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Old 04-18-2018, 09:38 PM   #1
Nate.
 
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Default Brake System Maintainence

My lil hardbody has been sitting for a while and has leaked out it's brake fluid. This happened a couple of times before I parked it where if I didn't drive it for a few days the fluid would disappear.

I haven't yet pulled off any tires to inspect for leaks around the brake lines but I have read and heard that sometimes the master cylinder can leak into the booster. If this is the case, does the booster need to be replaced?

Tomorrow I'm going to start inspecting the front and rear brakes (maybe rebuilding drums/changing front pads) and will have to determine if I need to replace the master cylinder/booster before bleeding the lines.

Any tips to know what is shot and what can be fixed?

Last edited by Nate.; 04-19-2018 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:34 PM   #2
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If the MC is leaking into the Booster, there should be a visible stain and paint peel on the booster just below the MC. It will also appear on the wheel well and fire wall.
If no stain and paint peel,I'd check the Rear Drum Brake cylinders. brake lines(These are 30 years old) , brake hoses first.
All of it can be fixed.
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:40 PM   #3
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Usually when the master cylinder is leaking on a hardbody, it leaks down the front of the booster. You’ll see if the paint is peeling off the booster.

There are 2 ways you can go about it. You can only fix what’s broken right now, or you can go ahead and replace the rubber lines, wheel cylinders, and all that. You can probably replace all the rubber parts for less than $100 from rockauto.
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Old 04-19-2018, 06:13 AM   #4
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Ok, thanks for the tips guys. Unfortunately this truck had peeling paint under the MC when I got the truck so idk how much brake fluid was spilled or if they had an issue previously. Going to start with the rear cylinders and work from there.

I see on Rockauto that some of the cylinders range from $3.50-12. Not sure the bore of the cylinder or differences but I'm most likely going to do the minimum to get them working and that will involve paying a few bucks more at a local parts store if I need to replace any of them. This truck needs a CA SMOG test and it's had poor maintenance over the years. Once it can pass the SMOG I will look into doing a more thorough job.

I will give you updates tomorrow.
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Old 04-19-2018, 02:06 PM   #5
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Check all the flexible brake lines too.

Let's rule out for now any leaks in the steel brake lines themselves. So since losing fluid, leaking externally, so has to be rear of master cylinder (should be able to loosen nuts and gently pull the cylinder away from the booster a couple of inches), caliper seals, rear wheel cylinders, flexible brake lines, possibly in seals between reservoir and the master cylinder.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:52 PM   #6
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So for now it looks like it may have just been the MC. I didn't notice any leaks around the wheel cylinders or calipers but the paint was quite bubbled on the booster. I replaced that and bled the lines, seems to be working for now.

I'm headed out of town for work for a couple weeks so I will check the fluid level when I get back to see if there is a persistent issue.
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:52 PM   #7
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Just so you know all O'Reilly auto parts store will match prices with rockauto as long as the rockauto part has the same warranty as them, just look it up on your phone take a picture of it an show the people at the counter and they will match the price
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Old 04-19-2018, 07:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
Just so you know all O'Reilly auto parts store will match prices with rockauto as long as the rockauto part has the same warranty as them, just look it up on your phone take a picture of it an show the people at the counter and they will match the price
Ah that would have been good knowledge to have. I went to another local parts store and paid $75 for a MC. Most of the ones I see on Rockauto are around $50.

Rockauto can be a bit overwhelming to me because of the wide price variations and the fact that I know none of the manufacturer names but I am interested in those nice discounts.
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Old 04-19-2018, 08:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
Just so you know all O'Reilly auto parts store will match prices with rockauto
Interesting! They are somewhat far away, though. Anyone know if the other "bricks and mortar" guys will do the same?
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Old 04-19-2018, 10:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon View Post
Just so you know all O'Reilly auto parts store will match prices with rockauto as long as the rockauto part has the same warranty as them, just look it up on your phone take a picture of it an show the people at the counter and they will match the price

that is a handy piece of information to have. really handy.
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