Installed big brake kit but brakes still spongy [SOLVED: calipers installed upside-down]

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midnightclub619
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Car: 2007 M35x
Location: San Diego, CA

Installed big brake kit but brakes still spongy [SOLVED: calipers installed upside-down]

Postby midnightclub619 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:11 pm

hi all, need your help...

I have done lots of brake jobs and bled brakes with no issues. But after this install I am getting no pressure when I press the brake pedal. I have no CEL lights, if that makes a difference.

I installed the Akebono big brakes and I used short banjo bolts per a YouTube video for the Y50. Would the banjo bolts make a difference in how much fluid is pumped into the big brake system?

I also swapped out and installed steel braided brake lines to avoid any issues with the brake pressure.

I'm wondering if there is anything else that I am missing from doing this install.

After the bleeding job, I checked each caliper and there are no leaks, so I am at a loss right now. I am going to re-bleed the brakes tomorrow but am curious if anyone has any input on maybe why I'm having this issue.


midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 10:21 pm

I was also reading that I might need a scan tool to bleed air out? I've done a rotor and pad replacement on this car without having to use any scan tool. so this really doesn't make sense to me

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Fri Jun 07, 2019 11:16 pm

I should've read the FSM...

I haven't had this issue until today using the old school method. But I will do what the FSM says

From step 1 to 5, with master cylinder reservoir tank filled at least half way, bleed air from brake hydraulic
line bleed valves in the following order:
Rear right brake→Front left brake→Rear left brake→Front right brake

So hopefully this work tomorrow. I will update after this attempt.

EdBwoy
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby EdBwoy » Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:15 am

And also remember to bleed both halves of the caliper. You will have 8 bleeder valves to operate.

No scan tool needed. I used a buddy to help, I prefer that to self-bleed/solo-bleed systems.
It is pretty much the old school way that I have used to bleed cars. Just make sure the master cylinder never runs dry.

macgiver
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby macgiver » Sat Jun 08, 2019 10:15 am

Be sure whoever is stepping on brake pedal doesn't BOTTOM OUT the m/cyl (internal rod w/seals).I've experienced this ,late designs tend to have an internal stop- short of crushing those seals. In my case pedal to floor caused damage that resulted in NO BRAKES , NO FLUID PRESSURE out either section of m/cyl.
As a result I then had my family begin/practice this proper by using a couple of 2x4's nailed together as a "stop-guide",temporarily positioned under Br. pedal during the bleed process .Until they got the the procedure DOWN - they're experts now - get "brick under foot" feeling thereafter the test drive.

p.s. Another thing I like to do is ,on the car m/cyl bleed , by "cracking" the two fittings on m/cyl plus any bleeders that may be on it first ,1st both fittings at same time during pedal press , then ea. individually - same as a wheel cyl. bleed ;all this before a very thorough 3+ rounds of that crossbleeding at each wheel!

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:17 pm

EdBwoy wrote:
Sat Jun 08, 2019 6:15 am
And also remember to bleed both halves of the caliper. You will have 8 bleeder valves to operate.

No scan tool needed. I used a buddy to help, I prefer that to self-bleed/solo-bleed systems.
It is pretty much the old school way that I have used to bleed cars. Just make sure the master cylinder never runs dry.
Hey Ed,

I bled the brakes again, all 8 valves, starting from the rear and valve then the front valve.

This morning I bled them twice per the FSM - Rear right brake→Front left brake→Rear left brake→Front right brake - That didn't work.
Then 3rd & 4th time the old school method. I had the wifey doing the pumping, she has helped me before with brake jobs with 100% success rate (until now :frown: ).

I made sure that the master cylinder never ran dry but still no success with today's 4 tries. Went thru over 40oz of brake fluid...

Should I also bleed the master cylinder? I've seen some google hits mentioning that as well.

macgiver
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby macgiver » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:32 pm

Absolutely , and by the way m/cyl's usually seem to be waaay more finnecky or trickier than most wheel cylinders to FULLY bleed . Definitely do so, try first on the car by cracking the line fittings @ the m/cyl.
If you get better action - keep repeating until good solid feel improves no more - THEN hit all wheels again per your sequence. :yesnod
Otherwise your taking out m/cyl , bench bleeding, or returning. A tip to know if pedal is not going to have that spongy feel is by "plugging " the m/cyl outlets ,and mtd. on the car test the feel , even w/motor running supplying vacuum ! carefully , and DON'T use the PLASTIC plugs for this or they'll take someone's eye
out ,mom says :facepalm:
That's going to be close to the "brake feel" your gonna have IF there's no other problems with ABS,calipers,
etc. ya know?

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:26 pm

Thanks @Mac for the input. I also tried what you mentioned but still no change.

