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Unread 04-09-2013, 12:43 PM   #1
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1985 CJ7 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Decatur, GEORGIA
Posts: 126
Wheel Cylinder Replacement

So my wheel cylinders in the rear were both hemorrhaging brake fluid when I stomped on the brakes. So after many miles of downshifting WELL ahead of stop signs and ignoring honking cars, I decided to replace the cylinders, brake shoes, and hardware on Sunday (must say, drums are a PITA!).

Bled the lines last night with my wife and noticed what looked like some new liquid streaks going down the rear driver side tire. I'm *hoping* it was when I connected the bleeder tube and spilled some, but I'm worried that the NEW cylinder is defective.

Are wheel cylinders that fragile? Do the outer rubber caps actually hold in the fluid or are they there just to keep dust out? Is it possible I screwed it up on install? When I was replacing that one, I ended up taking it back to AdvAuto before putting it on because the rubber caps had cuts on them. I exchanged it and inspected the new ones... it looked fine.

Haven't driven it yet, but keeping my fingers crossed that the cylinder isn't leaking and that my bleeding job worked (the forums here have me scared that Jeep rear brakes are VERY finnicky to get working right/without air in the lines)

Everyone talks about bench bleeding the MC. I kept my MC in place (for now) because it seems to be working. However, would it be best to bleed my lines on a slight decline in my driveway because the MC is then level (as in during a bench bleed?)?

Another question- do I need to re-adjust the star wheel after driving for a bit (after seating the shoes?).

p.s.- While I had my RR tire off, I decided to replace my leaking fuel filler and vent hoses- DANG those new hoses are hard to get back on the tank!

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Unread 04-09-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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1999 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Pittsburg, Kansas
Posts: 78
im having the same problem after a new wheel cyl was put on, havent had time to put the drum back together but it was leaking out alot, but i didnt put back the little things that slid into the cyl
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Unread 04-13-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
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1985 CJ7 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Decatur, GEORGIA
Posts: 126
Well, drove the jeep yesterday. Felt great and stopped well but as suspected it is still leaking fluid from what I can tell is the wheel cylinder.

If the proportioning valve has gone bad, could it give too much pressure to the rear brakes and blow a cylinder?
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Unread 04-14-2013, 11:17 AM   #4
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 598
I actually think the china wheel cylinders are to blame,
I rebuilt all four wheels last year and I noticed this week one is dribbling a little.
I can not say where to get a better cylinder kit today, but I would get just a
rebuild kit this time unless I looked inside and seen pitting.
I quick search does not look promising either.
Just buy the rubber cups that go inside the cylinder and push them in and re-bleed
the brakes.
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Unread 04-14-2013, 06:38 PM   #5
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1977 CJ5 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Arlington TX
Posts: 848
Make sure you got the brake line on good tight and the line seated correctly in the cylinder and its not leaking there. The rubber boots are just to keep dust out. The brake cylinders have rings like a piston to seal the fluid and its always possible you got a defective part out of the box.

Also you shouldn't have to tighten the star adjuster later if everything was moving freely when you put it back on. I do adjust it out originally so there is a slight drag when installing new pads. They should tighten automatically as needed so long as the threads aren't all gummed up or rusted.
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