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Help! 96 Camry Brakes not working

04-06-2004, 11:18 AM
Hi folks,

I have a 96 Camry 4cyl, non ABS, and the brake pedal is going all the way to the floor, causing the brakes to be very unresponsive. I have replaced the Master Cylinder 3 times and bled the system 3 times. This seems like a typical Master Cylinder problem, but, after 3 rebuilt installs from my local parts dealers, I think this is not the problem. The pads (Raybestos aftermarket)/rotors were replaced about 20k miles ago and are still in good shape, and it has gotten progressively worse in last 6 months, to where it will hardly stop.

Anyone have any ideas??


Brian R.
04-06-2004, 02:35 PM
Have you checked to see that the self-adjusting mechanism on the rear brakes is working correctly?

04-07-2004, 11:28 AM
LOW, SOFT or NO PEDAL conditions may not be caused by a failing master cylinder. These symptoms may be indicative of a failure in a vacuum booster unit, soft brake hoses, contaminated brake fluid or air trapped in the system. This problem usually indicates that the rebuilt master cylinder was not properly bench bled before installation.
The use of line locks (NOT VISE GRIPS) on all brake hoses will allow you to determine whether the problem is at the wheels or higher in the hydraulic system. With locks installed on front and rear hoses, re-check the brake pedal condition. If a low or no pedal condition persists, the problem is between the line locks and the master cylinder. If the brake pedal is high and hard with the line locks on, hold pressure on brake pedal and remove line locks one at a time until the pedal drops. This will identify which wheel or wheels are causing the problem. The use of line locks helps prevent the needless replacement of master cylinders. Line locks have been known to damage brake hoses and should not be used routinely for preventing fluid loss.
Use master cylinder outlet plugs to isolate master cylinder problems, i.e. rear anti-lock modulator valves.
When bench bleeding a unit, use a syringe to reverse bleed to expel all air from new master cylinder or a vacuum bleeder to suction fluid through the cylinder bore. Be sure to use NEW & CLEAN fluid only. Be sure to use the proper bleeding procedure for the vehicle you are working on.
CAUTION: Avoid over-stroking and rapid pedal movement during foot bleeding.

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