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Rear brake mystery


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My passenger side rear brake seized yesterday and I can't figure out the cause. It seized up after sitting overnight with the parking brake on. I took off the parking brake cable and this did not help. I then hit the drum a couple of times with a rubber mallet and I was able to pry the drum off of the shoes.

All looks normal inside. The shoes move freely and they are well lubed. I spun the adjuster wheel a couple of times and put the system back together and now the car stops, goes and the parking brake works.

What could have caused this? I took that brake cylinder apart a couple of thousand miles ago to check the condition of the piston and bore. It looked good. I did not rebuild it but it did not look like it needed rebuilding.

To play it safe, I have a Nissan rebuild kit on the way from my local dealer so I will install that soon but I want to make sure I am not overlooking something that will leave me stranded in the future.

Any advice?

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Mine did that at times and I figured it was caused by moisture creating a thin bond of rust. Was never a real problem except the first time cause I didn't know what had happened. If everything else looks good that would be my bet. Enjoy the ride.

Edited by 2-4-T-Z-MAN
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Mine did that at times and I figured it was caused by moisture creating a thin bond of rust. Was never a real problem except the first time cause I didn't know what had happened. If everything else looks good that would be my bet. Enjoy the ride.

Do you mean rust in the internals of the brake cylinder or between the shoe and backing plate?

If it happens to me again when I am not in my garage, is there a way of freeing up the system without taking it apart?

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If you parked it for quite a while - then yeah , your shoe got stuck to the drum. I wish I new why it's always on that side though.

If you didn't leak any fluids, scuff the drum a little bit with some emery cloth and reinstall. Untill you get the settings correct for the drums, pedal may be a little off. Good Luck and let us know how it goes. Later this weekend I will be looking at the calipers to see if they are sticking and inspecting my front ball joints (with emphasis on the passenger side). The whole dang car is leaning.

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If you parked it for quite a while - then yeah , your shoe got stuck to the drum. I wish I new why it's always on that side though.

I drive the car every day so the brakes get lots of exercise. I can't see how the shoe would have time to rust itself to the backing plate but I will take it apart again to check for corrosion.

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This happens to me after washing my car and it sits after a day or two with the parking brake on. After releasing the parking brake and finding it stuck, I've simply put it in gear and broke it loose. This hasn't caused any damage so far. :paranoid:

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If you have to buy a new piston/cylinder its only around $28.00. I had to do this a couple months back. Normally though, if there is a problem with the piston you should be losing fluid.

Edited by tlorber
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This happens to me after washing my car and it sits after a day or two with the parking brake on. After releasing the parking brake and finding it stuck, I've simply put it in gear and broke it loose. This hasn't caused any damage so far. :paranoid:

I did wash the car just before putting it into the garage. I did not have the nerve to try very hard to brake it loose with the engine. If it happens again...I'll give that a shot.:)

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