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The Curtis brake maintenance post


Well-known member
May 4, 2003
Clarksville TN
Well during my master cylinder upgrade I discovered the possible cause of the failure. Funk and alot of it in the system. Every time the lip seals pass across the metal inside the system the aluminum wears microscopically.

Here'a a fix.

Stuff needed 3 or 4 cans of brake parts cleaner
brake cylinder hone
12 mm wrench
10 mm wrench
needle nose pliers
snap ring pliers
phillips screwdriver
a wendy's frosty /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
and a clean spot to work.

Remove the master reservoir and the master as a unit, keeps from making a mess.
Remove the rubber hoses from the master cylinder and flush out the reservoir with brake parts cleaner, I use the Auto Zone brand dries fast no residue. Remove the filter cup a small needle nose pair of pliers does the trick. Just pull a little at all three points. Take a screw driver and some lint free rags and wipe the crap from the bottom. Spray out the hoses.

Now for the master. Remove the screw on the side, this releases the piston, now the snap ring on the end. If there is any corrision/trash/fod on the end clean off before removing the ring and don't press the piston down because it will damage the bore if any trash is inbetted in the side. If the piston doesn't pop out with the snap ring removed take an air compresor blower nozzle to it, this will pop it out. Now remove the pistons and stuff inside. Clean with brake parts cleaner and allow to dry. If there is any scratch makes inside hone them out I small hone is cheap and can be bought at any auto parts store. Spray some brake parts cleaner in the cylinder for lubrication don't use oil because it will soak in the metal and be hard to get out and depending on what you use could damage the seals. Now spin the hone with a drill. Pump up and down rapidly to make a cross hatched pattern in the bore (will allow to seal better). Clean out with more brake cleaner. Now after everything is clean pour some brake fuild in the cylinder and the piston and seals.
Re-install parts and rebuild. Re install everything on the car. If you notice in the brake booster there is a rod. It locks in the canister in the middle you'll know if its in the right place by feel. It has a nut on the end you can adjust it out so there is no slop in the system a little grease on the end of it and seting the master on and off will tell how much distance you have to play with. After this is adjusted bolt everything up.

Re install the lines hand tight and back off a little so it will leak. Time to bleed the system. Fill the reservoir full and place a rag under the master. Pump the brakes until no air comes out. Tighten the lines and refill the reservoir now for each caliper because there is still air in the system. Place a cup on the floor/ground with some fresh fuild in the bottom. Loosen the bleader valve on the caliper and retighten just enough to seal leave the wrench hanging on the bleeder now run a hose from the cup to the caliper making sure the hose stays under the top of the fuild. Go pump your brakes. 15 pumps is about half of the reservoir. I usually do 10 then top off and ten more or so. This flushes the crap old fuild from the lines. Now tighten the bleeder without removing the line because this will allow air back in the system. Reinstall cap and do 3 more calipers. After tightening each caliper bleeder press the brakes any spongy feeling is a bad thing and will need more bleeding. But the spongy feeling could be from a caliper you haven't done. So play it by feel it should be a little better after each caliper bleeding.

If you want an all day job remove all the caliper and hone out and flush as well if your wanting that much work spray out the lines also.

For the mechanical types on here I went this detailed because we do have members that have never done this kind of thing. Brakes are a good thing and really simple if you think about it this type of thing could cost hundreds to have done. If your worried about this and scaried don't do it have it done. Never half step about brakes you could kill yourself or worst someone else.

I take no reponsiblity if you screw some stuff up during your maintenenance time with your car. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif


Well-known member
Sep 11, 2003
I will move this to How To after it has some time for replies/feedback. THANKS!


Well-known member
Aug 30, 2004
West Simsbury, CT
I've got a brand new non-abs master cylinder on the way from JNZ. My seals are leaking air to the right front caliper, requiring a bleed after 3-4 laps at the track. Not a big deal with speedbleeders, but having to pump the pedal coming into braking zones is disconcerting.

I don't have any problems on the street with this; just at the track. I'll chime back in next spring when I've got the new master in with my summer brake setup re-installed. I'm putting the stock rotors/calipers back on for winter driving in a few weeks.

I've got a brand new non-abs master cylinder on the way from JNZ.

Why would you do this downgrade? The non-ABS are a smaller diameter.
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