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Rudy

'88 505 wagon front brake issue....help please.

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Hello -

Greetings. New member here. Some quick background: Purchased my first Peugeot from a French car enthusiast in TN and recently had my mechanic sort the car (complete tune-up/timing belt/valve adjustment/LR wheel cylinder/master cylinder/etc.). It is a 1988 505 DL wagon according the window sticker but says GL on the rear door and came with a GL supplement with the owner's manual. Normally aspirated. Automatic transmission. Original paint. No rust. 164K miles. Excellent original interior. Stacks of receipts. Lot's to like.

Here is the issue and we are lost....

 

When I got the car it had a low brake pedal. Brian Holm said that the newish master cylinder on the car was for a sedan. My mechanic Tim discovered a leaking LR wheel cylinder and a fluid soaked LR brake shoe. So I ordered a wagon master cylinder and wheel cylinder from Brian.  When the new master and wheel cylinder was installed I had a great pedal. Perfect.

 

I took the car for a 10 mile drive before he tackled the rest and noticed the brakes got tight. The car was being held back. I parked on a grade by Tim's shop and it stayed on the hill in neutral without touching the brakes. Tim thought it was the brake shoe that was doused in brake fluid that was the culprit. He cleaned it up again and readjusted the brakes.

 

Fast forward this Friday Tim calls me to say the car is ready but he took it for a test drive and the front brakes are holding the car back. Both are tight. He said he power flushed the brake system again. I re-mentioned to him a process where you can't jack the car up when bleeding the brakes but I could not remember the exact details. I swore I read it somewhere over the years. I suggested he call Brian. Tim told me Brian said to bled the brakes again and that the right front is notoriously hard to bleed.

  

I drove the car home (15 miles) without issue until I took the family for a ride. Steering wheel shaking. Brake pedal getting stiff. Both front wheels were smoking when I got it home. I checked things out on this awesome website and did some research and found Bean (Rabin) mentioned about not having the wheels hang when bleeding the brakes (at least on a sedan). I texted TIm as he has both kinds of lifts in his shop and he said they were hanging when he bled them. Darn it! Just don't' know if this pertains to wagons since they have drums in the rear???

 

It gets weirder... Yesterday I took the car out again with a perfect pedal upon start up and within a couple miles the steering wheel was shaking and the brake pedal was getting hard. Got it back home and opened the hood and poked around the large cloth covered vacuum line behind the maser cylinder that runs to the booster. My brakes were fine again. Another quick trip they were locking up again. This time I picked up on the e-brake handle and quickly released it. My front brakes were fine! My brake pedal was perfect. Went for another quick trip around the block. The same thing happened. This time I put it on a slight grade rolling backwards with the car in neutral with the e-brake off. The car sat still and did not roll backwards until I lifted and released the e-brake handle then it coasted effortlessly backwards. Repeated this two more times with drives around the neighborhood. NOTE: I may have pulled the e-brake before I got out of the car the first time to inspect the vacuum line and master cylinder under the hood but am not 100% sure.

 

My buddy in IN who used to have Peugeots contacted his 90 year old Peugeot mechanic and the gentleman said it's probably the brake booster check valve. That they stick.

 

My mechanic Tim thinks it's either the wrong or defective master cylinder or the brake booster. I mentioned the proportioning valve that I read on here that can get out of whack with time and with improper bleeding and some are replaced with a "T" since they are unobtanium. Tim says the proportioning valve is only for the rear brakes.

 

So what do you think? Master cylinder? Power Booster? Check Valve in the Power Booster? Proportioning Valve?

 

Why would the e-brake which controls the rear brakes have anything to do with unsticking stuck front brakes? I'm at a loss. Hate to throw parts at this needlessly. If you have any ideas on how to diagnose or remedy this problem it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Love to get the car to the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix in 2 weeks but unless it's something simple it probably will be next year. 

 

Thanks for any help guys!

Rudy in Pittsburgh

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I'm definitely thinking the check valve on the booster isn't working, or it might be the booster itself...  If the booster itself is shot they usually leak and you can hear the vacuum hissing has it sucks air in.

