I started to change out the brake master cylinder in Betty today, but when I started it up, the brake pedal was firm… made me think something else was the problem. The brake fluid was very dark, so I flushed out the system with the fancy new brake bleeder my mother-in-law bought me for my birthday.
This is the best way to bleed brakes I’ve found. It is so much better than using a vacuum pump, and way way better than the two person pump method. You fill up the tank, pressurize it, and go open up your bleed screws. A fresh supply of fluid is always filling the master cylinder reservoir. You have to order this tool, I haven’t found it in stores, and you have to get the correct adapter to fit your car.
I went out and made lots of panic stops, and couldn’t get the brakes to fail or get mushy again. I hope flushing and bleeding the system was all I needed to do.
I also managed to get the transmission fluid changed today. It seems to shift better now.