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Wheel cylinder question, 8"/204mm drum brakes on 1998 Contour SE


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Is there supposed to be a compression spring between the little pistons?  My rebuild kit didn't include one.  The old part didn't contain one, but the last guy who worked on the brakes was seriously lacking, so I just don't know...

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IIRC there is a spring in the wheel cylinder. Most people lose them when rebuilding as most kits only include the inner pistons and outer seals.

 

-Dominic

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And the world will continue turning if I don't install this part?

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I believe the spring provides tension to keep the pistons pushed out. Without it, the pistons could be allowed to retreat further than designed which could cause the shoes to slide off of the piston slots and create a negative contact situation inside the drum.

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Besides, wheel cylinders cost around $14 each.. even less on RockAuto. Is it worth it to ride around with missing parts?

 

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Yes, spring is required on rear wheel cylinders (drum brakes). Rebuild kits may or may not contain these springs. Rebuild kits typically contain piston seals and end cap seals. Most auto parts sources moving to replacement wheel cylinders. Back in the day we use to clean up the inside of the wheel cylinders with honing stones in order to remove pits that are a result of water (contaminated brake fluid). Failure to remove these pits will quickly result in the failure of the replacement piston seals. Moral of the story here: Bleed your brake fluid completely once every 2 to 3 years. Way frequently overlooked procedure.

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And people wonder why the imports last longer than domestics? Scheduled service, that's what. Brake fluid changes are every 30K on Toyota's and other vehicles (our age that is).

 

 

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  • 5 months later...
On 3/16/2021 at 4:25 PM, BuckeyeSVT said:

I believe the spring provides tension to keep the pistons pushed out. Without it, the pistons could be allowed to retreat further than designed which could cause the shoes to slide off of the piston slots and create a negative contact situation inside the drum.

Correct you are!

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