While driving, I noticed my brake pedal was getting long to push. Then I checked the fluid and found I was low. I topped it off and looked through the rims at the pads and decided they were looking a little thin, so I replaced them. Doing these things, I figured my pedal should return to regular feeling.
No such luck, I believe I need a master cylinder.
Looks very accessible and easy enough, but is there anything I should know? Special tools needed?
Seems like some basic wrenches and sockets for getting it off the brake booster, but we all know it can't be that simple if Wayne's gonna attempt it!
Brake master cylinders are pretty easy to replace. Make sure to soak the lines down before breaking the nut loose since they thread into an aluminum master cylinder. Before you go to all that trouble make sure a line didn't rust through. Look for any wet spots. If it is in fact leaking out of the master cylinder you will have to replace the booster also since brake fluid can ruin its diaphragm.
Wayne before you go the brake master route did you actually pull the rear drums to ensure the wheel cylinder's are not leaking inside?The reason I say this typically on rear drum brake's the leaking wheel cylinder can only be determined as worn by removing the drum (typically).Plus if your rear shoes are worn down the ebrake will be easy to pull up,less resistance as well.I would verify by removing both rear wheels and remove the drums to verify the overall condition of the shoes,springs and wheel cylinders if it were me.The front brakes do most of the actual braking but,worn rear drum brakes (greatly effect the overall braking)!!! A soft or weak brake pedal could mean a worn brake master or booster,BUT only after the above is checked to verify and soley replace what IS necessary to fix the problem.I am preparing to do a lot more on my brakes in the winter with New wheel bearings,new drums,shoes,spring kit,and yes wheel cylinders and even all 3 e brake cables.This will finalize my rear end work period.Just some of my overkill suggestions but,once you do say all these items the benefit will have a good long term benefit.I have done rear drum brakes for years and if there worn the brake pedal will be far less in addition to a weak emergency brake application.OK
You are probably right on the Master. Have same problem with my daughters Corolla.
I did check the rear pads as Ron suggested and bled the brake lines, but mine is definitely the master cyl.
Also sometimes the flexible rubber lines get old and will actually bulge when the pedal is pressed giving the same symptoms (I replaced mine about two years ago so that is not my problem).