RO

Adding brake fluid on 1960 Chrysler Saratoga

Recommended Posts

How do you add brake fluid to a 1960 Chrysler Saratoga? There is big stiff bellows above where I believe the Master Cylinder cap is located.

Thanks.

1960 Saratoga brake bellows.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Use a 7/16" wrench... undo the M/cyl screw and remove the cover. Use a very small clean bottle.... fill  the bottle with brake fluid 3/4 full and top off the M/cylinder or use a syringe if you like to fill it.

I do them all the time.

Late 50's MoPars are all like this with a bellows booster.

I actually am able to use a 1 pint Dot 3 bottle to fill them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks.

I may have to add fluid depending upon what we find when we open up the right rear brakes as there has been an intermittent issue with "something" heating up on the right rear. Car driven on two fifteen mile trips about 4 hours apart and no issues. But car was driven about 40 miles yesterday and when it arrived the right rear hubcap was warmer than the left side but then in about 2-5 minutes smoke began rising from the right rear and the hubcap was almost too hot to touch.  This had happened one other time back in December and when I jacked the rear of the car up a few days later, the rear wheel turned about what you expect for correctly adjusted brakes. Since there is no parking gear on the car, the emergency brake is used. We're pondering an intermittent sticking emergency brake cable perhaps. Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've also used a pump style oiler to add brake fluid to the master cylinder.

 

To RO, consider replacing the central brake line to the rear wheel.  They can collapse internally and prevent the fluid from returning from the rear brakes.  You may be seeing it only on one wheel because the other is not adjusted as tight as the one over heating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has the car sat for a while? If so, the pistons could be stuck in the cylinder after application of the brakes, causing the brakes to drag. This is particularly likely if you have a brass sleeved cylinder with aluminium piston. The hygroscopic brake fluid has absorbed water and a galvanic cell is created between the brass and aluminium.

 

If your emergency brake cable is sticking, it may be because someone has oiled it. Oil is a wetting agent and attracts dust. The cable will get clogged with dust and get harder to operate, maybe sticky, eventually breaking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your car has center plane brakes. These can be finicky especially with modern brake lining materials.

The correct return springs of proper tension are must for good operation.

Correct brake shoe adjustment is critical.

You could have a leak causing the shoes to on/off drag .

.Note that the  E-brake is at the back of the transmission.not at the rear wheels.

A shop manual is a must.

Just some more info for you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the information. Hope to get into it later this week.  I do have a service manual and see the internal brake tube between the dual wheel cylinders which I have not worked on before. The E-brake at the back of the tranny I am also unfamiliar with.The car gets out once or twice a month. The car belongs to my brother and the only brake work I can recall he has had the last ten years is a reputable shop a couple years ago added brake fluid but I vaguely remember "something" about that bellows above the MC filler cap, they may have removed it, not sure. Saturday he drove the car to my place about 40 miles when we noticed the problem, so I kept the car here which puts it a long way from the repair shop he would normally take it to. I am familiar with Andy Bernbaum for parts that might be needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I discovered "the trick" to access the MC cover is to fire up the engine and the bellows will raise up just enough for access; we were unable to pull the cap off w/o doing that on this car. Besides a rear hose issue, unfortunately we had brake fluid leaking rather significantly from the back of the bellows though I don't know why fluid would be coming from the bellows unless the vacuum hoses was sucking it up into it. We pulled the bellows for rebuild. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also pull the master cylinder for rebuild or replacement, that's the part that's leaking.

They are cheap on rockauto.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rockauto.com does not list a master cylinder or kit for the Saratoga. Would it be the same as for a Windsor which they do list?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was thinking I would buy a complete cylinder.

I don't rebuild cylinders when already done ones are priced reasonably.

I would think that Windsor is the same. Maybe you could Google up some pictures.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did google pictures and they appear identical to me, so placed the order.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also own a 1960 Saratoga .....  No fluid would come from the bellows,  as it is completely independent from the hydraulics.   You must have a leak in the master or a line coming from it.   As far as getting your bellows booster rebuilt,  the best place is  Booster Dewey in Portland OR.   http://www.boosterdeweyexchange.com/

I've had him rebuild a couple of boosters for me.  from 1957-1961 there were two types of boosters used,  the bellows type and a steel canister type, ( which is on my Saratoga) and they are interchangeable.   The master cylinder you need is the same as the one used in the Windsor or New Yorker.   

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