Are my brakes working properly?

Brakepads, discs, handbrake. The brakes are crucial for your Volvo 480. Use this category to learn all you need to know!

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Are my brakes working properly?

Post by 480s partner » Mon May 15, 2017 10:45 pm

Today I noticed something that left me wondering if there is a problem with the braking system of my 90'turbo with ABS.

How exactly should the brake pedal behave with the ignition turned on and off?

This is what I experience with the car stopped and perfectly leveled : with the ignition turned on, various presses make the pedal go hard and cause a noise in the front (is that the system pressurizing? Every time I press the pedal?)
But with the ignition turned off the pedal feels spongy and travels all the way to the end. Is this normal?

No lights on the dash light up, though.

I looked at Haynes manual and it says that "... a vacuum servo unit is fitted to non-abs models; on ABS models, pedal pressure assistance is provided automatically through the hydraulic unit an high pressure pump."

So, if I had the vacuum servo, with the ignition turned off, the pedal would feel hard but not with the ABS system?

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by jifflemon » Tue May 16, 2017 7:19 am

All sounds normal to me.

Pulls up straight when braking hard? If so, carry on and enjoy the car

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by brinkie » Tue May 16, 2017 7:58 am

Oops... Sounds like a bad accumulator, but then again, the ABS warning light will be on if something fails. I have just been investigating a problem with someone's pre-1992 ABS (ABS MkII). Spare parts have become unobtainium of course. I wish someone with knowledge of ATE brake and ABS systems could point the 480 community to spare parts, especially the ABS accumulator...
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by 480s partner » Tue May 16, 2017 10:28 am

jifflemon wrote:All sounds normal to me.

Pulls up straight when braking hard? If so, carry on and enjoy the car
I will have to make some braking tests on a deserted road to check how the car behaves.
The car brakes, of course, but I fear it may not be realiabe on a panic stop or under heavy brake use.
I will report later.
Last edited by 480s partner on Tue May 16, 2017 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by 480s partner » Tue May 16, 2017 10:31 am

brinkie wrote:Oops... Sounds like a bad accumulator, but then again, the ABS warning light will be on if something fails. I have just been investigating a problem with someone's pre-1992 ABS (ABS MkII). Spare parts have become unobtainium of course. I wish someone with knowledge of ATE brake and ABS systems could point the 480 community to spare parts, especially the ABS accumulator...
That would be very bad (and sad) news.
So far no lights have come on, apart from the check up when starting, then they all go out.

But what are the consequences on braking power resulting of a bad accumulator? Would it still be safe to drive the car?

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by brinkie » Tue May 16, 2017 11:19 am

With "ignition turned on" do you mean "engine turned on"? Or just the ignition key switched on? And does the ABS warning light turn on for a brief moment after switching on, or does it remain on all the time? And what happens if you keep pumping the pedal?

Anyway, I would go to a mechanic that knows about ATE MkII ABS systems. These systems have been used in many cars in the 1990s, not only Volvo but also Saab 900/9000 for instance.
http://www.saabservices.com/saab_abs_li ... light.html
Robert.

Present cars: 1994 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Vase Green, 2010 Volvo V70 2.0F Momentum Mystic Silver
Past: 1981 Talbot-Matra Murena 2.2 Rouge Mephisto, 1995 Volvo 480 GT 2.0i Paris Blue

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by 480s partner » Tue May 16, 2017 7:11 pm

brinkie wrote:With "ignition turned on" do you mean "engine turned on"? Or just the ignition key switched on? And does the ABS warning light turn on for a brief moment after switching on, or does it remain on all the time? And what happens if you keep pumping the pedal?
No, just the ignition key switched on.
ABS yellow light turns on after switching the ignition on (just turning the key, not actually starting the engine), I hear that noise coming from engine bay (which eventually stops) and the light goes out.
The pedal feels strong and with resistance on each stroke, but if I press it really hard the noise from upfront returns for a brief moment.

