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Old 06-25-2018, 09:32 AM   #1
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Badly rusted wheel cylinder bolts

I replaced the rear brake line and drum brake shoes on my daughter's 2003 but when I went to bleed the lines, I found that the area where the bleed nipple connects to the wheel cylinder was badly corroded and the bleeder would not budge. In the past, I've had luck on other vehicles using a nut extractor to remove a seized bleeder and replaced them with new but this one is pretty far gone and it is also in an area that is inaccessible to get the extractor on the bleeder. Also, the line connector going into the cylinder is rusted beyond recognition and the bolts holding the cylinder to the backing plate don't look much better.

I'm thinking maybe I'll need to cut the cylinder free to get the thing off. Anyone have any luck cutting from below where it is closer to the attachment points? Also wondering if I should take the backing plate off the vehicle to work on it.


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Old 06-26-2018, 11:21 AM   #2
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The backing plate is held onto the trailing arm with rivets. No big deal to chisel the heads off and remove the backing plate. The axle shaft bolts will hold it on at reassembly. Buy a new caliper, wheel cylinder, brake line.
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:24 AM   #3
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Sorry, I see you already replaced the brake line. Whenever I do drum brakes I always replace the wheel cylinder and hardware kit.
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:26 PM   #4
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The brake line I was originally replacing was the main driver side rear line, not the ones that go to the wheel cylinders so it wasn't until I was forced to replace the cylinders that I knew I would have to also replace the small lines going from the rubber lines to the cylinders.

As you said, the rivets were no big deal. The four bolts holding the spindle and backing plate on were a pain to get off between the difficult access and their tightness. I had to remove the bottom shock bolt to get that out of the way. Once I got those off, the best way to get at the cylinder bolts was to cut it off with a little zip wheel on the angle grinder from the bottom side. That part took about 5 minutes per cylinder.

Finished it all yesterday and was glad to finally be done with this job. I don't care for drum brakes too much and this job took way too long. I also had to spend a lot of time dropping the exhaust/resonator pipe bolts where it connects to the front piece of flex pipe. The bolts were heavily rusted and I think they may have been studs so even after getting both sides cut off, I had to drill holes for bolts to reconnect. I even sheared a wheel stud that I had to replace on one of the drums but other than that, they were fine to reuse.
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Old 06-28-2018, 02:03 PM   #5
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Glad you fixed it and thanks for the update. Good job!
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