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FastWoman

Brake rebuilding time. Lots o' questions!

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I would be caught having to defend how my non-approved brake lines didn't contribute in any way to an accident

Unfortunate to think it might come to that, but yeah, that would be a tough sell. :(

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30ounce, I've been trying to contact Silver Mine Motors, without any success. Maybe you would know the answers to the questions I'm trying to ask them:

(1) Are the steel braided lines actually STAINLESS steel, or just steel?

(2) Will their standard braided lines fit OEM cylinders and calipers, or would those have to be custom fabricated?

Also...

(3) Is there any reason to think this might be a dodgy business, or is this guy pretty trustworthy?

Thanks! :)

Yes they are stainless steel. The fronts will fit as thay are the same fitting for the Toyota caliper as the Datsun one. The rears I don't know because mine have a banjo fitting for the Ford calipers so unless they have secific ones for the drums...

As for their lack of response I would say that they have been around for a long time and several members at hybridz have used them. I did my conversion 2 years ago and while it took a couple of weeks to get everything they always come through. I just ordered new rear brake lines (my fault for damaging them) and it took them 2 weeks to respond. I don't like the response times but they do have good prices.

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Thanks, guys!

Well, my Saturn is fixed and back on the road. Yay! So now I've got the rear of my Z up on jack stands, and I'm tearing stuff apart to see where I stand and what I need.

The drums look great. The wear is within specs. They're the aluminum type. I've cleaned them up. Should I put a coat of black caliper paint on them or no? It's Duplicolor's 650F (?) ceramic paint. Would I screw up the heat dissipation with this paint? The only purpose for the paint would be cosmetic.

I still haven't found my hyrdaulic leak. The brake lines don't look bad, but they're probably a bit long in the tooth.

I'm still thinking about that Toyota dual piston front caliper conversion. I don't want to have to space out my wheels to accommodate the larger calipers, as I think my wheels will rub the fenders. Does anyone know whether I'd need to use the spacers with 15x7 Panasport rims? It looks like there's plenty of space between the OEM calipers and the rims.

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I took a peek under the boots of the cylinders. The left looked fine. The right cylinder had tons of crap under both boots. I assume that's where my slow leak is. The thing is, though, I didn't see any oily residue in that area. There was lots of the usual rusty/dusty junk, but none of it appeared oily. There was one thing, though: I think the rusty/dusty stuff was a bit harder to brush away on the right side. So maybe there's my missing brake fluid. Sound logical?

Oh, and even though the lefthand cylinder appears fine, there's a lot more wear on the trailing shoe than on the leading one. The pistons seem to move freely, though.

The cylinders seem to be a bit different in age. The PO liked to replace one part at a time. I hate that.

Anyway, I've sprayed all the fittings with PBBlaster and will let them soak for a few days.

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I heard from Silver Mine and got most of my questions answered. I was confusing the Stage 3 and Stage 4. No spacers needed on the Stage 3. They can make up custom lines for the OEM cylinders -- same price.

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Well, I've finally gone with Russell Street Legal stainless braided hoses. These are an Edelbrock product, so I expect them to be of a good quality. Best of all, they're only about $89 for the set of 4, and they're DOT approved.

I've also read a number of reviews of AutoZone's Duralast brake calipers, and they've been very favorable. I asked my local AZ folks about the lifetime warranties on these rebuilds, and they say that while the warranty only covers manufacturing defects, IN PRACTICE they will exchange out any caliper, even if it dies from corrosion due to moisture in the brake fluid. They do this for customer loyalty and goodwill.

I also asked about the lifetime warranty on their brake pads. Both in theory and in practice, the pads are warranted not to wear. So when they wear down, no matter how much, I'm invited to bring them in and exchange them. The only caveat is that I can't wear them down to the metal, which would mean they couldn't refurb them. Then they won't exchange them. Sounds like a deal!

Total price for stainless lines, calipers, and pads, was around $175. I'll have them tomorrow.

BTW, I decided not to go with the Toyota caliper retrofit at this time, because that will throw my front and rear brakes out of proportion. It would be better, eventually, to upgrade all the brakes at the same time, perhaps when my drums wear out.

Here's what I still don't know: Is it OK to paint the drums? Does it interfere with heat dissipation? I'd be using black, ceramic, Duplicolor 650F paint -- for cosmetic reasons, of course.

Edited by FastWoman

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Fastwoman,

I skipped over part of this thread because I got sorta busy doing my rear brakes;), so if it has been mentioned, forgive me.

I had a friend over, 1/2 for material help, 1/2 for moral support while I did the brakes. Maybe the anti-rattle springs in your hardware kit won't be as stiff as the one's that I had, or perhaps your latter model has a different design, or perhaps you have a grip of steel, but we found them a bear to install. Both John and I are on the small side, but, I mean, hell, we aren't wimps, and more bad words, expressions of pain, along with a greatly disproportionate amount of time and plotting was spent getting the little buggers on than any other part of the operation. Five days later, I'm not convinced the dent in my thumb caused by compressing the spring in has come out completely. Slight exaggeration, but not that much.

