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Bleeding brakes ... and she's fired up!!

happy new year all 

quick question ... I'm just about to do all the liquids pre start up and I've wondered if I've made a hash of the brakes. Reason being is thst all the handbrake is in and sorted but when I pull it up, it correctly pulls the part on the brake caliper round but the brakes don't grab the disc.

Does this sound right and all will be fine once the fluid is in?


or do I need to trouble shoot ...



New build?

Which type of 7... factory Sierra calipers?

Pads in happily?


When you fit the rear brakes... or replace them in later years .... you need to press hard on the brake pedal (with all pads and discs fitted and air bled out if the system) to activate the rear self adjusters ... before you touch the handbrake lever. Then adjust the cable to get the right number of clicks on the ratchet. Always check the handbrake levers on the calipers return to the stops when the operating lever is released.

Yeah factory sierra, new build.

all went together fine and Derek confirmed the left over pieces were ok

it may be fine, just thought I'd ask before passing the point of no return 


Had this problem on my car a few years ago.

So this is what I did to the offending caliper: Completely loosen off the hand brake adjuster , remove cable from actuating lever. With end of a hammer shaft (at least 1.5 lbs ball pein!) exercise the lever full stroke.

Refit cable to lever, adjust handbrake & see if this fixes it. Which in my case it did.

Otherwise it could be a case of removing caliper, dismantling & winding back the piston then when refitted pump the pedal.


Matt,  Are you getting quite firm resistance on the handbrake lever after 2 clicks? Might just be cable adjustment. The S3 and  SV have different cable routings behind the handbrake lever which may be worth a recheck on your installation. Have you securely cable tied the handbrake  cables to the appropriate fixings on the diff and chassis yet, as this has a bearing on residual slack in the mechanism? Have you tried rotating one of the rear hubs and manually actuating the park brake lever on the calliper to see if things bite. Once the system is filled and bled the pistons will settle the pads closer to the brake rotors.


SM25T - thanks. So I think that means I'm good to go. 

Fingers crissed!


Thanks to all for  due input 

And we're done ... bleeding brakes is quite straight forward, but is more time consuming than I was expecting.  The clutch was a bit of an arse, as the manual is compltely different to reality.  It feels quite soft at the moment and only on startup will I really know if I've cocked it up good and proper.


Just oil, coolant, connect the batter, put it on it's paws and I'm ready to give it a start ...

Well done Matt.

Its worth putting in quite a lot of petrol for the first start too (at least 15 ltrs from memory).

Garry Hooton
East Kent AR


A real milestone, camera at the ready!  Re next step of putting the oil in, you've probably planned this, but just to mention to check you are getting oil pressure when cranking the engine and with the inertia switch triggered to negate start up. Best of luck.


Boom, she fired up!  Went through all the motions as suggested in teh guidebook (both old and new) and then once all go, the engine turned over for about 6-7 seconds then caught and off she went!  

Exhilirating, thrilling, exciting and incredibly joyous occasion!

Short lived though, as a plethora of issues developed over the next 5 mins.  Clearly something is up with the wiring as none of the guages moved.  The oil pressure never increased above about 0.5 bar, the tempoerature (Which was showing 80 degrees before I even turned it over) never moved from 80, the fuel tank never even got about an inch below empty ....  Oh, and yeah the car doesn't idle either, needed to keep foot on the gas to keep her running ... all points sent off to Derek, as I'm sure I must have missed something very simple.

But hey, who cares - the yellow Cat is alive!!