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Help! Problems with 99 Legacy L 30th Anni. Ed. Master Cylinder

brake master cylinder 1999 le

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15 replies to this topic

#1 Barry_007

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:06 PM

I sure hope somebody out there can help.  I'm having the hardest time finding the correct master cylinder for my 99 Legacy L 30th anniversary Edition (wagon 2.2l, w/ABS)  Everywhere I go i get referred to a part that doesn't actually fit.  I can't find the correct part on any other 99 Legacy L in the junk yards.  It seems to be a rare part or one that wasn't used in many vehicles.  Please help! Maybe someone can shed some light on the issue.  I've all but given up.  I'm running out of time before the deadline for the safety inspection.

 

I've included a picture of the unit from my car.  Attached File  IMG-20130617-00042.jpg   83.47K   22 downloads



#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 11:23 PM

Did you try looking in Outback and GT models?
Honestly I don't know why you're looking for a master cylinder in a junkyard, they're only $35-$40 from a parts store. Might not come with the reservoir but that's easy to swap.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 12:52 AM

look at like 2000+ models, that looks like those with the flatter, rectangular reservoir. why are they not working out? are you use it's bad, Subaru MC's don't really fail. very rarely they'll leak, but failure is nearly unheard of.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:43 PM

look at like 2000+ models,

or maybe not, this guy just posted a pic of one today and it's not the same outlet.

http://www.subaruout...linder-new.html

 

i have seen quite a few variations in MC's - 2 hoses, 3 hoses...reservoir, etc.  not sure if it's auto/manual or year/model/trim or ABS and non-ABS, but keep looking the one you need has to be out there.  for instance here's one on ebay...looks like two styles - one with one port on the side and the other facing up and then yours - two ports out the side which appears less common:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...3301f62&vxp=mtr



#5 MilesFox

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 04:24 PM

The problem with matching a MC is that they come without the reservoir, and you swap on your reservoir. You could find a different MC from a junk yard, and then order a new MC and swap that reservoir onto it. Any MC *should* bolt up the same


Edited by MilesFox, 23 July 2013 - 04:24 PM.


#6 grossgary

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 04:30 PM

The problem with matching a MC is that they come without the reservoir, and you swap on your reservoir. You could find a different MC from a junk yard, and then order a new MC and swap that reservoir onto it. Any MC *should* bolt up the same

 

the difficulty is that they don't all have the same number of ports for the hard brake lines that attach to them and they're orientation isn't always the same (like for his year it could be two on the side or one on the side with one up top. you can see the two pic's in this thread and how the ports face different ways.

 

there are two bore sizes as well, though they may be perfectly interchangeable.



#7 Barry_007

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 07:09 PM

Thanks everybody for your help.  I'll try to clarify the issue as best I can.

 

@Fairtax4me All of the rebuilds I've purchased thus far have been in the neighborhood of about $80-$100.  I've had to return 4 units because, while the records the parts store had indicated thy had the right part, it turns out that it doesn't fit. The average price for the used units at the junkyard have been about $40.  I've looked at Outbacks and GT's.  All have the same unit, but that one isn't interchangeable with mine.

 

@grossgary The brakes are pretty squishy.  I've bled them several times. It feels like a failed MC.  Anyway, the unit at the link you sent is pretty close to what I have except for 2 small but important details.  One of the outlets is on top rather than the side (like mine) and there's no pushrod attached.  The photo I uploaded is a little dark but you can make out a black pushrod on the back.  It's about 1/2" in diameter.  Those 2 variations are the root of the problems I'm having finding the right MC.

 

My car has ABS and is a manual transmission.  I've been combing ebay for days.  Every once in a while I'll find something that looks right but they usually end up wanting over $200.  I just don't have that kind of $$ and it's also why I've started looking in the junkyard.

 

The other ebay link is to a unit I already purchased and returned.  They never specified in their list whether the unit is for ABS or non-ABS.  I found out the hard way that it's for non-ABS.  It's hard to see in the picture but there are also 2 ports on the bottom of the unit.

 

@MIlesFox Yes, I agree. They *should* bolt up the same.  However mine has the pushrod in the back that makes necessary to replace with the same kind of unit.  That particular feature is the rarer of the characteristics that I need in my replacement unit. That's making it quite difficult to find the right one.

 

What I'm thinking of doing is getting the brake booster and MC together at the junk yard and replacing the whole thing.  I'll also need to replace one of the brake lines to make it work.  (I think the person who sold it to me did some 'creative' work with the MC etc.)  Any thoughts on this idea?