We got one on by brute strength, then took to jamming combinations of wood and steel behind the drum to hold in place the nail-like stud thing that secures the spring to the strut or the differential so all hands could be on deck. So to speak.

If there is such a thing as an anti-rattle spring installer tool, I sincerely recommend you look into buying or renting one. Or, barring that, scope out what kind of clamp or spring compressor could be used and if you don't have one, buy one.

Or, you know, find a true "son of the south.";) You'll probably want to reward him with some tea or lemonade afterwards.

Best O' Luck!

Chris

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Snip...

Here's what I still don't know: Is it OK to paint the drums? Does it interfere with heat dissipation? I'd be using black, ceramic, Duplicolor 650F paint -- for cosmetic reasons, of course.

I wouldn't paint the drums. Mine have no indication they were painted by the factory. The affects on heat removal will depend on what type of paint you use, how well you prep the drums, and how well the paint adheres. If you ever get the brakes really hot the paint will likely burn off anyhow.

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Jetaway,

There is a tool for this job.

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/WMR-W158C/

But I'm surprised it took that much force. I'm not that beefy but I usually just grip with a large pair of pliers and push in to compress. Then while holding the spring in, I can reach to the back and rotate the post with my free hand to engage the slotted washer.

I do these first before hooking up the return springs. The retainer helps to hold the shoes while I force the returns back on. Those are the ones that usually give more of a headache.

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Thanks, Jetaway! LOL Yeah, I remember that spring being a bear. I did buy the special tool for it when I did the brakes on my '75 Z long ago. Even then it was a bit of a push, but I got the things on there without serious injury. I still have the tool -- know exactly where it is.

Pete: I won't paint the drums, then. Thanks! :)

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I spray painted my drums with silver brake caliper paint, years ago, and they still look great. I have had no issues with the paint, and they look good through the wheels.

999783634_jMPgc-M.jpg

Edited by cygnusx1

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If you put the springs on with the shoes sideways (you would be looking at the face of the shoes), you can then use two hands to lift the whole assembly up (both shoes and all of the springs assembled), get the shoes aligned on the backing plate, then open them up like you would a book to put tension on the springs. After that it's a game of getting the retainers in without the "book" closing on you, the shoes falling off their pivot points and having to start over. A knee on the shoes works if you're flexible.

Just another way to look at it.

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@Dave: Thanks! Well, then I think I'll give the black paint a try. I'm not an aggressive driver, so I doubt I would build up more heat than most drivers would, and the black should look nice beneath my silver panasports. I'm going to do my calipers in black too -- nice and neat.

@Zed: Thanks! That sounds like a good technique. I'm not very flexible anymore, but I do have a helper available. :-)

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Phew! The right rear is done (not filled and bled, though). The nuts on the brake hose came loose quite easily, but the one on the cylinder didn't want to budge. The fancy Canuck vice grips were too large to get to the problem nut. I went and bought a 10mm flare nut wrench, not the greatest quality, and it slipped around the corners of the nut. Grrrrr... So I pulled out my smallest pair of vice grips and clamped around the flare nut wrench to keep it from spreading. That worked like a charm! (Thanks for the tip!)

Putting the new shoes on was an adventure. I finally figured out how to do it. Mount up the leading shoe first, fastening it down. Then attach the springs between that and the trailing shoe, and fold the trailing shoe around to the rear.

The anti-rattle spring wasn't so tough. I could put it in place with my bare fingers. That's definitely NOT the experience I had with my '75 Z long ago, which was why I made a special trip to the auto parts store to ask, "Help! What sort of special tool do I need to buy to get this friggin spring into place?!"

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Left rear is now done. The flare nuts came apart just fine, even on the cylinder connection, but the PO had apparently twisted and mangled the hard line that runs around the backside of the drum assembly. So I had to buy some more hardline and bend a new piece, double flaring the ends. I'd never done a double flare before. Cool! I still haven't gotten my MityVac in the mail. I had bought one off of eBay for this brake job. Sure would be nice to have it now.

QUESTION: Is the ratchet on the adjusting wheel supposed to hold the adjusting wheel (catch it) when the emergency brake is relaxed, or is it just supposed to sit on the top of the wheel and catch the wheel whenever the emergency brake handle moves so far? The adjuster on one side holds, and the one on the other does not, and I don't know which is normal.

Edited by FastWoman

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You adjust it with a screwdriver and get it so that the shoes just barely rub on the drum. Did you clean and grease these points? (its the shiny areas)

post-22536-14150816672347_thumb.jpg

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Cleaned and greased, yes. And I've retracted the adjuster, by turning the wheel, so that the brakes are retracted enough to accommodate the new linings. However, as I say, the rachet spring catches in the resting position on one side and not the other. It appears to be designed/shaped to release in the rest position, so that it grabs and turns only when the emergency brake is actuated. Maybe whether it (barely) catches in the rest position doesn't really make any difference to the operation of the auto adjust mechanism. Dunno. Any thoughts?

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Without reading the whole thread- you should always do one side at a time so you have an example to go by. You will find that a medium size vise grips are your friend when it comes to working on brakes-'especially them damn springs. Of course there is a special tool for drum brakes too!

