240 240 Estate brake issues

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Hi chaps, I've noticed that the brakes have been getting spongier over the last few months but because my P plater son has been driving it it's been out of sight out of mind. I hopped in it the other day and after driving it to the shops thought it needed further investigation: jacked it up and checked the pads all round, there was probably around 60% left front and rear so that checked out OK. The fluid level in the master has remained constant for as long as I can remember but I know the old girl hadn't had a fluid renewal for a very long time so thinking there might have been moisture accumulation decided to do a flush.
I haven't got a relevant manual for this model so just went for the top bleeder nipples figuring there wasn't air in the system (no external leaks anywhere etc) and got my son to help me, I had the end of the bleed tube sitting in fluid and worked my around the car from furthest from the master to nearest. topped the fluid up as I went but no change in the pedal feel once the car was started.
My son is 6'7" and was a tad heavy-footed in pumping the pedal as he hadn't done it before but I made him take it really easy after the first number of strokes. Long story short, I was running the torch around trying to scope out what was going on with brake lines etc after this and noticed fluid dripping from the sensor seal on the distribution block (see photos). I disconnected the boot and connector from the sender and gave it a very cautious tighten thinking it would probably be OK but since then the master has been losing fluid although it's still topped up enough to not suck air but the sensor seal has continued to leak under pressure and the Brake Failure light comes on.
I guess I have a few questions:
1. Have I rogered the sensor/distribution block and need to source another?
2. Is it worth pulling it out and trying to reset?
3. After reading various posts on the forum is it likely that it's the flexible brake lines that were the culprit all along?
4. I've got a pair of new rotors coming from Fleabay and am hoping they will give a bit more braking effect once fitted, has anyone used these before? https://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItemVersion&item=253972377412&view=all&tid=2371214482015

Any help gladly appreciated....

Comments

  • jamesincJames (@jamesinc) Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    @Porkchop I can't see that eBay link you posted. If it's leaking, the easiest thing to do would probably be to replace the distribution block https://www.ipdusa.com/products/5136/113725-brake-junction-block
  • edited December 3
    Just had a better look online at distribution block images and realise now that it's one of the internal 'o' rings that has popped as the rubber seal around the switch is just a dust seal and won't respond to tightening to stop the leak, bummer. I can't say that the user reviews for the block on IPDUSA are exactly glowing, I'm happy to get one underway asap to get on with it but it would be nice to know that I'm getting a good replacement, is there anyone selling a higher quality unit without having to go genuine? KXC8xTFh.jpg
  • jamesincJames (@jamesinc) Oz Volvo Ice Fortress
    If you don't like it, you can swap in the latter style block, where the sensor is moved to the brake fluid reservoir. If you don't update the reservoir you'll lose the warning light though.
  • Sorry for the late reply James, I think that sounds like the way to go, I've just emailed Angus to see if he has any of the bits plus he might be able to make up the front brake hoses for me which I think are long overdue for replacement...
  • I've dropped Angus a line via email just to see what he might have on offer but haven't heard back yet although it wasn't all that long ago so he's probably at work. I ended up ringing Mark at Volv-Rek as I'm getting a little bit concerned that I'm not going to get this sorted before Xmas especially living in Tas. He said he had a 91' wagon he was wrecking but didn't know whether it had the later sensor in the MC reservoir, he can sell me a 2nd hand replacement for the distribution block that is the same as the one that appears buggered but I'd rather go with a less fault-prone set-up, you don't happen to know when the later style failure system was introduced, I have heard 92-93...
  • FYI the difference in the systems is that with the earlier type, you get a warning when the brake pressure is lower in one of the twin circuits, whereas the later set-up it’s just looking at whether the brake fluid is low. FWIW. I have a 91 240 wagon but can’t recall whether it has the sensor in the reservoir or the distribution block. I know the 93 has the sensor in the reservoir.
  • Thanks @carnutt222, I managed to find a genuine Volvo master cylinder minus the reservoir for a reasonable price ($85 AUD delivered) on US Ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/132866228956 so I've grabbed it as I suspect that it is definitely in better shape i.e. new versus 33 years old. I've also located an MC with the later style sensor in the reservoir on UK Ebay https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VOLVO-240-BRAKE-MASTER-CYLINDER/132859523957 and my thinking is to buy that, swap the reservoir onto the new master and try to find a distribution block without the sensor to match everything up. I don't suppose you could have a look at your wagon when you get a chance and see what you've got?
  • Thanks @carnutt222, I managed to find a genuine Volvo master cylinder minus the reservoir for a reasonable price ($85 AUD delivered) on US Ebay https://www.ebay.com/itm/132866228956 so I've grabbed it as I suspect that it is definitely in better shape i.e. new versus 33 years old. I've also located an MC with the later style sensor in the reservoir on UK Ebay https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/VOLVO-240-BRAKE-MASTER-CYLINDER/132859523957 and my thinking is to buy that, swap the reservoir onto the new master and try to find a distribution block without the sensor to match everything up. I don't suppose you could have a look at your wagon when you get a chance and see what you've got?
    No prob. Will take the cover off an have a look at the 91 set-up. You might be able to find a new master cylinder reservoir fairly cheap. I know the early style 240 ones are cheap. The later 240 triangular ones and same with sensor I believe are common with 7-series so that’s another option. The reservoirs get dirty an can get brittle from the heat so I’d suggest a new one if possible as it could be difficult to remove it from the m/cyl without damaging it.
  • @Porkchop I had a look at my 91 240 wagon and it does have the low fluid sensor in the reservoir, and no pressure sensor in the distribution block.
  • Ahh you're a good man! I have to ring Mark at Volv-Rek to see if the 91 they're wrecking has the same set-up although it should be as the years match up, I had a look at various images of the 7-series reservoirs and they look slightly different to the ones on the 240 series, I might have to investigate the spacing of the ports into the master cylinder as the master appears quite unlike the 200's....
  • Ahh you're a good man! I have to ring Mark at Volv-Rek to see if the 91 they're wrecking has the same set-up although it should be as the years match up, I had a look at various images of the 7-series reservoirs and they look slightly different to the ones on the 240 series, I might have to investigate the spacing of the ports into the master cylinder as the master appears quite unlike the 200's....
    I think the later 240s with the triangular reservoir are same as 740, but not 100% sure on that...actually just looked at it and Skandix is showing common triangular reservoir suits late 240+700/900 series. However it is not cheap like the plain 240 reservoirs.
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  • Also FYI that hose port at the rear of the photo is pinched off and is only used on 7/9 series cars with manual transmission - it feeds brake fluid to the clutch master cylinder as there is no integral reservoir on those cars. In case you were wondering. Not sure whether your car is manual or auto...probably a moot point anyway unless you get a used reservoir from a manual car, in which case you may have to put a rubber cap over the port if it’s been opened up to feed the clutch master.
  • Do your research to be sure but I don't think it actually suits a 240 and a 740. I have a feeling that they are different and the 240 ones aren't available new. Happy to be proved wrong though, I want a new one.
  • @carnutt222 You read my mind regarding the port at the back of the reservoir, it's surprising how scant the info is out there on some of these significant details. I guess if the Scandix site is listing the reservoir as being applicable to "200,700,900 series cars" then it's the appropriate part but at over $200 AUD it's a bit out of my budget! The Turbobricks thread throws up some interesting info http://www.turbobricks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=329118
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    I have to ring Mark back again as I'm chasing him everyday to get an answer on the availability of the various parts, I'll report back....
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