04 February 2023

That There's Your Problem

Father In Law's truck started losing brake fluid and had almost no pedal left.

Found a leak in the left rear.

Wheel cylinder.


Because the piston had shot out of the front bore and it was just pouring out the block.


Because there was no material left on the shoes and at least 1/8" of a lip on the drum.  <-- Yes, that was "fun" to get apart.

Metal on metal for who knows how long.

Got the left side apart and back together.

Did the initial bleed on the corner we'd worked on.  Holding pressure, no leaks!

The 2008 Colorado's rear drums are different from the 1991 Caprice rears that I'm familiar with and have their own quirks about disassembly and reassembly.

We, Marv and I, figured it out and we do the right side tomorrow before The Lovely Harvey sets us a bounty of a bone-in oven baked ham!



  1. I hate drum brakes. I took the plasma cutter to the rear drum last year when I couldn't get the drum off. I upgraded the 04 Ranger to disk brakes as I had totally f'ed up the drum mounts with the plasma torch.

    1. I've helped work on rear drums that were so crusty and rusted in place that we had to use a propane torch and a big crow bar to get them loose... Never got to the point of torching them off though... But I can understand the frustration level getting there. Disc brakes really are easier to deal with... One interesting anecdote about rear rotors... The C3 Corvette rear rotors were riveted in place, primarily from what I understand to ease assembly at the factory (the IRS in those "droops" when not under load so I could see the discs falling off if not attached). My 1980 when I got it in 2000 needed new rear rotors sometime around 2001 and the rotors were still riveted on, meaning they'd never been off the car. I guess not surprising since it only had about 65k miles back then.

  2. The 2005 Colorado I got from my Dad is also drum rears. It's been years since I had something with drum brakes on it. The last thing I had that did was a 1991 S10 that I had when I moved to Texas 22 years ago and replaced after a year or two with a 2003 Silverado with 4 wheel disc brakes. I don't even know where my drum brake tool kit is. I'd have to dig for it. Maybe out in the garden shed... Might be easier when I need to do rear brakes on that thing just to go to Harbor Freight and buy a new set.

    1. Not one tool I bought to work on drums works on this thing!

      Totally different from the normal GM brake that was standard from who knows to 1993.

    2. Ah well then. If I need to do the rear brakes on the one I have I'll just buy a new kit and not bother looking then! You've probably saved me a lot of time. Although, every time I go digging for something I usually end up finding something else I've been looking for, if not what I was actually looking for at the moment.


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