North American Turbocoupe Organization



Brake issue - please help
jtucci Offline
Junior Member
#1
Hello all. I removed the TEVES system from my TBird and installed a vacuum booster and MC. Reading up on this swap, I saw someone's post somewhere that said to use an 89 Mustang booster and cylinder, so that's what I did. I adjusted the piston from the booster to a level where I felt the brake pedal had the best feel. Bled the system (bench bleed on MC before install), and went out on a test drive.  The drive was going well.  I stayed off main roads, just cruised the neighborhood.  About 2 miles into it, I noticed a considerable slow down when I pushed in the clutch, then noticed the brake pedal getting harder and eventually hard as a rock, and I limped home about a quarter mile with what appeared to be fully depressed front brakes, smoke was coming up from the wheel wells when I finally got into the driveway. I assumed that the adjustment I made to the booster piston was too far, so I backed it down.  I did notice that as soon as I removed the bolts from the MC, that the car rocked a little (it was parked in gear), so I think whatever was locking up had just freed itself. Now that it is backed down, the pedal is spongey and can be pushed to the floor, so maybe adjust half way back will be my new normal later.

 My main concern now, is that I don't know why it would work great for 2 minutes then do what it did.  Any ideas on how I can adjust properly and make sure it's all good? Should I not be adjusting the booster piston? I just really don't know what I did wrong, as it seems like a straightforward job. Additionally, after getting back home today, a new issue came up where the car won't start with the key, but if I cross the starter solenoid with a screwdriver it starts right up, so what the heck happened there? Here's a few photos of what I put in, can anyone see something obvious that I don't? Any help is appreciated. Let me know if pics from other angles would help. Please don't shoot me for removing the TEVES, I had one go bad while driving back in 98, and truthfully, it scares the crap out of me to leave it in.


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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#2
Just grasping at straws here, but is the booster a quality name brand new part or some POS that came from the far east? Same goes for the MC.... quality name brand new part or cheap reman junk from the local parts store?

Failed ignition switches (the actual switch, not the lock cylinder) was a very common issue on virtually all Fords from the 80s. I am on the third or maybe the 4th new ignition switch on my 86 Tbird 5.0 (140K miles on the odometer now) I bought new back in 86, and on the second or third switch on my 88 TC (put 110K miles on it since I bought it back in 2000). I even carry a known good switch and tools to replace the switch in the trunks of both Tbirds.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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jtucci Offline
Junior Member
#3
(12-06-2020, 01:15 AM)Jeff K Wrote: Just grasping at straws here, but is the booster a quality name brand new part or some POS that came from the far east? Same goes for the MC.... quality name brand new part or cheap reman junk from the local parts store?

Failed ignition switches (the actual switch, not the lock cylinder) was a very common issue on virtually all Fords from the 80s. I am on the third or maybe the 4th new ignition switch on my 86 Tbird 5.0 (140K miles on the odometer now) I bought new back in 86, and on the second or third switch on my 88 TC (put 110K miles on it since I bought it back in 2000). I even carry a known good switch and tools to replace the switch in the trunks of both Tbirds.

I'm going to say, not quality.  Ordered from PartsGeek.com a couple years ago.  "A1 Cardone" is mfg. Today was only the 2nd test drive before the issue happened. I wasn't expecting it to fail immediately like that.  Figured on a low priced part, I would get at least some use out of it. What would you say is the best, or at least trusted, mfg to look for, that is still obtainable? I hear a lot of people say these cars are made from unobtainium, and I am finding that out for sure.

I have an extra ignition switch, I'll try that. Thx!
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Jeff K Offline
Administrator
#4
I never buy reman parts as they are often poorly remanufactured JUNK. I do have a new (not reman) Cardone MC in my 95 Taurus Vulcan beater that has worked flawlessly for quite a number of years. Stay away from Dorman JUNK. Bought a Dorman gas tank fuel door "popper spring" (just like the one on the TC) for the 95 Taurus (20+ year old original one broke) that broke the second time Itried to pop the fuel door open at the gas station. Ended up making my own spring out of some spring steel I had laying around in my piles of junk that has worked perfectly for years.

Also check the electrical connector to the ignition switch for heat damage, melted plastic, etc. Another common issue with 80s Fords. New connectors with pigtails are available from most parts stores or Rock Auto.
Jeff Korn

88 Turbo Coupe: Intake and exhaust mods, T3 turbo at 24 psi, forced air IC, water injection, BPV, Ranger cam, subframes, etc., etc.
86 Tbird 5.0 (original owner): intake, exhaust, valvetrain mods, 100 HP N2O, ignition, gears, suspension, etc., etc.
05 Taurus SEL Duratec daily driver
04 Taurus Duratec (wifes car)
02 Pontiac Grand Prix GT
95 Taurus GL Vulcan winter beater
67 Honda 450 Super Sport - completely customized
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jtucci Offline
Junior Member
#5
(12-06-2020, 03:37 PM)Jeff K Wrote: I never buy reman parts as they are often poorly remanufactured JUNK. I do have a new (not reman) Cardone MC in my 95 Taurus Vulcan beater that has worked flawlessly for quite a number of years. Stay away from Dorman JUNK. Bought a Dorman gas tank fuel door "popper spring" (just like the one on the TC) for the 95 Taurus (20+ year old original one broke) that broke the second time Itried to pop the fuel door open at the gas station. Ended up making my own spring out of some spring steel I had laying around in my piles of junk that has worked perfectly for years.

