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Mushy Break Pedal


Well-known member
Oct 15, 2000
Bowie, MD
Vette-less for now

The brake pedal on my '81 has become uncomfortably 'mushy' in the last week. There are no leaks of any kind on the floor or around the calipers, master or line connections. It does not go quite to the floor and the brake warning light has not come on. Brakes when applied hard will still stop her on a dime. Any ideas?

Hey Nutmegbronze welcome back from the computer bone pile :D

When was the last time you bled your brake system? Hate to ask this next question... but how cold is it where you are?

I had a similar experience when driving in high altitude a couple of summers ago... Had all kinds of explainations, but bottom line was the fluid was probably original. The fluid was Black really ugly stuff. I had a brake shop power bleed them flush them and refill with good ole DOT #4 Brake fluid, and they respond like new brakes.

If you have any air in the lines, the cold air will only magnify the effect...


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I had that problem as well. Pedal would stop the car great but had to be all the way on the floor.
Id say you got some good advice from Bud there.
Air in the lines...I had this and it was caused by a bad
Master Cylinder. I had the consistency of melted chocolate in my brake lines as well. ( special thank you to the previous owner for maintaining the car :) )

Anyhow, new Master Cylinder and pressure bleeding did the trick for me. Recommend the pressure bleeding by a shop.

Always waving,
NMB81, before you bleed system open master up and check fluid levels if front is low go through front calipers, if rear is go through rear, if resouivor is full chances are (in my case anyways) its the master:(. I put a new master on my race car every year old cast irons don't withstand the heat:mad:!! Just make sure you get all the air out of lines! Or you will have the spongy feeling back. Let us know how you make out. Oh yeah, check all the rubber on lines if any are bulged, replace them.
Who wants to go fast and not be able to stop??
Bud - As you know it is getting cold back east. Not consistantly subfreezing mind you but chilly enough.

Sassy1 - Lines are flexible and not crimped or dry-rotted. Master Cyl - front was slightly lower than rear but nowhere near to the point of concern.

Kevin - New Master on order after all Christmas shopping is completed this weekend. If off work from 12/22 through 1/2/01 so I'll probably change it over then.

Stay tuned and thanks for the advise.

Trying to stay warm but at least dodged the snow this week.


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