Becareful attempting to flare brake lines- it is an art to itself and will leak if not done right.

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Been a while, so I'm going from fuzzy memory: The 77-78 rear adjusters... Assuming there is enough travel as to require adjustment:

When you APPLY the parking brake, the adjuster lever hooks a tooth on the wheel and turns it.

When you RELEASE the parking brake handle, the gear wheel should not move and the lever should ratchet past the teeth on the gear. You should be able to hear the lever "click" as it snaps past the teeth on the gear.

The teeth on the adjuster wheel and the location of the lever is designed such that there should only be rotation in one direction and that direction is different for each side of the car.

So you really don't have to do much pre-adjusting on the adjuster wheel before you put the drum on. Just get the drum on, and then pull and release the parking brake handle a whole bunch of times until you stop hearing the clicks on let-off.

Goes like this:

Pull up - Hear some creaking from the cables and springs and such.

Release - Hear three (if memory serves) clicks as the adjuster lever ratchets past the teeth on the gear.

Pull up - Hear some creaking from the cables and springs and such.

Release - Hear three clicks as the adjuster lever ratchets past the teeth on the gear.

--- Repeat the above a couple of times until ---

Pull up - Hear some creaking from the cables and springs and such.

Release - Hear TWO clicks as the adjuster lever ratchets past the teeth on the gear.

--- Repeat the above a couple of times until ---

Pull up - Hear some creaking from the cables and springs and such.

Release - Hear ONE click as the adjuster lever ratchets past one tooth on the gear.

--- Repeat the above a couple of times until ---

Pull up - Hear some creaking from the cables and springs and such.

Release - Hear NO clicks.

You're done. From that point on, as the shoes wear and the travel increases, you will eventually reach the point where the parking brake lever will cause one click on release and then the next time you apply it, it will adjust one click. Does that until you replace the brakes next time or rusts solidly into place. LOL

Since the rear of the car is already off the ground and the wheels are off, I usually pull off the drums again and just have a quick peek at the shoes and make sure they are aligned pretty much in the middle of the backing plate. Wiggle the shoes around a little bit, "unadjust" the wheel a couple of teeth, put the drum back on, and adjust them again.

If your shoes need a lot of adjustment (meaning they are pretty far from the drums) you should hear multiple clicks when you release the handle, and if you're not, there's something wrong with the adjuster system.

I apologize if I answered a whole bunch of questions that weren't asked... I was on a roll.:)

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Thanks, Captain! That's exactly what I wanted and needed to know! :) It's strange that this topic isn't really discussed in any detail in the FSM. There's almost no info about the adjuster mechanism. Weird.

Steve, I can see that the flaring is an art, and it's not particularly easy. I practiced a few times on extra pieces of tubing and then did the real thing when I felt I could get the flair centered and symmetrical, which is how it did seem to come out. However, I won't know much until I get my brake bleeding tool. (drumming fingers on desk, waiting for the truck to bring it) Oh, yes, I did one side at a time. I'm glad I did, because I did have to consult the other (intact) side for reference a couple of times.

Edited by FastWoman

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Phew... Right before I hit the post button, I realized how long that post was. I was worried that I was off track. When did I become so wordy...? :tapemouth

I've had a bunch of flaring experience also, and it's a pain. Thankfully, I've never done enough of it to warrant buying my own flaring tool set, so I borrowed a double flaring set from a buddy and found that the mandrel that came with the cheap double flaring sets is crap. It didn't fit well into the tubing and was almost impossible to get decent results. I finally gave up and turned my own mandrel that was tight fitting into the hardline tubing. Results turned out much better.

I would hope that the more expensive flaring sets have better accessories. Even so, I bet there's significant finesse that must be learned before getting good results. Make a complete single flare first? Make a partial single flare first? Make half the bubble flare and then rotate the tubing 90 degrees before finishing it? Now that you've been through it, you know the drill.

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Why wait for a bleeder tool when you can just bleed them manually? You can start off by yourself, put the bleed hose into a jar of good brake fluid and pump away. Once you have fluid coming out of the hose, close the bleeder and step on the pedal a few times. Check for leaks.

I've used this procedure for making sure everything in the braking system is good and finished up utilizing a helper to get those last few bubbles out, which didn't take very long.

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I figured with a MityVac I wouldn't be running the master cylinder past its usual travel points and wouldn't risk damaging the seals. (I don't know that I don't have rust in the thing.) That said, I've always bled my brakes manually, and I just checked the ETA on the MityVac -- TUESDAY! That's quite a long time. I might just do the rears manually. The MityVac should be here by the time I'm ready to bleed my fronts.

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Captain, I didn't have any instructions, and it wasn't a great flaring tool. I just concentrated on CAREFULLY centering all the parts, checking that the mandrel didn't tilt during the compression. My first attempt was off center. The second was much closer. The third was spot on, and so was the real thing. I've got my fingers crossed that it doesn't leak. If it does, I'll fiddle with it, and my plan B can be to have a brake shop make the tube for me.

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