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Element 16th September 2015 13:31

Roadster Brake Bleeding Problem
Hi Folks, just joined and looking for some valued advice..
My Dad has had a Roadster (with Fiat 2.0 DOHC engine & Marina suspension / brakes ) for 12 or so yrs. The last 8 of which it has sat still, under its cover. On offering it to me if I could get it running I have spent a few days getting things sorted. Engine is now running, suspension bushes replaced (previous poly ones disintegrated).
Then came the brakes… given the situation I figured it would be a good idea to replace the fluid but it is 20+ yrs since I have changed brake fluid and I didn’t follow the right procedure as in the Marina Haynes book (that said I don’t think it would have made a lot of difference). With someone else inside pressing the pedal, tube connected to the front right (offside) bleed nipple into a jar, cover off the fluid reservoir, we opened the bleed screw and initially 2-3” of old fluid came out into the tube but we left it opened without pressing the pedal up and down briefly and we believe air (small amount likely) entered into the calliper – because despite closing off the bleed screw now the pedal feels as though there’s no pressure at all. We have since tried repeatedly to bleed the system on 3 corners now but with the condition is the same; no fluid or air comes out any tube and the pedal offers no resistance; it just springs back up. The fluid in the reservoir remains the same, no change. The Haynes Marina book offers a pretty simplified procedure for bleeding the system but it offers no suggestion of what to do if the pedal doesn’t enable you to pump!
I suspect that the fault lies with the master cylinder but would appreciate a second opinion of why we can’t pump the fluid out in the usual fashion. I have read of bleed kits that connect to a spare tyre to provide pressure & you fill a container of fluid and connect that to the reservoir (Screwfix sell them) – do you think it would help/work in this case or am I best to look more at the master cylinder?

The car is in South Wales; I live in Scotland & the original plan was for me to fix it & drive it north, but it's going nowhere at the moment..

Thanks for any advice you can offer, I might be back here a few times before long!

MartinClan 16th September 2015 15:18

I have used one of those spare tyre powered bleed kits and it worked well. However I suspect the problem, because of how long the car has been laid up, is the master cylinder. I guess a replacement won't be too difficult to find...


Element 16th September 2015 15:26

Yes, I'm pretty much resigned to a new one - or renovating the current one with new seals maybe.. pity is I've run out of time & have to head back to Perthshire this weekend. It'll have to wait another 2 months or so; it's waited 8 years I guess that won't hurt any! :)

Ben Caswell 22nd September 2015 12:54

The piston in the MC has probable got stuck down the bottom. Try taping the barrel gently to release the piston back.
Otherwise you will need to strip the MC possible get away with a rebuild.

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