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Identifying fluid leak in drum

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Panther, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

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    When I went out to work on the truck on Sat, I saw fluid running down the bottom of my rear, passenger side rim. So I pulled the rim and drum and there is fluid puddling in the drum and then running out. It is yellow so it has obviously mixed with water (which is understandable with the snow and mud) so I couldn't really ID it by look.

    I'm wondering how to figure out if it's the brake cylinder in the wheel or the axle seal leaking (which I believe could leak like that). The only thing that seems to be wet is the adjuster at the bottom. But it had sat for about a week. If it's the clyinder, it might explain the spongey brakes and pulling under hard braking. What can I do to test it?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. rebelk5frk

    rebelk5frk 1/2 ton status

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    Wipe it as clean as you can then with the drum on pump the brakes a few times. Check for new fluid around the cylinder.
     
  3. BigBurban350

    BigBurban350 1/2 ton status

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    On the wheel cylinder in the rear brakes, peel back the rubber dust boot on each side and inspect for brake fluid, if there is fluid behind these boots then its time to replace the leaky wheel cylinder. /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  4. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    It's really easy to tell the difference. If it stinks like hell, then it's gear oil. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif If it doesn't, then it's brake fluid. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

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    Quick update: I found out something interesting last nite. I was reading the brakes chapter of my service manual and found out the red BRAKE light on the dash is a failure warning light in addition to being a parking brake light. I had ignored it thinking it was cause my parking brake was messed up (the PO didn't lengthen it after the lift). The light combined with apparent lack of hydraulic pressure in the rear brake I can feel in the brake pedal (which I now understand the cause of after reading the manual) and combined with the fact that the rubber boots on the cyliners are shot, means I will rebuild the two rear wheel cylinders. Then I'll regroup from there.

    All I can say is RTFM. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    I prefer the taste test. If it's oily, terrible tasting and stinks, that's gear oil. If it instantly cleans your fingers and burns your tongue, that's brake fluid.

    You can also test by rubbing some of the fluid on the side of the vehicle. If the paint comes off, you know it's brake fluid.
     
  7. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I prefer the taste test. If it's oily, terrible tasting and stinks, that's gear oil. If it instantly cleans your fingers and burns your tongue, that's brake fluid.

    You can also test by rubbing some of the fluid on the side of the vehicle. If the paint comes off, you know it's brake fluid.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yeah good idea. I'll try both. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     
  8. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    If the bbots are torn up you might be better off w/ new wheel cyl's. IIRC, 2 new ones were about $15 more than 2 rebuild kits ~ $25 vs $10
     
  9. 77ChevyK10

    77ChevyK10 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I prefer the taste test. If it's oily, terrible tasting and stinks, that's gear oil. If it instantly cleans your fingers and burns your tongue, that's brake fluid.

    You can also test by rubbing some of the fluid on the side of the vehicle. If the paint comes off, you know it's brake fluid.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Good idea. I have done the paint one my self.

    Andrew
    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif
     
  10. Panther

    Panther 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    If the bbots are torn up you might be better off w/ new wheel cyl's. IIRC, 2 new ones were about $15 more than 2 rebuild kits ~ $25 vs $10

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Good call Jim. I couldn't even get the rebuild kit from my local parts store. They were only $10 a piece for new cylinders. At that price, he doesn't even stock the rebuild kits.
     

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