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I replaced the calipers rotors and pads in the front and rear on my 2001 F350 Powerstroke. I replaced the front about a week before the rear, and after bleeding the pedal felt great. As soon as I replaced the rear, the pedal would get hard during bleeding, but as soon as I started the truck the pedal falls to the floor no matter how many bleeds I perform. Im also hearing a hissing noise when the brakes are applied and I know that can be related to the master cylinder failing, or a bad brake booster. But since the pedal felt fine before I did my rear, im wondering if something else could fix this rather than replacing my master cylinder. Any thoughts?

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  • You sure all the calipers were installed in the correct positions? Bleeders up?
    – Ben
    Apr 28 '19 at 19:37
  • Have you tested the brake fluid for moisture, and made sure that there isnt a leak leading into the brake booster
    – hello moto
    Sep 29 '19 at 16:27
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As soon as I replaced the rear, the pedal would get hard during bleeding, but as soon as I started the truck the pedal falls to the floor no matter how many bleeds I perform.

This happens because of power brakes. The pedal is hard when there is no power assist. When you start the engine, the power assist starts. Then the pedal will become more "flexible" due to the power assist doing most of the braking. So if you stand with your whole weight on the pedal with the power assist on, it could go to the floor, especially if you are heavy like me and if there's still some air in the system.

I suppose your bleeding still leaves some air in the system. Either that or then you are pressing the brake pedal too hard with the power brakes on.

You could of course do a very careful drive in the car. Are the brakes powerful enough to brake in an emergency braking situation? Do this in a road that has no traffic, as you cannot be certain about the quality of your brakes. It is preferable to test the brakes first at a very low speed, 5 km/h or so, and then gradually increase your speed, but not too much or else you can cause an accident due to poor brakes. You should be able to lock the wheels. If not, there's something wrong with your braking system or the bleeding procedure.

Nevertheless, even with properly bled brakes, you will note the pedal deflects far more with the power assist on than it does with the power assist off. I have seen this effect on all of my cars except the last hybrid car, where opening the driver's door causes the brake vacuum pump to operate so there is no conceivable situation with me in the driver's seat and power brakes off.

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Assuming you are bleeding in the correct order, usually furthest first, closest last, then perhaps you need to go to a shop that uses a power bleeding machine - some vehicles are very challenging to bleed.

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  • Yeah I bled them in the correct sequence furthest from the master cylinder
    – Sam
    Apr 28 '19 at 15:13
  • @hellomoto no, I have not tested the brake fluid for moisture... Do you think I should or do you think the OP should?
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 29 '19 at 5:55
  • @hellomoto you made a comment to me as in my post... you should consider replying to the original post not an answer...
    – Solar Mike
    Sep 29 '19 at 14:28

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