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#1346434 - 12/15/07 01:16 AM Brake booster gremlins?
VintageBlueOval Offline
Rookie

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 54
Hey guys,

I've got a few small issues with my 88 wagon and I think they're related to the brake booster. Let me know if you have any ideas or thoughts.

My car has a flickering brake light problem. I thought it was the switch, so I replaced it. Once under the dash with the new switch in place, I noticed the brake plunger can move in a good inch and a half before the switch engages turning on the brake lights. The flicker remained. Now I've had a few box sedans but this is my first box wagon. Do all wagons click from the left rear trim panel when you apply the brakes and turn on the signals? It's kind of annoying.

Sitting at a stop at idle in drive, a hiss from the booster area slowly gets louder and louder. The pedal is firm and the brakes seem to work well. The hiss has gotten slightly worse in the last couple of weeks.

When towing my trailer (about 2500#'s) my right front wheel likes to lock in a hard stop. Pads and rotors are new. Shoes, wheel cylinders are recent and fluid is fresh. Maybe its just a trailer towing issue cause I cant get anything to lock without the trailer.

The cruise control isn't working. ALl the electronics are intact, fuses are good. I've heard it's partially controlled by the brake light switch.. which is fishy on my car.

Does any of this stuff seem like a booster going south? Is any of it related possibly? Any other thoughts?

Thanks.
_________________________
Ted

'88 Mercury Longroof
Wood stickers rule.

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#1346663 - 12/15/07 12:53 PM Re: Brake booster gremlins? [Re: VintageBlueOval]
GM_Guy Offline
Posting Addict

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 18493
Loc: London, Ontario Canada
Flickering when? Fords are setup backwards to Generals in that if you lift at all on the brake pedal, the brake lights will flicker.

Have you got a factory towing package? Sounds like you might, there is a bank of relays in the left rear for the stop/turn/tail lights, you may need to replace one or both of the stop/turn relays. Go see your ford parts counter if thats the case (the common relays are inexpensive). Check your grounds while your back there.

Plug the vacuum line that goes to the parking brake release switch at the base of the steering column.

Might be a bad front hose(s), breaking down internally causing one caliper to hold longer or not moving enough fluid to engage properly.

Alex.
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Box stuff in the Box forum!

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#1346665 - 12/15/07 12:54 PM Re: Brake booster gremlins? [Re: VintageBlueOval]
TheBlunderbuss Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 1506
Loc: CHAMPAIGN, IL
 Originally Posted By: VintageBlueOval
Do all wagons click from the left rear trim panel when you apply the brakes and turn on the signals? It's kind of annoying.

Sounds like a trailer light relay to me, if those tow-packaged wagons have em.
 Quote:
Sitting at a stop at idle in drive, a hiss from the booster area slowly gets louder and louder. The pedal is firm and the brakes seem to work well. The hiss has gotten slightly worse in the last couple of weeks.

It's probably not the brake booster, but a vacuum actuator that turns off the parking brake. There's a hose behind the dash you can safely plug with a screw. This is common
_________________________
02/88 LTD Crown Victoria - 860 miles (hehe)
Don't forget that Throttle valve cable clip update!

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#1346745 - 12/15/07 03:01 PM Re: Brake booster gremlins? [Re: TheBlunderbuss]
VintageBlueOval Offline
Rookie

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 54
Hey guys,

Thanks for the ideas. I've already blocked off the parking brake release actuator. And yes, it's a factory tow package. I dissected a tow package wagon at the boneyard and I've seen the whole bank of 4 (i think) relays. There's also a switch attached to the wiring back there. An additional brake light switch?

Oh, and the brake lights flicker as I apply pressure to the pedal, and as I slowly release pressure. They stay steady with steady pressure. When I apply the brakes I hear a really fast click, click, click from the left rear of the cabin. Same story as I release pressure.

Good idea on the brake hoses. They look okay, but I know they can fail from the inside out.
_________________________
Ted

'88 Mercury Longroof
Wood stickers rule.

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#1346949 - 12/15/07 07:26 PM Re: Brake booster gremlins? [Re: VintageBlueOval]
TheBlunderbuss Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 02/24/06
Posts: 1506
Loc: CHAMPAIGN, IL
You HAD already blocked off the parking brake release hose, or you have after your post? Is the hissing still there, then?
_________________________
02/88 LTD Crown Victoria - 860 miles (hehe)
Don't forget that Throttle valve cable clip update!

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#1346959 - 12/15/07 07:38 PM Re: Brake booster gremlins? [Re: TheBlunderbuss]
VintageBlueOval Offline
Rookie

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 54
Sorry bout that. I blocked off the parking brake release hose several months ago. The hissing sound is new and I don't think it's related to the brake release hose.
_________________________
Ted

'88 Mercury Longroof
Wood stickers rule.

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#1347404 - 12/16/07 12:33 PM Re: Brake booster gremlins? [Re: VintageBlueOval]
GM_Guy Offline
Posting Addict

Registered: 12/17/00
Posts: 18493
Loc: London, Ontario Canada
Sounds like normal brake light operation on a ford. If you hate it (like I do) you can see about wiring up a General Motors brake light switch so the switch is on the dash and as soon as the pedal is moved it opens to activate the lights and stay activated until you release the pedal.

Alex.
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Box stuff in the Box forum!

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#1354045 - 12/25/07 10:47 AM Re: Brake booster gremlins? [Re: GM_Guy]
hobbie2k Offline
Climber

Registered: 11/05/07
Posts: 559
I have similar problems with my 98 wagon.

When I depress the brake pedal the brake lights come on like they should, but if I maintain steady pressure (even very hard pressure) they will shut off after a second or so.

Here's the weird part, in order to get them back on again, I either have to apply more pressure, or release some.

The lights always turn off when I full release off the brake.

There's also a pulsation that's probably rotors, and what I would call a "stickiness" that I notice in stop-and-go traffic.
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'08 Ford Fusion SEL 2.3 manual "Zap"
'89 Ford LTD Crown Victoria wagon "Howard" (For Sale - $1000)

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