It's only when the ignition is switched off (and engine off too) that the pedal feels soft and spongy with long travel.

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by jifflemon » Tue May 16, 2017 8:26 pm

Ignoring the ABS for a moment....

Brake fluid changed recently? (if not, do it)
Checked flexible hoses for cracks or bulges?

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by nicklee » Sat May 20, 2017 4:42 pm

Hi,
My post on the Teves Mk2 ABS system might be helpful here. Basically tells you how to diagnose and replace the hydraulic accumulator.
http://www.volvo-480-europe.org/forum/v ... f1#p209657

The accumulators are still being made and you can get them in the UK from Jaguar (this should help you brinkie). They stuck the Teves Mk2 in the XJ6. Also, the assembly itself can be salvaged for parts from loads of cars. I got one from a Sierra if I remember correctly.
https://www.jaguarclassicparts.com/uk/j ... r-and-pump

Hope this helps. If the accumulator hasn't been changed in 8 years or so it's probably on its way out and worth doing anyhow :)
1992 Paris Blue 480 ES

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by jamescarruthers » Sat May 20, 2017 7:18 pm

Could the accumulator be recharged with Nitrogen, like Citroen spheres? Or, is there a membrane inside which has failed?

I'd recommend Martin at Pleiades in Sawtry, Huntingdonshire, should this be possible 01487 831239. He's been nothing but helpful with my hydraulically sprung cars. I think he charges around £40 to recharge a sphere, and this probably isn't much different. They post all over the world too, supporting Citroens (and Landcruisers and Rolls Royces now and again!).
1987 Volvo 480 ES, 507274, 217 - Red (Ness)
2001 Volvo C70 2.4T convertible (Olivolvo)
2008 Mini Cooper convertible (Mau)

Previous 480's:
J123 CFU -- ES
J449 MNL -- ES auto
D864 CPV -- ES
L691 JFC -- Turbo
F70 MNR -- ES
H858 FGV -- Turbo auto
E981 KHM -- ES (509849)

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by 480s partner » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:24 pm

First of all, my apologies for such a late reply :oops: but lots of things happening at the same time have prevented me from giving attention to this subject. :x

Secondly, thanks to everyone for the precious information and advice. :wink:

I had to trace the history of the car only to discover that the brake fluid change was overdue, so this became my priority. :o

This was my first time outside volvo dealer on this so I hope I have done everything properly. :nuts:
I used the Haynes Manual for guidance and some visual information taken from Youtube videos concerning the subject. :wall:

One thing I was feeling not right was the pedal not getting hard as they say in the manual but fortunately I discovered that's because I was not depressurizing the system properly. It took some 30 or more downpresses first time on the pedal but it did get hard alright.

So, I managed to pedal the fluid out from the front and with the help of the abs pressure from the rear.
Actually, it felt a lot easier doing the rear wheels than the front ones.
Yes, I noticed it doesn't shoot out at crazy speeds.

Old fluid on bottle:
Image

I hope you all can make out that the fluid in the bottle has a dark orange like color but near the surface is more yellow-ish, which is the color of the new fluid. :?:
Image

Since I am just an apprentice I think I may have unnecessarily bled more than required which has left me out of new fluid and right now the level is low, so I will have to buy another bottle (~ 250 ml) for topping up the level, which I will have to do next monday.

I was really scared I could have let air got in somehow (or not allowed air to get out) but since pedal feels hard on sequential presses I am hoping everything is OK.

I have not driven the car yet so I can't tell if it is pulling straight upon hard braking, but I have switched the ignition on, let the system pressurize and it still feels right, no spongy pedal or full travel.

I am hoping the accumulator is not faulty yet.

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by arthuy » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:29 am

Try an buy the 5 litre bottle of brake fluid, I decant it in to smaller bottles to make it easy when filling. old water bottle are good with the sports cap.

You did well getting the old fluid out will only be a good thing.

