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rear brake grabbing

Discussion in '40- & 55-Series Tech' started by froggy, Aug 21, 2006.

  1. froggy

    froggy

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    after a 30 minutes highway cruising, my rear driver's side wheel was smoking. After letting it cool down, I removed to wheel to look at the problem. To my surprise, the wheel was still turning but was tight. Inside, there was a small amount of oil on the cylinders cup, but otherwise everything seems normal. I put back the drum and wheel, adjust everything and test drove it.

    As soon as I press the brake pedal (even very gently) the same wheel grabs badly!
    but it does release when I stop pressing the pedal... After a while, the problem was gone but it does grab from time to time.

    My first thought was a bad brake cylinder, but they are pricey and rare for a 02/ 1971 FJ-40 so I whant to know what you cruiserheads think about my problem.

    I don't have a lot left in the cruiser account and don't want changing parts for nothing :frown:

    Thanks :beer:
     
  2. rgentry

    rgentry

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    A few questions:

    1. How hot was the drum? Are you sure that the smoking was coming from friction between the shoes and the drum?

    2. Any signs of a rear axle seal leak?

    3. Have you adjusted all 8 of your wheel cylinders lately? If you go out and try to lock your brakes up (at low speed, in a parking lot, with nobody around ....), which wheel locks up first?

    4. Did the springs seem OK when you checked the wheel? If one of the springs is fatigued, then that wheel might actuate much more quickly that the rest of them.

    Don't spend any money yet. It seems like you still need to understand the problem a little better.
     
  3. froggy

    froggy

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    1-The drum was VERY hot. After removing both drums on the rear axle, I could rotate both axles by hands. I was thinking that I had a bad bearing but it doesn't look bad

    2-I have a small amout of oil on the cylinder's cup, but there is no major oil leak. I'm not sure if it's brake or axle oil

    3-I did not adjust the brake lately. I'm not 100% sure I could lock up the wheel and I did not try to lock up the brakes before the problem... but now, i'm sure that this wheel is gonna lock first.


    4- one of them was stuck on the screw in the middle of the cylinder. I put it back at is place before adjusting everything...I don't know how it got on the screw....
    I have the cruiser since 8 years and all the brake parts has been changed by the p.o.


    Thanks:beer:
     
  4. 1973Guppie

    1973Guppie SILVER Star

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    do yourself a favor, yank all that crap out and go to discs. I know you don't want to hear it but it is a super cheap, simple swap you can do on your own at home for a minor cost vs. replacing all of the oem junk. I wish someone had told me this after years of messing with the oem setup. I wasted time and $ trying to get that stuff to work right and it is just easier to go the monte carlo route. I am sure some purists will scorn me for this but hey, that's my 2 cents.

    Noah
     
  5. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

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    The difference between brake fluid and gear oil is obvious. If you can't tell, take it to someone who knows brakes before you kill yourself.

    My bet though, is that your brake cylinders are bad. They are not that hard to change out, and not that expensive either. Then a good adjustment all around and they will work great. Price the wheel cylinders from Cruiserdan, you may be suprised.

    The conversion to disk brakes is desirable, however there is no way that the conversion will be cheaper than just repairing your current set up.

    If it is gear oil, then you have a bad axle seal, also a fairly easy fix. Gear oil on the brake shoes will make them grabby sometimes, and slippery sometimes. It should not make your rear brakes smoke in normal driving.

    In any case, it sounds like your shoes are staying locked against the drum. You need to figure out if the adjustment is off, or if there is something preventing them from releasing.

    Do not drive your truck until you figure this out. Brakes are more important than lifts, tires, body work, engine work, or anything else you might do to your Land Cruiser. If you have to spend money, this is the place.
     
  6. froggy

    froggy

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    I will do the convertion. The problem is that I also have to do the front! I already have a few parts, but I don't have enough money to do it all this year...you know family is priority :rolleyes:



    I think it's brake fluid but with all the dirt, i'm just not 100% sure . There no sign of axle seal leak....and I don't remember adding brake fluid in the last 8 years. it's a very small amount of oil on the cylinder's cup....
     
  7. rgentry

    rgentry

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    If you have had the cruiser for 8 years and have not had to work on the rear brakes, then I think it's time! Seems like the old rear drums have been pretty reliable.

    If you want to go at this real cheap, pull all 4 of the rear cylinders, hone them up, and take them to Napa to match the old cups ($10). They keep a drawer of loose brake cylinder cups, or at least they used to. Go ahead and treat your self to some new rear shoes ($25) and some return springs ($20). Clean the old adjusters really well and put no-sieze on them. You could pay $30 per drum to have them turned but I bet you could do the whole rear yourself for less than $100 well enough to get you back on the road. Bleed the entire system, front and rear. If it has 8 year old fluid in it, it all needs to be replaced anyway. Adjust the front and rears per Zeppa's instructions.

    I have had three FJ40's with nothing but drum brakes. For 10+ years that was all I drove. If you know how they work and how to adjust them, they are OK.
     
  8. Richard  R

    Richard R

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    Even a small anount of oil or brake fluid on a brake shoe will cause it to self energiz and and drag when it is applied. Fix the oil leak and replace any oily shoes.
     
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