: Question about drum brake cyliders

06-16-05, 12:39 PM
If they're leaking, are they repairable? My rear passenger drum brake cylinder is leaking like crazy and Kragen can't order it... It's a tiny little cylider, and while it would take a lot of miles to drain the reservoir, brakes on a 5500# car are something I'd like to have in good working order...

Anybody know if I can fix this, or where I can find a replacement?



06-16-05, 03:41 PM
yes, you can buy a rebuild kit. should be pretty simple to do, just a few seals. I have only rebuild disc calipers, but this shouldn't be much different.
See my reply in the RWD Deville forum. Rockauto sells wheel cylinder rebuild kits as well.

The Ape Man
06-16-05, 04:22 PM
Unless you are driving some sort of rare car then any auto parts outfit should be able to source rear wheel cylinders. Maybe you need to find a parts house that will work for your business. Wagner brake products has a nice catalog which goes back to WW2. Lots of the parts are sitting in the larger warehouses. As far as rebuilding anything involved in the braking system, if the parts have not been carefully measured and checked then it is not rebuilt properly. Yeah, you can stuff in new rubber but what if the bore is scored? OK so do you own a brake hone if the bore is rusty? Wheel cylinder replacement is relatively labor intensive so the expense of new units should add only a small cost but large value to the job. This isn't Cuba.
The biggest problem with changing wheel cylinders is removing the steel lines without damage. This can be done on all but rusted through lines with a flare nut wrench, some skill and a propane torch. Brake fluid can cause a neat little fire which might make itself into a not so neat large fire so use proper precaution. While you are at it check out the return springs and self adjusters. Most times leaking wheel cylinders are caused by brakes which do not self adjust or worn shoes with oversized (reject) drums.

06-16-05, 06:17 PM
Agree - I just had no idea where to go for parts...

06-19-05, 09:36 AM
What kind of car?

If 76 and older, check for Olds/Chevy/Pontiac/Buick station wagons, they had the largest, but I suspect they are the same ones that are on a 76 and older Cadillac.

If 77-up, check for Wagons, Limo's and full size pickups. Often S10's have decent wheel cylinders. They are a bolt on for the 78-88 A/G Bodies.

Manual brake cars sometimes have bigger to give a little bit easier pedal feel so it isn't so hard.

06-25-05, 07:30 PM
Take you 15 minutes to replace the wheel cylinder granted the brakeline isnt a PITA. Just make sure you put the drum assembly back together correctly.... always leave one drum assembled at all times! :o