Master clynder

I have a 96 Honda about 125K miles.

My wife drives it with hand controls.

I felt that there was too much play in the breaks and asked a repair shop to make an adjustment. New breaks, master clynder, boster etc. were instaled about 3-4 months ago at a mobile control shop.

The repair shop bled the breaks and made an exmanination but found no problems. What they did to solve my problem was to adjust the “MASTER ClYNDER PUSH ROD LENGTH TO TAKE UP FREE PLAY” The car ran fine for two weeks when the front wheels smoked and burst into flames. The car is now with a different shop but he canot find a reason for the break freeze up and flames. He dose have to replace the pads and roters.

My question: Is it possible that the adjustment on the master clynder could have been a factor why the wheels froze and burst into flames? Unless my wife can get a reasonable answer she is fearful to drive the car again.

Thank you, Art

They probably adjusted the rod too far out where it applied the front brakes all the time. This would be the same as driving with the brake pedal depressed. The brakes get hot and burst into flames.


I felt that there was too much play I agree with Tester. I suspect that the adjustment for hand controls is enough different that it might be easy to get it wrong.

Not only is it possible, IMHO it’s likely.

That rod goes into the vacuum booster and then to the master cylinder pistons. The booster is a diaphragm in a can. It normaly has equal engine vacuum applied to both sides, and when you push the brake pedal a vent opens up to expose the backside to ambient pressure and a valve closes to enclose th front chamber, allowing the engine vacuum to pull only on the front of the diaphragm.

By removing that free play, they probably set the rod such that the vacuum booster is constantly slightly in the “applied” position, and as your wife drove the booster lightly kept the brake pads pressed on the discs.

That’d be my guess.

Thank you all.
Is the fact that it ran for 2 weeks to the day without problems a consideration.
The day of the fire she was in a traffic bumper to bumper jam for about 25 minutes and then drove about 3 miles when the fire happned. Thanks again

Nope, it isn’t a consideration.

Again thanks.
Our current fine shop has been driving the car trying to duplicate the event with no secuess. The front break pad and roters will be replaced. Can the rod be adjusted back?? WE dont know the original position or should we consider a new master cylinder and whatever goes with it. As I said earlier my wife is very reluctant to drive this car unless she can be assured the problem will not reoccure.

Generally the hand controls supplement the standard equipment. You can still use the brake pedal. The hand control is just a rod that presses on the brake pedal when you push forward on the control under the steering wheel, so that shouldn’t have been a factor in mis-adjusting the brakes.