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Soft pedal feel - normal for VX/VUs?

Discussion in 'VT - VX Holden Commodore (1997 - 2002)' started by BarelyHoldenOnTogether, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. BarelyHoldenOnTogether

    BarelyHoldenOnTogether New Member

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    Hi crew

    Recently bought a VU SS that had nasty as brake fluid in it.

    I only driven it a few 100km before I did a service including the brake fluid change.

    Now I did the change the way I’ve done the in the past - which is with a 1 man brake bleeder. I only pump the pedal around 8-10 times before I check the reservoir.

    I don’t believe air got in the lines as it was quite slow to drain out fluid and I kept checking the reservoir however I did suck out a bunch of fluid to clean out the reservoir surround so I wonder if potentially air got into the lines.

    However after the change I found that the brake feels soft - almost spongey. I feel like I have to push down about 1/3rd of the way to get bite. It does bite eventually but it needs a bit of travel. The pedal is almost springy.

    Is soft feel on the VX/VUs normal?

    I’ve done a change about 4 times to try and firm up the pedal. The back brakes drain easy, the big 2 pots at the front take ages.

    When I do the change, the brake pedal is firm. Once I turn the car on, it goes soft. I can feel it drop as soon as the car starts.
    Is that normal?

    I’ve got a fg xr6 as my daily and the brakes on that are firm whether the car is on or
    Off.

    Or have a I got air in the abs module? Would there be any warning lights if this is so?

    From what I read if I got air into the abs unit - I have to take it to a mechanic or Holden with Tech2 or equivalent software to run the unit?

    Appreciate some help here :)

    Thanks!
     
  2. DavesSV6Tonner

    DavesSV6Tonner Member

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    You are describing how the brakes on my VZ S feel and have been like since I bought it brand new. The pedal becomes quite hard if you exhaust all the vacuum assistance with the engine off but as soon as the engine is started and vacuum assistance becomes available you can feel the pedal drop under your foot. The brake pedal has what I would call a progressive feel, unlike older Holdens that had pedals that were firm and had little travel.

    We recently acquired a 2010 Suzuki Swift for our children to learn to drive in and the brake pedal is surprisingly very light and the brakes literally bite to the extent you feel like you will get thrown through the windscreen if you are not careful. I am actually having second thoughts about the Swift being suitable for a new learner driver.
    Give me the brake pedal in my VZ any day, it is more predictable and more forgiving.
     
  3. _R_J_K_

    _R_J_K_ Well-Known Member

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    I've always had trouble with the 1 man bleeder kits as I find they often fall off or the tubing is far too short, I just use the "tubing into the coke bottle" method with some slightly undersized tubing that I warm up to fit over the bleeder nipple (just get the hose from the sprinkler section in Bunnings). I have a had VS which a shop bled, don't know if they cycled the ABS module but it was awesome afterwards.
     
  4. Trevor loves holden.

    Trevor loves holden. Active Member

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    If it doesn't fill right the do it again, Your clear pipe should be up above the nipple like a loop so the fluid stays in the tube about 20cm all so before going down so you know all the old fluid is out and no air bubbles in the line. If the tube is just free fall from the start the fluid wont be able to keep the nipple fall of fluid and will allow air in.
     
  5. BarelyHoldenOnTogether

    BarelyHoldenOnTogether New Member

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    Thanks for that!

    Well that's reassuring then. It's very strange to have a pedal that is soft and progressive. Probably just a matter of getting used to it. Just wanted to make sure I don't have air in the lines or worse; in the abs module.

    I can concur that modern cars often seem to have very jumpy pedals. I have a crappy base model Xtrail my company gives me to use for work and it's super sensitive - drives me mad.

    I was comparing to my XR6 ute that has a much more firm brake pedal feel and bugger all travel. I'm actually due to change the fluid on that.

    Thanks!

    You'd think the fancy 1 way bleeders would be better than the old school trick with the tube in a bottle. Maybe the simple ways are the best ways!

    I've done about 3 changes so far and found the brakes getting harder and harder to drain - especially the fronts. I had my missus half pump the pedal and she felt it was like trying to pump cheese!

    I'll try with a longer tube and a loop and see how I go. Thanks for that advice. Never did a loop or had it a foot above the nipple. In prior times the tube coming straight out of the nipple was ok.

    Anyone here used a vacuum bleeding tool? They're like $30 on fleabay so wont break the bank. Worth buying?
     
  6. Trevor loves holden.

    Trevor loves holden. Active Member

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    That's what I use, don't worry getting the extra fill bottle its a bugger of a thing to use just keep checking the brake fluid level. Personally I think the home made one works better,
     
  7. _R_J_K_

    _R_J_K_ Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of people forget that there needs to be fluid in the bottle to begin with and that the tube needs to be submerged in it. The seal that the smaller tubing gives after you heat it up with a cigarette lighter and jam it on as far as it will go is also probably a big help. I've never had any issues with doing this by myself (just leaving the nipple open for the entire bleed and stepping on the peddle).

    For $30 you can't really go wrong. Would be interested to find out what you think if you buy one, maybe do a small write up in this thread if you do.
     
  8. Trevor loves holden.

    Trevor loves holden. Active Member

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    Got one it works ok but its a slow process, old school way is faster.
     
  9. shane_3800

    shane_3800 Member

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    I've never had an issue and I just put a loose tube on. Air will get around the threads anyway so I just top the res up then lock the nipple off any air just gravity bleeds out by then.
     

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