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Brakes won't bleed!

Discussion in '"Stock" Alpine' started by Steeman01, Sep 6, 2020.

  1. Steeman01

    Steeman01 Donation Time

    Hi all! Still a newbie to Alpines, but not classic cars. That being said, I purchased a '66 Alpine last week which has been sitting for decades. I took the break drums off and looked at the shoes and I looked at the disc pads and it appears to be almost untouched and there is plenty of pad/shoe life left. I figured I could bleed the system and see how they functioned before deciding how to proceed.

    All that being said, I filled up the MC reservoir (there was a little there to began with) and opened the first bleeding screw and used a pneumatic bleeder and nothing would come out, nor did any fluid leave the reservoir. I tried all 3 bleeders on the brakes and nothing. Even if I pump the brakes petal, there is zero pressure build up. But fluid is not moving out of the reservoir.

    Could it be something with the vacuum servo (never dealt with one of these before)? Besides a blocked line (possible, but unlikely) I can't figure out why fluid won't leave the reservoir. Is there something I need to do to ensure the fluid is able to leave the reservoir?

    Apologies if this has been discussed, I can't seem to find this exact issue via the search function. Thanks!
  2. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    I believe I would crack a fitting near the wheel cylinder to see if the bleeder is stopped up from corrosion.
  3. Steeman01

    Steeman01 Donation Time

    Ah, great suggestion @DanR, I will give that a check as well!
  4. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    If you can bleed the wheel cylinders, you will probably get some nasty looking fluid. If so, I suggest you bleed the complete system and remove any and all that you can of the old fluid.
  5. Steeman01

    Steeman01 Donation Time

    I just pulled the bleeder screw and it is not clogged...
  6. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Go back to the Master and do the same, crack the fitting to see if fluid will come out.....continue with all of the fittings.

    You may have a line that is rusted shut or mashed flat.... check each line by following from point to point
  7. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    Crack the fitting that connects to the cylinder closest to the bleeder. If no fluid back track to the next fitting.
  8. Steeman01

    Steeman01 Donation Time

    Thanks @DanR, will do. I tried to even bleed the front driver side and nothing. I will pull the MC and also give it a look over. Anything that usually fails in the vacuum servo?
  9. DanR

    DanR Diamond Level Sponsor

    That is a very likely culprit....
  10. Barry

    Barry Platinum Level Sponsor

    If pumping the brake pedal does not build pressure or make brake fluid come out somewhere, the master cylinder is defective.

    Don't assume that the master cylinder is the only problem. The chances of the booster being OK are slim and none and collapsed brake hoses are a common issue.
  11. Steeman01

    Steeman01 Donation Time

    Well, finally got the MC off, that was fun (mainly the spring and holder plate at the pedal)! Quick question, how in the heck do I remove the MC seal?? It is like a metal cap that is held on by the indentations, almost like a compression or friction fitting. I took this picture to help... I can spin it, but it will not pull off.... At least not by hand. Is this original?

    Attached Files:

  12. Steeman01

    Steeman01 Donation Time

    BTW @DanR , prrrreeeeeetttttyyy sure it's the MC, there was no pushing of the plunge... The rod was just moving back and forth, I think the plunger is seized at the end.
  13. Scotty

    Scotty Donation Time

    I had something similar, in where I had my SIV done and parked on an incline for well... 7 years? The MC had a little fluid in it but the system had no fluid in it whatsoever. Took it in and the MC and SC were shot, both rear wheel cylinders were done for too. The servo, which was rebuilt before, worked fine. I had to have a brake line changed out that was shot and that was about it. Brakes run fine now. Absolutely go through the entire system or take it to someone who knows what they're doing just so it's done right. The one thing I won't be chinchy with, outside of an engine build, are brakes and all brake parts are readily available and pretty reasonable, price-wise.
  14. Steeman01

    Steeman01 Donation Time

    Thanks @Scotty , totally agree. I was hoping to rectify the MC and then see what else is shot (or good for that matter). The back 2 wheel cylinders are in good luck, it appears they were already rebuilt, but not certain. Once I get the MC rebuilt, then I will trace the system out, from lines to servo, to other lines to wheel cylinders. Thanks!
  15. Steeman01

    Steeman01 Donation Time

    I still can't figure out how the get the dust cap or grommet off, with the metal crimped ring attaching it to the cylinder with the rubber gasket around the shaft. Do I just pry it off and the rebuild kit includes a new one?
  16. alpine_64

    alpine_64 Donation Time

    If your car has been sitting that long before you waste money bleeding the brakes id replace all 3 of the rubber brake hoses... There is a very high chance the front ones will have perished and will collapse unde pressure pinching and locking on your brakes.

    The servo will likely have issues...be prepared to bypass it for a short term fix.
    belmateo and Scotty like this.
  17. nsbluenose

    nsbluenose Bronze Level Sponsor

    If my car was sitting unused for decades I would get new MC, WC, and brake lines - both flexible and solid. Brake fluid absorbs water and after decades of sitting probably every cylinder is corroded and/or pitted. Trying to rebuild these cylinders is wasting money, as alpine_64 says. Not worth risking life and limb over trying to save a few dollars. I would also do the same with the clutch MC and slave cylinder.
  18. Warren

    Warren Donation Time

    I remember the first time I bled the brakes on a Sunbeam.
    As I have done that on every other car I started with the furthest one from the master cylinder. after going around and around a couple of times I figured out why isn't this working maybe I should read the manual. In the manual it says don't do it the way you do it on other cars by by starting the farthest away duh. If in doubt or it doesn't work the first time read the manual it probably won't hurt.
  19. Bill Blue

    Bill Blue Platinum Level Sponsor

    Over the years, some the rubber used in the aftermarket seals is sensitive to guess what, brake fluid. All the rubber hydraulic components in one of my cars had turned into black Gummie Bears. Or more accurately, Black Gummie worms.

  20. belmateo

    belmateo Gold Level Sponsor

    Your front calipers are probably frozen as well......

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