In this video we're
going to show you how to replace the front wheel cylinders, brake hoses, brake
shoes, and hardware. We start the front brake rebuild by loosening the lug
bolts, jacking up the front of the car and setting it on jack stands.
On the left side the
speedometer cable clip will have to be removed from the speedometer cable so
that we can pop off the grease cap with a pry bar or in our case a pickle fork.
Now we can loosen the axle nut screw with a six milliliter allen wrench and we
can remove the axle nut. The left hand side nut is reversed so left-hand
threaded so it will turn to the right to remove it. The right side axle nut has
a standard thread.
Now we can pull the
break drum off. When pulling off a break drum make sure that the thrust washer
and outer bearing are put in a safe spot. With the front brake drum removed
it's good time to take a picture with a digital camera. So if you aren't
familiar with the orientation of the brake components, you have a good
reference for the reassembly.
To remove the brake
shoes, take off both break tension springs with a pair of players. Remove the brake
shoe retaining cap by holding the pin with a pair of pliers and then twisting
the cap. Remove the cap, springs, and pins from both sides and save all the
hardware until after the breaks are reassembled.
With the shoes and the
hardware out of the way, we can wipe down the backing plate. If you have a
drain pan or old rag to place under the brake assembly, now would be a good
time to spray down the backing plate with brake cleaner as well. Since the
previous owner of the car installed the front right brake hose incorrectly, we
need to replace both front brake hoses.
We start by pulling the
brake clip that holds the rubber line in place to the chassis with a pair of
pliers. If a clip is stubborn a pair of vice grips and small hammer can be used
as well. With the clip removed we disconnect the brake hose from the steel
line, with an 11 millimeter and 17 millimeter wrench. With the brake hose
disconnected the steel line might begin to leak, so tuck an old rag in place to
catch any brake fluid. Now that the brake hose is disconnected from the steel
line, we can unscrew it from the wheel cylinder and it can be thrown away.
Last for the disassembly,
since the wheel cylinder bleeder valve was broken off in the wheel cylinder, we
need to replace the wheel cylinders as well. The wheel cylinder is held to the
backing plate with a 13 millimeter headed bolt on the back side. Remove the
bolt and then remove the wheel cylinder from the backing plate and throw it
away. With all the brake components that we are replacing now removed we can
begin the brake rebuild.
We start by installing a
new wheel cylinder which is set in place on the backing plate and then bolted
to the backing plate with a 13millimeter headed bolt. Before installing the
new brake shoes and hardware screw in the brake adjusting screws all the way. Make
sure to align the screw correctly with the angle of the brake shoe. There's an
angle on the screw with a tall side on one side and a shorter side on the
other. Match up the angle with the angle that the new brake shoes will fit. Then
smear a small amount of grease on the brake shoe, at the wheel cylinder and
brake shoe area and also on the backing plate on the nubs were the brake shoe
sits against. This will help prevent brake squeals.
We start by setting the
top brake shoe in place and then slide the brake shoe retaining pin through the
back of the backing plate and then through the brake shoe. Set the spring over
the shoe around the pin and then put the cap over the pin and spring. The cap
needs to be pressed down over the pin to compress the spring and then twisted
90 degrees to hold everything in place. This can oftentimes be done with your
fingers if not, use a pair of needle nose pliers to twist the pin while
pressing the cap down.
Install the bottom brake
shoe with the pin, spring, and cap using the same method. Install the brake
tension spring from the top shoe to the bottom shoe at the front and rear. The
thicker of the two tension springs goes on the wheel cylinder side. We
installed the spring into the hole at the top and then stretched it down to the
bottom with a pair of pliers to the opposite hole to hold it in place.
The last piece we will
be replacing is the new brake hose. First we fit it in place to the wheel
cylinder. The threads are tapered so there's no need for thread sealant. Put the opposite end of the hose in place at the chassis tab and thread the
steel line into the break hose. Tighten the two together holding the break hose
in place to keep it from twisting, again there's no need for thread sealant.
With the break those
tight, install the brake hose clip in place. Set in place by hand then tap it
down fully to seal it with a small hammer or as we do in our case the heavy set
of pliers. Now we can install the
brake drum making sure that and inner wheel seal are both in place and the
bearings are well greased. Slide the drum onto the spindle, followed by the
outer wheel bearing and the thrust washer. Then thread on the axle nut. Tighten
the axle nut to firmly seat the bearings, then back it off so the brake drum
spins freely but there is no play inward or outward on the drum. Tighten the
set screw on the adjustment nut and then tap the grease cap in place.
