Vanagon – brake master cylinder 

A couple of months ago I replaced my brake master cylinder. It was a strange failure progression. I’ve noticed over the last few years that I would on occasion get a real soft brake pedal when driving on logging roads. Most often happened on quite bumpy steep downhills. But then the brake would return to normal and it didn’t happen during normal driving. I thought maybe it was the proportioning valve? Bleeding the system and adjusting rear drums didn’t seem to affect things, but then again it happened so infrequently…

But during this last January the soft pedal started happening during every day driving. So, I put a new master in and things are good again.

Couple of pics for no other reason than I took them. Used syringe and hose to drain reservoir.

Old and new master. I tried cleaning out the reservoir with some DOT 3 fluid I had, but couldn’t get it really clean. Fine grey sediment wouldn’t shift.

I pressure bled the system after install. Old cap connected to compressor, about 4psi pressure used. I managed to flush a full litre of new fluid through the system.

  1. #1 by Joel on April 13, 2016 - 7:08 pm

    Nice work. I imagine that I’ll be doing the same someday. Always good to see and read about what your doing with you Van.


    • #2 by albell on April 13, 2016 - 7:14 pm


      The master failure was unlike what I have had in the past with other vans. The intermittent problem and the problem on rough roads had me a little perplexed.




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