Rear Drum Brakes Leaking at Wheels

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by michaelharrisco, Oct 26, 2010.

  1. michaelharrisco

    michaelharrisco

    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I've now got a pretty bad brake fluid leak coming out of my driver side rear brake (org drums). The guy I bought it from already had new brake wheel cylinders in the box sitting in the back. I'm making the assumption they are the right part for the FJ since he said he had ordered them appropriately.

    My questions is: do I need any other parts while in there or is the wheel cylinder the primary part that leaks? Once I get in there while replacing are there any other parts that typically need to be changed at the same time to stop the leak?

    The leak is getting bad now so I need to get on this fix ASAP and want to prepare for the job by getting some feedback from the folks here beforehand.

    I was surprised not to see too many post by searching "rear drum brake leak" on here. If there is already a good thread on this, please send me there.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010
  2. Leaping Deer

    Leaping Deer

    Messages:
    4,386
    Location:
    Whitinsville, MA
    Since the brake shoes have been covered with brake fluid I would replace them. Might as well get a hardware kit which includes the springs, pins, ect. You might be able to have the drums resurfaced. Also don't forget the brake fluid.

    Also are you sure that its the wheel cylinder and not an axle seal leaking. You should be able to tell by the smell of the fluid leaking out. Also if you have lost that much fluid you would probably notice it in the brake pedal.
  3. michaelharrisco

    michaelharrisco

    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I'm no expert, but I know my brake fluid is getting low really quick and I'm having to put more brake fluid in there daily and a pool of brake fluid is coming from the rear wheel on the inside part leaking down the tire and then onto the ground.

    The brake shoe is a good point and I may see if I can get new ones locally. Oh I have plenty of brake fluid since it leaks so quick. Also just finished fixing a leaking master and slave clutch cylinder so I was previously dumping brake fluid in there almost every day. I'll be so excited when my rig doesn't leak fluids anymore (I'm getting close compared to where I first started).
  4. kurtnkegger

    kurtnkegger Running Topless and Dirty

    Messages:
    1,175
    Location:
    Denver, CO. Burbs
    Time to rebuild or replace your rear cylinders. The toughest part is separating the drum from the hub. If you are looking locally, source the parts before you tear in to it. The cyliders aren't as readily available as you might think. Even though the cylinders are front and back on the hub, they are listed as top and bottom from the parts stores, as one operates the top shoe, and the other bottom shoe.
  5. Bodean

    Bodean SILVER Star

    Messages:
    9,018
    Location:
    Brandon, MS
    Easy job. Just did it. Buy new wheel cyl's and brake shoes. Install, bleed, adjust rear brakes and you are done. BTW, make sure the axle seals aren't leaking while you are there.
  6. 77cruiser77

    77cruiser77

    Messages:
    1,068
    Location:
    Enderby BC
    your brakes are over 30 years old so dont take any short cuts. Don't rebuild the cylinders - replace them. do it all too, this includes the spings and pins kit, wheel cylinders (two per side), pads and of course some fluid. If you really want it do it nice resurface that drum while you're at it.

    This is an easy job that doesn't require special tools (if you have special brake tools they will help but i did it without them) and can be done in a short afternoon.

    A FSM should also be thrown into the mix of stuff to get.
  7. michaelharrisco

    michaelharrisco

    Messages:
    399
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    You were right...this is a pretty easy job.

    Its a done deal and as of this morning I don't have any leaks. Only bummer was the parts store here gave me the wrong hardware kit so I was forced to use the old springs. They appeared to be in good shape and I had to get the FJ back on the road.

    The passenger side was in surprisingly good shape (had obviously been previously replaced), but the driver side with that leak was a huge mess and the shoes were in terrible shape.

    Got that leak taken care of...now onto the next one (water pump).
  8. BadKarma510

    BadKarma510

    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Fort Smith Ar
    getting ready t do this also, any one have any pics of the process?
  9. Look up a thread on here called "74 drum brake tech" Tell you all you need to know with pics and step by step. A very good write up. Good luck!

    Rob

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