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1997 E420, 1999 E320 4MATIC, 1999 SL500
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Discussion Starter #1
This topic may have been covered numerous times, but with the new sucktastic forum software that won't let us seach individual forums, who know?

Anyway, my brake pedal feels like you have to push it 1-2 inches before the brakes grab. I had my local shop look into it. They said the brakes worked normally once you push through the dead travel range. No issues with the fluid or vacuum.

They said they think there might be some mechanical adjustability in the brake pedal mechanism, but they weren't sure.

Has anyone else experienced a "dead zone" in their brake pedal?
 

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1985 500 SEL & 1995 SL 320
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5 Posts
This topic may have been covered numerous times, but with the new sucktastic forum software that won't let us seach individual forums, who know?

Anyway, my brake pedal feels like you have to push it 1-2 inches before the brakes grab. I had my local shop look into it. They said the brakes worked normally once you push through the dead travel range. No issues with the fluid or vacuum.

They said they think there might be some mechanical adjustability in the brake pedal mechanism, but they weren't sure.

Has anyone else experienced a "dead zone" in their brake pedal?
Yes, my 1995 SL320 has the same problem. Checked by my MB mechanic and found no obvious problem with brakes. However, I do not believe this to be normal for the brakes. My 1985 500SEL brakes respond at a much higher, normal pedal.
 

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1997 E420, 1999 E320 4MATIC, 1999 SL500
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621 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I own a couple of W210s and have owned four W124s and a W201. None of them exhibit the long travel before engagement.

I resorted to using google to search this forum, and found a previous thread. Sounds as though it is a common R129 "quirk."

Brake Pedal Travel
 

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1991 500SL
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104 Posts
Check the brake master cylinder.
I have this very same problem. I purchased SS brake lines, a brand new master cylinder and brake booster that works on the SL500/SL600 until MY98. After that the brakes were perfect to the touch.

However, I traveled for a week and when I came back, I found the brakes suffering from dead travel again. Every time I bleed the brakes, they feel good but not great for a day or so and then they get spongy again. Maybe I have an internal problem in one or more of my calipers.

My next target to solve this and get better braking would be to update to the 99+ brembo brakes and silver arrow rotors with 99+ SS brake lines again from Goodrich.
 

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1999 SL500 (5.5 AMG)
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198 Posts
Just to let you know, I upgraded to the Silver Arrow cross drilled zimmerman rotors and techstar pads. No change in travel.
 

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1991 500SL
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104 Posts
Just to let you know, I upgraded to the Silver Arrow cross drilled zimmerman rotors and techstar pads. No change in travel.
Do you have steel brake lines or the oem rubber ones? The reason I'm expecting a change in travel is because I think there might be something wrong with one or more of my calipers. After bleeding them, they would feel good for a day or two, then they start feeling spongy again and need re-bleeding. That is my assessment since everything else is brand new.

And if I was to change the calipers, might as well get the upgraded Brembos.

Isn't your car a 1999 model? You should already have the big brembo calipers with 234mm brake disc upfront and 300mm in the rear. My 1991 has the smaller 300mm upfront and 278mm in the rear. So I should feel more of a brake upgrade when changing.
 

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1999 SL500 (5.5 AMG)
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198 Posts
Do you have steel brake lines or the oem rubber ones? The reason I'm expecting a change in travel is because I think there might be something wrong with one or more of my calipers. After bleeding them, they would feel good for a day or two, then they start feeling spongy again and need re-bleeding. That is my assessment since everything else is brand new.

And if I was to change the calipers, might as well get the upgraded Brembos.

Isn't your car a 1999 model? You should already have the big brembo calipers with 234mm brake disc upfront and 300mm in the rear. My 1991 has the smaller 300mm upfront and 278mm in the rear. So I should feel more of a brake upgrade when changing.
Yes, everything else is OEM.
I do have the 1999 brambo system which shares the same setup with the SL600 and SL55 limited production. But somehow, it's way too mushy.
 

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1991 500SL
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104 Posts
Yes, everything else is OEM.
I do have the 1999 brambo system which shares the same setup with the SL600 and SL55 limited production. But somehow, it's way too mushy.
I think if you switch to SS brake lines and re-bleed the system properly, you would get a much better pedal feel
 

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2013 SL550 Grey/ Red/Black Ash wood with every option
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408 Posts
Excessive brake pedal travel is an inherent issue with the R129. This was a very common complaint at the dealerships when the R129's were new. I had a 1995 SL500 years ago, same issue.

Thorgod
 

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1991 500SL
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104 Posts
Excessive brake pedal travel is an inherent issue with the R129. This was a very common complaint at the dealerships when the R129's were new. I had a 1995 SL500 years ago, same issue.

Thorgod
That maybe so. However, it is curable. When I did my first bleed after the SS lines and new servo and master cylinder. I completely eliminated the non-linear brake pedal feel.

It did come back though but I would say that I have a caliper issue. I know my rear right caliper makes a noise when pressing the brakes sometimes.

Which is why I think if I recondition the calipers or get the upgraded bigger brembos and recondition those. I would go back to a very linear nice pedal feel.
 

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1995 SL 500 2017 AMG GLC 43
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933 Posts
This topic may have been covered numerous times, but with the new sucktastic forum software that won't let us seach individual forums, who know?

Anyway, my brake pedal feels like you have to push it 1-2 inches before the brakes grab. I had my local shop look into it. They said the brakes worked normally once you push through the dead travel range. No issues with the fluid or vacuum.

They said they think there might be some mechanical adjustability in the brake pedal mechanism, but they weren't sure.

Has anyone else experienced a "dead zone" in their brake pedal?
Click on the 3 vertical dots on the top right of the page and you will see the Search feature for individual forums.
 

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For what it's worth I just had my brakes refreshed with new fluid, SS lines, EBC red pads, and Zimmerman rotors. This significantly reduced my brake pad travel and improved feel.
 
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