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drum brake bleeding problems

This is a discussion on drum brake bleeding problems within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; okay so this is on my '96 monte carlo not my camaro...just a forewarning. so i put on new calipers, ...

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    drum brake bleeding problems

    okay so this is on my '96 monte carlo not my camaro...just a forewarning.

    so i put on new calipers, pads, and rotors up front and new shoes in back.

    i went to bleed the brakes tonite and all seemed to be going fairly well. got some nasty fluid out of the front lines and some nasty fluid out of the left rear line. went to do the rear right line and i'm getting nothing...absolutely nothing. the bleeder unscrews and i draw a vacuum on it...upwards of 20 inches of mercuiry...but i'm getting no fluid out of the bleeder whatsoever.

    also...the pedal was pretty poor previously hence why i decided to bleed all the lines. so with the three that i have done i got in the car to feel the pedal and it's nice and firm for about half of the travel and then suddenly it's soft until it hits the floor. so i'm kinda nervous about what that is there.

    anyone have any advice, input, or anything...it would be much appreciated.

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    2004 HEAD/CAM CTS-V 9t8z28's Avatar
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    What do you mean by nasty fluid? Dirty?

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9t8z28 View Post
    What do you mean by nasty fluid? Dirty?
    correct. when the new fluid goes into the reservoir clear and the old stuff comes out darker than guinness it qualifies as nasty.

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    2004 HEAD/CAM CTS-V 9t8z28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1MileCrash View Post
    correct. when the new fluid goes into the reservoir clear and the old stuff comes out darker than guinness it qualifies as nasty.
    Your problem might not be at the right rear. The system should be overhauled.

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    Senior Member Orcus79's Avatar
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    Ditto at the above. Sounds ilke the system has really been neglected. but that no suprise really, I hardly think about the brake system on my cars. Two possible senarios that I can think of off the top of my head. The cylinder on that wheel as corroded and blocked, or the the line leading to it has collapsed.. I would start there both are cheap and relaitvely easy to replace.

    It is also possible that the master cylinder has begun leaking as well. but start with the obvious issue first.

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    master cylinder appears fine...not leaks or anything there. i'll take a look at the lines though and see how they look from the master cylinder all the way back to the wheel.

    i have two new wheel cylinders for the rear end but i didn't want to take the hubs off the car to put them on so i said piss on it.

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    Senior Member Orcus79's Avatar
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    I don't think you need to pull the hubs, But I have never done brakes on a FWD car. Master Cylinders can leak internally as the seals and such wear. Id teh car a four channel system or three, If it is a three the rear will be ona common line from the master and the proportioning block.

    The rear brake hose will connect to a t fitting then a solid line to the cylinders. If you are getting fluid to one side then the lines up to there are fine. But sounds like a full inspection wouldn't be a bad idea.

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    well i got good fluid out of both front wheels and as far as i know there is only one line to the rear with a splitter...but i will have to double check that to be certain. i did get fluid out of the left rear wheel but not the right rear for what it's worth.

    one thing worth mentioning at this point i do believe. when i was putting a vacuum on the right rear wheel a small amount of fluid bubbled at the bleeder valve inside my clear vacuum hose but nothing really came out. so in a way it was like it wanted to come out but didn't.

    the rear wheel cylinders require the use of an inside torx socket or a star socket whatever you want to call it. well i picked up a set...and there is no room to use them unless you take the hub off the suspension. kinda a pain in the ass which is why i didnt' bother with it.

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    Senior Member Orcus79's Avatar
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    Ahh I get ya. Realy sounds like that Cylinder is plugged. Give that torx bolt a good pray of penitrating oil and let it sit over night. Cause you will be swearing at it. IF you are not careful they will strip out pretty easy.

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    well it's not so much that i can't get it off so much as that there is no room to remove the bolt without taking the hub off the car. great place to put a bolt...in a location where you can fit the socket but not the ratchet.

    that was actually the next thing i was going to do was take the hubs off though and replace the wheel cylinders...after i just got the blasted shoes on which took over 5 hours.

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    Senior Member Orcus79's Avatar
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    LOL, I feel your pain man, I did the brakes on a 64 Fullsize Poncho, drums all around all needed new everything. I had each side of the reaers on and off about a half a dozen times before I was done. Still need to but a new hose on there and replace the master and....

    *hates working on drum brakes*

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    hahahaha...yeah. i already promised myself that if i buy a new car one day it will have 4 wheel disk brakes...never again drums. and if i end with another car with drum brakes i will sell the car before i work on the drums myself.

    at any rate thanks for your input. i'm going to take a look at things tomorrow when i get up...take a look and make sure that i've got a single line running to a splitter in the rear and hopefully that's all that it is. if that's the case i'll be taking both sides apart again and going a bit further to install the new wheel cylinders on both sides not just the one.

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    Senior Member Orcus79's Avatar
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    It's good to them in pairs if you can.

    You are welcome for the input. When/if you pull the hard line off from both ends, give it a blast of compresed air (low PSI) to see if it is block and clear any crap that might be in it.

    JUst thought of one more thing, the bleeder could also be fouled as well. But hey best bet is to just replace the shit.

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    hey...that's a good point...if it's just a fouled bleeder i can unscrew it all the way out and if fluid pours out then it's just the bleeder and i should be able to clean that out.

    course if that's the case...or anything else...i don't know if that does much to explain the odd pedal pressure/play. eh...one thing to a time man...bleeder first then pedal. haha...time for bed.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    that's what I was going to say. verify the bleeder isn't clogged and then look at that wheel cylinder. If you have the cylinders already and the car torn down that far I would do whatever it took to get that cylinder out of there.

    Do you have the sockets where the torx bit will come out of the socket itself? Like to use in a driver? If so just pull the torx bit out of the socket and try to put a small wrench on it and see if you can turn it.

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    I would take off the brake line to that cylinder and mash the living piss outta the brake pedal and keep it there till fluid explodes outta it. If there is a blockage it most likely will come out. If fluid comes out easy then try and bleed it again, if there is fluid but it wont bleed then its the cylinders itself... and if you not getting fluid at all to that line when its off then I say you have a collapsed rubber hose or metering block thats crapped out on ya

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    well i just got finished with the job.

    the monte has 4 lines...one for each wheel. so i did a visual inspection of them and they were all in good shape. so i went out back to the right rear and unscrewed the bleeder and it pissed fluid so everything was fine there.

    so i got out my vacuum pump and tried again. it wouldn't hold vacuum. perfect.

    so i called up a friend and asked for his assistance and got the brakes bled all the way around. all new fluid in the system...got all the old nasty fluid out, and apparently a good bit of air as well, and the brakes are hard as a rock. perfect.

    thanks for the views, comments, replies, etc fellas...much appreciated.

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    First issue is that you should have started bleeding at the furthest from the master cylinder first, right rear. Then left rear, front right then front left.

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    Senior Member 1MileCrash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrondownhiller View Post
    First issue is that you should have started bleeding at the furthest from the master cylinder first, right rear. Then left rear, front right then front left.
    i was always told to start bleeding at the wheel closest the master cylinder and work your way to the furthest.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1MileCrash View Post
    i was always told to start bleeding at the wheel closest the master cylinder and work your way to the furthest.
    it's the exact opposite of that.

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