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no brakes on my 1977 MGB

Last post 08-06-2008, 4:16 PM by fireman91178. 20 replies.
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  •  07-06-2008, 2:39 PM 15123

    no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    I finnally got this thing running...With alot of help from others.  Now, my problem is the brakes.  I have bled the lines, the peddle feels tight, but when I have the car in gear, the brakes do not stop the car.  I know I still need to put new pads on the front brakes, but the rear brakes look good, I have adjusted them, but they don't stop turning when I depress the brake peddle.  The hand brake does not seem the work either.  I have the car lifted up so that I can test them without the car moving.  Any help is always greatly appreciated.

     

    joel


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
    Filed under:
  •  07-07-2008, 9:54 AM 15131 in reply to 15123

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    joel,

    It'd be easy to say that you've got a bad master cylinder, but that doesn't explain why the handbrake isn't effective either. Do you mean it has no effect at all? Or, does it not do the job adequately? Have someone slowly depress the pedal while you check the effectiveness of the brakes. First do the front, then the rear. Let's see if one circuit of the master cylinder is indeed out. Then we'll attack the handbrake problem.

    You've stated that when you have the car in gear the brakes won't stop the car. Does this mean that when you put it in neutral that they will?


    Motorbill
    From Lola to Land Rover, If it's British and has wheels, it's likely I've bloodied me knuckles thereupon
  •  07-07-2008, 5:29 PM 15144 in reply to 15131

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    motorbill,

    first, I do not think that the brakes are working at all.  When I drive the car, when I put it in neutral, it will coast to a stop.  I do not have adequate room to drive the car in this condition and test the front brakes while driving the car.  I now have the whole car up on stands (once again) with all 4 tires off.  It does not appear that any of my brakes have any effect at all, including the hand brake.  The hand brake lever was stuck, I was able to unfreeze the lever, but does not seem to be working still.  How wold I check the effectiveness?  Is there a certain method of doing this or just try to eye it.

    joel

    p.s.

    thanks for responding. your help is once again greatly appreciated.


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
    Filed under:
  •  07-07-2008, 9:45 PM 15149 in reply to 15144

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    joel,

    If the pedal is firm and there are no brakes at all, I wonder if the pedal or cylinder are seized. When you have tried bleeding the calipers and the rear wheel cylinders, is any fluid ejected? When bleeding, does the pedal go down further while the bleeder(s) are open? This one's strange.


    Motorbill
    From Lola to Land Rover, If it's British and has wheels, it's likely I've bloodied me knuckles thereupon
  •  07-08-2008, 1:44 AM 15152 in reply to 15149

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    motorbill,

    Before I bled the lines, the pedal was loose.  I got some are out of the drivers side front, and the pedal strffened up slightly.  No air appeared to come out of the passenger side front, but the pedal again seemed to stiffen up slightly more,  then on to the back passenger side, no air noticable, but definatly some fluid because I made a small mess. no air noticable at the back drivers side either, not sure if there was fluid or not.  I am not sure if the pedal goes down easier where the bleeders are open or not, but either way i can push the pedal all the way to the floor still.

    I have read some of the other threads, it apears the bleeding the brake lines is a real challenge on these cars.  do you think that my problem could be that I still have some air in the lines?  perhaps I was not bleeding proberly?  I opened teh bleeder 1 at a time, pushed down on the pedal, held it for about 5 seconds, let up then again.  even when no air apeared to come out, I did this about 5-6 times per bleeder. with the front, I had help and closed the bleeders with the pedal down, the rear I was on my own and closed the bleeders with the pedal up, would that cause a problem?  Also, I used the hose in a cup of brake fluid method, so it should not have been able to suck up air through the bleeders.

    joel


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
    Filed under:
  •  07-08-2008, 7:20 AM 15153 in reply to 15152

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    joel,

    These cars don't have particularly difficult brakes. They are easily bled. I would not use the hose-in-a-jar method though. You need an assistant. You also need to understand the system well. Do you have a shop manual?

    Fluid, and plenty of it, should be coming out when you depress the pedal with a bleeder open. If it isn't, you may very well have a bad master cylinder. How old is it?

    There was an "epic" thread on brakes started by zach77mgb who was having problems with his brakes. I think it was called "Leaking Master Cylinder?", or something. Early in that thread, I described the proper way to thoroughly bleed this system. It was my post # 4804. Go to that post and read about it. In fact, it would likely do some good to read most of the whole thread, starting at the beginning. Let me know what you think. And use a manual!


    Motorbill
    From Lola to Land Rover, If it's British and has wheels, it's likely I've bloodied me knuckles thereupon
  •  07-08-2008, 3:40 PM 15162 in reply to 15153

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    motorbill,

    I do have the haynes manual, and I have been using it...alot.  It says to use the hose in the jar method, that's why I was doing it that way.  I will try to find that thread and read it.  I do not know how old the master cylinder is, i would have to ask my father in law.  Like most of the parts, it is probably not too old.  He has rebuilt the engine twice.

    joel


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
    Filed under:
  •  07-08-2008, 4:30 PM 15165 in reply to 15162

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    joel,

    By far, I prefer the Robert Bentley Factory Reprint Manual. It is much more complete.


