What are Common Problems with Wheel Cylinders?

What are the most common problems that can go wrong with wheel cylinders. One of the problems I know is they can leak, that way however you will know they leak because
there will be fluid loss. If there is no fluid loss, what are other common problems to go wring with wheel cylinders.
Thanks in advance Denny B
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Denny B wrote:

seize in the bores ..... if you have no leaks just tap the shoes with your fist (hard enough to move them)and make sure the pistons move in and out.
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I am tempted to replace the cylinders and really want to. The only problem is I am not sure if I can undo the 2 bolts that hold the cylinder to the backing plate, and also undo the hydraulic line nut that attaches to the cylinder. If I knew these were not rusted on, I would change the cylinders in a flash. Bleeding the system is no problem.
Denny B
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wrote:

preflared lines are cheap just bend to shape cylinders are cheap
replace it foctard to lazy and cheap to invest in brakes?
h u r c a s t
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Doubt you'll have problems with those bolts.. no exposure
Here's a scrape from a recent tip I posted:
Summary - when in doubt replace! And Size-change male-female fittings are avail at GOOD parts stores.. takes some practice to do a good double- flare.
Check the WHOLE line system for caked rust all the way to the front.. if it's caked on there, it's gonna go.
- - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - Just replaced my second (different cars) rusty broken line in a month..what does that say about my life! :(
Here's some good advice, I think.
Forget Autozone and the like for parts.. they'll have the flex lines but when it comes to solid lines, Autozone particularly is near useless, they dont have everything you might need...EXCEPT for the double flaring tool which you can rent for nothing or buy cheap.
Find a parts house that supplies local shops.
1. Is the line good or bad... If it has "flaky cakerust", it's gonna go soon if it hasnt already.
2. Get QUALITY tubing wrenches, not no-names.. you shouldnt need more than two or three
***THIS IS THE MAIN POINT OF THIS POST: 3. Dont waste your time trying to get rusty fittings loose. - If it's a bad/rusty line anyway, cut it at the nut and use a GOOD six- point socket. ****NO TUBING WRENCH IS AS GOOD AS A SIX-POINT SOCKET!***** - If the whole connection is solid rust, replace that other part as well.     Example: rear line goes into flex line at body bracket, and you see a solid mass of rust, including the bracket itself. Cut the solid line, remove the entire bracket and flex line as an assembly and chip rust away to remove the clip. Replace the Flex line too.
****TRYING TO "MINIMIZE THE JOB" USUALLY ENDS UP IN YOUR REPLACING THE PART ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!****
4. Overestimate the length of the tubing you're replacing when you buy the new one(s) or get several. Cheap enough and you can take the ones you dont use back. It's easy enough to take out excess length by looping the tubing... if you try to "stretch or short-cut" it, you may end up with broken or worn lines soon
5. Ford has a bad habit of using two sizes of fitting on the same line. Look close.. wrench size doesnt matter, it's threaded barrel size that matters. Get male/female adapters.. if it's 3/16 line, get a couple of 3/16 to 1/4
6. Bending: good brake line bends easily without kinking but always bend over a round object as the mandrel, not a sharp one. - Dont try to exactly duplicate the bends..just make sure it follows the same path and is in same area... double check for clearance and rubbing
7. Flaring. Completely replacing a front to back line is usually a bitch... and you probably dont need to anyway. The back half is usually the section that rusts badly. So you will want to splice in new...
Find the rear-most section with no rust between it and the Master Cyl, and where a splice can be made without it ending up exposed to speed bump and road trash.
DO NOT use hose or flex tubing of any kind, do not use compression fittings or single flare.. The rings will eventually leak, the single flare will eventually crack. There's VERY high pressure in these lines, so obviously you dont use hose and clamps
Most people have had bad experieces trying to double flare, and that is mainly because the tool they used was junk... the amateaur couldnt afford the precision pro type tools so ..gasp.. they bought crap and the thing usuall would clamp or the bobbin tool deformed.
Thanks to the Chinese 'Red Army, Inc' who are trying to Out-Japan Japan in terms of product quality, that's no longer always the case. The tool you rent at Autozone IS inexpensive but works well
- Google double flare for directions - Go to Lowes Plumbing Dept for the mini-tubing-cutter, must be rated for 3/16 - knock off ragged edges... dont go nuts and ream it out - INSTALL NUT BEFORE FLARING!!!!!!! - INSTALL NUT BEFORE FLARING!!!!!!! - Tighten end of clamp closest to tubing FIRST, then the other end (Leverage, ya know) Use the round bar through the wings of nut for leverage to tighten - Dont skimp on how much should be projecting from clamp, double flare takes more length than you might think. - Double check... DID YOU INSTALL NUT?!!! - Insert the mandrel, run the tool down HARD till mandrel bottoms on clamp - Remove and look.. should be a "bell" almost to the lip of the tool opening. - Finish the flare.. dont run it down as hard as the first step, just a firm resistance.. if in doubt take it in stages.
8. tighten all fittings to good snug, dont overwrench them
9. Get a brake bleeding tool - free the bleeder screw with a six point socket if it resists at all, - make sure you dont run the reservoir dry, if you have, then "bench bleed" master cyl, first... directions found by google, parts avail at store. - Bleed 'far side' brake cyl first.. till you get liquid, then the other cyl. till mostly liquid - with bleeders closed, pump brake pedal about ten times slowly. - bleed cyls again till no air comes out
10 Start Engine, apply brakes hard - Check all fitting and lines, if a connection is leaking or seeping, tighten no more than 1/4 turn, wipe off and check again. If that 1/4 turn didnt do it..MAYBE another 1/8th turn... if that didnt do it, you have a crack or dirt interfering.
Remember: Time is money, and frustration from poor planning or wrong tools breeds low self-esteem and that ends up costing you money.
Knowledge of a job well done and done right is PRICELESS!
If you could buy it... you'd pay 75 to 100 bucks and hour for it.
Yeah... like a Shrink's fee.

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wrote:

can stick in the bores, but also the caliper can get stuck on the mounting bolts. It is supposed to slide on these, but if it gets stuck, the non-piston pad can drag when the brakes are released, or not touch the pad when the brakes ARE applied.
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Wheel cylinders and caliper bolts are at opposite ends of the car. <G>
Bill
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Yes that is exactly the way they are on my vehicle the bolts secure from behind the Backing plate and in no way can interfere with the shoe operation.
Denny
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Denny B wrote:

short @ the back wheels so just buy new premade ones at your local autp store
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the best thing to do before attempting to replace rear wheel cylinders is to give the brake lines a good soaking every day for a week or so with a good penetrating oil like pb blaster. I have only had I line not come off in 20 years of doing it this way. and if the line does break, it is not that hard to change, just go to a parts store and get the proper length and size line you need. they are cheap.

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wrote:

When replacing brake lines I always make sure I havethe double flare tool handy. Not too many cars are built using "standard replacement" sized lines, and you can do a much neater job if you can make the lines the right length.
I have also found that odten you can remove the bolts from the cyls (and if not, cut them off) then turn the cyl off of the line. After the line is free of the cyl, a bit of heat frees up the nut making installation of the new cyl a painless proposition. If the line is not solid, replace it. On some cars the tube nuts are a different size on one end - making the availability (and ability to use) of a double flare tool an advantage, again.
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