Brake problems

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New member
Oct 23, 2006
Hello to all. Ive just started using this forum and so far I have learned quit a bit.
I have a friend that has a 1996 36' Dolphin on a Ford chassis and he has had some major brake issues. He says the brakes are extremely hard to depress, almost has to use both feet to stop in a short distance. He's checked all calipers and pads, bled all the brake lines and also replaced the brake booster. He said that the brakes work off the power steering pump.
Any suggestions or ideas would be appreciated.
Amen on the pro help.  Could check it by pulling the vaccuum line on the power booster while the engine is running and if  it dies, there are probably no vac leaks  If it stays running drive carefully and see if it has the same brake reaction. Would then be possible of being other problems, but it should die, cuase too much vac.  More than likely you will.  Also check the linings they may be cystalized. I'd almost bet on the booster being bad.  Need a pro then cause that little plunger has to be right.
If, as he says, the brake booster works off the power steering pump, he probably has a diesel engine, therefor no vacuum.  He said he bled the brakes...  he also said he put in a new booster...  There is a special procedure to bleed the power assist hydraulics in order to get everything functional.  I have no experience with Ford, mine was a GM.  Probably a Ford dealer could help.
There is also a plunger in there that is critical  Bleeding brakes won't tell you if they are glazed.  Could act as  a booster bad cause it woldn't slow anything down.
Need more info - Gas or diesel?, front disks/rear drums?, really steering pump or vacuum assist?, how did he check pads/shoes - just look at them?, Rotors/drums warped/rusted?, checked proportioning valve?, etc. BTW air in lines won't create a hard pedal; it will make for a soft one. If rear drums, has he checked the adjusters for corrosion and/or backed up with moderately hard braking several times? - need to do that periodically.

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