#8 Fairtax4me

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 11:49 PM

Pushrods are removable. I don't think I've ever recieved a replacement pushrod with a new or rebuilt MC. Just give it a firm tug and it will release from the ball cup and pop out.

The pictures that match the MC you have pictured only seem to be listed for non-ABS models. I suppose its possible the previous owner installed the wrong MC, but that seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through, bending brake lines and all, to install an MC which seems to be the least common style.

Spongy brakes doesn't usually mean the MC is bad. If there is air trapped in the ABS module it can be difficult to bleed out and will cause sponginess. Spongy brakes can so be caused by a failing brake hose "ballooning" under braking pressure.

#9 Barry_007

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 07:37 PM

@FairTax4me:

 

The guy I bought it from specialized in buying old Subarus and rebuilding them.  He probably had plenty of spare parts around.  Including brake lines.  The situation is so weird I don't know what to think anymore.  

 

Actually the pushrod I'm referring to is basically an extension of the piston on the MC. I'm not referring to the one on the brake booster.  It's a black cylindrical piece that the pushrod on the booster slides into.

 

Maybe there is another solution here. The brakes are pretty soft and the pedal will occasionally go nearly to the floor before I feel resistance. The brakes just are too soft and if pumped up a bit will provide more resistance but the pedal will slip down with continued pressure. What should I check? I can find no signs of leakage anywhere or ballooning of the rubber lines. 



#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 09:39 PM

I just noticed that your MC doesn't have the ports on the bottom like the others I've seen.
I hate to say it but I think your only option for a new replacement might be the dealer. So to avoid spending $$$ on a new one I'd stop by and see if they can get a rebuild kit for it. Opposedforces.com lists two different sizes for rebuild kits, two different diameters of the main bore. Probably the difference between ABS and non-ABS MCs.

The most common place on these for a leak is between the rear crossmember and the floor pan where the brake lines come out just before/above the fuel tank. Leaks can be hard to see and hard to find there.

If the pedal is sinking, and the fluid level in the reservoir hasn't gone low, probably a good bet its the master. Just to be sure though, start the engine, push the pedal as hard as you can and just let it sink. Do that about 5-10 times and then look all around under the car for any wet spots.
You could also make a mark on the MC where the fluid level is beforehand, and see if it has gone down any afterwards.

#11 Barry_007

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:00 PM

Well I believe I have landed on the crux of the issue.  My car has the Hill Holder mechanism.  Not many Legacy's from 1999 have that.  It makes the right MC hard to locate and you definitely can't find the part used around here.  I'm thinking of changing out the entire MC/Brake booster with a non-hill holder version from the junk yard and removing the hill holder from my car altogether.  The process would require that I swap out some brake lines too.  I'll do it if that's the only way to make this work.  I'm pretty frustrated at this point and just need this car to pass safety inspection by the 31st. 



#12 Fairtax4me

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 06:39 PM

Is yours a manual transmission?
I'm not aware of any automatics ever having a hill holder, and I though the hill holder was done away with in the manuals when they made the switch to hydraulic clutches.

#13 Barry_007

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 10:31 PM

It's definitely a manual transmission. Mechanical clutch. And the hill-holder works as intended. However, because of the nature of the situation I'm just going to work around it. If I have to bypass the hill-holder for now to get the car on the road, then I'll do it. It's been an extremely frustrating situation. I've never had problems like this with any other car. Going back to VW for my next car.

#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 11:22 PM

Interesting, I thought they stopped using the cable clutch in 97. But it appears it was available on the L models only and still had the hill holder until 99.
The hydraulic clutch was phased in only for the 2.5l engines in 97. And those did not have the hill holder.

So by that logic that MC should match any manual trans equipped L model Legacy from 95-99, since the hill holder was standard on the L.
I'm intrigued by mysterious parts such as this, so tomorrow ill have to take a closer look at the MC in my car and as what the difference is.

#15 ivans imports

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 09:33 AM

Hill holder type car ? uses different master



#16 Fairtax4me

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:50 PM

Took a look at the MC on my car today (96 Legacy L, MT, ABS, Hill holder)
Appearance wise the MC is different. Mine has the castings for lines on the bottom of the MC, but none of them are drilled out, no lines attach to the lower castings. There are only two lines coming out of the MC, straight off the side same as the one in your picture.

Edited by Fairtax4me, 30 July 2013 - 11:51 PM.





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