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  1. #1
    Member lobes290's Avatar
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    Corvette(s)
    1979 white l-82

    Default 79 Vette Brake Problems; spongy pedal

    My brake pedal is extremly spongy, but when i bleed the brakes i firms up for about 70 or so miles then it gets soft again, i have replaced the master cylinder and all pads i also have blead them about 5 times. Does anyone know what the problem is , please help thanks. Email= Lobes290@hotmail.com

    thanks alot

  2. #2
    Member
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    Corvette(s)
    Red on Red 1979 L-48

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    Turn the rotors. The rotors get slightly out of round and bump the pads back after a while causing a spongy feel to the brakes since the pads have to move quite a ways to the rotor. I didn't belive it either until a friend talked me in to trying to have the rotors turned before we replaced the wheel bearings.
    If that doesn't fix it then you'll have to replace the wheel bearings.

  3. #3
    Member cruzer99's Avatar
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    Corvette(s)
    99 Navy Blue Pearl Vert. NCRS Member

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    Pressure bleed them.

  4. #4
    Member TWINRAY's Avatar
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    Corvette(s)
    '67 Goodwood Green Coupe, '69 Lemans Blue Roadster

    Default

    How old are the caliper seals?

  5. #5
    - Online
    Bob Chadwick's Avatar
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    Corvette(s)
    2006 Velocity Yellow Roadster

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    You need to find the source of your leak. A common problem is air being introduced at the caliper seals due to out of round rotors or wheel bearings out of spec. This can cause pulsing of the rotor, which will introduce air.

  6. #6
    Member lobes290's Avatar
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    Corvette(s)
    1979 white l-82

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    im not sure how old the seals are but i was told by the man that i bought it from, that all the calipers were recently rebuilt, its a arizona car so its possible that they could be bad again, also i have blead them many times and im pretty sure air isnt comming out of the system, but the pedal gets stiff.

  7. #7
    RonV87
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    I had this problem with my 78, its a "well know" problem, called cavitation. The rotors can be just slightly out of round and it causes the pistons in the brake calipers to go in and out. The seals around the pistons allow air to get in behind them on the in stroke and in with the fluid. Air compresses when you push on the brake pedal and that causes the spongy feel. The only real solution is to replace the calipers with those that have O rings as seals and are designed to keep air from getting in. Vette Brake Products sells them ( iIthink its VBP) but others do also. Check the mail order catalogs. I replaced all 4 of mine and that fixed the problem for good. Of course you have to bleed the brakes after putting on the new calipers. And if your rotors are out of round turn them down or replace them. The calipers I bought were no more expensive than "regular" calipers. Just make sure they have the O rings and are not stock or stock rebuilt ones. Make sure you get stainless steel sleeved calipers also.

  8. #8
    Member GTR1999's Avatar
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    Corvette(s)
    1969,1972,1975

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    There have been recent posts here on rear brakes and rear bearings. They're related,bad bearings and/or rotor runout will give you the problem you have. Check the other posts and you'll see what was said to solve this common C2 & C3 problem. You can have new ss calipers and still have the problem,I've seen so called ss calipers that were junk once opend up for inspection, rebuilt M/C's also are known for spongy pedal because they aren't always clean in the bore. Were the rotors turned recently?
    Rather then go on what the last guy said was odne I would start from the beginning and check the runout and bearing end-play you want both to be under .003" if find more you might have found one or more of your problems.
    Good luck

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Corvette(s)
    '67 Marina Blue Convertible

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    You have excessive lateral runout in the rotors, which is causing classic "air-pumping" in the calipers; new or rebuilt calipers won't fix it. If lateral runout is over about .004" (difference between the highest and lowest reading for one revolution), you need to have the rotors turned ON THE CAR. If it's the rears, also check the axial play in the spindle bearings, as that makes it worse.
    John
    '67 Convertible

  10. #10
    Member lobes290's Avatar
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    Corvette(s)
    1979 white l-82

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    Thanks for all the feedback it is really helping me.

  11. #11
    Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
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    Corvette(s)
    71 95 04 12

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    The 65-82 Corvette disc brake system can be a service nighmare. The "air pumping" discussed above as "cavitation" is the number one problem.

    Because the calipers are fixed and the sealing sysetm (the inner piston seal) can only tolerate about .010-in. movement before they suck air, the system is very sensitive to brake disc runout and lack of parallelism. In the rear, this problem can be compounded by axle shaft flange run-out and rear bearings with excessive play.

    If the car in question has not been retrofitted with stainless-steel sleeved brake calipers, corrosion of the caliper bores and the brake pistons can also be an issue.

    There are some articles on the Idaho Corvette page that discuss servicing 65-82 brakes in great detail. See:
    http://www.idavette.net/hib/BBfHInet12.htm
    http://www.idavette.net/hib/BBfHInet13.htm
    Hib Halverson

  12. #12

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    Corvette(s)
    '67 Marina Blue Convertible

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    Hib - Article #12 is outstanding - very comprehensive piece of work! Should be required reading for all '65-'82 Corvette owners (with a quiz at the end)
    John
    '67 Convertible

  13. #13
    Dave L.
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    Default

    John Z - Very informative article. What is your opinion on the recomendation of flushing the brake system every 18 months? I flushed my system 3 years ago when I purchased my car. To date I have had no leaking calipers or any other brake problems. Should I leave well enough alone or flush on some sort of bi-yearly scedule? What type of pressure bleeder do you recommend for my home use,I have an air compressor. Thanks in advance John.

    Dave

    BTW.. I read your monthly articles in Corvette Enthusiast Magazine and find them very informative.

  14. #14
    Member 80convertible's Avatar
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    Corvette(s)
    1973 converted to 1980 custom convertible

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    While your servicing your brake system I would also check the rubber hoses. Not related to your problem, however, old hoses can swell causing slight spongy feel due to bulging. I checked my front hoses one day and found a huge bulge in one of the hoses. As an fyi, if you are on a budget...Autozone sells stainless sleeved calipers for $55.00 each with lifetime warranty. Also, check for any signs of a leak around all your calipers. I wonder if a seal could have a pinhole leak.

  15. #15

    Join Date
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    Corvette(s)
    '67 Marina Blue Convertible

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    I recommend flushing/bleeding the system every two years; suck the old fluid out of the master cylinder, clean the bottom of the reservoirs, fill with fresh fluid, and bleed until you see fresh fluid at all four wheels.

    Using a compressor for pressure-bleeding can be tricky unless you have precise air regulation at low pressure. I prefer using a self-contained pressure bleeder:

    http://www.motiveproducts.com/

    This has its own pump, pressure gauge, plenty of fluid capacity so you don't run the master cylinder dry in the middle of the process, and makes C2/C3 bleeding a breeze.
    John
    '67 Convertible

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