Sign in to follow this  
srhustiene55

1955 Buick century Brakes

Recommended Posts

I just aquired a 55 Buick Century, And I am having trouble moving it around the garage, it feels as if the brakes let the car move but are semi engaged. I tried to take the brake drum off on one wheel and it was on very good so I gave up, Any ideas on how to make my buick a rolling car again? It has not ran in about 15 years if that helps. Thanks

post-66069-143138163247_thumb.jpg

post-66069-143138163252_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:) Hi,

A few things you can try. Loosen all four brakes by using a screwdriver or ( better yet) a brake adjusting tool on the 'starwheel' adjusters. This should allow you to remove the drums to inspect them and the brake shoe return springs, other hardware, and wheel cylinders which is a good idea anyway after fifteen years storage. The rear drums may have a retaining clip on one or two of the studs which should unscrew or snap off.

Another possibility is that the brake fluid is not returning back into the master cylinder due to a blocked port in the master cyl. or hoses collapsed or blocked, which will require either a rebuild of the master cyl. or replacement of hoses.

Please keep us posted.

:) kaycee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:) Back again. Another thing to check is the rear parking brake cables being rusted up and not releasing completely. Spray them with a good penetrating oil like P B Blaster and grab and flex them to loosen or release them. This will only affect the rear wheels of course. Good luck.

:) kaycee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allow me to offer a little more advice. Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb moisture which leads to serious internal corrosion. Brake shoe dust itself is corrosive when exposed to moisture which means you will probably find the adjusting screws frozen. This will mean you will probably have to literally pry or pull the drums off. The only real fix for this is an overhaul and the use of silicone based brake fluid, which will not contribute to corrosion. I am sure this is not what you wanted to hear but it is the most likely root of the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:) Hi again,

Robin made a point on using silicone brake fluid, but for years all we had was regular DOT3 fluid long before silicone fluid was even available and cars ran it for years with minimal problems. I'm betting that there's probably a ridge on the outer edge of the drums from rust from sitting so long and possibly wear from the linings on the drums, or the drums are'frozen' to the axle flanges on the rear and the hubs on the front from rust, giving you problems removing them. If the adjusters are hard to turn, just give them a squirt of penetrating oil through the adjusting holes and they'll loosen up. Loosen the adjusters until you can turn the drum freely even if you have to put the wheels back on for leverage, and, if need be, use a couple of prybars between the backplate and drum after the drums are free enough to be able to pull them off.

Remember to wear a good dust mask if, after you remove the drums, you're going to use compressed air to clean all the dust,etc. off of everything. As you know, asbestos dust is a 'killer'.

Deteriorated fluid could no doubt result in a blocked up port in the master cylinder and 'grimy' wheel cylinders ,as well as bad hoses and lines, so when you get these brakes 'straightened out', it'll be your choice on which fluid to use. A lot depends on how much driving the car will get , or how long it'll be sitting and not be running or stopping. Of course, you should flush all the lines regardless of whether you stay with the older type brake fluid (which does absorb moisture) or go to silicone fluid. There have been posts in the past on these forums as regards the pros and cons of the use of silicone fluid.

:) kaycee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this