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Old 09-26-2012, 09:49 PM   #1
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03 SE brake issues? hard pedal, soft braking

I have been searching without any success, so please excuse me if this has been addressed at one point....
My daughter has a 03 SE (85K), disc front, drum rear brakes....yesterday she complained she could not stop and the brakes were not working....Being the Dad I am, I checked the car out....seemed ok, hard pedal, not to much travel..and the brakes seemed "ok". so I tried a little "hard braking"....I had to literally stand on the pedal...it never reached the floor though...
I replaced the pads and put a non directional surface on the rotors...bled the brakes and it didn't seem much better....
the "assist" seems to be working (hard pedal, start car..pedal moves slightly)... is there a chance the master cylinder may be bad? plunger moving past the front then to rear...no mater how hard I tried I could not get the front to lock (no anti-lock)..
any ideas?

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Old 09-27-2012, 03:02 AM   #2
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The brake plunger does not move "past the front then to rear". There is a brake bias valve that controls pressure front to back. So I am thinking, if that valve is out of adjustment (badly), and the rear drums are sorta stuck, then you would have a hard pedal but almost no brakes. Solution >> pull the rear drums and/or verify the rear drum pistons are working. I bet there not (recall that from time to time, you have to do the backup and brake to 'set' the rear drums). But I also have to suspect there is something going on with the brake bias valve which would explain why your not getting any pressure to the front. This assumes the fronts are OK of course. ADD>> there is a special tool to set the front/back bias. But it would be cheaper just to have Ford do it. Hope you find a solution quickly.
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