Mystery Brake fluid loss

Discussion of STOCK calipers, pads, rotors, fluids, lines, reservoirs, pedals and systems.

Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby WHITEOXLSC » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:37 pm

As you know, I have had the WhiteOx for sometime now. When I got it, It had zero brakes and that is the main reason the PO got rid of it. I have since repaired all of the cars issues, including the ABS brake problem. I have installed a new accumulator (at that time you still could buy them) and replaced the original ABS unit with another one from a different car (well the PO did actually). Ever since I have owned this car the brake fluid has always gone somewhere. I totally flushed/bled the system when I acquired the car and then when I installed the new accumulator. I have looked at all connections at each caliper/hose and the connections at the ABS unit and everything is leak free. All calipers/rotors are dry and yet I still have to add fluid????? Could air still be in the system somehow working out thus the need to add more fluid? :roll: Any ideas.....
Bruce
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1990 Regatta Blue LSC (newest addition aka Blu)
1986 Mark VII Silver LSC (sold, aka the Grey Ghost)
1990 Mark VII Oxford White LSC (new addition aka the WhiteOx)
1993 Ford Green Explorer Sport 2WD 4.0L V6 (daily driver do everything truck)(loaded first generation)
1988 Ford Blue/mostly rust brown Ranger 2.9L V6 STX P/U (Old faithful) (dead trans, 358XXX miles, sold)
1975 Oldsmobile Blue Omega Hatchback Coupe

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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby CDW6212R » Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:56 pm

How much fluid have you added would you guess? Check the rubber hose leading from the reservoir to the pump, that will eventually deteriorate enough to leak.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby WHITEOXLSC » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:31 pm

CDW6212R wrote:How much fluid have you added would you guess? Check the rubber hose leading from the reservoir to the pump, that will eventually deteriorate enough to leak.


The first time the brake light came one was right after I got the car going. I figured it was just needed a little top off after everything was up and running. Then a few weeks later I needed to add a little more. This time I let the accumulator charge then filled it to the line, all was good for a while......I drove the car yesterday and the light flickered ......yep now it needs more. I only drive this car on occasion so it's not driven every day. I can't imagine where it is going, I don't see any leaks anywhere. The car is parked in a garage so I would know it was leaking on the floor. The car stops on a dime with no pulling, so I can't imagine any air left in the system. I have put in over a pint so it's gotta be going somewhere. :roll: Maybe the Ox just likes to drink :lol:
Bruce
WHITEOXLSC
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1990 Regatta Blue LSC (newest addition aka Blu)
1986 Mark VII Silver LSC (sold, aka the Grey Ghost)
1990 Mark VII Oxford White LSC (new addition aka the WhiteOx)
1993 Ford Green Explorer Sport 2WD 4.0L V6 (daily driver do everything truck)(loaded first generation)
1988 Ford Blue/mostly rust brown Ranger 2.9L V6 STX P/U (Old faithful) (dead trans, 358XXX miles, sold)
1975 Oldsmobile Blue Omega Hatchback Coupe

Proudly supporting ; Pick N Pull of the greater bay area, NAPA auto parts, Ebay, Suncore Industries, Johnny Franklin mufflers, and Paul Protos electronics restoration.
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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby CDW6212R » Wed Sep 14, 2016 2:21 pm

Just keep a close eye on it for a while. It should not be low any more, or something should turn up wet soon if it is leaking. If the brakes get st all spongy, I'd guess at a leaking line, a tiny wear point or corrosion spot etc. It doesn't sound like that though.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby WHITEOXLSC » Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:37 pm

CDW6212R wrote:Just keep a close eye on it for a while. It should not be low any more, or something should turn up wet soon if it is leaking. If the brakes get st all spongy, I'd guess at a leaking line, a tiny wear point or corrosion spot etc. It doesn't sound like that though.


This car has lived it's life in this area of California most of it's life. I have been under it many times, it's clean and rust free. I checked all hoses for cracks (have a complete new set for future replacement) no signs of leaks... I will just keep an eye on it, something should turn up soon.

Thanks for the suggestion..... 8-)
Bruce
WHITEOXLSC
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1990 Regatta Blue LSC (newest addition aka Blu)
1986 Mark VII Silver LSC (sold, aka the Grey Ghost)
1990 Mark VII Oxford White LSC (new addition aka the WhiteOx)
1993 Ford Green Explorer Sport 2WD 4.0L V6 (daily driver do everything truck)(loaded first generation)
1988 Ford Blue/mostly rust brown Ranger 2.9L V6 STX P/U (Old faithful) (dead trans, 358XXX miles, sold)
1975 Oldsmobile Blue Omega Hatchback Coupe

Proudly supporting ; Pick N Pull of the greater bay area, NAPA auto parts, Ebay, Suncore Industries, Johnny Franklin mufflers, and Paul Protos electronics restoration.
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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby K MANIAC » Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:01 am

Bruce, take a look at the pressure switch on the side of the unit. I heard from someone in the past that they sometimes start to weep fluid. There should be a track of fluid coming off the switch if this is the case.
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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby CDW6212R » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:47 am

Good thought. Brake fluid is about the hardest thing to see a residue from, because of its properties. It's transparent and is attracted to water etc. It dissipates and runs off quickly without attracting as much dust etc. Other fluids are more oily and stay on surfaces longer, creating dust/grime/grease.

