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Re: leaking brake fluid
Replacing the wheel cylinders and bleeding the brakes would be the best option, often putting new seals in wheel cylinders will give you a temporary repair at best. Wheel cylinders are usually not very expensive and it's easier to replace them than strip them down and fit new seals. Just clamp off the brake hoses to stop the brake fluid from draining out, remove the cylinders and fit the new ones (should be able to do this without taking the brake shoe assembly apart, just the drum off) and then bleed the air out of the system.
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Jack the vehicle up and check the brake caliper. If it isn't a seal on the caliper make sure you check the shock absorber to make sure that isn't leaking. If that is not leaking it is most likely the axle seal. Unless Ford has changed the design of that your going to have to open the rear differential, remove the retaining clip for that axle and extract it from the Axle housing. The seal is typically pressed on so it is going to be a pain to remove the old seal then press the new seal in place and re-assemble the rear end. Make sure you fill the differential with the proper fluid or you'll burn the rear end out. When your checking the caliper make sure you check the brake line for breaks and the bleed valve to make sure that is in place and not leaking.
Check on the inner side of each wheel to make sure there is no leaking fluid. If there is, check the lines leading to the brakes and replace them where needed (hose is cheap at your local autoparts store).
If it's not holding the fluid, it's coming out somewhere. Find the leak, fix the hose (hopefully) or replace the part (hopefully not).
CHECK BRAKE FLUID LEVEL MAKE SURE MASTER CYLINDER IT HAS CORRECT AMOUNT OF BRAKE FLUID IN IT.IF YES MASTER CYLINDER IS FAULTY OR AIR IN BRAKE SYSTEM.IF YOU CHECK BRAKE FLUID IN MASTER CYLINDER AND ITS LOW .CHECK FOR LEAKS AT BRAKE CALIPERS SEALS AND BRAKE HOSES. CHECK ALL WHEEL CYLINDER SEALS AND BRAKE HOSES AND ALL BRAKE LINES.
1. What is the Brake Fluid Level?
2. Are you losing any Brake fluid at all? Are there any puddles or noticeable wetness on the ground or on the tires/wheels? With vehicle parked, the reservoir filled (overfilled), and engine running: pump the brakes and check on the ground and back sides (inside portions) of the wheels. Look for any brake fluid leaks.
3. Leaks from Calipers usually means a leak from the caliper piston. The rubber seals will be wet.
Leaks from Drums usually means a leak from the wheel cylinder.
4. In any case of leaks from the wheels - replace the calliper OR wheel cylinder.
For caliper leaks: change the brake pads, and clean the rotors with brake cleaner.
For drum leaks: clean the drum and brake hardware with brake cleaner, and replace the shoes.
5. If no leak is detected from the wheel area's: check under the Master Cylinder for wetness indicating a possible leak.
6. If no leak can be found: you MAY have a rear seal leak in the Master Cylinder which is pumping Brake Fluid into the Brake Booster (that large disk looking thing attached to the fire wall, attached to the Master Cylinder in front).
a. Use a large drip/catch pan under the Van in the area on the Master Cylinder.
b. Disconnect the brake lines from the Master Cylinder using a flair wrench.
c. Remove the two nuts (12 or 13mm?) attaching the Master Cylinder to the Brake Booster. If you have been using a lot of fluid, and have found no leaks, here is a good possibilty that all that brake fluid has collected in the Booster; so when you detach the Master Cylinder from the Brake Booster, all that fluid will come rushing out!
7. If there is Brake Fluid inside the Brake Booster: there is no cleaning that out. Brake Fluid is very caustic to the seals inside the Booster and should be replaced.
8. Of course the Master Cylinder will also have to be replaced.
9. After replacing the Master Cylinder/Brake Booster - make sure you get all that spilled brake fluid off the engine compartment area parts! I use a brake cleaner, then mild soap and then water to rinse. Clean any Brake Fluid off Paint imediatley as it will quickly dissolves finishes and paint.
10. If no leak is detected and the Booster is clear, there may be problems with the Booster One-Way Valve. This is attached to the outside of the Booster and has a hose from an "advance" connected to it. This maybe malfunctioning where you are losing power. Replace this first before deciding to replace the whole booster (in cases of NON-LEAKS ONLY). If that did not work, there may be inner seals inside the Booster that have failed. That means a new Booster.
11. In any of the above cases: Make sure you bleed the Master Cylinder correctly and bleed the brakes (at each affected wheel) correctly. Any air in the brake lines will decrease your braking proficiency or could result in brake failure.
Let me know if this helped or if you have any additional information or questions. Feel free to contact me at FixYa.com!
if your fluid leak is around brake caliper or wheel cylinder fluid will leak on brake drum or rotor.causing wheel slippage.which will cause traction light to come on.check all four wheels brake calipers and wheel cylinders.look for signs of leaking around the seal area.
no they are inverted flare fittings no seals check all lines and calipers/wheel cylinders if all are dry remove the vacuum hose from the booster if there is brake fluid in the hose the master cylinder is bad
It appears the rear axle shaft seal is leaking. You will need to pull the axle and replace the seal. Then check the rear end for adequate gear oil. The iron filings I am not to sure about. It sounds as if something came loose from the brakes or brake hardware and got chewed up in the drum. You will need to replace the brake shoes and maybe the brake hardware kit. Always change the shoes or pads on both sides when working on brakes, rear or front. If the inside of the drum is not perfectly smooth it will need to be turned or replaced. If this were brake fluid leaking from the wheel cylinder the master cylinder would be low on fluid and your brake pedal would go down much further than normal.
if you can see a good amount of wet brake fluid between the brake master cylinder and the brake booster. and you have been adding fliud often,you could have a bad master cylinder. it has to be replaced not rebuilt. you however may have a far more common problem, a rusted through brake line.have someone pump the brake pedal, than look under the car for a brake fluid leak ,repair as needed. than bleed the brakes for a good hard brake pedal
good luck chris