Also check the electrical connector to the ignition switch for heat damage, melted plastic, etc. Another common issue with 80s Fords.  New connectors with pigtails are available from most parts stores or Rock Auto.

I found some other site where a guy was troubleshooting a similar brake issue to mine.  One of the responses was that the adjustment to the booster piston, if too far, could cause the MC to never return back to full rest, so the pressure to the discs never get released, and it just builds continuously on each subsequent press of the pedal until full lockup.  Make sense to me that it could be the issue, since the car rocked back as soon as I disconnected the two mounting nuts on the MC. Wanted to at least post that and see if I can get your opinion on whether it sounds legit, as you are likely more mechanically inclined than me.  I'm an IT guy, but like to get my hands dirty if not just to see how things work.

Also, I did take off the ignition switch.  Switch itself looks new, and I know the previous owner had it replaced, doesn't matter, I have a new one too, but I did want to say that the connector is melted a bit where the yellow and gray (?) wires go in, so I'll be looking for that. Have not found it yet on RockAuto, but I won't quit looking. The wire on the ignition lock that signals the "hey dummy, don't forget your key" alert was very brittle and broke, so, I'll probably look for that too.

I really appreciate your responses. Sending me down the right path is sometimes way more valuable than anything else.
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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#6
(12-07-2020, 01:48 AM)jtucci Wrote:
(12-06-2020, 03:37 PM)Jeff K Wrote: I never buy reman parts as they are often poorly remanufactured JUNK. I do have a new (not reman) Cardone MC in my 95 Taurus Vulcan beater that has worked flawlessly for quite a number of years. Stay away from Dorman JUNK. Bought a Dorman gas tank fuel door "popper spring" (just like the one on the TC) for the 95 Taurus (20+ year old original one broke) that broke the second time Itried to pop the fuel door open at the gas station. Ended up making my own spring out of some spring steel I had laying around in my piles of junk that has worked perfectly for years.

Also check the electrical connector to the ignition switch for heat damage, melted plastic, etc. Another common issue with 80s Fords.  New connectors with pigtails are available from most parts stores or Rock Auto.

I found some other site where a guy was troubleshooting a similar brake issue to mine.  One of the responses was that the adjustment to the booster piston, if too far, could cause the MC to never return back to full rest, so the pressure to the discs never get released, and it just builds continuously on each subsequent press of the pedal until full lockup.  Make sense to me that it could be the issue, since the car rocked back as soon as I disconnected the two mounting nuts on the MC. Wanted to at least post that and see if I can get your opinion on whether it sounds legit, as you are likely more mechanically inclined than me.  I'm an IT guy, but like to get my hands dirty if not just to see how things work.

Also, I did take off the ignition switch.  Switch itself looks new, and I know the previous owner had it replaced, doesn't matter, I have a new one too, but I did want to say that the connector is melted a bit where the yellow and gray (?) wires go in, so I'll be looking for that. Have not found it yet on RockAuto, but I won't quit looking. The wire on the ignition lock that signals the "hey dummy, don't forget your key" alert was very brittle and broke, so, I'll probably look for that too.

I really appreciate your responses. Sending me down the right path is sometimes way more valuable than anything else.

Look up Jeff’s fog light relay bypass in the NATO DIY pages. Simple fix, you don’t need an electrical engineering degree. I was going through an ignition switch every 2 years, Jeff’s fix routes the 30 amps for the fog lights through a separate relay and not the ignition switch. Since I did mine in 2014, no switch melting or issues.

Are you putting the clutch pedal all the way to the floor? Just a thought, there is a Safety Switch that is designed to not allow the car to start unless you’ve bottomed out the clutch pedal. Many have removed it, as did I, but a bizarre event where the engine continued to turn over EVEN WITH THE KEY OUT OF THE IGNITION caused me to put it back in. (An argument for not buying starter solenoid—or any—parts from NAPA.)

My first thought with your brake issue was fluid contamination, in that’s what happens when a foreign substance like oil gets in there are swells up the rubber piston seals. (Don’t ask me how I know—ex-gf thought putting motor oil in her master cylinder was a good idea, “it looks the same as brake fluid.”) But, after reading what you did online about the adjustment, that makes more sense.

