. On 1998-99 models, place hood release handle in position and tighten the retaining nut on the back side of the handle.

16. Install the master cylinder.

17. If removed, install the battery tray.

18. Attach the brake booster hose and engage the clamp.

19. Bleed the brake system.

20. Check the operation of the brake system.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEcull
He may have ruined his cylinder walls and compression wings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wierdo124
Yeah. Should hold up fine, long as you don't drive like a primate.

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Unread 07-19-2009, 05:50 PM   #3
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Awesome, thanks man! It doesn't sound too difficult - time consuming (mostly the bleeding) but not too difficult. Or does it sound easier than it really is? lol

Btw, you can update your sig to 500 posts.
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Unread 07-19-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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Autozone.com has some great guides for stuff like that for older cars, you just have to register..
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEcull
He may have ruined his cylinder walls and compression wings.
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Originally Posted by wierdo124
Yeah. Should hold up fine, long as you don't drive like a primate.

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Unread 07-19-2009, 07:16 PM   #5
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Cool, I never knew that. Thanks! I'm off to make an account there now. lol
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Unread 07-19-2009, 07:33 PM   #6
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If possible, try to remove the master cylinder without undoing the brake lines. It can be done in most cases and it saves bleeding the brakes.
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Unread 07-19-2009, 07:46 PM   #7
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I wondered if that might be possible. It definitely will make things easier if I don't have to bleed it.
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Unread 07-19-2009, 11:14 PM   #8
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Actually, won't I have to bleed it anyway?

"2. Unfasten the brake booster hose clamp and disconnect the hose."
That makes it sound like the booster is part of the brake fluid system (which would make sense).

Also, I'm just curious, why is this necessary?
"Fig. Fig. 2: Unplug the light switch rheostat resistor electrical connection-1997-99 models"

Thanks a ton guys!
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Unread 07-20-2009, 12:28 PM   #9
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Yeah i think you would have to bleed it. It's not a big deal though anyway
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Unread 07-20-2009, 12:42 PM   #10
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Can I just bleed all four calipers, or do I need to bleed the lines at the master cylinder, too?

Oh, and this is probably a dumb question, but will I be able to access all this from the top, or will I need to jack it up and get underneath?
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