Easiest way I can think of to confirm would be to pull the vacuum line off the booster and plug it, then drive the car and see if the brakes act up.  If it is the plastic check valve on the booster then you might be able to find a suitable check valve off a parts car at the wrecker to put inline before attaching it back to the booster.

My guess on the rear brakes:  Emergency brake applies the rear shoes which causes the rear cylinders to expand releasing the slight pressure that was being applied to the front calipers...

Keep us posted on results - and welcome to the forum!

Rabin

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Thanks so much Rabin. Will try your suggestion this weekend and report back how it works out. 👍

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Rabin -

I pulled the vacuum line off the booster (left the hose attached to the air box) and plugged it will a bolt and tightened it with a #4 hose clamp. Took it for a test run and the brakes started hanging up again. My quick fix is to pull up on the e-brake which immediately reduces the drag but the problem eventually comes back. 

Do you think it could be the proportioning valve acting? I heard they can get funky being so old and to replace them with a "T" to bypass the prop valve's function. My tech says that the prop valve controls the rear brakes only. I think he may be wrong.

Still do not know if bleeding the brakes with all 4 wheels on the ground is for sedans only (4 wheel disc) of if that pertains to wagons as well.

I certainly appreciate your suggestion. Has anyone else had this problem? Or know of a remedy?

Thanks!!

Rudy

 

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Hi Rudy,

Can you verify both front wheels are binding / braking? 

The only thing it can be is the master cylinder - it must be keeping residual pressure on the brakes as you use them.

Ive only ever seen it happen when the check valve on booster wasn’t working and the booster would gradually apply braking.

An internally collapsed rubber brake line was my only other thought, but the rear brake trick wouldn’t work then.

MC is the only thing I can think of.  Was it bench bled before it was installed?

And no - that proportioning valve never has buggered up braking that I’m aware of, but they can start leaking which means a spongy pedal.

Rabin

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Hi Rabin -

I can verify 100% certain both front brakes are binding/hanging/braking.

I do not know if Tim bench bled the MC. I will ask him. I do know both times he bled the brakes he used a power bleeder.

We put on new rubber brake lines as part of the brake service.

I had a spongy pedal before this all started. A very bad pedal but the car still stopped. Brian Holm identified that the master cylinder (which was newish) was wrong and was for a sedan. Then Tim found a weeping LR wheel cylinder which was replaced. As mentioned when those parts were installed I had a *perfect* pedal.

Thanks for your continued help and suggestions.

Rudy

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Bench bleeding is more of a curiousity as it usually is the solution if the MC won’t/can’t push any fluid.  All four corners bleed fine correct?

Not having the suspension loaded when bleeding the brakes means the rear wheels won’t bleed properly.  If the rear wheel cylinders bled OK then you should be fine.

The only thing that makes sense now is the MC is somehow retaining residual braking pressure on the front calipers.

Hard to diagnose further without knowing how much fluid is coming out with each pump of the brake when bleeding it out, as well as how the pedal feel is when pushing the fluid out.

Total aside - But you really should give some serious thought into buying some tools and tackling some of the easy jobs as Peugeot ownership isn’t kind to folks who can’t do their own work!

Hopefully Tim is a GOOD mechanic.  These are very easy cars to work on, and basic common sense and good troubleshooting is all that’s really needed to work on them.

Rabin

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Rabin -

Thanks again for your help. Most appreciated! We do collision work for one of the local Audi dealers and one of their techs had a run of 505's and a lone 404. He offered to help me out with the car since it's now in my warehouse and out of Tim's hair.

Oh, for sure Tim is a good mechanic. ASE Master certified. We use him on occasion when we are slammed. Which we are right now. Crash season is not until October and we are still booked out until early August with 7 DRP's and customer pays. But I'm not complaining!

LOL on your comment on getting a set of tools (reminded me of the Fast Times movie quote). Sad to say I'm a one trick pony. I run a collision center but still paint around 25% of the cars.

I have 5 cars in museums including the Petersen in LA, 3 at the Lane Motor Museum (all NSU's) and one in the Nissan Heritage Collection (U.S.); plus numerous cars and trucks in Hemmings Motor News calendars and various magazines.

