Bloody Brakes

The Puzzler

RAY: This was sent by a guy named John Tomasetti. He says this is a real-life situation. He has a 1982 Jeep CJ7, and it had sticky front-brake calipers. "So," he said, "I bought the rebuilding kits for both front wheels and proceeded to rebuild the calipers myself. The rebuilding kits included all the necessary o-rings and dust boots, as well as new steel pistons to complete the job. I proceeded to rebuild both of these front calipers, feeling good that I had no spare parts left over. I was satisfied that I did the rebuild job correctly, and, in fact, that my work was flawless.

“However," he goes on, "when I finished the job, I couldn't seem to bleed the brakes properly. The pedal went to the floor as if there were air trapped in the system. I must have bled a gallon of brake fluid through the system to no avail, but there were no leaks. Finally, I took the Jeep to a shop, and, using their professional equipment, they bled them -- to no avail."

TOM: Wow!

RAY: Finally they say, "You need a new master cylinder." They, what? Replaced the master cylinder three times to no avail. They checked the lines, they checked the rear brakes -- everything in perfect condition. They gave up.

TOM: Wow! Now what? I'm awed!

RAY: After five days, three more master cylinders, and many more gallons of brake fluid, he takes the thing to the Jeep dealer. They bleed the brakes, they put in master cylinders, they do all this and, finally, someone figures it out, and it cost no money to get it fixed. So, what did they do?

Think you know? Drop Ray a note!

[ Car Talk Puzzler ]

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