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Thread: mechanics-wheel cylinder brief leak

  1. #1
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    mechanics-wheel cylinder brief leak

    I was looking at the rear drum brakes on my 89-5.0 Mustang.

    I decided to check the wheel cylinders to see if the pistons were not sticking.
    A mechanic once told me to push the pistons back in with a screwdriver to see if they are free and if they go back in they are ok.

    Tried the drivers side and both pistons went back in,then the rear piston started leaking some brake fluid,not a lot but enough to make some drops on the ground.
    I cleaned the brake fluid off with brake cleaner,put the drum back on and pumped the brakes to get the pistons back where they were and it hasn't leaked a drop with the brake pedal under pressure.

    No signs of any leakage before doing this and the master cylinder is right up.I didn't try it on the passenger side after this happened,lol.
    Wheel cylinders are original and never showed any signs of leakage.

    Any recommendations or cause for concern or did I just maybe push the piston in to far on the rear piston?

  2. #2
    Posting and liking.... Ponyryd's Avatar
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    Probably leaking a bit, often it will stay dry for a few months or years when this happens, depends how much the car is driven.

  3. #3
    Admin ZR's Avatar
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    Yes possible it won't leak again but in the same breath, if cyls, rear flex hose and front flex hoses are original, in the interest of safety, long overdue all are replaced n brake fluid fully flushed.

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    Talked to the mechanic a week and a half ago.
    Said I probably pushed the piston in too far and if it's not leaking now it's basically fine.

    Because of the age of the parts I decided to have the wheel cylinders,all brake hoses and brake fluid replaced.
    Parking brake cables were replaced last fall.

    One thing that hasn't changed after that work is the drivers side drum still gets a lot hotter than the passenger side drum.

    I had a different mechanic check out the rear brakes in 2014 and he said they were working fine but he couldn't give me an answer why one side was hotter than the other.
    Anyone have an answer,this is pissing me off a bit.

  5. #5
    Posting and liking.... Ponyryd's Avatar
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    I would swap the drums from side-to-side, that will help narrow it down since it could be a drum with a different steel makeup causing the shoes to bite harder.

  6. #6
    Admin ZR's Avatar
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    Hotter side to side, wheel cyl hanging a bit, brake adjustment is out, park brake cable hanging up or adjusted too tight or return springs sacked out.

  7. #7
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    Parking brake has no manual adjustment on this car.
    You set the spring tension in the parking brake handle,hook up the cables at the equalizer,pull out a nail holding the tension and it's set.

    When I would check the drums in the past before the work the drivers side would leave a ring of brake dust on the ground when laying the drum on the ground and the passenger side would leave pretty much no brake dust on the ground.

    Don't know if that will change after the work.
    I checked them before the work and they would apply/release on both sides no problem.

    I have a set of new brake springs lying around at home,but I don't know if that would make any difference as both sides apply/release.

  8. #8
    Admin ZR's Avatar
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    What they do static vs when under actual braking could yield entirely different results. Replacing hold down and return springs is prudent plus cost is minimal.

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    Do you think weak return springs would cause only one side to get hotter?
    Wouldn't the springs be equally worn/weak on both sides.

  10. #10
    Admin ZR's Avatar
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    Even grooves where shoe contacts the backing plate can affect

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