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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 01 Mustang GT. Just bought it last August off my mom. Right after getting it I was oogling the engine and noticed a spray of gunked up oil around the master cylinder. Looked like there had been a slow steady leak for awhile. All the fluid levels looked good so I hosed the area with brake cleaner so I could see where any new fluid was coming from.
At first I thought it was an old grommet in the master cylinder, but yesterday I got looking around under there and felt no fresh oil on it. The was some on the underside of the part behind it.
Question 1: Is that the brake boost?
Question 2: Does it have a seal or something running through it that could be causing the leak?
My brakes do feel squishy and not as responsive as I think they should be. They work though (thank goodness...)
Thanks for any help you guys can give. :help: The dealership wasn't very helpful when I went by there last week.
 

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Booster bad

Sounds like you need a booster, and quite possibly a new master. There is a seal where the booster's vacuum pump pushs a rod to activate the master cylinder. If this seal goes bad, fluid can leak into the booster, attacking the rubber bladder. This is a bad thing.

I'd fix this immediately. The work is moderately hard, and requires bleeding the system, so if you're not a mechanic get it to a good brake shop and they can handle it. Look for about $300 + to get it done, depending on whether or not they have to replace the master cylinder (its probably rebuildable, but it might be just as cheap to get a new one) and booster (I've purchased used boosters and saved money when I was short of cash, but then, I'm a semi-skilled shade tree mechanic).

Good luck, and let us know how it turns out.

tripleblack

threeravyn said:
I have an 01 Mustang GT. Just bought it last August off my mom. Right after getting it I was oogling the engine and noticed a spray of gunked up oil around the master cylinder. Looked like there had been a slow steady leak for awhile. All the fluid levels looked good so I hosed the area with brake cleaner so I could see where any new fluid was coming from.
At first I thought it was an old grommet in the master cylinder, but yesterday I got looking around under there and felt no fresh oil on it. The was some on the underside of the part behind it.
Question 1: Is that the brake boost?
Question 2: Does it have a seal or something running through it that could be causing the leak?
My brakes do feel squishy and not as responsive as I think they should be. They work though (thank goodness...)
Thanks for any help you guys can give. :help: The dealership wasn't very helpful when I went by there last week.
 

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It's rather odd to see this on such a late model car. There are several seals within the master cylinder and the rear one has gone bad possibly from a factory defect. I'd get a rebuilt one from a local parts store.

It is possible to wash out the brake booster, but like tripleblack said, it's safer to replace it.

Make sure and use flarnut wrenches or you'll be facing another problem. Also put some PBR on those bleeder screws well ahead of bleeding the brakes.

There is an adjustible rod that pushes against the master cylinder piston. Someone may have screwed it up in the past and that could allow the mastercylinder to expose the rear seal that's leaking. Just a possibility here.

I'd guess if you paid a shop to have the mastercylinder, brake booster and system bled it would be closer to $400....and that is on the low end! :happyhapp
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The whole deal sucks because I'm a broke college student. I've asked my dad about it and he says it's from me driving the vehicle hard. So that's kind of a dead end.
I plan on going tomorrow to Brake masters and bugging them a bit.
Yesterday I went to the Ford dealership again and spoke to the service manager (the service writers won't even deal with me anymore after my Ranger and it's issues-long story).
He said that it isn't a common thing to see and to not worry about it. It's not leaking enough to make a puddle. When I ran my hand under the booster there was a good glob of fresh oil and I told him about the puddle in the garage and how my brakes feel squishy. He said that Mustangs have squishy brakes and to come back in a week.
So...I'm going elsewhere. $400 isn't too bad. For some reason I was thinking more around $800.
Thanks for your help!!!
 

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Dealers

Dealer prices are normally the highest - regardless of history.

Garages that specialize in brakes are good places to get a free estimate - but if its a lot more than you can pay, talk to local Mustang owners (join a club if you can - I can't tell where you're from, but www.mustang.org has a regional listing for the Mustang Club of America clubs. If you can link up with a local club, they know the local garage scene (and mustangs, of course).

Its VERY unlikely that "driving hard" caused this particular problem (now, if this were the clutch, well...). Tom is right - its very early for this to be happening (more of a problem in cars with closer to 100,000 miles). But feces happens, and if the guy putting your master cylinder together got things just a bit off, there you are - an early problem. My own experience is that most cars have SOMETHING go wrong early - its just the luck of the draw.

If you're very, very lucky it may only be a worn master cylinder, which should not be too expensive to replace. Rebuilt units are fine - and they can save you money.

Good luck - let us know how it turns out. We never know when we do this "diagnosis-at-a-distance" if we're right or not until the fix is completed.

tripleblack



threeravyn said:
The whole deal sucks because I'm a broke college student. I've asked my dad about it and he says it's from me driving the vehicle hard. So that's kind of a dead end.
I plan on going tomorrow to Brake masters and bugging them a bit.
Yesterday I went to the Ford dealership again and spoke to the service manager (the service writers won't even deal with me anymore after my Ranger and it's issues-long story).
He said that it isn't a common thing to see and to not worry about it. It's not leaking enough to make a puddle. When I ran my hand under the booster there was a good glob of fresh oil and I told him about the puddle in the garage and how my brakes feel squishy. He said that Mustangs have squishy brakes and to come back in a week.
So...I'm going elsewhere. $400 isn't too bad. For some reason I was thinking more around $800.
Thanks for your help!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am forever happy about having good friends. Just talked to hubby's friend tonight (after his team won superbowl :) ) about my car. He used to be a Ford mechanic and worked at a shop up in Colorado. He's a really good guy. Just helped hubby with a slave cylinder problem in his F150.
He told me to buy the hydro boost and he'd put it in for me. I trust that he'll do a good job because he doesn't wanna see me wreck. When he was looking at it he said it looked like a gasket was leaking and not to worry about it. It's just a real slow steady leak. He even suggested not replacing it if I was going to sell it soon. But I plan on keeping it until I pay off student loans.
Thanks for all the help. I know it's hard to diagnose anything via the internet.
BTW I plan on checking into a local Mustang club now. That's a great idea and a great way for me to learn more. I'm a newbie to the whole Mustang world.
 

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is it powersteering fluid that its leaking? (red in color) or brake fluid (yellow/gold in color)
brake fluid leaks means master, powersteering fluid leaks means hydroboost. if the hydroboost were to go out, you would have no powersteering, and the pedal would be very hard to press. a good pedal on a 01 gt should feel pretty confident to depress. for the squishy pedal, try bleeding the brakes and possibly the master with your ford buddy. that should do they trick.
 
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