New to drum brakes and need some help

New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby solace87 [OP] » July 16th 2013, 6:52am

Hello everyone
I recently bought a 98 safari to use for work as my other work vehicles (minivans) didnt quite have the payload capacity I needed.
I do all my own maintenance and as long as I have a walkthrough or have done something similar before I seem to come out alright.

This is my first vehicle with drums and rwd so I thought I would get some input.

I was driving down the highway and started to hear a dull thudding sound, my brake feel in the pedal seemed to diminish but I wasnt sure. These things arent subtle by any means so I thought it could be my imagination. A short time later I smelled burning, felt a definite decrease in brake pressure and saw smoke coming from the rear of the vehicle.

I pulled over and inspected. This is what I saw
20130715_233725.jpeg

20130715_233741.jpeg




Seems pretty straightforward and looks like a bad wheel cylinder to me. Only thing that throws me off is that the vehicle seems to loose a little fluid from the pumpkin, and that the brake fluid level was fine even though its obvious the leak is pretty bad. Not sure if its leaking some other fluid and if that is tied into the braking somehow. I like I said this is my first car with rear drums and rwd so I am not too familiar with the layout.

Any help would be appreciated as I need to tear it down and fix it tomorrow.

Thanks,
Will
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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby smokinjoe » July 16th 2013, 3:25pm

Leaking from the pumpkin too? It is likely it was already leaking from the pumpkin diff and is unrelated.

Is this only from one side? I would figure you are right in the idea your slave cylendar is bad. You would need to remove the wheel and hub to get a closer look. They are not expensive to replace but check the smell of the fluid to verify what it is.

When the pads start to drag, they can heat up the fluid which boils any water/air in the lines, expanding it and making the drag worse, making heat more & so on.
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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby solace87 [OP] » July 16th 2013, 11:11pm

Looks like they were rubbing which caused premature wear and the wheel cylinder to fail. After 4 hours of work and back and forth for additional parts it is all back together and working. Gotta learn how they work someway though. Seemed alot more hassel than it is worth compared to disc brakes.
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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby smokinjoe » July 17th 2013, 3:15am

I agree. I had always worked on discs since I only worked on motorcycles. When I tore into the drums I was baffled with the complexity. Its like that game mousetrap.
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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby chevymaher » July 17th 2013, 3:16am

smokinjoe wrote:I agree. I had always worked on discs since I only worked on motorcycles. When I tore into the drums I was baffled with the complexity. Its like that game mousetrap.

I been doing brakes since everything but exotics had front drums. All these years later they still are a pain to work on. :banghead:
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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby solace87 [OP] » July 17th 2013, 6:01am

chevymaher wrote:
smokinjoe wrote:I agree. I had always worked on discs since I only worked on motorcycles. When I tore into the drums I was baffled with the complexity. Its like that game mousetrap.

I been doing brakes since everything but exotics had front drums. All these years later they still are a pain to work on. :banghead:


Good to know! I felt like a complete moron after doing the brakes today.
Not sure where that notion came from but I have heard the thing about drums being easier from a few people, all of them people who dont work on cars haha.
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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby RECox286 » July 17th 2013, 1:28pm

I cut my teeth on Bendix Brake systems, so when disks came along I had a learning experience.

Each system has their own good and bad points, like any other mechanical system I've come

in contact with over the years, and each has its' own logic. If you just stop to think about

how things work, and why it isn't working how it should, you are half way to fixed.

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Set a man on fire and he will be warm the rest of his life.

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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby smokinjoe » July 17th 2013, 3:10pm

Bob, let me know when you find an upside of drum brakes.
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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby AstroWill » July 17th 2013, 5:08pm

Upside to drums? For the user or the mfg? Cost, easier parking brake.

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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby cowboydan » August 1st 2013, 11:03pm

AstroWill wrote:Upside to drums? For the user or the mfg? Cost, easier parking brake.

Right on there! Everyone thinks that rear discs easy.... Until you look at the park brake...lol
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Re: New to drum brakes and need some help

Postby Leeann_93 » August 2nd 2013, 2:02am

AstroWill wrote:Upside to drums? For the user or the mfg? Cost, easier parking brake.


Exactly.

My Jeep has rear disc. Parking brake shoes are under the rotor (inside of the center raised part serves as the drum), hardware is partially hidden behind the hub. I ain't looking forward to replacing those shoes and hardware, and I have to do it relatively soon.

Straight drums are a pain because of the springs and retainers, but they're not hard.
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