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  • Brakes: Master cylinder seals?

    Just recently my 56 P Hawk started having brake problems. If I brake hard, it stops OK. If I brake gently, the pedal oozes right to the floor. But if I pump them once and push hard, they work again. I'm assuming its master cylinder seals. Am I probably correct? What else could it be? Where can I get parts (I'm hoping they are the same as some Chevy/Ford/Chrysler so I can get them at local auto parts)?
    Thanks,
    Thom

  • #2
    My experience has been when a M/C "Bypasses" like this it is rust pitted. a rebuild will help but a new one is much better. shop around and find a good deal then pull the old one and take it apart and look for your self. Luck Doofus

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    • #3
      You might want to bleed and check that there is no air in there. Does it go to floor with minimal pressure in park? Could be air or need for a kit.
      Rob in PA.

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      • #4
        The "Other" possibility is; you have NO Pedal "Free Travel" or a missing Pedal Pullback Spring.
        StudeRich
        Second Generation Stude Driver,
        Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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        • #5
          I believe you are correct; the master cylinder needs an overhaul or replacement. This is a typical symptom of worn seals when you press the pedal for a normal stop and it just keeps going down. The reaction is to release and stomp the pedal which helpsthe seals expand out a bit and seal. Test this by applying the brakes and then holding pressure on pedal. It will slowly sink to the floor.
          "Burning Bridges...Lost Forevermore"......

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          • #6
            New masters for that car can be had for forty-odd dollars. Hardly worth further discussion about rebuilding.

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            • #7
              Ross has a point. The MC is readily available as is the rebuilding kit.
              Rob in PA.

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              • #8
                Thanks for info. 40 bucks for master cylinder? Where do I call/order?
                Yest Stude1964 and DwianG, gentle pedal pressure and it goes to floor. Hard pressure and it works OK.
                Rafe

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                • #9
                  ebay. I bought one off ebay some time ago for my 64 Hawk and it was 40-some dollars.
                  -Dwight

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                  • #10
                    I seem to remember that these MC’s had/have an industrial (TowMotor?) application; lucky us!

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                    • #11
                      They fit MANY different cars and other machines. Rockauto will offer you several different brands.

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                      • #12
                        If you can get a new master for $40 , great! But lately I've found stuff that was $20 to $40 last year, or even a couple months ago, is now $60 to $80. A coupe weeks ago, a master that was $23 when I bid the job three weeks earlier cost me $58.

                        For my Hawk I got new generic rubber piston cups at Napa for a buck each that did the job, but if your master bore is anything but absolutely smooth don't bother, they won't last long.

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                        • #13
                          Normally my CASO self would have disassembled the MC, cleaned it, massaged the seals, reinstalled it. If that didn't work I would have just bought minimal parts. But I love this car so I splurged on a 39.00 Dorman MC from eBay. I sure hope I don't loose my CASO status?
                          Thanks for advice,
                          Rafe

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rafe Hollister View Post
                            I sure hope I don't lose my CASO status?
                            Rafe
                            Be aware that you've just been put on notice. One more infraction and you will be put on probation.
                            -Dwight

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                            • #15
                              Hmmm, I could try to install a master cylinder from my old pile of motorcycle brake parts, and then cancel my eBay order. Yes, that's what I shall do! CASO forever!
                              Rafe

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