The Mothership Maintenance Log #140


Dawn of the second day. I go pick up two $14 replacement wheel cylinders.

It turns out the driver side OEM wheel cylinder had similar gouges in the bore, although it wasn’t leaking yet. So it can’t go back on. I was going to replace both at the same time anyway.



Just to be sure, I take both apart and inspect them. The bores have some crud in them, and look a tad corroded.


Oh well. I clean them with brake fluid and they’re getting installed.


I take all of the shoes and spray them down with brake parts cleaner, then dry with blue shop towels.


I’m worried to see this, one of the passenger side shoes has developed a crack…


Passenger side reassembled:


Back together:


At the last moment, the bleeder screw on the new driver side wheel cylinder snaps off in my hand :x


I got another replacement wheel cylinder and finally put everything back together. With a new air-compressor powered bleeder tool (that I LOVE compared to the old one) I bled the system (all four brakes) with DOT-3 fluid.

There may still be some air in the lines, since a lot of air was leaking in past the bleeder screws while I was trying to flush everything…

And the brakes still vibrate, but it’s a lot, lot less than before.

All in all, I’m glad that I learned how to change the brakes on my own, and how to work with drum brakes and wheel cylinders. I don’t feel great about this specific brake job though, because I don’t think I did very well with it. I still have trouble with stuff as simple as bleeding the lines, and I worry a lot about not tightening down the bleeders enough or leaving air in the lines. And I worry that maybe the tools or expertise I need are out of my realm. For instance, if I’d gone to a good shop, would the brakes still have a little bit of vibration left?

I’m running out of patience living at my current place, which means I’m starting to look at more expensive alternatives because saving money is becoming less of a concern.. And because anywhere with a real garage costs more than where I live now.
–ctag