wheel cylinder worth re-conditioning

Early C Bodies - The Slab Side Years

  1. Detroit_Lives

    Detroit_Lives New Member

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    I'm going thru the brake system and when replacing the wheel cylinders I started thinking maybe I'd re-condition the original parts... until I popped the boot off. So I don't think these are good for anything are they? I bought new Napa (china) instead. In general is it a good idea to recondition old wheel cylinders ? (assuming they are in better condition than these were)
    Notice those letters on the casting "USA"

    P9060106.JPG

    P9060107.JPG
     
  2. halifaxhops

    halifaxhops Retired USAF MSGT (SW) yes navy also. FCBO Gold Member

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    I have done those for years. You have to see if that one will clean up or not.
     
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  3. 68 4spd Fury

    68 4spd Fury Senior Member

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    There's not much to them, depends on the condition of the bore and pistons. Rebuild kits used to be available, (Seals, spring & bleeder), I don't know if they still are.
     
  4. halifaxhops

    halifaxhops Retired USAF MSGT (SW) yes navy also. FCBO Gold Member

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    RA has them still
     
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  5. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    Back when the cars were "used cars", what is now termed "reconditioning" is all that was usually done. It was very seldom that a new cyl was installed.

    With the car on the lift and the wheels removed to do the brake linings, the cyls were disassembled in a few seconds, the brake cyl hone was put onto an electric drill, some brake fluid was splashed into the cyl bore, and the cyl was honed for several passes, washed out with brake fluid, and then a few more passes of the hone for final clean-up. Then the cyl was again washed out with brake fluid, wiped with a red shop towel, and the new stuff was installed. Quick and easy. The mechanic's skill and knowledge of when the inner bore might be worn too much to hone, might have been important, too. But in those days, a car might need only one or two brake jobs per owner, which could easily span well more than 100K miles.

    Maybe a little sloppy, depending upon how it was done, but it worked well for ages. In current "haz-mat" times, a pan with paper towels would be needed under the wheel cyl as it was cleaned to catch the liquid and such. And, of course, after the job was finished, bleeding the brakes was necessary!

    In more current and seemingly affluent times, it can be less expensive to replace than repair. Knowing the source of the new parts might well be important, as in "USA Name Brand" parts to mimic what was originall, too.y on the cars when new.

    Kind of funny how things tended to work back then. Every gas station usually had an open gallion of brake fluid with a bulb to extract it and install in a customer's master cyl, with NO issues. Now, it needs to be kept in a tightly-closed container to prevent it from absorbing moisture. But that was also back when "sex was dirty" and the air was cleaner (in some places), too.

    IF the innards of that wheel cyl look like pictured, think what the lines might look like too! When you get it all cleaned up, check the inner bore with an electronic inside/outside caliper to see where things are.

    But everybody tends to like "new" these days and "new" is readily available, so that might be one issue to consider. Then seek out the "new" items sourced from the USA, if possible.

    Just some thoughts,
    CBODY67
     
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  6. mrfury68

    mrfury68 Senior Member

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    Craig @mobileparts is a member here and he will have the better quality new parts you are looking for. CBODY67 was accurate is his description of the old school brake jobs. I learned that early on in my days at the neighborhood Exxon station. New or re-lined shoes, cut the drums, new spring kit & rebuild the wheel cylinders. Cleaning up & lubricating the self adjusters and contact points on the backing plates was also part of the job.
     
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  7. 413

    413 Senior Member

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    You haven’t got close to knowing the condition of the bore. Need to get it apart and clean it, then you know what ya got. Remove all that crap and scrape off and crust before you try to get the pistons out.
     
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  8. mobileparts

    mobileparts Well-Known Member

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    With all that crud, there is a High likelihood that the pistons have "locked / welded themselves" to the inside of the wheel cylinder....

    There is less than a 1 % chance that those wheel cylinders are salvageable / rebuildable --- and probably not even resleevable....