Give the engine bay a good cleaning with engine degreaser, and then check often the areas around the MC and brake lines etc.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby WHITEOXLSC » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:24 am

Ok here we go again. The Ox has been parked for some time now. When I parked him in the garage I topped off the brake fluid with a charged accumulator. I haven't driven the car since. Today I decided to start him up and let things get moving around. The ABS and brake lights were on for about 30 seconds, since it's been sitting, and then they went out. A few seconds later the brake light came back on and yep, you guessed it, I need to add more brake fluid. Again I checked all around the teves unit and lines and again, no leaks.......now this has really got me baffled...... :roll: The fluid seems to be going somewhere, even when the car is not being used.
Bruce
WHITEOXLSC
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1990 Regatta Blue LSC (newest addition aka Blu)
1986 Mark VII Silver LSC (sold, aka the Grey Ghost)
1990 Mark VII Oxford White LSC (new addition aka the WhiteOx)
1993 Ford Green Explorer Sport 2WD 4.0L V6 (daily driver do everything truck)(loaded first generation)
1988 Ford Blue/mostly rust brown Ranger 2.9L V6 STX P/U (Old faithful) (dead trans, 358XXX miles, sold)
1975 Oldsmobile Blue Omega Hatchback Coupe

Proudly supporting ; Pick N Pull of the greater bay area, NAPA auto parts, Ebay, Suncore Industries, Johnny Franklin mufflers, and Paul Protos electronics restoration.
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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby CDW6212R » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:51 am

Odd thought, how old is the accumulator, and have you noticed long term how many pedal applications it takes to make the pump run? A leak will show up somewhere eventually, but there is space inside the accumulator where the pressurized gas is. One going bad could accept a very small amount of fluid before finally dying. It sounds like it's losing a lot more fluid than that though.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby WHITEOXLSC » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:06 am

CDW6212R wrote:Odd thought, how old is the accumulator, and have you noticed long term how many pedal applications it takes to make the pump run? A leak will show up somewhere eventually, but there is space inside the accumulator where the pressurized gas is. One going bad could accept a very small amount of fluid before finally dying. It sounds like it's losing a lot more fluid than that though.


Good thought, but I bought a new accumulator (when you could still buy them) after I got the car up and running again. The old one was showing signs of age but still worked, and if I remember correctly, it had this problem before I changed it. I just never paid much to it and figured it was just going down because I had the system opened up repairing it's issues... This really has me stumped, it's going somewhere even when the car sits...... :shock:
Bruce
WHITEOXLSC
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1990 Regatta Blue LSC (newest addition aka Blu)
1986 Mark VII Silver LSC (sold, aka the Grey Ghost)
1990 Mark VII Oxford White LSC (new addition aka the WhiteOx)
1993 Ford Green Explorer Sport 2WD 4.0L V6 (daily driver do everything truck)(loaded first generation)
1988 Ford Blue/mostly rust brown Ranger 2.9L V6 STX P/U (Old faithful) (dead trans, 358XXX miles, sold)
1975 Oldsmobile Blue Omega Hatchback Coupe

Proudly supporting ; Pick N Pull of the greater bay area, NAPA auto parts, Ebay, Suncore Industries, Johnny Franklin mufflers, and Paul Protos electronics restoration.
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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby CDW6212R » Tue Oct 18, 2016 12:23 pm

Time to expand the search I guess, where is it parked and do you have any large kind of pan to put under it? If it's really leaking, something should be hitting the ground, or be visible on the parts. If someone is messing with the car, then it might not be showing.
Don
1991 Red Special Edition, my 2nd SE, dead paint, DWS 255/45/17's on 95 Cobra wheels, and soon; DVD/Navi/backup camera, OBDII and the 347, before custom paint.
98 Mountaineer with Continental DWS 255/55/18's, big sway bars, custom brakes. Soon to be A4WD with XP8 bumpers and wing.

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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby WHITEOXLSC » Tue Oct 18, 2016 3:10 pm

CDW6212R wrote:Time to expand the search I guess, where is it parked and do you have any large kind of pan to put under it? If it's really leaking, something should be hitting the ground, or be visible on the parts. If someone is messing with the car, then it might not be showing.


The Ox is parked in my locked detached garage with an alarm so anyone messing with it is highly unlikely :D Going to go to plan B, I have a bunch of flat clean cardboard. I'm going to cover the floor under the car with it. Any leaks should show up on the cardboard, although I haven't seen any on the floor of the garage. I have went so far as to check the drivers floor in case it was leaking inside the car, did not find anything there either. I'm going to find where it's going, even if I have to take the whole friggin car apart :mrgreen:
Bruce
WHITEOXLSC
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1990 Regatta Blue LSC (newest addition aka Blu)
1986 Mark VII Silver LSC (sold, aka the Grey Ghost)
1990 Mark VII Oxford White LSC (new addition aka the WhiteOx)
1993 Ford Green Explorer Sport 2WD 4.0L V6 (daily driver do everything truck)(loaded first generation)
1988 Ford Blue/mostly rust brown Ranger 2.9L V6 STX P/U (Old faithful) (dead trans, 358XXX miles, sold)
1975 Oldsmobile Blue Omega Hatchback Coupe

Proudly supporting ; Pick N Pull of the greater bay area, NAPA auto parts, Ebay, Suncore Industries, Johnny Franklin mufflers, and Paul Protos electronics restoration.
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Re: Mystery Brake fluid loss

Postby oldschool1 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:50 pm

Lets fast forward this diagnosis.
After the cardboard is laid, start the car abd pump the brake 20 times or so.
Check the fluid level.
Repeat until there is a change.
When there is a change, get under the car with a bright light and rags.
The source will eventually reveal itself.
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