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Thread: Front brake shoes wet...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    New Jersey by Philadelphia

    Default Front brake shoes wet...

    Pulled off my front driver drum today and the new shoes were somewhat wet and had asbestos mucked up a bit in the holes where the shoes are rivited.

    I put in new wheel cylinders about a year ago (E350 Ford ones) and am assuming its the front seal for the axle, although I am not sure. I was able to use a can of Brakekleen and a toothbrush to clean the shoes off rather easily.

    Any ideas? How hard is it to replace the front seal - any pictures? I do have the manual, just not in front of me now. I cannot imagine the wheel cylinder leaking since they can't have but 100 miles on them. I am assuming that the knuckle/axle seal may be original...and 40 years old.

    Any way to tell what it is?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    North Central Wisconsin


    If it is gear oil, the seal is way down the tube by the center section where the gears are...a little outboard of the center but not much.

    If its grease, it could be the hub seal for the bearing...the knuckle is sealed by the spindle from the drum area...if you see leakage around the spindle mount, then the knuckle...harder to leak that way I would think.

    Did you put grease on the backing plates to prevent squealing/chirping the lat time they were assembled? Did you maybe use a lot and it got all over the shoes?

    Wild off the wall guess there...
    Lord send your Holy Ghost into our hearts and make the desire of our hearts Your Will.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    New Jersey by Philadelphia


    For some reason I am going to check the master cylinder level - it seemed like brake fluid. Upon thinking about it, if it were axle grease or axle oil, it would be dripping where at the bottom under the spindle, where there is a gasket at the knuckle.

    For what its worth, when I put a clean pan under the brake assembly and hosed it down with Brakekleen, it all went into the pan. The color was of rust color which leads me to believe it has brake fluid in it.

    I'm going to depress the pedal to see if there are any leaks.

    Anyone else?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Giddings, Texas


    Don't push the pedal too far down with the drums off. You could pop the pistons out of the wheel cylinder. Feel around the dust covers of the cylinder. If it is brake fluid, they will be wet.

    Did you replace the brake hoses and clean out the lines when you put on the new cylinders? Any dirt, crud, rust, etc... that was there before could have gotten into the new parts and made them leak. Don't discount them as bad just because they were "new" at one point.

    My master did a similar fall to useless. I swapped over to DOT 5 Sunday so this new one might actually last more than 4 years.
    Remember if you didn't build it you can't call it yours.

    6.2 powered M715, 5 M1009's, M416, 2 M101's, 2 M105's, 3 M35's, M1007 6.5 turbo Suburban project called Cowdog.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Rhoadesville, Virginia (five miles from no place)


    Just pull the boots back on the wheel cylinders and see if there is any fluid in there. That should be dry or nearly dry in there. That will tell you if you have a leaky wheel cylinder.
    "Free advice is worth what you pay for it."™

  6. #6


    That might be the wheel cylinders. New means not functioning. Did you know, when you assembled the wheel cylinders, how old are they? Have they been propperly assembled, is the surface inside ok?
    I ALLWAYS disassemble new wheel cylinders, clean them in straight alkohol, check the inside, rework them, clean again, regrease with brake grease blue and reassemble them. I had the experiance before that a new whell cylinder is leaking after several weeks for I did not follow the known procedure.
    If it is grease or oil you will fell it between your finger tips. Than you have to take the side of the axle appart and propperly reassembel it with the correct torque values. Else you overstress the bolts and they will fail. In part 34 you find a desription of this work.
    M715 since 1982


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