I did away with my “hey dummy, don’t forget your key” chime years ago. The wire and connector were brittle and it either worked all the time—continuously—or not at all, so it went away. I have keyless entry, so even if I lock the keys in there it’s no big deal.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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Mikey97D Offline
Member
#7
It does sound like you need to adjust your pedal booster some more. my father went thru something very similar when he redid the brake system on his Ranchero.

I would check for vacuum leaks on the booster after the incident even though it appears to be the adjustment.
1988 TC, 5 spd, Stinger 3" Exhaust, Schneider Roller Cam, -4° Cam Pulley, Cone Filter, Gilles Boost Control Valve set at 17 psi, Walbro 255 lph, CHE Rear Lower and Upper Control Arms, Braided Brake Lines, Hawk HPS 5.0 Front and HPS (F) Rear, CRES Inserts in front calipers, and '93 Cobra Wheels with General 235/50R17 Tires.   
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jtucci Offline
Junior Member
#8
Update: ignition issue resolved. 
Replaced ignition switch and connector. Issue remained. Began investigating clutch switch and noticed what looked like a temporary repair job from previous owner. Must have come loose when using e-brake. Little bit of heat shrink and cable management and boom! Starts again with key. Thanks for all the tips! I’ll work on brakes again this weekend.


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anasazi4st Offline
Senior Member
#9
(12-16-2020, 12:41 AM)jtucci Wrote: Update: ignition issue resolved. 
Replaced ignition switch and connector. Issue remained. Began investigating clutch switch and noticed what looked like a temporary repair job from previous owner. Must have come loose when using e-brake. Little bit of heat shrink and cable management and boom! Starts again with key. Thanks for all the tips! I’ll work on brakes again this weekend.

PLEASE, give serious consideration to the Fog Relay mod. I would consider it, after my experiences, to be a necessity.

In most TCs with the 5-speed transmission there is probably an empty connector under the dash next to the clutch neutral safety switch. From what I’ve read on various sites and in the manuals, that is a shorting bypass connector, which is used if you wanted to bypass the switch for whatever reason. Most likely, the safety switch is broken and you can’t start the car.

The small shorting piece looks like the one for the SPOUT and fits in that connector, allowing you to accidentally start the car in gear if you aren’t careful.  Undecided Exclamation

My question to you is: Does the car start WITH or WITHOUT the clutch engaged (engaged=no foot on pedal)? If you are going to test this, please be certain to put the transmission in NEUTRAL.

If it starts either way, then that connector in your picture is probably that bypass switch.
Another proud dues-paying member.

1987 Turbo Coupe w/T5OD, 8.8 axle, grey smoke; most options. Got it in 1991 with 41K miles: 3 turbos, 2 heater cores, 1 T5OD full rebuild, 5 clutches, 1 head gasket, 2 Teves II ABS units, etc. later....
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jtucci Offline
Junior Member
#10
(12-16-2020, 09:44 AM)anasazi4st Wrote:
(12-16-2020, 12:41 AM)jtucci Wrote: Update: ignition issue resolved. 
Replaced ignition switch and connector. Issue remained. Began investigating clutch switch and noticed what looked like a temporary repair job from previous owner. Must have come loose when using e-brake. Little bit of heat shrink and cable management and boom! Starts again with key. Thanks for all the tips! I’ll work on brakes again this weekend.

PLEASE, give serious consideration to the Fog Relay mod. I would consider it, after my experiences, to be a necessity.

In most TCs with the 5-speed transmission there is probably an empty connector under the dash next to the clutch neutral safety switch. From what I’ve read on various sites and in the manuals, that is a shorting bypass connector, which is used if you wanted to bypass the switch for whatever reason. Most likely, the safety switch is broken and you can’t start the car.

The small shorting piece looks like the one for the SPOUT and fits in that connector, allowing you to accidentally start the car in gear if you aren’t careful.  Undecided Exclamation

My question to you is: Does the car start WITH or WITHOUT the clutch engaged (engaged=no foot on pedal)? If you are going to test this, please be certain to put the transmission in NEUTRAL.

If it starts either way, then that connector in your picture is probably that bypass switch.

I will definitely get the wiring done for the fog light relay. I think I’m all good with the ignition. 
Before issue: started with clutch pedal floored only. 
During issue: no start either way. 
After fixing the wiring pictured: starts with clutch pedal floored only. 

Quick question on the brake adjustment. I should be able to test whether the brake pedal will get stiff again with just engine running and pushing the brakes randomly while idling, right? There’s no reason for me to drive around to see if the pedal is going to harden up again is there? My thinking is that if it built up the pressure from the MC not returning to full rest position, then I should be able to duplicate issue or call it resolved while sitting safely in my driveway. Assuming it’s not a vacuum issue. Your thoughts?
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