    Motorbill
    From Lola to Land Rover, If it's British and has wheels, it's likely I've bloodied me knuckles thereupon
  •  07-08-2008, 5:19 PM 15171 in reply to 15165

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    motorbill,

    It has taken me almost 2 hours, but I have read the thread of zach's problem...I was so into it that I am wondering now if he has even fixed the problem.  after 6 pages, it doesn't seem finished, yet.  Any way, I will look into getting that manual also.  And I am going to try bleeding the brakes again, using your recomended methoud.  I am getting thunderstorms here for the next couple of days so I may not get out there right away (I would, but my helper is not likly to want too).  I will keep you informed.

    joel


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
    Filed under:
  •  07-09-2008, 5:57 PM 15205 in reply to 15171

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    motorbill,

    wow, turned out to be a pretty decent day today after all.  Got out there and bled my brakes, think I did a great job too, and my helper(wife) did a great job as well.  When finished, the brakes felt nice and tight and only went about half way down. 100% better than they were before today.  So of course I wanted to see if the brakes would work, so I started up my MGB and put it in 1st gear to get the wheels spinning (the whole car is up on jack stands) with the door open, I could watch the left rear wheel, it was turning slugishly (my wife said that the right side was turning normally) and I depressed the brake pedal and the left wheel did not stop, but the car stalled out. I tried it again, and the same thing, though my wife said that the right wheel stopped, though I'm not sure if it stopped from the brake or the car stalling out.  I had that engine running good the other day, I need to look at that again now too.  Anyways, when I depressed the brake that second time, it went down about half way and the left did not stop turning and so I pressed down a little harder and it the pedal when all the way to the floor and I heard air hissing out of something, So, as I found I blew a hole in the hard brake line back to the the rear drums.  Looks like that is a pain to replace, but I'm sure I'll manage.  Any advice?  I found What I need in the MOSS catalog and gonna order it.  I'm gonna change the pads on the front brakes While I wait for the brake line.

    joel


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
    Filed under:
  •  07-09-2008, 8:15 PM 15206 in reply to 15205

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    joel,

    It sounds like you're on the right track. How do the brake flexible hoses look? If there is any sign of cracking this would be a good time to replace them.


    Motorbill
    From Lola to Land Rover, If it's British and has wheels, it's likely I've bloodied me knuckles thereupon
  •  07-10-2008, 1:31 AM 15208 in reply to 15206

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    motorbill,

    I was acually discussing this with my wife last night when ordering the brake line.  There was a time when I thought there was a leak in on of the front flex hoses, but I haven't seen any sign of a leak while I have been bleeding them.  other than that, they seem to all look good.  I decided to take a chance and did not order the flex hose for the front at this time.  I did order some new parts for the front calipers though, those small clips and pins. figured that there cheap enough that I would just replace them with new ones.  I'll let you know how things go.

    joel


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
    Filed under:
  •  07-17-2008, 6:38 PM 15291 in reply to 15208

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    motorbill,

    I finnally got a day off from work, i spent about 11 hours on the car today.  I fixed the brake line that had ruptured. I took the calipers apart; put new pistons in them, new seals, new brake pads and had the rotors turned.  Put everything back together and started bleeding the brakes following your method which worked great the last time.  both of the back brakes bled out fine, with the bleeder open i got a nice stream of fluid to shoot out of the bleeders, the brake pedal would go all the way to the floor and was soft, and there was what i would describe as a pop when the pedal got all the way down.  On the front, with the bleeder open the pedal would only go down about 3/4 to the floor and was still soft, I would occasionally get some fluid to squirt out (not shoot out, just a short stream) and then it would just spit out air; it would go back and fourth like that with both fronts.  I had to have been bleeding the front brakes for at least an hour with no success.  I thought that maybe a peice of dirt got in the line where I had disconnected to take off the callipers, so I disconnected them again, pumped fluid from the master out to where it was disconnected and blew an air hose from the bleeder valve(open) to the disconnected line. then with the pedal down reconnected line and closed bleeder.  then I started bleeding all over again starting in the back.  All brakes acted the same as previously mentioned.  I can't believe that there could be THAT much air in the system that it would take over an hour to bleed out a single line.  What could I have done wrong to make the brakes act this way.  before the brake line ruptured, they all bled great and the pedal went half way down and was firm.  please advise.

    joel


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
    Filed under:
  •  07-22-2008, 10:11 AM 15342 in reply to 15291

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    joel,

    Your system is split within the master cylinder to operate the front and rear systems individually. It is fairly normal when only opening one system, to have the other, if it has been bled, keep the pedal from going all the way to the floor.

    That said, It sounds like you may have a master cylinder problem if you can't get the fluid to flow reliably when the bleeder is open. These things can be difficult to diagnose through the internet. Things get misinterpreted or "lost in translation". Let me know what you're finding.


    Motorbill
    From Lola to Land Rover, If it's British and has wheels, it's likely I've bloodied me knuckles thereupon
  •  07-22-2008, 11:46 AM 15344 in reply to 15342

    Re: no brakes on my 1977 MGB

    motorbill,

    It is kind of odd that prior to fixing the brake line and calipers, that all 4 brakes bled well, and now to have a problem with the master cylinder.  even though, nothing surprises me anymore with this car.  Do you think that bleeding the master would do me any good?  if so, how would I go about doing that.  I have read plenty of threads talking about it, but nothing that accually says how to do it the right way.  otherwise, what else could I do to help distinguish that it is a master problem?  any other tests I can do?

    joel


    1976 MGB with a 1977 engine
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