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brake fluid leak from drum - could use a little help

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by amm888, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. amm888

    amm888 1/2 ton status

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    my rear compartment in the break master cylinder has been getting low and i've got brake fluid coming out of my rear passenger drum - so i took the drum off and it's just all wet in there.

    my question is - now what? should i just buy the brake assembly kit ($9) and swap in the new pieces - think that'll do the trick? is this a difficult task? or should i clean out the drum and try to pinpoint the leak....

    i've never played with drum brakes before, so i'd appreciate any advice you might have

    thanks,
    alex
     
  2. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    It sounds like you need a new wheel cylinder. Be sure to bleed your brakes real good after you replace it. Buy a can or two of brake parts cleaner and clean up the mess while you're in there. I would replace the shoes also; they are fairly cheap.
     
  3. amm888

    amm888 1/2 ton status

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    just looked that up in the chilton's manual...sounds easier than replacing the brake assembly. thanks for the input, i think i'll give that a try.

    as far as the brake assembly goes, does that stuff even have anything to do with the actual fluid? or just the movements of the shoes...perhaps i was barking up the wrong tree initially.

    any other suggestions?
     
  4. Leadfoot

    Leadfoot 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    What has happened is the wheel cylinder is leaking. The parts is cheap. The hard part is disassembly of the brakes and removing the brake line to the wheel cylinder without ruining/rounding the fitting or twisting the line (soak with penetrating fluid several times/days before you start the work). You should also replace the shoes as they have absorbed the brake fluid and can cause your brakes to "grab" and lockup which could be dangerous.

    In order to replace the wheel cylinder, you will have to disassemble the brake shoes and hardware. Most books will show you how and there is usually a correct orientation for each piece so take a picture or do one side at a time, so you have the other side to fall back on for reference.

    You can do the job with common hand tools, but I would suggest buying a set of brake spring pliers and the tool (can't think of the name) that is used for undoing the shoe antichatter locks (usually you find them in the same section as the brake pliers). You might even be able to get them from autozone on their tool loaner program
     
  5. amm888

    amm888 1/2 ton status

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    just noticed that my hayne's manual says to always rebuild both wheel cylinders at a time. is this also true as far as wheel cylinder replacement goes? is this really necessary?
     
  6. amm888

    amm888 1/2 ton status

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    that's two votes for wheel cylinder...i'll get on it ASAP. thanks for the advice guys.

    Leadfoot, according to my chilton's i only need to "remove the brake shoe pull-back springs" which i'm assuming are the return springs. however, my hayne's does say i need to remove the shoes themselves. i guess i'll come to that bridge when i burn it.

    stay tuned for more questions!

    al
     
  7. divorced

    divorced 3/4 ton status

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    Only take one side apart at a time so you can look at the other side to how things go back together.

    Don't worry about rebuilding the cylinders, new ones are only about $10.





    ;)
     
  8. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    i work auto shop and if blown and covered in fluid get new shoes thay are cheep. and do both wheel cylders also. use lots of brake cleaner.:wink1:
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Good point, doesn't take much to contaminate the brake shoes, and you can't get the stuff out of them.

    I had a leaking axle seal, brake on that side would lock up with any brake application after they warmed up.
     
  10. amm888

    amm888 1/2 ton status

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    thanks for the info all. i changed out the leaky wheel cylinder...noone mentioned what INCREDIBLE FUN it is to put those springs BACK ON! i now have a very bruised pair of plyers and a sore throat...(and i still have the other side to do (is that REALLY necessary...))

    al
     
  11. sweetk30

    sweetk30 professional hooker Premium Member

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    buy a set of brake tool plyers. thay will be your best friend.
     

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