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BREAK TROUBLE


Guest broker-bob

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Guest broker-bob

I have two 30s mopars,,if you are any thing like me you would like to drive your cars more that you do --they sit alot-- my wheel Cylinders have always given me trouble I would hone them out getting rid of pits steel wool the pistons reasemble with new cups and try to center the shoes-----but it seemed I never had good stopping power and they would pull----- and in a while I would pull drums and rust under the boots,,, and pistons were froze--------I tried something differant this summer pulled the cylinders again but this time I coated the cylinders with break grease,,,,seems like it is a graffit ,,,,,, then the cups and piston and boot------- took my 36 out today and the breaks and getting better and better as they seat and do not pull ------ WHAT DO YOU THINK ----- any on else have any---- Ideas----------------bobnroman@yahoo.com

Edited by broker-bob (see edit history)
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Bob. take a break from the brakes. Then find modern cylinders with steel pistons in either the Raybestos or wagner catalogues that have the same ID and length as your OE brake cylinders. If there is no direct swap-out, send your old cylinders out and have them bored out and sleeved with stainless steel sleeves or brass, I really like the stainless sleeves. Then clean the metal parts from the new kit in lacquer thinner, the rubber parts in denatured alcohol, then go get yourself some Dot-5 Silicone fluid and reassemble everything with a nice coating of silicone fluid on everything. Flush out the lines with Denatured alcohol, plug the lines and fill them overnight, then drain the alcohol out and blow out the lines with compressed air. Don't pump the pedal when bleeding, just push once slowly, bleed, repeat until the air is gone. You can sture the car for years and it will have great brakes when you go back to it.

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I tried something differant this summer pulled the cylinders again but this time I coated the cylinders with break grease,,,,seems like it is a graffit ,,,,,, then the cups and piston and boot-------

This is a VERY bad idea. Petroleum based grease will cause rubber o-rings and seals to swell. One of 2 things are going to happen. Either you're going to have leaks past the seals or you're going to have the o-rings swell the pistons shut in place. Either way you're eventually going to lose your brakes.

Having the wheel cylinders sleeved is your best bet, as John suggested. A number of firms do this, both nationally and locally, including: Apple Hydraulics: Brake and clutch , Karps Brake Service-sleeving , and White Post Restorations (who's web site is currently down for some reason). Many parts vendors sell resleeved wheel cylinders as well, requiring a core charge for your old ones. Do a good search for a firm and product that people have been happy with.

And lose that grease as soon as possible!

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Guest simplyconnected

Bob, there seems to be something missing in this equation. If you use DOT-3 (per the manual), and you change it every few years, you will never find rust in your lines or cylinders.

Mr.Pushbutton, who I highly regard, recomends a silicone-based fluid that offers different properties, some good and some bad. Chrysler still fills their brake systems with DOT-3, because it is the most appropriate. So does Ford and GM.

I whole heartedly agree with Dave Moon; keep all petroleum and water-based products far away from your brake system. I have seen new brakes fail because the parts were washed in gasoline. As Dave said, they swell, and when you mash the pedal your car will stop, but the cylinders will NOT retract.

Don't ever mix DOT-3 with DOT-5. The fluid will congeal and turn to mud inside the lines (it's a real mess). If your car came with DOT-3, all your seals are made for DOT-3. Continue using it. Stop Light pressure switches fail after two years from using DOT-5.

DOT-3 is glycol based, and it sucks up water faster than Scotch. Any moisture disburses in the fluid until it reaches saturation. If you change your fluid before saturation (about once every few years), the fluid will inhibit rust.

DOT-5 gives a spongy pedal feel and it makes water pool in the lowest areas; usually in your wheel cylinders, causing rust. All seals in your brake system must be compatable with DOT-5 on order to use it.

You can sleeve your cylinders, and you may find aluminum pistons in standard rebuild packages. These are moves in the right direction. But, stay with DOT-3 and change it every few years. That will keep your pedal 'hard' and your bleeder valves moving freely. - Dave

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Guest broker-bob

thanks everyone for the sugestions it seems my trouble is from the pistion out the mosture rusts the steel as far as sleaving I guess I'm too cheap try not to spend alot money on these things,,,,,,,,, I coated the Wheel Cylinder with the break grease which, as I said seems to be a graffit product and not shure if it is petrolum it does read on can not to use it internaly but tired of breaks not working I did both cars that way so I will ride it out and see what happens thanks see my cars bobnroman@yahoo.com

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At least 3 people wasted thier time giving you good advise in answer to your question only to have you say "well gee, I'll keep on doing what I'm doing with my breaks even though it's totally wrong". If you weren't going to heed the advise given why waste everyones time?..........Bob

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Guest broker-bob

Please understand I appreciate the advise but most of it I already know ---- since as stated I already did the breaks -------would it make sense to run right down to my garage ,,,,,,,,,,in the middle of winter and redo it ?????????????????????--weather it is working on my home or cars or anything ,,,I always take other people's advise and store it away for future use some I use some I doint--------------------BR

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Guest Gary Hearn

PLEASE...... you are working on BRAKES in your car, BREAKS are what you get in your bones when you fall down or the good (or bad) luck that comes your way.

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Guest broker-bob

about the silicone !!!!!! I tried it years ago and it swelled all the rubber in the master cylinder ----doint know why --- --I under stand it is not prone to hold water as dot 3 is --but could not use it ---BR

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A further explanation. The reason that you're finding rust and water in your brake cylinders is quite simple.

