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well, I have been working hard to get a recently purchased 1996 (US) Sidekick Sport 4x4 1.8 engine (SV418) road ready for my grandson and the last concern has to do with the brake system. The problem, not knowing the characteristics of said car is how much play should be in the pedal movement. We have all new parts in the rear to include wheel cylinders, front disc are find but changed both brake lines. Took it into Firestone to have a flush and ensure all brakes where installed and adjusted properly. When we bleed the brakes, I get strong resistance but once I turn the engine on it seem to fade away and I don't get a since the brakes are braking until I press the pedal pass the half way mark. If I pump the brakes I seem to get a better braking resolute. Is this normal or should I be thinking about replacing the Master Cylinder (MC) and what about the Power Brake Booster. Any suggestions would be most helpful, thanks....
 

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pedal hard, start car and pedal drops, booster is working fine. this is how you test them. I'd be more inclined to suspect you still have air in in the system or a faulty master cyl from your description
 

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Does the car have ABS brakes? If I remember correctly the ABS system used on the SV418 requires modulator to be "exercised" in a particular sequence during bleeding, and the shop you're using may or may not have the necessary tools to do it.

As 2013 GV has indicated, the brake booster can easily be tested - with the engine off pump the pedal a few times to purge the system of stored vacuum, with each pump the pedal should stop a little higher, eventually becoming "high & hard", the next step is to hold the pedal down with moderate pressure and start the engine, at which point the pedal should drop an inch or so.
 

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On these drum brakes it is essential the the shoes be adjusted correctly, or you will have the symptoms you describe.. the hand brake should engage the shoes by the 4th click..

Pulling sharply on the hand break handle or applying the foot brake hard, on/off, on/off while reversing will adjust the shoes..

... Philip
 

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Adjusting brake pedal travel

Refer to previous reply, usually works:
Pulling sharply on the hand break handle or applying the foot brake hard, on/off, on/off while reversing will adjust the shoes..

When it doesn't work check brake adjusters, may need some anti-seeze or rust lubricate. I have 1996 used between towing behind motorhome, life events caused it to sit for 5 years. Try simple stuff first.
 
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