I vacuumed pump all 4 (8 valves) calipers still no change. I saw a video on youtube for the G with the same brakes and they bled their brakes with the car on but still did not work for my issue either.

I also bled the master cylinder, still no change.

Everytime I bleed the brakes I get a straight stream of brake fluid. No air bubbles. Still at a loss.

Not sure what my next step should be.

macgiver
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby macgiver » Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:55 pm

Let's get back to your original post's words and try to specifically define problem as" Now Super Spongy Pedal" right ? AND you are getting action or normal 'bleed pressure" & powerfull squirting fluid out of any bleeders ? m/cyl , both bleeders on ALL wheel cylinders?
What the problem sounds like when you make a drastic change in a brake "SYSTEM" , now with oversize calipers AND it sounds like you now have MANY MORE PISTONS ?? What that will mean is the master cylinder wasn't designed for THAT much more fluid VOLUME your "NEW SYSTEM " is now demanding - and now your simply shocked at how much PEDAL TRAVEL is now needed !! I mean DOES THE CAR STOP SATISFACTORILY - but it DROPS WAY DOWN to do so :rotflmao ??
To keep your oversize calipers looks like you gotta get a m/cyl that can pump the increased VOLUME , whilst keeping the travel closer to your "stock feel", I think this is it ?? :tisk:
Of course this is with the assumption a m/cylinder is not part of the kit , or wrong part #,I don't know Akebono Big Brake Kits CONTENTS ,now. I didn't notice you listing the whole shabang ,watcha get ya know.

Partysan7
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby Partysan7 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:15 pm

Op did you install your calipers the correct way ? The bleeder valves have to be facing up. couple of years ago there was a post about this and the person claiming his brakes were spongy had installed his akebono calipers with the bleeder screws facing down. I installed my bbk years ago
and I never hd/ have any issues. my brakes actually require very little pedal pressure to stop on a dime.

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:33 pm

@mac - yes, I'm getting normal bleed pressure out of the master cylinder & all the bleeder valves/calipers.
macgiver wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:55 pm
What the problem sounds like when you make a drastic change in a brake "SYSTEM" , now with oversize calipers AND it sounds like you now have MANY MORE PISTONS ?? What that will mean is the master cylinder wasn't designed for THAT much more fluid VOLUME your "NEW SYSTEM " is now demanding - and now your simply shocked at how much PEDAL TRAVEL is now needed !! I mean DOES THE CAR STOP SATISFACTORILY - but it DROPS WAY DOWN to do so :rotflmao ??
This is what I'm wondering also, could the upgrade, since it does require more fluid be the issue? I would naturally assume since I bled the entire system and there is pressure and no air bubbles that regardless the size the master cylinder it would be sufficient to push the brake fluid thru the entire system?


To keep your oversize calipers looks like you gotta get a m/cyl that can pump the increased VOLUME , whilst keeping the travel closer to your "stock feel", I think this is it ?? :tisk:
Of course this is with the assumption a m/cylinder is not part of the kit , or wrong part #,I don't know Akebono Big Brake Kits CONTENTS ,now. I didn't notice you listing the whole shabang ,watcha get ya know.
[/quote]
So during the bleeding process the brakes are firm, but once i turn on the car they go completely soft, and I can push the pedal all the way down to the floor. I haven't driven the car like that, it kinda scares me with that amount of brake pedal travel if the car would even stop...
Partysan7 wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:15 pm
Op did you install your calipers the correct way ? The bleeder valves have to be facing up. couple of years ago there was a post about this and the person claiming his brakes were spongy had installed his akebono calipers with the bleeder screws facing down. I installed my bbk years ago
and I never hd/ have any issues. my brakes actually require very little pedal pressure to stop on a dime.
No, not all the bleeders valves are facing up. The Left front and rear are facing up but the Right front and rear are facing down. This is how they were sent to me. Do they all need to be facing up?

macgiver
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby macgiver » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:39 pm

a one-sided deal you got ? :facepalm:

Partysan7
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby Partysan7 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:44 pm

yes all bleeder screws MUST be facing up ! thats where your problem is

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:49 pm

macgiver wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:39 pm
a one-sided deal you got ? :facepalm:
i got side swiped by this deal. haha

Partysan7 wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:44 pm
yes all bleeder screws MUST be facing up ! thats where your problem is
I can't believe it. :mad: This whole time.... ok. I'm going to have to order new calipers for the right side since they are both facing down. It's weird tho that they would have to face up? Why would the direction have such an impact?

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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby EdBwoy » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:18 pm

midnightclub619 wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:49 pm
... Why would the direction have such an impact?
Physics. Just like a water bottle, air stays at the top. If you want to get rid of air by cracking the cap and squeezing the bottle (akin to bleeding), you will get no progress by squeezing it with the bottle upside down.
Air has to escape from the top.

