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Wheel Cylinder About To Fall Out

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Stout, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. Aug 28, 2017

    Stout Member

    Quakertown, PA
    Nov 1, 2010
    The last time I drove my Jeep, I noticed the front driver's side brake drum grabbing and it was progressively getting worse as the day went on. I also noticed when I got home that the hub was hot to the touch. Though I figured this was due to the brake drag, I wanted to inspect the bearings anyway.

    Took it apart yesterday and discovered that both bolts for the wheel cylinder were missing. The cylinder was allowed to just flop around there and eventually broke part of the brake shoe off. The bolts were not sheared, they came undone.

    Now it is conceivably possible that I didn't tighten them when I put everything together but I probably would have noticed a loose wheel cylinder during the bleeding process.

    It's weird but fixable. Scary how close I was to brake failure (cylinder shearing the brake line, shoes coming apart, etc.)

    Anyone ever have this happen? Just curious.
  2. Aug 28, 2017

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
    Sep 21, 2002
    Haven't had that happen but I'm sure glad you found it in time.
    Walt Couch and jpflat2a like this.
  3. Aug 28, 2017

    Focker That's a terrible idea...What time? Staff Member 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Tri-Cities WA
    Aug 18, 2014
  4. Aug 28, 2017

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Hills of NH
    Aug 3, 2003
    New one on me. More often it's a PITA to get those bolts out.
  5. Aug 28, 2017

    Twin2 not him 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
    Apr 28, 2011
    yep . glad you got home
  6. Aug 28, 2017

    Hellion Regurgitated

    Eastern TN
    Dec 25, 2016
    Sounds like a freak occurrence.

    What do you think, Loctite those bolts for future prevention?
  7. Aug 29, 2017

    sterlclan Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    exploring the...
    Feb 21, 2009
    If you want them to snap on removal yeah
    PeteL likes this.
  8. Aug 29, 2017

    Stout Member

    Quakertown, PA
    Nov 1, 2010
    If this hasn't happened to anyone else then it is most certainly my own fault. I'm guessing I didn't tighten them when I put it together. I did check the other 3 and the bolts are intact and tight. It's just weird -- I could see them being loose or having one fall out, but losing both bolts completely? Oh well, I didn't damage anything beyond repair and I found it before any catastrophic event.

    By the way, I did check the bearing and it looks fine so the warm hub was probably due to brake drag. The hub seal had a small chunk missing off the lip, which I assume was from part of the brake shoe that snapped off.

    So new seal, repack the bearings, and button everything down appropriately and it should be ready for the road again.
  9. Aug 29, 2017
    Framer Mike P

    Framer Mike P Member

    Hopkinton, NH
    Jan 4, 2016
    When I was driving our 55 cj5 in high school I would lose the brakes often. It was the original worn out nine inch brakes but my father had already had us upgrade to a dual system master cylinder. What was happening was the wheel cylinder was over extending and then I would lose brake fluid. One afternoon we took the Jeep on a power line trail about ten miles from home - had a blast breaking through the ice on frozen puddles. On the ride home I lost the brakes again but this time I could feel the brake dragging. Got home pulled the wheel and found that the piston had popped out of the wheel cylinder and held the brake shoe against the drum. The drum was discolored from the heat and the rubber seals to the wheel cylinder were burnt. This was no big deal to teenage me - we had extra wheel cylinder rebuild kits and I had it back together in no time - feeling proud of myself. The next day on the way to school I hit the brakes again - and lost them. This time the brake loss was followed by a lot of rattling noises. Got the Jeep home that afternoon and pulled the wheel. What I found was that the brake drum had exploded, all that was left was the metal disc. After this I was no longer allowed to drive the Jeep until I spent some of my hard earned dishwashing money from the local pub on an eleven inch brake kit. I guess the moral of my story is to be careful and check those brake drums if your brakes have been dragging.
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