GM Cadillac 1967-1989 Repair Guide

Wheel Cylinders

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

  1. Clean away all dirt, crud and foreign material from around wheel cylinder. It is important that dirt be kept away from the brake line when the cylinder is disconnected.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the inlet tube line.
  4.  
  5. Wheel cylinders are retained by two types of fasteners. One type uses a round retainer with locking clips, which attaches to the wheel cylinder on the back side of the brake backing plate. The other type simply uses two bolts, which screw into the wheel cylinder from the back side of the backing plate.
  6.  
  7. To remove the round retainer-type cylinders, insert two awls or pins into the access slots between the wheel cylinder pilot and the retainer locking tabs. Bend both tabs away simultaneously. The wheel cylinder can be removed, as the retainer is released.
  8.  
  9. To remove bolted cylinders, loosen and remove the retaining bolts from the back side of the backing plate, then remove the cylinder.
  10.  
  11. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedures. To install the retainer-type cylinder, position the wheel cylinder and hold it in place, then drive the retainer into place using a socket. Bleed and adjust the brake system.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Wheel cylinder secured by a retainer



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Fig. Fig. 2: Bolt-type wheel cylinder



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Fig. Fig. 3: Bend retainer stubs using awl



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Fig. Fig. 4: Use a socket and extension to seat the new retainer

OVERHAUL



See Figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10

As is the case with master cylinders, overhaul kits for wheel cylinders are readily available. When rebuilding and installing wheel cylinders, avoid getting any contaminants into the system. Always install clean, new high-quality brake fluid. If dirty or improper fluid has been used, it will be necessary to drain the entire system, flush the system with proper brake fluid, replace all rubber components, refill, and bleed the system.

  1. Remove the rubber boots from the cylinder ends with pliers. Discard the boots.
  2.  
  3. Remove and discard the pistons and cups.
  4.  
  5. Wash the cylinder and metal parts in denatured alcohol or clean brake fluid.
  6.  


CAUTION
Never use a mineral-based solvent such as gasoline, kerosene, or paint thinner for cleaning purposes. These solvents will swell rubber components and quickly deteriorate them.

  1. Allow the parts to air dry or use compressed air. Do not use rags for cleaning since lint will remain in the cylinder bore.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the piston and replace it if it shows scratches.
  4.  
  5. Lubricate the cylinder bore and counterbore with clean brake fluid.
  6.  
  7. Install the rubber cups (flat side out) and then the pistons (flat side in).
  8.  
  9. Insert new boots into the counterbores by hand. Do not lubricate the boots.
  10.  
  11. Install the wheel cylinder to the backing plate, then connect all push rods and springs. Connect the brake line, install the brake drum, and bleed the brakes.
  12.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Common wheel cylinder



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Fig. Fig. 6: Removing the wheel cylinder retaining bolts



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Fig. Fig. 7: Removing the wheel cylinder



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Fig. Fig. 8: Removing the wheel cylinder links



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Fig. Fig. 9: Removing the wheel cylinder piston and seal



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Fig. Fig. 10: Exploded view of the wheel cylinder assembly

 
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