Brakes not working

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Brakes not working

#1 Post by matthewb77 » Fri Jun 11, 2021 11:44 pm

I'm considering buying a rover 216 r3 (1999) and the guy selling it says the footbrake doesn't work. He's an old guy and a bit out of his depth so I'm having a hard time figuring out whats wrong with the car from what he's saying.
I haven't yet been to see it but that may change in the next few days, in which case I'll have a bit more information.
The gist of it is:
The pedal has low resistance (but still some) when the car is on, yet the brakes don't stop the car. The pedal will drop to the floor without too much effort. When the engine is off, the pedal is quite firm and will not easily drop to the floor. The indicates the brake assist is doing its job, and the system has a fair bit of resistance. So I suppose it's not got a huge leak or no fluid?

He claims to have had a specialist rebuild the master cylinder, whatever that means. Spares for rovers aren't particularly easy to get in New Zealand, so perhaps he couldn't get replacement seals and those are leaking or something?
The guy is convinced the abs system is to blame, but I find that hard to believe. There's no ABS warning light on on the dash, and even if a valve or two is stuck open/closed braking should still be possible, right?

He drove it to the local mechanic (who I gather is a bit hopeless) using only the handbrake.
It's only done 60,000kms and had the engine rebuilt about 5000 ago due to him blowing the head gasket as you do on K series.

Any clue what this could be caused by and how to fix it?

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Re: Brakes not working

#2 Post by GTiJohn » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:51 am

This does sound like you're not able to generate brake pressure by putting your foot on the brake.

Is there away to if the car will roll with the engine and handbrake off but your foot on the brake? A slight incline might help but then you have to know that the handbrake really is working!

A replacement servo mastercylinder ass is probably the best way to go as it saves having to reset a new mastercylinder to the old servo.

I can't see it being the ABS either but have you checked that it actually has ABS. No warning light could indicate that as it should come on for a few seconds at ignition on.
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Re: Brakes not working

#3 Post by matthewb77 » Sat Jun 12, 2021 11:03 am

Thanks for those thoughts.
Worth noting is that there is still some resistance in the brake pedal, enough to require the servo to be active for someone to floor it. Would this not mean that there is some pressure being generated - perhaps insufficient pressure, indicating a leak or something?
I haven't gone the ~100km to see the car yet as the guy reckons its worth more than I do, so if one of us budges on that I might progress this further and do those checks you recommended.
I am confident the handbrake works as he drove to the (very) local mechanic using only it as a brake. He says that when the ignition starts the ABS light flashes on then goes off so its not just a faulty warning light.

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