GM Firebird 1967-1981 Repair Guide

Wheel Cylinders

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION




WARNING
Clean, high quality brake fluid is essential to the safe and proper operation of the brake system. You should always buy the highest quality brake fluid that is available. If the brake fluid becomes contaminated, drain and flush the system, then refill the master cylinder with new fluid. Never reuse any brake fluid. Any brake fluid that is removed from the system should be discarded.

  1. Remove the brake drum as described earlier in this section.
  2.  
  3. Clean all dirt away from around the brake line connection, and disconnect the brake line.
  4.  
  5. Remove the wheel cylinder from the backing plate.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel cylinder onto the backing plate.
  8.  
  9. Connect the brake pipe. Tighten the connection to 100 in. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install brake shoes, drum, and wheel, and flush and bleed brakes.
  12.  

OVERHAUL



See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of a typical wheel cylinder

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 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 and connect all pushrods and springs. Connect the brake line, install the brake drum, and bleed the brakes.
  12.  

 
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