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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been running the car up/down my driveway to test the transmission, and the brake pedal at low speeds is rock hard.

The brakes work, but its like pushing against a solid piece of metal.

I did the booster test where you turn the car off, pump the brakes then hold down, and start the engine. The pedal is supposed to go down just a bit when the engine is started, and mine did.

Today I checked the booster vacuum hose, and all was well with it, so I made a vacuum reservoir, and there was no change.

Seems that years ago I had that problem with a full size Ford LTD, and it was the master cylinder itself, but this was before anti lock brakes.

Anyone have this happening to their SER?
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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M. I had a similar but different issue on my Gen3, it would only happen on cold mornings (below freezing) and only the first time. Turns out there is some kind of valve hidden in the vacuum hose assembly to the master cylinder and if it sticks you lose your power assist, it's a $20-40 part at the dealer...comes with a section of metal pipe, and some rubber hose which has the valve embedded in it. Web wisdom says that if you get oil and/or contaminants in the line over time they can cause this to fail. I replaced mine at around the 11 year mark (low miles though).

That said, yours sounds more like an overall master cylinder failure, which IIR is not uncommon on these cars. The vac hose is a very easy part to install...so might be worth borrowing/swapping one for a test (I still have my old mostly working one and can mail it to you--mental note...need to unload the rest of the old Gen3 stuff). If it's not the boost hose then I agree...master cylinder time.

Old Gen3 stuff...free, you pay postage only
- new PS belt
- new AC hose (the short one, compressor to condensor, V6 '02-'04)
- McGuard 24154 locking wheel nuts M12x1.25
 

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Event Horizon Chaser
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257 Posts
Doug, the valve is called a one way check valve it might be clogged . M if you need a master i have one with low miles OEM Nissan. i had an issue with my brakes and thought it was the master but not. My issue was the abs activates on dry pavement, still trying to figure out my issue.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Doug, the valve is called a one way check valve it might be clogged . M if you need a master i have one with low miles OEM Nissan. i had an issue with my brakes and thought it was the master but not. My issue was the abs activates on dry pavement, still trying to figure out my issue.
Might be able to help you on the dry pavement ABS spurious activation. Again, I had similar but not exact issue, where after a run on the highway as I came to the end of the off ramp and began braking...I'd get a pretty consisten pulse or two of the ABS as I came to a stop. WTF?! Checked tire pressures etc etc.

Long story short...rust dust had clung to the magnetic ABS sensor disc inside the rear hubs. It should appear smooth, flat and black...mine had regular micro mounds of brownish dirt equally space all the way around. You can clean this off and re-install, or install new bearings like i did...figuring it would take longer for the hub to start rusting inside again. I also replace the rear hub cabs (cheap, dealer part--fit into the rear knuckle from behind) and cleaned the corrosion around those that was letting moisture in. There is also a TSB detailing how to improve drainage in the rear hub unit. It's a pretty quick thing to check...remove rear wheel, caliper, rotor and then 4 hub bolts from behind...I did not have to remove the ABS sensor at all on the '03 SE...as long as you pull the hub straight out once bolts removed and don't let it drop on the sensor you will be fine.
 

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Event Horizon Chaser
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257 Posts
Might be able to help you on the dry pavement ABS spurious activation. Again, I had similar but not exact issue, where after a run on the highway as I came to the end of the off ramp and began braking...I'd get a pretty consisten pulse or two of the ABS as I came to a stop. WTF?! Checked tire pressures etc etc.

Long story short...rust dust had clung to the magnetic ABS sensor disc inside the rear hubs. It should appear smooth, flat and black...mine had regular micro mounds of brownish dirt equally space all the way around. You can clean this off and re-install, or install new bearings like i did...figuring it would take longer for the hub to start rusting inside again. I also replace the rear hub cabs (cheap, dealer part--fit into the rear knuckle from behind) and cleaned the corrosion around those that was letting moisture in. There is also a TSB detailing how to improve drainage in the rear hub unit. It's a pretty quick thing to check...remove rear wheel, caliper, rotor and then 4 hub bolts from behind...I did not have to remove the ABS sensor at all on the '03 SE...as long as you pull the hub straight out once bolts removed and don't let it drop on the sensor you will be fine.
Thanks Buddy...i recently cleaned the front sensor and abs ring, rear sensor but didnt clean the rear abs ring.i will take it apart and see if this solves my issue.. basically my issue is if i slam on the brakes my car will slow down but the abs will kick in even though none of the wheels are locked up. the abs should only kick in when is see one of the wheels are locked up. Hopefully this works for me......
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Cool let me know if it does--took me a year to figure that out (yeah, I can be slow sometimes! If it isn't that, only other thing I can think of is one warped rotor or more.
 

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Event Horizon Chaser
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well all the rotors are 2 weeks old, so I will have to say its the hubs, what brand did you go with?
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Timken. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Sourced from RA, but I think Amazon has a much better deal right now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Timken. Would do it again in a heartbeat. Sourced from RA, but I think Amazon has a much better deal right now.
I did all four corners with Timken as they are one of the few car parts made here in the US.

One thing is different on my vacuum setup. Since I custom made my upper intake, I deleted some of the vacuum ports.

Now the PCV, AND brake booster vacuum lines are "T" together, and go to the upper intake vs the factory setup where they both go into the upper intake, but separately.

I can't see for the life of my why that wouldn't work, but who knows since that is the only thing different in respect to the vacuum lines.
 

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Event Horizon Chaser
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Hey Guys,

well I brought the Timken, and let you know the update, also anyone of you notice that while turning the rear hub you can feel the ball bearings click against each other..

M - I think its a vacuum issue, try an external vacuum source.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Clicking ball bearings would tend to indicate no grease...that can't be good.
 

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Event Horizon Chaser
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called Timken and it turns out the clicking is normal, as the grease crystallized when the bearing is just sitting it will return to normal once it begins to operate.

Doug - old hubs were just as you described (thanks Bud) , installed the new ones, so far so good. I have not had a chance to slam on the brakes yet, I will keep you posted.

M - did you figure out your issue?
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Doug - old hubs were just as you described (thanks Bud) , installed the new ones, so far so good. I have not had a chance to slam on the brakes yet, I will keep you posted.
Fantastic! I'm sure you're in the clear now for your ABS issue. Thanks for letting us all know the result.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I changed the brake vacuum line to where its separate from the PCV valve, and now the brakes works fine, go figure.
 

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09 Altima 3.5SE 6MT Sedan
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Glad to hear your brakes are working again M.

Geez...all sub-thread here seem to have happy endings :)
 

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I've been running the car up/down my driveway to test the transmission, and the brake pedal at low speeds is rock hard.

The brakes work, but its like pushing against a solid piece of metal.

I did the booster test where you turn the car off, pump the brakes then hold down, and start the engine. The pedal is supposed to go down just a bit when the engine is started, and mine did.

Today I checked the booster vacuum hose, and all was well with it, so I made a vacuum reservoir, and there was no change.

Seems that years ago I had that problem with a full size Ford LTD, and it was the master cylinder itself, but this was before anti lock brakes.

Anyone have this happening to their SER?

One of the vacuum hoses has an inline filter which allows vacuum to only go one way. You must put that back in to cure your problem.
 
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