Like I mentioned in my first post I never had a French car but always wanted one. Being a massive rally fan from way back I enjoyed their success on the Safari in the 60's to the Group B 205's and beyond...I was thinking of transforming my break into a retro service vehicle "look" with a large rack on top and some Cibie Super Oscars or Marchals up front.

I'll sign off here. Thanks again for your help and comments.

Ciao!

Rudy

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Wow Rudy - Now I need to know what these other cars are!  I love all cars really.  Any examples of your work paint wise?  

I'm also a big rally fan, and was a crew chief on a Canadian pro-rally team in the late 90's.  My biggest / best automotive achievement to date however was joining a team from the UK that was running a Ford RS200evo at Pike's Peak International Hill Climb - The driver was Stig Blomqvist!  

Funny part of the the opportunity was that the team principle later told me that he chose me because in my e-mail application I mentioned that I daily'd a Peugeot 505 Turbo!  He said he had to look on a map to see where Regina Saskatchewan was, and that anybody that could daily a Peugeot in the middle of nowhere had to be able to think outside the box.  :)

Back to your ride - TOTALLY hear you on the support vehicle look - There's some pics in the gallery of some I found.

Rabin 

 

 

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That's cool you like all cars. I do as well. Awesome story about Stig and Pike's Peak. What a experience of a lifetime! My dream would have been to crew for Michele Mouton when she ran the hill and pissed off the Unsers. The eye candy would have been an added bonus 😉 I regularly attend the STPR here in PA. Good times.

Sent you a couple emails with pics and stories of my cars.

Ok, my other cars over the years. In no particular order. Laforza (2), NSU (7), Goggomobil (2), Yugo, (3), '04 Lotus Esprit V8 Twin Turbo, Borgward Isabella, Lloyd Alexander, Subaru 360 van, IH Scouts (10+), Dodge Power Wagons (3), Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80, '99 Mini Cooper on 10's, 1956 Powell Sport Wagon, ex-SCCA PRO Rally Eclipse, '80 Toyota HiLux, '75 IH pickup, '66 IH Travelall, '70 Dodge D-100, Zundapp Janus 250, bunch of dual-range Subes, etc.

My tool box consists of a can of PB Blaster, breaker bar and a torch. JK

Since you are way up in Canada maybe you can help me find a decent Skoda or Dacia. That's next on the want list. Glutton for punishment, ya know?

Thanks for the support.

Rudy

 

 

 

 

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I LOVE your eclectic tastes in cars - I'm very much the same way, although I've only really "collected" Peugeot.  My wife dailies a 08' BMW 535xi M-Sport Touring, and I have an 06 V70R GT, and all the Peugeot's have been relegated to projects.  I'm sorely missing them however, so I want to sell the Volvo and focus on DD'ing a Peugeot again.

Would happily help you with a Skoda or Dacia - but they're rare birds up here.  Sweet spot environment wise in Canada would be Southern Alberta, and in BC...  That'd be the best chance of finding one in nice shape with little to no rust, and nice interiors.

Keep us posted on the brakes - The only thing it really can be in my view would be the master cylinder at this point.  Might be worth undoing the circlip and disassemblying the plunger to make sure all the seals are installed correctly if nothing else.

Rabin

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Hey just read your post I was attending stpr for a few years before rally America took over when the scca had it there was always a good showing of cars a escort cosworth group b Audi I'm trying to remember but I think I drove a peugeot 505 to all the scca rallies around the early 2000s 

And Bean that's awesome about stig 

 

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'88 wagon is back on the road as of Friday. Put about 150 miles on her. Running, driving and STOPPING just fine. One of the brand new NAPA flex lines I bought was bad and possibly the first new master cylinder. I went to our local hydraulic hose supplier on my lunch hour and had them build three flex steel lines and threw the NAPA garbage away. Installed a second master from Rock Auto. Looked liked fresh stock. Nice clean Beck Arnley box. Definitely not sitting on a shelf for 20+ years.

Lot's a deferred maintenance taken care of. The body and interior are in very nice shape. Original paint and zero rust. Hopefully good to go.

Love the ride this car has. Even at 160K miles it is simply a pleasure to drive.  

Thanks so much.

Rudy

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