Brake Inspection - 10/19/2018

Driving last month I ran into the dreaded squishy pedal and the BRAKE light started shining brightly. Ruh roh. I pushed the little button on the distribution block and... no love. Pulled off the master cylinder and noticed the lid was rusty and the back reservoir empty. Lame. Added fluid and now it was time to bleed the brakes and inspect them while I was at it. Checking this website I noticed I had not bled or checked the brakes in... 3.5 years. Oops. I try to do this once a year to at least cycle the brake fluid.

Passenger rear. Hardware looks good, all springy and moves around as intended without issue. Nothing locked up or rusty. Most important part is no brake fluid all over the assembly, so the wheel cylinder isn't leaking.

Bleeder was easily opened, lots of bubbles came out. Oops. The fluid wasn't nice smelling either so it needs cleaning out. I let it gravity bleed a bit to get all the air out. Stomped the hell out of the brake pedal... without having the brake drum on because I'm stoopid. That was fun to put it all back together. The wheel cylinders have seen better days, I don't really want to rebuild them right now and replacing them is... not a good idea because of how terrible the rebuilds are and how hard it was trying to find the wagon specific wheel cylinders on my previous wagons... That's a "future project."

Driver's side rear. It's not bad either. Everything moves and no major rust or leaks. When I cracked the bleeder it was pretty easy and only a few bubbles came out. After I had finished bleeding the rears and stomped the pedal a few times the BRAKE light went out. Victory.

Passenger side front is checked. This bleeder was HARD to free up. It's also on the re-man caliper with a re-man bleeder compared to the factory 45 year old hardware on the others. The wrench didn't fit it right either so that was annoying. Side note is my paint job is holding up quite nicely on the control arms!

Driver's side went quickly. This bleeder let out quite a bit of rusty flakes and then flowed clear brake fluid. Control arm paint is still nice too and the rubber is in good shape still.

Another simple victory task. I need to bleed my brakes more often to avoid the dreaded rust particles in the lines. I also need to re-do the rear wheel cylinders and shoes. I have the shoes but the wheel cylinder rebuild kits will be a track down exercise (and I need to get a set of honing stones). The first test drive with "new" brakes sure is fun, the car wants you to go through the windshield if you aren't careful. Car stops great now by the way...

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Last updated October 19th, 2018