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Old 01-13-2017, 06:09 PM
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Spongy brake pedal question

Hi, all. Hope youre having a nice day thus far. Mine has been.....eventful, shall we say...

A neighbor and I replaced my rear rotors, pads, and brake lines today. I bled the brakes as I saw on several YouTube videos, which seemed to be really straight forward and similar between several vehicles.

After we got one side on, we bled. Got the other side on, bled, and brake pedal is still really spongy. I read that if the brake fluid goes completely dry in the resevoir, you can get air in the ABS unit in the engine compartment. I never let the fluid go below the minimum line on the resevoir, but from what I can tell that has got to be the only thing that is making the pedal so spongy.

I went on a test run on a country road to see if the brakes actually worked and they do, but again, very spongy. Got back home and we re-bled both sides again 6-8x each and no air came out at all, just solid flow of fluid.

Anyone have any idea what else we could check or am I right in it is probably the ABS unit in front? Additionally, I read in the Haynes repair manual that if there IS air in the ABS unit, it would have to be taken into a Chrysler dealership. Hoping now as that is literally an hour away.

Thanks in advance!

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  #2  
Old 01-13-2017, 07:00 PM
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Re: Spongy brake pedal question

Was it spongy before you started?
Did you try bleeding the fronts just because?

One tip I was told by a damn fine mechanic is always bleed the farthest away from the reservoir first, then next furthest away from the reservoir, etc. all the way around. Finish with the closest. Supposed to help get all the air out.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:03 PM
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Re: Spongy brake pedal question

Did you bleed the right rear first(farthest from reservoir)?
Did you check to make sure the lines aren't twisted or kinked?
Did you check for leaks?
Did you make sure the pads and rotors are cleaned from any oils?
Did you scuff up the rotors to help with seating the pads?
Did you confirmed your using the right brake fluid?


I know this is some obvious stuff, but thought I'd throw some of it at you. Remember the tiniest bit off air makes a huge difference.


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Old 01-13-2017, 07:05 PM
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Re: Spongy brake pedal question

I changed the front rotors and pads about 2-3 weeks ago and those were bled at the time then. Felt good til I got the rears installed today.

I also found a few folks online saying the same thing - to bleed furthest away from the master cylinder first then next farthest etc and that's how we were doing it today. Didn't re-bleed the fronts today but if they were ok before, is there any way air could get into them?


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Old 01-13-2017, 07:28 PM
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Re: Spongy brake pedal question

I've never done the brakes on my Jeep, but on my sport bikes I take the calipers off while leaving the lines attached. That way I can make sure that the bleeder is absolutely at the highest point possible. I always get a few more bubbles of air doing it that way. It really helps firming up the brake lever and peddle.


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Old 01-13-2017, 07:58 PM
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Re: Spongy brake pedal question

I do have one more neighbor that is a mechanic so I'll stop and see if he has any suggestions and I'd not, probably have to go back to the dealer before I make my next cross country trip in a week or two.


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Old 01-13-2017, 07:59 PM
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Spongy brake pedal question

If the calipers are off the rotors what keeps the pistons in? If air is getting in fluid is getting out.

Farthest to closest, all four, I like a jar of fluid on my out but today's speed or one man bleeders do a good job, don't let the fluid go low, and mostly don't let the fluid get contaminated or use old or open bottles or incorrect fluid. The fluid is the most important if you do a competent job so what was it?
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:42 PM
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Re: Spongy brake pedal question

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Originally Posted by Nonstop View Post
If the calipers are off the rotors what keeps the pistons in? If air is getting in fluid is getting out.

Farthest to closest, all four, I like a jar of fluid on my out but today's speed or one man bleeders do a good job, don't let the fluid go low, and mostly don't let the fluid get contaminated or use old or open bottles or incorrect fluid. The fluid is the most important if you do a competent job so what was it?

You have to put something between the pads. A piece of wood, aluminum, steel, or what ever you've got that's flat.


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Old 01-13-2017, 09:12 PM
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Re: Spongy brake pedal question

Fluid is new, caliper piston was squeezed back in place with the stock pad and a C-clamp.


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Old 01-13-2017, 10:33 PM
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Spongy brake pedal question

I really like my grands brakes in most ways but want a little better feel. I might call them spongy in stock form. How far from normal are they.

I'd check that nothing obvious is loose or damaged and I'd probably bleed them again and hope the air is south of the abs pump.
I remember cycling the abs pump in my wj, if air entered a spongy pedal is a good possibility. I'm sure someone can trigger it but on a wk2 it's likely a dealer thing.

I like the bike caliper idea, it's easy too.
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Old 01-14-2017, 12:19 AM
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Re: Spongy brake pedal question

Double checked all connections that had been disassembled then during bleeding, we checked for any leaks and didn't see any. everything fit into place and wasn't forced. Bit puzzled still.

Roughly, I'd guess they are about 25% or less of the pressure there was from stock. During my test run, i COULD stop, but there's very little pressure and i wasn't getting any "bite" from the brakes til about half way down. Felt like what I imagine a 30 year old car thats never had any brake components swapped out to be like until the "bite" happened, then it was stopping faster than stock. It's a little hard to describe but basically very spongy but working sounds close.
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:34 AM
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Spongy brake pedal question

Maybe spend some more coin on new rear calipers. I can't see how air would have gotten all the way back to the abs pump unless the system was open for a long time or you let the reservoir go dry while bleeding. You could try a mighty vac and reverse bleed them. There's air in there somewhere.


There's a recall in effect for your model year that pertains to the brake booster. Has this been done to your vehicle? I know you just notice your brakes feel spongy after the new pads, but if your booster is leaking this could be part on the cause. I'm just throwing ideas out there.

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