I have a 96' Ford E350 Club Wagon. When I press the brake pedal the brakes work great however the pedal does not return fully.

I have bleed the brakes, exchanged all the old fluid, checked the few rubber brake lines it has, replaced the brake booster, adjusted the booster arm length both in and out and nothing has changed it! it has no return spring on the pedal nor a place to mount one.

I am about to replace the master cylinder but would like some insight before going through with all that work and extra $. When removed, the master cylinder does extend all the way back out. When I remove the vacuum line from the booster the pedal will return all the way back.

let me know if any more info would be helpful.


  • You may check to see if there is a return spring on the brake pedal (under the dash). Dec 31, 2015 at 23:11
  • 1
    Are the brakes still on at all, when the pedal doesn't return?
    – HandyHowie
    Dec 31, 2015 at 23:15
  • updated the original post. No, there is no return spring on the pedal. Dec 31, 2015 at 23:22
  • Howie, yes the brakes do stay on. Dec 31, 2015 at 23:23
  • The type of return spring I'm talking about would be coiled around the pivot rod for the brake pedal arm ... I'll assume you had realized that's what I was talking about. Dec 31, 2015 at 23:28

3 Answers 3


Since the brakes stay on, it could be the brake booster is assisting when it shouldn't. To verify this, you could disconnect the vacuum pipe that goes to the booster to see if the pedal the raises. You will need to cover the end of the pipe while you do this to stop anything being sucked into the pipe. Another thing that could identify the booster being at fault would be if the pedal returns to normal position after the engine has been turned off for a while.

  • Yes the pedal does return when the vacuum line is removed. I have already replaced the booster and both of them are doing the same thing. The vacuum line has good suction. I will try the second test tomorrow. its new years eve so its time to go out. Thank you for your posts. I will be back on here tomorrow to follow up. Dec 31, 2015 at 23:36
  • It does still sound like a booster problem. Have fun tonight.
    – HandyHowie
    Dec 31, 2015 at 23:51
  • Is your brake booster attached directly between the brake pedal and the master cylinder?
    – HandyHowie
    Jan 1, 2016 at 15:17
  • It's like the one in the link Jan 2, 2016 at 1:50

I think Paulster2 is on the right track. If you cannot find the spring possibly it broke, fell off and is gone. Might be worth a trip to the Ford store have a partsman look up all the brake linkage parts, there will be a picture showing where the spring goes, what it looks like, etc. At least if there is no spring required, the partsman would be able to verify that for you.

  • i didnt think about one coiled around the rod. I will take your suggestion on checking with ford. Thank you Dec 31, 2015 at 23:38
  • I'm finding nothing for a return spring on this vehicle. Jan 2, 2016 at 3:51
  • Still in search of a fix. It does not appear to be the master cylinder. When it is removed it will return fully. Jan 2, 2016 at 15:36

It seems if the pedal pivot was rusted up. Booster helped but did not fix it. Sprayed the pivot with PB Blaster and it was better. Not great but better. Thank you for everyone's help!


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