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Thread: Brake Fluid Leaking

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    Brake Fluid Leaking

    Hello All,

    I've got a 1984 Van that seems to be leaking break fluid. it drips down the steering column and gets the floor mats wet. There is also a wet squishing noise when I release the brake pedal. Before I tear the whole dash apart does anyone have any suggestions of what might be leaking? Anyone experience this before?
    Tom - 1984 Toyota Van, Customized Camper

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    It's the master cylinder. It's under the dash on the driver's side. I believe it's a common somewhat weak link on toyotas of this vintage. I know it was replaced on my van.

    The previous owner replaced it so I can't give any pointers but I don't think it can be too hard to replace. Just follow the instructions for taking the dash apart & everything will become a bit clearer.

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    This isn't too hard to access. If you remove the instrument hood, then the instrument cluster it's very manageable. Nothing too special to note except the speedo cable. The cluster will pull out barely far enough to get your hand back there. There's a plastic ring with a clip where the outer sheath attaches to the cluster. If you pinch it just right it will release. When you put it back, rotate the speedo input so it matches the square part of the cable. When it's aligned it will slide right in, then just push until you hear the snap of the cable lock engauging. Removing the master cylinder can be a little messy so lay down some plastic and paper towels before you pull the lines off. It's a good idea to put a little fluid into the new master & bench bleed before installing (this will make bleeding the brakes much easier). Tim

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    I also want to do brake pads so it seems like i should just do both at the same time to save the hassle of taking the whole dash apart twice right? However I want to have the parts ready to go (and for cheap) so should I just go ahead and assume it's the master cylinder and order a new one online? Also is this a part I should get from Toyota and shell out the big bucks for or can I get a cheap one and it will wok the same?

    This one is 1/3 of the price of everywhere else (of course I don't want to be doing this again in a few months):
    http://www.partsgeek.com/lv6gp7s-toy...aster+Cylinder

    As far a a "Bench Bleed" goes, I'm assuming I just fill it up with brake fluid before putting it in so that there is less air to get out later... right?
    Tom - 1984 Toyota Van, Customized Camper

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    New masters are NLA from Toyota.
    Rebuild kits are still available.

    Then there is the whole aftermarket.
    I prefer not to go with remaned M/C's as I have seen too many failures.

    Before you dig into the master replacement, you should check all your bleeder screws (all 5) are free as you WILL need to bleed the entire system.
    Anything that can't be freed will have to be replaced (wheel cylinders/callipers and the valve for the rear axle)

    Bench bleeding involves filling the MC with fluid and pumping the air out of the it before hooking up the vehicles brake lines.
    When you do hook up the lines, you also do a quick bleed right at those fittings to reduce the amount of air you have to push through the system.
    The remote reservoir does complicate matters a little, it can be done in the car (very messy) or preferably on the bench, mounted in a vise.
    Either way, you will want to pull the reservoir out and clean it well before installing the new master.
    BB

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    I looked at the paper work from my van & along with the MC the rear proportioning valve, rear cylinders, front pads & rotors were all replaced.

    The valve was $70, & the master cylinder was $120 - I assume it was a reman & I never had any problems with it.

    My van braked liked new... I sure do miss it.

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    I too have used aftermarket/remanned master cylinders, slaves, wheel cylinders, & calipers without any problems (knock on wood). Tim

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    Got the dash off and it seems like the master cylinder is leaking where it connects to the booster. I'm assuming that there isn't a gasket in there, so my question is; Will replacing the master cylinder fix the problem? Is it necessary to get a new one or is there a way to stop the leak on the one that is in there?
    Tom - 1984 Toyota Van, Customized Camper

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    Quote Originally Posted by tmiron View Post
    Got the dash off and it seems like the master cylinder is leaking where it connects to the booster. I'm assuming that there isn't a gasket in there, so my question is; Will replacing the master cylinder fix the problem? Is it necessary to get a new one or is there a way to stop the leak on the one that is in there?
    Unless you are experienced at remanufacturing you'll probably just want to buy a reman. Look on rock auto, & ebay to see what comes up... On occasion FCP Import has some good prices on Toyota stuff too.

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    Your leak is coming from the master cylinder. Your choices are:

    1. Put a kit in the existing MC. This is the cheapest but may not be possible depending on the condition of the bore. A kit typically consists of "soft" parts ("o" rings, & plastic parts). To install you need to completely disassemble the old, clean, & inspect the bore. If there is no pitting, then simply reassemble using the new soft parts. If there are minor pits you may be able to clean these up using a small finishing hone & a drill. If there are deep pits, then it's junk (proceed to choice #2).

    2. Replace the entire MC with aftermarket, remanufactured, or new OEM part. OEM is likely the best, but OEM parts like this are usually unreasonably expensive. It's been my experience these inexpensive remanufactured units are adequate & should work fine. As long as it hold pressure & doesn't leak it will be fine. Tim

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    Re: Brake Fluid Leaking

    Tom - 1984 Toyota Van, Customized Camper

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