Well, my niece was told 750-1000 bucks to install a brake power booster on her 07 Ford Edge! Yikes! I can do that without even looking under the hood! Intimidating? Yes!;) I honestly thought the price was rather high! But if I weren’t the mechanical genius that I am and just a regular woman, I’d probably would have had to pay the going rate as well!
Intimidating as it may seem, it’s really not all that bad once one removes some of the larger parts, Air box, battery, (batteries are just a pain weighing so much) etc. The total work was probably 2.5 hours, but of course had to wait for the parts for two days from Amazon! Amazon~ I buy a majority of car parts and lawn tractor parts from them! Incredible Amazon is! 😉
I suggest leaving the air cleaner filter in place just to keep bolts n such from falling into it, then forgetting where a particular part may have gone. I did wash all the parts in my shop sink~ can’t stand dirty parts~ hey, I probably went through half a box of Nitrile gloves! No sense getting filthy! Hey, was your engines now and then~ they look better and I know the engines love it!
NOTE: Before removing the battery, be sure to move the driver’s seat all the way back to allow ample room to work beneath the dash/floor area.
Well, looky there, the master cylinder reservoir says Hello!
I don’t like Fords Battery terminals, can’t ever seem to get them tight when re-installing them!
The MC really needs to be removed, though it has flexible lines, the lines don’t flex enough to allow the booster to come out. Besides, probably the reason for the power booster failure is brake fluid leaking out the back of it into the booster thus deteriorating the booster material/fabric. So, I bought a master cylinder just in case~ I don’t want to have to replace it later~ for me this should be a one shot ordeal! 😉
Inside the vehicle:
Actually, the inside work wasn’t bad at all! Remove the funny clasp and remove the pin, then there are 4 nuts to remove on the booster. The nuts once broken loose can be spun pretty easily with one finger. ~ That’s it!
I’d say the booster might weigh in at 2-3 lbs. However a good tug on it and it should break loose from the firewall. Then the fun begins, manipulating the large diameter booster isn’t so fun. I believe this would be considered the most difficult part of this blog!
The four studs off the back of the booster did best going over the two flexible brake lines, then was able to be removed~ still a few choice bad words might make their way out of your mouth!
Though I was thinking brake fluid would just pour out of the booster and it didn’t, I did find brake fluid on the back part of the master cylinder~ enough for me! It will be replaced for no additional charge!! yeah!
Now the new MC does not come with a reservoir, so this one has to be removed. You don’t just pull the plastic part off with force! I washed the reservoir inside and outside in my shop sink, the let it air dry. You don’t want to put a dirty part on!
The next two pictures~ The socket is a reverse torx which not everyone has in his/her tool box. A pair of pliers might work, or may not. A trip to the parts store may have it. Probably be the only time ever you’ll use it. This MATCO socket wasn’t the correct size, the #8 size was a little loose(it’s more than likely a #6), but still got the job done without stripping the retainer head.
This the pin after removal~ don’t loose it!! Sorry, but I forget the size:(
I used a few choice words here too! I did use a plastic pry bar to pop it off, but I’m sure just being careful, going slowly, it should pull off just fine. This would be a dealer item if it were to go Snap!:(
Though not absolutely necessary to replace, my local Ford dealer had this check valve assembly for about 37 bucks, so I bought it for further insurance. The valve is plastic and over time heat may distort it, so here is the new one with a better design to boot! 😉 new one on the left.
I ordered the parts through Amazon for both parts, the master cylinder and Booster. Together were about 180.oo. Again, more than likely the booster failed due to brake fluid leaking into the booster, then it’s just a matter of time. Besides, though you don’t have to, removing the master cylinder makes the booster installation much “easier” to get out.
A problem that I have read about is the brake lights staying on after installation. This would be mainly due to the inner connecting rod to the brake pedal being too short. I measured 5 1/8″ from the booster to the hole using a square and good eye. So be sure to check this!
Going in with the new booster was easier than getting it out. I thought I would need my husband to hold the booster in place while I started the nuts on the inside, but the booster stayed in place and I buttoned it up on the inside within 5-10 minutes!
Please make sure this retainer clip is in very well, don’t want that pin to fall out!
Just comparing the depth of the old MC to the new one. I put a little Vaseline on the O-ring on the back of the MC to assure a good seal.
Do you know that the first brake fluid was water? It didn’t work long due to corrosion, rust forming, and wouldn’t hold up to the temperatures created in a brake system (kind of turns to steam!) Doah!, so Brake fluid was invented.
Though bench bleeding the Master cylinder is necessary for proper priming before installation, this MC on the bench, the brake fluid just ran right through it! I put the plugs that it came with to keep the fluid in, but still made a mess, and I hate brake fluid!
Bleeding the system: Obviously the system is going to get air into it. My system was open for a couple of days waiting for parts. OH, forgot to mention, when installing the MC, don’t put the retainer nuts which hold the MC in place yet. Though the two brake lines are flexible however won’t bend to re-attach to the MC. You need to be able to move the MC over to the left to connect the brake lines, I did the rear first. I pulled the rubber plug out and re-attach the line before the fluid ran out, then the other. The brake lines should thread in easily, no cross threading here!!!
I bled the brakes the old-fashioned way. First I just cracked the lines and allowed brake fluid to flow out, then I had Gary(hubby) pedal pusher, gently press on the brake pedal as there wasn’t any resistance yet. I cracked(loosened) the rear brake line and allowed air/fluid to come out. Then the front, over and over until was only fluid. Sometime loosening the brake line wasn’t enough, I had to pull the flex line away from the MC to expel air. I felt the brake pedal was firm and didn’t bother bleeding at the wheels. If the pedal had been spongy, I would have. Finally got a decent pedal and started putting everything back together: battery tray, battery, inlet hoses, etc. Smooth sailing now!
Prior to the work, the power booster kind of worked but not really, but made a balloon type hissing noise when pressing on the brake pedal, well, that was eliminated and the brakes worked fine now. I just didn’t know how the brakes were before the booster went out. I drove the Edge 30 miles to deliver the it back to its rightful and my grateful niece and I’m good with the job performed. I deemed the money spent and labor a gift to her for graduation. She’s a good kid!;)
These are the accumulated tools during the work. The long skinny screwdriver was to hold the hood up from the passenger side to get that darned hood prop out of my way. The funny tool on the far right~ there’s one press on type retainer which holds the booster supply hose in place~ the tool really didn’t do the job and wound up just wiggling it off. 14mm wrench for the brake lines, 10mm wrench for the battery, 1/2″ or 13mm for the nuts holding the MC and a variety of extensions. Your tools may vary! 😉 You will need good lighting!!
If you’ve run into this problem, and I actually helped you, please let me know, and what you may have encountered along the journey of maintaining/repairing your vehicle. Just would make me feel that I’m not doing this in vain.
Well, another blog here on Classic Cars and tools completed~ maybe now I can get back to working on my TR6! 😉 After all, this about Classic cars~!? 😉
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