Did you consider changing the hoses? The dirt comes from a few places and rubber is one of them all the seals wear a bit over time. Hoses can also collapse internally so when you are draining the fluid it is an ideal time to do them.

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by jifflemon » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:20 pm

BIG fan of the 5 litre brake fluid purchase, but that's mainly because I own one of these.

Makes bleeding brakes an absolute joy (assuming of course, you're not battling with snapped bleed nipples!) and a simple, one person job.

Maybe at the next meet I'll bring it along and we can have a mammoth bleed session!

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by 480s partner » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:12 am

jifflemon wrote:
...(assuming of course, you're not battling with snapped bleed nipples!)...

So it seems I was very lucky by not snapping any on my brake calipers!!! :o
I have googled a bit on this subject and read some truly frightening stories about this issue. :shock:
How about giving the nipples a good clean with, say, WD40 and smearing copper grease on the thread part sticking out?
Could this prevent rusting and seizing of the nipple on the long run?
I don't think I am ever going to touch those again as I wouldn't know what to do in such a case... :?

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by jifflemon » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:40 am

Yup, I do the exact same thing. Sure the grease will collect dirt and grime, but once a year, wipe clean and re-apply.

If you do snap one, it's not the end of the world. You can drill them out with a steady hand.

(or attempt to drill them out, make it worse and then swap them for new calipers) :rofl:

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by Alan 480 » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:47 am

jifflemon wrote:Yup, I do the exact same thing. Sure the grease will collect dirt and grime, but once a year, wipe clean and re-apply.

If you do snap one, it's not the end of the world. You can drill them out with a steady hand.

(or attempt to drill them out, make it worse and then swap them for new calipers) :rofl:
fan of copper type stuff on the thread DURING assembly, then copious grease around nipple to try and keep water /salt off (try)

and yes been there with snapped bleeds, :cry: even had to bleed the air by just holding caliper with the hose at highest point!! :shock:
Alan

480 ES 2litre x 2, C30 1.8ES, SS1

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by 480s partner » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:40 am

Anyway, I have tried the car and the I feel my actions have been for the better. :D

The pedal has a nice touchy response and the bite is definitely improved. :hopping:

However, I can make out the pump relay kicking in (too often maybe?) :? but no lights have come on so far, so I think I'll leave it as is for the time being. :-|

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by jifflemon » Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:23 pm

Just thought I'd come back to this one, with this wonderful snippet I found at Brakes International on their FAQ page...
106: Replaced axle set of calipers – Bleeding problem.

Symptoms: Fitted or replaced both front or both rear calipers and now can’t get a pedal.

Cause: Some calipers have the inlet feed in the middle of the body, pointing to the centre of the vehicle. This can lead to the calipers being fitted on the wrong sides. If this happens, the bleed nipples are at the bottom instead of the top.

Solution: Swap the calipers to the correct hands with bleed nipples at the top. Or you may prefer to turn the vehicle upside down when bleeding the calipers.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

If you don't believe me, you can download the actual pdf version here!

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Re: Are my brakes working properly?

Post by Alan 480 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:06 pm

jifflemon wrote:Just thought I'd come back to this one, with this wonderful snippet I found at Brakes International on their FAQ page...
106: Replaced axle set of calipers – Bleeding problem.

Symptoms: Fitted or replaced both front or both rear calipers and now can’t get a pedal.

Cause: Some calipers have the inlet feed in the middle of the body, pointing to the centre of the vehicle. This can lead to the calipers being fitted on the wrong sides. If this happens, the bleed nipples are at the bottom instead of the top.

Solution: Swap the calipers to the correct hands with bleed nipples at the top. Or you may prefer to turn the vehicle upside down when bleeding the calipers.
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Actually a common problem / school boy error if buying a single caliper with the SS1 as it uses metro calipers but as Metro is front wheel drive with track BEHIND wheels and SS1 use rack in front . . . .

If you don't believe me, you can download the actual pdf version here!
Alan

480 ES 2litre x 2, C30 1.8ES, SS1

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