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Thread: Help with Rear Brakes

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cressida's Avatar
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    1993 Olds Ciera S, 3300 - 110K - Sapphire blue leather interior
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    Default Help with Rear Brakes (Solved)

    My 93 Ciera 3.3L developed a large brake fluid leak from a rear wheel cylinder today. I should have noticed early signs of this a few weeks ago when I had to add brake fluid but didn't make the connection. Now I find both rear wheel cylinders are loosing fluid. I've searched and read several old threads on these rear brakes but still have some questions as I put together a parts order.

    1. The rear shoes have lot's of life left but are soaked now with brake fluid. I'd like to clean the shoes with water or brake cleaner and re-use them. Is that acceptable or does the brake fluid cause problems with the friction material which means they really will not work as they were designed and should be replaced ? (I don't have any prior experience with contaminated brake shoes)

    2. I can order either new wheel cylinders or the cylinder rebuild kits which contain the rubber caps and springs. The cost difference is inmaterial. I'm a bit concerned about that brake line nut rounding off and could not get a wrench on it today to see if I had the proper size line wrench without removing the bleeder nipple. Does anyone remember the size of that nut ? SAE or Metric ? Would you go new or rebuild the cylinders?

    3. What was GM thinking to use those external Torx bolts to hold the cylinders. I only had a E6 and that was too small. Anyone remember what size I will need to get - guessing E8 ?

    Thanks for any suggestions as my car is now out of service. It's non or no ABS and JA2.

    ------------------------------------------
    UPDATE:

    As tic1976 suggested below, I went with the new wheel cylinders and glad that I did. I used degreaser to scrub off the brake shoes and followed with a liberal wipe down of acetone. That way I did not have to remove them. The wheel cylinders can be removed and replaced without taking off the brake shoes if you adjust the star wheel to expand outward a bit and then use a screw driver or something to push in on the cylinders ends.

    The external Torx is size E8 and although I managed to remove the brake line nut without the proper flare nut wrench or crows foot, I would recommend that you get the proper 12mm line wrench. One side really gave me problems and the proper wrench would have saved me a lot of time and frustration on that one. The bleeder nipples are 8mm in the back and 10mm in the front. As always seems the case for me anymore it took me much longer than it should. I did a few hard stops in reverse on the test drive to hopefully adjust the brake shoes but will check the adjustment again after a few days.
    Last edited by Cressida; 03-29-2020 at 10:47 AM. Reason: Solved
    1993 Olds Ciera S, 3300 - 110K - Sapphire blue leather interior

    98 Chevy Venture 3.4L 196K



  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Northwest Lower Michigan
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    1989 Celebrity CL 4 door 3.1, 1989 Cutlass Cruiser 3.1
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    Default

    I had this happen to my cruiser last summer. I just cleaned everything up with brake cleaner and they worked great. The early signs for me were when they started grabbing but I just thought the were out of adjustment. Then I got the puddle and had to keep filling the master to get it home.

    I would just replace them. Then you get a nice new bleeder too. As far as the line nut, I always just use large vise grips on it. Then I know I got a solid connection before it rounds off. Also less play and easier to crack it loose. And keep working it back and forth until you crack the nut free of the line. Otherwise you will twist and snap the line.

    I don?t remember if mine used external torx but for other external torx I?ve just used the closest fitting hex socket with no problem.

  3. #3
    Member
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    Feb 2019
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    1988 cutlass cruiser
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    Default

    Glad it worked out. Flare wrenches are nice to have and with 20% coupon only little more than 10 bucks.
    https://www.harborfreight.com/5-pc-m...set-68866.html
    I need to check mine

  4. #4
    Member
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    1988 cutlass cruiser
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    Default

    Glad it worked out. Flare wrenches are nice to have and with 20% coupon only little more than 10 bucks.
    https://www.harborfreight.com/5-pc-m...set-68866.html
    I need to check my rears and verify shoe size.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Keiths1976's Avatar
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    Florida
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    1995 buick century custom
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    Default

    If the self adjusters are working correctly 5 firm reverse stops of 5 mph will be fine and will tighten up till the pedal . But check the e brake if it?s not catching adjust the adjuster wheel 3 clicks per side till u feel a slight drag . Or I put a lug nut on the drum and spin it after 4 turns should slow to stop . E brake will be perfect with that method . Done my 95 that way

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