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Brake imbalance help!

Posted on 2013-11-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-15

My dad has a hyundai lantra 1998. It failed its mot due to a brake imbalance. I was told that it was the rear left wheel(NS rear).
I had a look at the car for my dad and tried to bleed the cylinder at the back before I started and got hardly any fluid out and a lot of air. I stopped and removed the drum.
The adjuster was frozen and the cylinder was leaking and the springs looked a bit rusty.

I replaced the brake cylinder, the springs and cleaned up the adjuster and all looked good. I then started to bleed the brakes and it took a while before I got any flow of fluid. I was using a hand held bleeder with a pressure gauge. I spent about half an hour trying to bleed the cylinder and the flow was not very good from this wheel? I started bleeding the other rear wheel and it was easy bleeding this wheel, hardly any effort and a good flow and not really dropping or requiring many pumps with the hand bleeder compared to the wheel with the issue mentioned.

Still convinced something is not correct I put my foot on the foot brake and the brake pedal is solid. It's not soft and it does not move to the floor. I took the car for a test drive and the car seemed to brake ok.

I wanted to check that the brakes were ok before it went back into the mot station for the re-test after the work I done. And the local garage I took it to said that I have a brake imbalance on the car.

I have attached the sheet to this question and any advise would be appreciated to what else it could be? As I said it was difficult getting a good flow of fluid from that wheel.

The car does not seem to be loosing any brake fluid?

Thanks for any suggestions.


Question by:ross13
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Steven Harris
Steven Harris earned 1200 total points
ID: 39635875
I was using a hand held bleeder with a pressure gauge.

Are you doing from the from the head of the braking system, or from the wheel itself?

With the engine off, if you press the brake a few times and hold it when it gets rigid, does it fluctuate at all?

Author Comment

ID: 39636016
Started bleed for wheel with issue which is ns rear(furthest from master cylinder). Pumped the brakes a few times with engine off and the pedal stays solid and did not fluctuate.
LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Steven Harris
Steven Harris earned 1200 total points
ID: 39636070
Sounds like the brake is out of adjustment.  You may want to reset/adjust the brakes on both rear wheels: until brakes are just touching the drum/rotor.  

I normally do an adjustment after replacing brakes/brake components by slowly running the vehicle in reverse (~5mph) and hitting the brakes.  After 3-4 times, you should notice a difference in stopping power.

What you are running up against is that one wheel is slightly longer to brake against it's partner, the opposite wheel on the rear.  Knowing you did adjustments to one, it is hard to tell which is stopping better than the other.

What this means for the MOT test is that when applying the breaks, one wheel brakes better than the other and cause the vehicle to 'pull' to one side.
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Author Comment

ID: 39636237
I can give this a go tomorrow. I just wanted to o check my understanding. If I put the car up on a set of axle stands. Put the car in reverse and run at about 5mph and brake and get someone to watch both rear wheels.
The wheel that stops last I should then move the adjuster on to move the pads closer to the drum and repeat the process until both wheels stop at the same time.
That sounds like a good idea. I can give it a try.

My only other thought was the flexible hose as I was having trouble bleeding that wheel?


LVL 18

Assisted Solution

by:Steven Harris
Steven Harris earned 1200 total points
ID: 39636280
I actually run on the ground, not stands.

If the flexible hose was built for brake systems, it should be no issue unless you have a blockage.

Assisted Solution

gt2847c earned 400 total points
ID: 39636417
If you're having trouble bleeding that line, it sounds like you may have a blockage (as ThinkSpaceSolutions mentioned above) either in the line or up at the proportioning valve.  Was the fluid you did manage to get out of the line clear or dirty?  If what you got out was dirty and you didn't get it to come clean while you were bleeding it, you may have old or contaminated brake fluid (or you could just not have gotten enough out of it).  It could also potentially indicate you have corrosion in the line as well.  You could try to disconnect the brake line from the proportioning valve and flush out the line.  If the line flushes easily while disconnected from the proportioning valve, you may have a bad valve or blockage in the valve.

Keep in mind that brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air and over time that moisture can corrode the lines.  It's a good idea to flush the brake lines from time to time, especially when the fluid in the reservoir is showing discoloration.  Another maintenance item to check if you have discolored brake fluid in the reservoir is the reservoir seal/bellows (whatever your specific vehicle has) to make sure it's relatively air tight...

BTW, While hand pumps do work for bleeding lines, but having a helper pump the brakes for you will generally get it done a lot faster (and adds more pressure to the line). They can also refill the reservoir so you don't have to run back and forth as much...
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Steven Harris
ID: 39636460
...but having a helper pump the brakes for you...

+1 on that.  That is my preferred method if you have someone to help out.
LVL 34

Accepted Solution

Michael-Best earned 400 total points
ID: 39636674
Both drum brakes need to be checked for wear (replaced if worn thin) and adjusted correctly until you can hear/feal the pads very slightly rubbing on the drum, but not restricting the wheel from turning freely for one full turn when you spin the wheel.
Also check the front disc pads and rotors for wear.

How to Replace (and adjust) Drum Brakes Hyundai:

You said in your previous question that you had cut the pipe and needed to make a new bubble flare.
Are you sure that the bubble flare was done correctly and that no debri entered the brake line also, that you did not crimp or flatten the tube?

Making a bubble flare with a double flare tool:

You indicated that there is a flow problem with this line:
"I spent about half an hour trying to bleed the cylinder and the flow was not very good from this wheel? I started bleeding the other rear wheel and it was easy bleeding this wheel,"

Bleed all four brakes with a helper to pump the brakes for you and this will indicate whether or not you have a restriction (and may clear the restriction) in the line that you replaced the brake cylinder.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39650542
Thanks guys. I took the car to a local garage thinking something war really wrong but they said the flare /cylinder etc looked good. It was just not 100% adjusted correct between the two wheels.

Thanks again.

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