    What are you going to have to spend in time and money is probably not worth trying to extend their life....

    Your call..... Yours, Craig....

    And...internet wheel cylinder Chineseum $ 1.29 kits have NO pistons......
     
  9. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    I buy those on eBay when I need them. Cheap too. Just check the rubber like you should in any older part, even if the claim is NOS or NROS. Stuff sitting on the parts shelf for years is always suspect IMHO. Rubber isn't like fine wine. It doesn't age well.
     
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  10. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    I would recommend rebuilding your originals, or finding rebuildable original's. I rebuild the brakes on my 67 Polara just over a year ago. Every new wheel cylinder I bought was not up to OEM standards, One front would not ever bleed and I sent back 3 pairs of rear cylinders due to shoddy construction, (Chinese), and rebuilt my originals.
     
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  11. Pax2001

    Pax2001 Member

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    I grabbed a pair of rear cylinders from RA, but I haven't fitted them yet. I thought the price was worth not having to rebuild to originals, but as I said, I can't confirm anything yet...

    If you need to rebore them I think around 1200 is an ok finish - someone correct me if my memory isn't right.
     
  12. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    Rarely will a wheel cylinder need to be bored and sleeved. Just a good hone and new seals. I got three (new), rear wheel cylinders from RA. All were conciderably lighter castings than the originals. I refused to use them. The originals cleaned up and resealed nicely. And they are ORIGINALS, with casting numbers. Made in USA. :usflag:
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2021 at 5:52 PM
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  13. Pax2001

    Pax2001 Member

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    Poor choice of words on my part, I did mean honed, as in cleaned up inside. Thanks for clarifying though :)
     
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  14. 35desoto

    35desoto New Member

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    We regularly resleeve wheel cylinders down here in New Zealand. We do not have access to the new repop parts as good as the USA yet we find once resleeved (normally in stainless steel) these wheel cylinders prove to be better than original ones. Part of this success is hydralic fluid is hydroscopic (I.e. it attracts moisture) and will rot the cast iron bores easy as. The stainless steel sleeve will not rot and trust me they do not move once installed. I have parked up my 68 Chrysler Town and Country for 6 years and the wheel cylinders are as good as new - no sticking and no leaking seals but they all have been resleeved.
     
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  15. Pax2001

    Pax2001 Member

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    Yep, In NZ there isn't as big a market for parts, especially for older cars so improvisation and rebuilding is pretty much a given. Rotorua born, Auckland for many years and last in the Waikato - Hamilton

    *edit* My bad, there is a big market, but not a big supply available
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2021 at 3:45 PM
  16. DirkRhodie

    DirkRhodie New Member

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    The same is done here in South Africa, many a brake cylinder have been sorted out.
     
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  17. HWYCRZR

    HWYCRZR Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I saved my originals in order to someday re sleeve. They would not quite hone out. I honed them out and re installed new seals. They sat for about 3 months before they started leaking.
     
  18. Richard Reau

    Richard Reau Active Member

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    I am involved in this exact project on this Frost Turquoise '65 NYer as we speak. My first cylinder looked pretty good, so I decide to re-use it. I honed it and put it back together.

    THEN, the subsequent cylinders were all junk, and so were the hoses and hardware. I am replacing the whole kitten-caboodle. Chinese? Well, yes, what's a guy to do? To my eye, the quality seems just fine, and it has proven itself good over the last 20 wheel cylinders I've done over the last 5 cars, so no complaints about that. Replacing wheel cylinders is (usually) so easy, I just do it automatically with each new project car.
     
  19. HWYCRZR

    HWYCRZR Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    So, do they sell oversized pistons? and or plungers (seals). I am afraid to over hone to get the pits out and have a piston that is a little too loose. I guess I should research to go - no go specs if I can find them.
     
  20. bluefury361

    bluefury361 Old Man with a Hat

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    You'd have to do a heck of a lot of honing to get oversize.
    I bet someone here has some good rebuildable take off cylinders..... Just ask.