Brake fluid is an oil and is lighter than water so it rises while moisture settles to the lowest place in the brake system, the wheel cylinders.

Your uneven braking may be due to one of the front flexible brake lines being plugged by the inner rubber lining swelling. Replace front hoses to restore equal pressure.

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There is nothing wrong with Dot-3, if you are going to replace it (empty the system and refill-re-bleed) it every 3-5 years or so. I worked on a very large collection of antique cars and can say from experience that the cars we had in the fleet that recieved the "complete treatment" I described above always had great braking action, they could sit in the museum for years, get invitied to a show, and the last thing we had to worry about was the brakes. Many of the cars we had in storage suffered from breakdown of the Dot-3 fluid, which in many cases was probably the original brake fluid, I recally a number of cars where there was what looked like jelly in the master cylinders.

What ever fluid you are running the system on, clean the new cylinder parts as I described above and coat the parts with that fluid. Avoid the kits with aluminum pistons (not many of those are being made new today) and go with the steel pistons. The aluminum reacts with the steel bores (electrosys) and welds itself in place if the vehicle sits for long.

As to the situation with the Silicone fluid swelling the rubber in your MC, here again a new set of seals and parts are needed, they will not react to the silicone, if that is the way you want to go. The composition of those rubber parts is made to live in the Silicone fluid just fine.

Silicone fluid is an all-or-nothing-at-all proposition, you either do everything, clean or new, or not at all.

I completely re-did the brakes in my 1963 Chevy II six years ago, I replaced the hard lines with brand new, custom-bent stainless steel lines from Inline tube, new cylinders and MC, and new flex hoses. I cleaned and coated the parts as described above, bled the system, and now every spring when I get the car out of storage the last thing I worry about is the brakes. Yes, the pedal feels a little different, but it still has "good" pedal, and stops on a dime.

Another thing I neglected to mention: go over every square inch of that system--the hard lines, fittings, soft lines, make sure everything is in top condition. You owe that to the car, and to the motoring public at large so that the car will stop as best it can in an emergency situation. We are all ambassadors for our hobby and we need to put the safest foot forward.

Edited by mrpushbutton (see edit history)
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  • 3 months later...
Guest De Soto Frank

For what it's worth:

When I did a total brake rebuild on my '41 De Soto, about 13 years ago, I replaced all the wheels cylinders and master cylinder with NOS, throwing away the NOS rubber cups and buying new ones a la carte from a jobber that had a Wagner compartment-tray full of assorted cups.

I replaced all the steel lines and brake hoses, then filled the system with DOT 5 silicone fluid.

After some misadventures using a pressure-bleeder to fill the system ( which frothed the DOT-5 and made it impossible to bleed the air out of the system ), I carefully pedal-bled the system, and it has functioned fine ever since ( 13 years / 30,000 miles).

I did have trouble with the ( new replacement) hydraulic stoplight switch failing, twice... so I changed to a mechanical switch on the toe-board, borrowed from an early '50s Chevy truck.

I went with silicone fluid on that job on the premise of it being less likely to absord & hold moisture from the atmosphere. With MoPar step-bore wheel cyls running $50 / each then, I wanted my NOS cyls to last as long as possible.

Since doing the De Soto, I have done a 1/2-dozen other full-brake rebuilds on vintage cars / trucks, and have used DOT-3 or DOT-4 on all of them.

I do NOT think the use of graphite grease on the pistons is a good idea; the grease is still in a petroleum base, and it eventually will contaminate the fluid and affect the rubber cups.

If you're staying with DOT-3 or 4 fluid (glycol based), then that is the only thing that should be used to "lube" the pistons / outer bore of cylinder.

One more thought - the Lockheed fixed-anchor brakes used on MoPars thru 1956 are VERY fussy about having the linings ground to match the curvature of the drum exactly, and then having the anchor-pins adjusted, using either the Miller Special tool, or an AMMCO 1750 brake adjusting gauge. If the Lockheed brakes are not set-up correctly, they don't work very well.

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NO PROBLEMS USING DOT-5

Having done FULL RESTORATION OF THE BRAKE SYSTEMS on:

our '58 Bel-air sedan,

our '52 Caddy convertible,

our '63 Impala convertible,

our '52 Chevy Convertible,

our '62 Rambler "400" Sedan,

and our '52 Kaiser Manhattan,

Having toured the Impala more than 100,000 miles and nearly 20 years after restoration,

I REFUTE any "well-meaning" comments denigrating the use of DOT-5.

No problem bleeding the system

No problems with brake light switches

no problem with seals, cups, or any other new rubber parts;

At least that is our unbiased report of success using Silicone Brake Fluid over the years, over the many miles.

So long as the system is completely cleaned with denatured alcahol, and preferably air-dried over night, as opposed to forced air,, and as long as ALL rubber components are replaced,

The long-term success of the brake system WITH DOT-5 appears to be FAR SUPERIOR to that of DOT-3.

Absolutely none of the suppose negative effects were noted in any of our cars.

Then again, we took the time to do it right.

I firmly believe that the benefits of DOT-5 dramatically outweigh the additional effort required to do a complete job, but since you are probably trying to do it right anyway, why not go all the way with a far-superior product: Silicone Brake Fluid.

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