On the left hand side
it's usually easier to install the speedometer cable, into the grease cap,
before tapping the cap in place. With the brake drum installed we go underneath
the car, to the backside of backing plate, so we can adjust the brake shoes. To
show you what's happening when we turn the shoe adjusters, we have the front
drum off here. We're using a flat screwdriver to adjust the nuts. We access the
nuts through the holes in the backing plate. When you turn the adjusting nut
the screw movie either in or out to push the brake shoe up or let it pull down
to loosen or tighten the brake. We adjust the brake shoes rotating the nut to
tighten each shoe until you can no longer spin the brake drum. Then back it off
a few times so that the drum spins freely, yet you can still feel the drag from
the shoe on the drum. Repeat the adjustment process for both brake shoes.
With the brake shoe
adjustment complete we can install the brake inspection hole plugs in place on the backing
plate. At this point if you weren't replacing any hydraulic components like we
did. We can install the wheels and lug bolts, jack the car up, pull out the
jack stands and lower the car back down. Tighten up the lug bolts, snap your
hubcaps back on and the front brake rebuild would be complete.
However in our case
since we did replace the wheel cylinders and hoses, we still need to bleed the
brake system before we drive away.
We start the brake
bleeding process with the car up on jack stands at all four wheels so that we can
access the brake bleeder valves. We've only pulled the wheels off for visual
assistance you don't need to do that at home.
Up in the trunk we go
through and make sure that the brake fluid reservoir is full, before starting
the bleeding process. We start the brake bleeding process off at the right
rear, the farthest away from the master cylinder.
We've put together a
simple brake fluid catcher. It's nothing more than plastic water bottle with a
piece of hose inserted through a little hole we drilled in the top of the cap and
we have a hose running down into the bottle. It's best to use a clear hose but
anything that fits the bleeder valve is fine. You want to have a small amount
of brake fluid in the bottle before you begin and make certain the hose is
actually submerged in the fluid. This will help you to see any air bubbles that
may be present in the line when bleeding your brakes.
With the bottle in place
underneath the wheel and the hose on the bleeder valve screw, use a wrench; in
this case it's going to be a 7millimeter, to open and close the screw. We're
going to have an assistant pump the brake pedal about 5 to 6 times while we
have the screw tightened. Then we will tell them to hold on the pedal and while
they are holding a pedal down you will open or unscrew the valve about one
quarter turn. It is very important to make sure your assistant keeps the pedal
down whenever the bleeder valve is open.
With the pedal down and
the bleeder valve open, leave the bleeder valve open for a couple of seconds and
then tighten it and have your assistant pump the pedal again. You want to do
roughly ten of these pump and hold cycles to make certain that there isn't any
air in the right rear line before moving to the left rear. When you're bleeding
the brakes keep an eye on the fluid coming into the bottle, especially while
the valve is open.
If there's any air in
the line you will see bubbles coming from the hose. If there isn't any air you
should see the fluid level in the bottle rise slightly. In our case we didn't
change the hydraulic lines on the rear so we're not going to see much air in
the rear lines but because there is in the front lines the master cylinder cannot
build much pressure so we're not going to see a bunch of fluid rising
drastically. The main thing is making
we're making sure that there's no air in the rear lines. When switching between
wheels you want to make certain to top off the brake fluid reservoir with
At the left rear we're
going to repeat the brake bleeding process again and again we're not going to
see any air bubbles. We should see the fluid rise just ever so slightly when
the valve is open. With the left rear brake lines bled it's time to top off the
brake fluid reservoir once again and we're going to move to the front right
wheel. Since we have replaced the front brake hoses and wheel cylinders on the
front right, we're going to see a lot of air at first when bleeding the brakes
here. Keep doing the pump and hold cycles until you no longer see any air
bubbles coming out of the line and you have a steady stream of fluid coming out
with each opening of the valve.
It is at the front right
where your assistant might mention that the brake pedal actually feels like
it's doing some work. Giving them some resistance while there are pumping the
brakes. With all the air bled from the front right, top off the brake fluid
reservoir again and bleed the front left brake line. With the left bled make
sure to top off the brake fluid reservoir and put the cap back on. At this
point the brake pedal should be nice and firm. The brake shoes, hardware, wheel
cylinders, and hoses replaced. This car's breaking system is now completely
rebuilt and ready to stop the car safely.