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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This seems to be a common enough issue out there, but I haven’t been able to find anything helpful in the other threads I’ve found. I replaced my front right caliper and brake hose, and then let it gravity bleed when I was done. I’d gravity bled the same position when I changed the caliper many years ago and it worked great, so I did that again. This time, however, it got air in system and it won’t seem to bleed out.

The pedal has always felt like a new car—firm, good linear response to effort, and the pedal stayed high. Barely any downward travel. Now it goes halfway to the floor and it feels like the front brakes are barely working unless I really get on the pedal.

I tried bleeding the system at all 4 wheels (in the order listed in the GM shop manual) using a handheld vacuum pump, and I kept going until the fluid came out clean at all 4 wheels. After that, it test drove ok, maybe 90% of what it was before. Taking the car out today, the pedal is right back down halfway to the floor and the front brakes are weak again. In the driveway with the engine off, I can pump the pedal until I hear the rear brakes creaking, but I don’t hear the same kind of response from the front.

I’m thinking that I had to have gotten air into the abs module; but there aren’t any bleeder screws on the module to try bleeding air out at the module. I’m stumped…do these cars require the Tech II tool to bleed the abs module? Is there a common air trap in these systems that gives people a hard time?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Just following up for the next person who runs into the same issue and is looking for an answer. The culprit in my case was the ABS unit.

I ended up buying a pressure bleeder and cracking each of the lines at the ABS module, allowing them to bleed, then tightening them back up and doing the calipers as per the GM shop manual (RR, LF, RF, LR). I did the calipers 3x in order to be sure. Now the pedal is back to what it was before.

Despite what the manual says, there aren’t bleeder screws on the ABS unit for the 1998 (V6 model, anyway). And although others out there have been able to gravity bleed, manual bleed (2-person standard method), or vacuum bleed without any issues, none of those methods worked on my car this time around.
 
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