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I was trying to get drivers side strut off today and i had taken off the brake caliper as i was told to do. when i did this all the brake fluid poured out. when i was done and everything was tightened and put back together i poured break fluid into the break fluid resivoir, but now the breaks don't work at all. they will work a little if i pump them while driving but barely. Does anyone have any idea what the problem could be? i have it sitting on some cardboard right now to see if any brake fluid is leaking out of the front drivers side wheel. PLEASE HELP

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my suggestion is that you need to find someone near you who understands how to work on cars to fix yours. brakes are a critical safety item. your post seems to indicate you do not have enough experience yet to do this work.

my guess it that you did not remove the caliper correctly. you must have disconnected the brake fluid lines. if so, and they are reattached correctly, then you now need to bleed the air out of the brake system that entered through the unconnected lines.


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Any time brake components (calipers, lines, master or wheel cylinders) are unhooked from the brake system, air gets into the lines and the brakes must be bled. Just pouring brake fluid to fill the reservoir does not do it.

I really hope you are joking here--one should not be messing with critical safety components like brakes without an understanding of how to do it properly. Please get yourself some basic shop manuals and perhaps the help of a friend who is experienced to learn how to do this.

I will say this: DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR UNTIL THE BRAKES ARE PROPERLY BLED. That means a nice hard pedal.

Best of luck,

Fred '74tii & '69GT3


'74tii (Colorado) track car

'69ti (Black/Red/Yellow) rolling resto track car

'73tii (Fjord....RIP)

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I Suppose now that I think about it , you can have a disc that is a drum brake inside with a caliper on the disc out side(rear brake E30 as example).It seems like a bit of an oxymoron!!

72/2002 Inca

72tii/2002 "Apple"

70/2002 "Five "

73/2002 "Freeda"

2007 Lotus 7 Replica

2011 Ford xr6 Ute

85 E30 325

70 1600-2 "Orange"

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bleeding brakes. Here's what I think you did, based on your description:

To remove your front struts, you have to "disconnect the calipers from the front strut assembly." To do this, you remove the two large bolts that fasten the caliper to the strut, then hang the strut to the underside of the fender with a piece of wire or string, so it won't hang by the hoses. What I think you did was to unscrew the fittings on the hydraulic lines (either the flexible ones or the small rigid ones) that connect the calipers to the brake system. When you did this, brake fluid leaked out and you introduced air into the system.

You will have to reattach the lines to the calipers, reattach the calipers to the strut, reinstall the brake pads and bleed the calipers until the pedal is hard again. Check archives for bleeding instructions, and get a good 2002 repair manual to read before you do more work.

Don't feel bad about your mistake--it's how you learn. I've been working on cars since 1963 and I "learn" all the time! Plenty of help here on the FAQ, just ask before you do the job if you're not sure how to!



'69 Nevada sunroof-Wolfgang-bought new
'73 Sahara sunroof-Ludwig-since '78
'91 Brillantrot 318is sunroof-Georg Friederich 
Fiat Topolini (Benito & Luigi), Renault 4CVs (Anatole, Lucky Pierre, Brigette) & Kermit, the Bugeye Sprite

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Guest Anonymous

Mike, You remember the first time you had a dead pedal, bout to run into the creek without a paddle? Learning curve is steep but the wise ones only do this once, or we never hear from them again, BRAKES are no joke, get it right or buy it twice, we like to say that up at the ranch in Gazelle California. Basic stuff and our o2s are basic, my comment is slow down, struts are nice but brakes are priceless. Dad use to say, brakes tires and batterys, in that order, dont go til u can slow down!

Dave Miller


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