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Brake Master Cylinder Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Brake Master Cylinder Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

***

Tools:

13mm line wrench, 13mm socket, T25 Torx bit socket

Applicable Models:

Volvo V70 (1998-01)
Volvo V70 2.4T (2001)
Volvo V70 AWD (1998-99)
Volvo V70 GLT (1998-00)
Volvo V70 GLT SE (2000)
Volvo V70 R (1998)
Volvo V70 R AWD (1999-00)
Volvo V70 T5 (1998-01)
Volvo V70 X/C (2001)
Volvo V70 X/C AWD (1998-00)
Volvo V70 X/C AWD SE (2000)

Parts Required:

Brake fluid, brake cleaner, brake master cylinder

Hot Tip:

Bleed vehicle twice to ensure all air is removed from system

Performance Gain:

Good brake operation

Complementary Modification:

Replace worn brake parts

Volvo V70 brakes consist of hydraulic brake calipers and rotors, one at each wheel. When the brake pedal is pressed, brake fluid is forced out of the brake master cylinder and through the brake lines to each brake caliper. Pistons in the calipers push out and clamp the brake pads against the brake rotors (or discs), thus slowing down the vehicle. A vacuum assisted brake booster multiplies the braking force exerted by the driver at the brake pedal.

If the brake master cylinder cannot create enough pressure to clamp the brake pads firmly against the brake rotors, the brakes will have a poor feel. Over time seals get worn in the master cylinder and can leak. In this tech article we will show you how to replace the brake master cylinder in a few easy steps.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve, as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

The master cylinder is located on the left side of the engine compartment (red arrow).
Figure 1

The master cylinder is located on the left side of the engine compartment (red arrow). Before beginning, pump the brake pedal to remove the vacuum from the brake booster.

Remove the brake fluid reservoir cap.
Figure 2

Remove the brake fluid reservoir cap. Using a fluid extractor, remove all of the fluid from the reservoir.

Install the brake fluid reservoir cap.
Figure 3

Install the brake fluid reservoir cap. Remove the brake fluid level sensor electrical connector by releasing the locking tab and pulling it off.

Access to the master cylinder lines and bolts is tight.
Figure 4

Access to the master cylinder lines and bolts is tight. I like to remove the fluid reservoir before trying to loosen the lines. Start by removing the T25 Torx fastener (green arrow) at the right side of the reservoir (inset).

Once the fastener is out, lift the reservoir straight up (green arrow) to remove it from the master cylinder.
Figure 5

Once the fastener is out, lift the reservoir straight up (green arrow) to remove it from the master cylinder. On manual transmission models, the clutch master line has to be removed. See the following step.

Use a pair of pliers and move the hose clamp down the hose (green arrow).
Figure 6

Use a pair of pliers and move the hose clamp down the hose (green arrow). Then pull the clutch master hose off the reservoir. Be prepared with a rag to catch any dripping fluid.

Next, the steel lines have to be detached from the master cylinder.
Figure 7

Next, the steel lines have to be detached from the master cylinder. The lines go around and under the master cylinder. Starting at the rear line, loosen the 13mm line nut (green arrow). Then repeat the step for the front line (yellow arrow). On my subject vehicle, the front line was frozen. Rather than strip it out, I removed the lower connection (red arrow). I then removed the master cylinder with the front line still attached.

Next, the master cylinder mounting nuts have to be removed (green arrows).
Figure 8

Next, the master cylinder mounting nuts have to be removed (green arrows). Using a 13mm socket on a long extension, remove both nuts.

Once you remove the nuts, slide the master cylinder out of the brake booster while pulling the lines out of the way.
Figure 9

Once you remove the nuts, slide the master cylinder out of the brake booster while pulling the lines out of the way. You will have to pull it away from the booster to break the vacuum seal of the booster. Pull the master cylinder straight out (red arrow) to remove it.

This photo shows the master cylinder removed.
Figure 10

This photo shows the master cylinder removed. On my subject vehicle, the front line was frozen. Rather than strip it out, I removed the lower connection. I then removed the master cylinder with the front line still attached. Next, I placed it in a vise and slowly worked the line out using penetrating oil and a line wrench. Once out, I will install it when the master cylinder is attached to the brake booster. Install the new master cylinder to the brake booster and install the mounting nuts finger tight. Install the brake lines by hand. Be sure not to cross-thread them. The lines should easily thread into the master cylinder. Once the lines are finger tight, tighten the master cylinder mounting nuts and then the lines. Then reattach the reservoir. Bleed the brake system and test your brakes before taking the vehicle out for a drive. See our tech article on brake bleeding to help with that portion of the procedure.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Wally Comments: Do you need a brake Master Cylinder if you are driving a push on the brake and it grabs and makes noise in the back my car is a l998 Volvo v70
March 1, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know what problem you are describing. I would insect the hydraulic and mechanical brake parts to see what is faulty. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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