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Discussion Starter #1
Man, I hate having 4 unassisted drums. Anyway, a couple of brake questions.

1. I just bled the system, and filled it with DOT 3 fluid. Is DOT 3 OK for a '68? The guck it had in didn't look like DOT 3...

2. With the manual master cylinder's cap off, when the brake is pushed, you can see like a little fountain of fluid shooting up in the reservoir lobes when the pedal is moving at the start of its travel. There are 3 holes in each reservoir pool, and the fluid shoots out of one of them. Some one please say that my master cylinder is muffed, and a new one will give me gobs more braking power


3. I can't remember, it is braking while going backwards that adjusts them, right? After a new set of shoes, how many miles will I have to put on before the front shoes seat and adjust? The brake performance is horrible currently, it's a two foot deal.

I know I need disks, just haven't had the time and $.
 

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1.0 the guck you had was DOT 0.0 and is not very good....
2.0 Master cylinders often produce interesting geysers --get used to it.
3.0 get the best brake shoes that you can --it is your only defense at this point. Yes the adjuststers work with every reverse direction brake cycle.
 

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Mr. Gibbons. I thought I needed discs too. However. I replaced both rear wheel cylinders because one popped. ( my '67 had sat for many. many years ). The braking was OK until one day when pedal travel went biserk.
How effin stupid of me. For a whopping $26 and a 20 minute job I replaced the master.Mine too had sludge on the bottom. I still haven't bled the system out yet ( bench bled the master ) and my brakes are fine. I would feel totally comfortable stopping from a 90 mph 1/8 blast. I'm going to get some Gazan racing shoes for the front from Malibu performace although the CarQuest lifetime shoes I bought for the back ( emergency repair when a cylinder blows )do feel pretty good.

It does, however, feel like the leg press station on a Universal gym though!

If you are goinmg through the whole system, folks here have recommended switching to DOT5. It's less corrosive on paint and doesn't suck up water like DOT3 and, consequently, is better suited for cars that sit around. You have to flush all the old 3 out though.



[This message has been edited by Gene Chas (edited 07-21-99).]
 

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gibbons, I'd like to point out the fact that the entire brake system needs a good going over, ie, four new wheel cylinders, all three new brake hoses(both front and the rear flex hose),fresh brake shoes and at least break the glaze on the brake drums and mike them to make sure they are good. Also flush out the brake system while it is apart. It will take a few days of driving to seat the shoes to get them to stop at their best. You could put a booster on the drum brake system to improve stopping power, but as you already know disc's are best. Sorry about the long post,but brakes are THE MOST IMPORTANT system on your chevelle.

------------------
Leo Paugh
Maryland Chevelle Club #017
 

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I'm going to ditto Leo post. Why I waited so long to replace all the cylinders/master I don't know. It's not expensive. Manny Gomez told me I should. He and Leo are right. The cylinders were 27 a pop the master 26 and shoes 30. The racing shoes are a bit more, like 60 or so. Still, around 200 for the whole enchillada. Like I said, I was stupid for not doing it. And the work is a cinch even for a know nothing like me. BTW, I bought a retainer tool for $5. This little gizmo makes it that much easier.
 

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gibbons,

You should manually adjust your brakes and only rely on the self adjuster to keep the brakes adjusted as they wear. The method I used ( many many years ago) was to adjust the shoes until they would just let the drum slide back on. ( Also assumes your drums are in good shape and they don't have a "lip" from previous wear. If they have a lip, get them turned or replace them. When you do this to all four wheels, they should all grab equally when you apply the brakes.

You can also do this with the wheels still on if you have an adjustment tool. Adjust each wheel until you hear a slight drag from the shoes as you manually spin the wheels.

Good Luck,

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the responses! I guess my number one question was if that little fountain in the reservoirs was fluid that should have been going into the lines, which would give me a firmer pedal with less pedal travel. Or in other words, is my master malfunctioning?

Now the rest of the story: the cylinders, lines and master were replaced in '92, and have about 10K miles on them. I am planning on doing the trick where the adjusters are tweaked until the drum will just barely slides on, I wanted to make sure the adjusters are working by leaving them inially loose and seeing if they would do their job.

I put Raybestos "PG" shoes on the rear a month ago, and they really helped. So I did the same "PG" treatment to the front. It made braking worse, but they aren't seated yet.

I had the drums turned when I put the shoes
on the front. With everything assembled, when I spin the wheel, I get a "zick....zick....zick..." as they go around, because the inner drum braking surface obviously isn't concentric with the actual hub center (nuts sequentially torqued increased with torque wrench). I guess I am just to accustomed to working with more the precise discs on my Accord and F-250, where you hear a constant "ziiiiiiiick" as you spin them because they are perfect.

Ya know, it really is time to do the Chevelle brakes into discs. After all, I run big-dollar KVR cross drilled disks on the F-250, and italian Brembo cross drilled disks on the Accord. Where are the priorities? Duh. The Chevelle has lots more power than those two put together.
 

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Gibbons you S.O.B.! You're running Brembos and KVR's and not treating your Chevelle to the same luxury!

I feel like a schmuk telling you to spend money on a master when all your stuff is new.

Dude, you're accustomed to wicked good brakes. Until you get some for your 'Elle, you'll never be satisfied. You must do the disc-o thang.


[This message has been edited by Gene Chas (edited 07-22-99).]
 
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