Could you take pictures of your calipers as installed? The calipers look quite similar and can be confusing sometimes.

***
Nice catch Partysan7

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:34 pm

EdBwoy wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:18 pm
midnightclub619 wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:49 pm
... Why would the direction have such an impact?
Physics. Just like a water bottle, air stays at the top. If you want to get rid of air by cracking the cap and squeezing the bottle (akin to bleeding), you will get no progress by squeezing it with the bottle upside down.
Air has to escape from the top.

Could you take pictures of your calipers as installed? The calipers look quite similar and can be confusing sometimes.

***
Nice catch Partysan7
I can't believe I didn't think of that. mad props to Partysan7 and Ed. This whole time I was trying to troubleshoot something that was never going to work.... uugghhh..

Here are the pics

Right - Rear

Image

Right - Front

Image

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:36 pm

ignore that primer and my fat finger on the last pic

macgiver
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby macgiver » Sun Jun 09, 2019 3:49 pm

Now all you have to do is put car on rotisserie , upside down, and go bleed that passenger side !! :rotflmao
Hey, in all my time the simple mistakes that got by me - hell if I had my iphone - this site would be full of ROTFLMAO Goofiies on me .
That top piston on Fr probly all air.
p.s. One thing I notice is how Symmetrical both Fr Dbl. & Rr Single piston bleeder "Recess" is - like
possible could get machined for "Dual Bleeders" ??? :spitout: Just an observation , factory process i'm sure.
Boy would that get ALL the air out.

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:07 pm

yeah. I'm thinking the same thing after talking it out with all of you. Thanks Mac

Partysan7
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby Partysan7 » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:36 pm

You are welcome, glad I could chime in before you started messing with your master cylinder.Unfortunately you have to get new calipers for your passenger side since they are meant to be on the drivers side.

midnightclub619
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still super spongy

Postby midnightclub619 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:21 am

Update: So I got the replacement calipers for the Right side with the bleeder vales pointing up. 1st try - I bled the brakes the old fashioned way but were still spongy. I probably still had some air in the system. 2nd try - I re-bled them again following the FSM and yup, there was still air in the system. So I kept adding fluid and bleeding each caliper. Then finally turned the car on and BAM, pressure is back. No more spongy brakes. I probably went thru over 100oz of brake fluid. But by the final days the brake fluid was so clean out of each caliper I could've reused that fluid. Issue resolved.

cruzad3r
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still spongy [SOLVED: calipers installed upside-down]

Postby cruzad3r » Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:45 pm

questions:

1- did you order the wrong kit? or the seller sent you the wrong parts?
2- any info you can share on the kit, price, shipping cost, authenticity, quality?

thanks

midnightclub619
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:51 pm
Car: 2007 M35x
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Re: Installed big brake kit but brakes still spongy [SOLVED: calipers installed upside-down]

Postby midnightclub619 » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:49 am

cruzad3r wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:45 pm
questions:

1- did you order the wrong kit? or the seller sent you the wrong parts?
2- any info you can share on the kit, price, shipping cost, authenticity, quality?

thanks
@cruzad3r - The seller sent me the wrong parts. Also due to my lack of knowledge of big brake requiring the bleeder valve to point up, I assumed the seller sent me the right parts.

I got this system part by part. I'm sure that Brembo has the entire kit all in one shipment but I don't have 3k-4k to spend on a system like that. These are the Akebono big brake kit from the 2011 G37 sport. I personalized them to Gold and added Brembo stickers. I'll list it all out.

Caliper
rockauto.com
2011 G37 sport
  • Front Left: POWER STOP L6232 Autospecialty; Includes: Hardware - Price $48.79 Core $45.90 Total $94.69
  • Front Right: POWER STOP L6233 Autospecialty; Includes: Hardware - Price $48.79 Core $46.30 Total $95.09
  • Rear Left: POWER STOP L6183 Autospecialty - Price $73.79 Core $44.00 Total $111.79
  • Rear Right: POWER STOP L6182 Autospecialty - Price $73.79 Core $44.00 Total $111.79
Banjo Bolts - these calipers require the shorter banjo bolt
Technafit Banjo Bolt w/ Washers for Akebono / Brembo Caliper
https://conceptzperformance.com/technaf ... _13378.php
Price:$2.50ea x 4 = $10 (add the additional copper washers in the drop down) which is i believe under $8 to add
total: approx. $20

Rotors & pads
autoanything.com
Power Stop Z23 Evolution Brake Kits - $494.09
https://www.autoanything.com/brakes/pow ... brake-kits
For the options select: Base, 3.7L V6, with sport suspension

You can also pick up some Steel Braided brake lines from here.

Installation is bolt on ready, except for the rears. You will have to shave some of the dust shield in order for the rotor to fit. I think I've included everything.


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