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Hi guys,

This has been a problem for quite some time now and I haven't been able to figure it out.

First off, I bought my car 2 years ago. Brakes were fine then - pedal pressure was normal. It's a 99 FRC FYI.

I store my car in the winter since I live in MA. After the first winter storage (somewhere around 4 months), the brakes were mushy. Very soft for the first 1/2 of the pedal travel. Maybe a little less. It's soft until right about where the pedal is even with the gas pedal. Then it becomes hard again. Brakes still work fine, can engage ABS at will, just the pedal is soft and with my size 15 clompers, I hit the gas a lot when hitting the brake. That summer I bleed the brakes with a Mityvac vacuum bleeding setup. I run a full liter of ATE superblue through the system. No change.

Winter comes along again (this past winter), and I store it again for 4 months. Break it out, and the pedal is even softer now. It's literally feather soft for the first half of brake travel.

So this past weekend, I put some new pads on the front (figuring maybe a really low pad can cause a low pedal), along with new rotors and goodridge stainless lines all around. I also install speed bleeders all around. I bleed the brakes with the engine off, then with the engine on (going in the right order of course). Go through another full liter of ATE. Old fluid looks great. No bubbles, no discoloration.

No change in the pedal. Although now when it hits about halfway, the pedal gets REALLY hard (I attribute this to the stainless lines). The first half is just as soft as before though.

I have no leaks that I know of. I have checked all the fittings several times and have even switched to the AN Goodridge lines from Mallett to eliminate the banjo fittings. Fluid level in the reservoir does not drop at all. The pedal is ROCK hard with the engine off. Don't even really have to pump it up. It doesn't bleed off either, keeping pressure on the pedal doesn't budge it.
Again, car will still brake fine after I get past the 'soft' part. It's just getting bad enough that it's annoying to drive, and it's also kinda dangerous because I hit the gas and the brake together pretty much all the time.

So what I'm getting at is: what next? I've always heard that if the pedal is hard with the engine off, your master cyl is fine. And also, if the pedal doesn't bleed down with the engine off, then you don't have any leaks. So what does that leave? It seems like there's air in the lines but how? From where? I even went so far as to seal every fitting (in each wheel well) with teflon tape just in case. And again, doesn't appear to be leaking a drop. The braking system was also untouched before all this happened, as far as I know. Only after storing the car did the problem arise.

*scratching head*

I have had the drivetrain out a time or two, if it matters. Never touched the braking system but is there something I could have damaged? I know the brake lines run down the tunnel. If they were crushed or something, would that cause the problem?

Grrrr.

Dope
 

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Couple of things you can try - bleed the master cylinder and try having it bled with a Tech II to purge any air out of the ABS. If those don't work, try replacing the master cylinder, sometimes an internal seal can leak causing the problems you describe.
 
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