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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, My 95 Caprice has a leaky rear wheel cylinder. What size line wrenches will I need to swap it out? This is my first time doing this repair. Any other tips are appreciated as well.
 

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What size line wrenches will I need to swap it out?
The fittings all seem to be metric. 13mm and 11mm have been mentioned. I would just get a set with at least 14mm to 10mm. Most sets are 3 or 4 wrenches which cover 6 to 8 sizes.


Any other tips are appreciated as well.
As much as it sucks you might want to go at this slowly. You have identified a cylinder leak so first you need to know if you have the small(9.5), B4U(11), or wagon drum brakes(11). Each seems to require a different brake cylinder. Shoes to match. Good parts places will have hardware kits so you get new springs and that little shoe retainer part that always goes flying away. High temp brake grease for where the shoes touch the back plate.
Put down some cardboard or paper so cleanup will be easier. With the car jacked up get the drums loose. Back off the shoe adjuster. If the drums have a ridge they will need more space. If the drum is stuck to the axle shaft oil, heat, and pound till loose.
For the brake line fittings same thing,oil, heat, and pound till loose. Brake dust bad! Do not breath it and do not use a good vacuum to clean it up.If the steel line starts to turn with the fitting quit unless you have replacement lines ready. The more rusted they look the less chance you have of not twisting the line when you turn the fitting.
Take pictures of each side of the axle's brake hardware they should be different. If some idiot has installed the parts wrong and you copy it you will have problems. Get the brake adjusters set close to the drums.It would be good to have a service manual or a how to book photo copied so you can get it dirty.


Read a book, google, or watch a utube or two. It is not rocket science but it does need to be done right. I have skipped a lot of little steps that need to be done right. The factory service manual is always the best place to start.


This site has a lot of information on rear disk brakes. You might try the Longroof forum(wagon) to search for drum questions as they never came stock with disks.
 

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I would like to add one thing here. Go to Wal Mart and get some of their cheap brake parts cleaner and put a oil drain pan or what ever under the drum. Use the entire can, and more if needed, to clean the dust and let it run into the pan. No dust this way.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would like to add one thing here. Go to Wal Mart and get some of their cheap brake parts cleaner and put a oil drain pan or what ever under the drum. Use the entire can, and more if needed, to clean the dust and let it run into the pan. No dust this way.

Mark: Snowman-33



Good idea. I'm glad you guys reminded me of the brake dust. Thanks!
 

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aaaaand another thing to Add on the Brake "Shoes" and Metal Cylinder Lines.

Be aware that the Shoes on each side and have a Primary and a Secondary Shoe. One shoe has more material on it and forget which goes to the Front or the back. The Haynes Manual for about $25 also has pretty good info and Pics along with LOTS of other useful basics for these cars.


Metal Lines - Soak them for a couple of Days on the Cylinder/Fitting and Line about a inch or two back. As was mentioned, you DONT want to twist the Metal Line if you can help it. A little flex at first is normal. You want the Nut to spin freely on the metal line.

I like to take some emery cloth or sand paper and get it as tight as you can to the back side of the nut and clean up the metal line. Then spray more penetrent and repeat a few times for another day if you can. Try to tighten it a little first and then try to back it out.

Not a bad idea to gravity bleed the rear circuit and keep tooping off the master til the fluid is clean. It also helps to Start the Nut/Line into the Wheel Cylinder first before mounting the cylinder to the backing plate. Then finish up the fluid flush by bleeding out the fronts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you, 4DoorSS. I'll spray some PB Blaster on it for the next two days. Cylinder should be here by Friday. I'm screwed if the nut rounds off or if the line breaks so I'll be taking my time. I do have the Haynes manual (and watched some Youtube videos) but I thought I'd ask for tips as I've been set back a few times by lack of info in the book. Now I just need to get a good set of line wrenches....which are pricier than I expected. Cheaper than a busted line I suppose.
 

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The Quality of your Flare Wrench will be important here. Harbor fright is okay for some things but Cheap wrenches can open a little when torqued and cause the fitting to get rounded.

I picked up this exact set (used on ebay) a while ago and love them. they are very stout and come in a nice case....


If you do happen to round the nut, there are always vise grips in a pinch but it will chew up the fitting. Hopefully the nut breaks free for you and the line doesn't get twisted.
 

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I'm going to step in here again. IF, very possible, you do happen to twist the line. All is not lost. You can get these, https://www.inlinetube.com/products/CFB91R1. They also make them in stainless steel. I don't know the condition of your lines but it may be a good idea anyway to replace them.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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Reasonable price for oem = good find. BUT worth dbl checking/confirming fitment with them as SS all came with disc:

Product Description
1977-1996 Chevrolet Caprice Impala SS, SEDAN ONLY, Rear Drum, Rear Axle Brake Line Set - 2pc - OE Steel
 

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The link I provided was for drum brakes. I have been in contact with them about fitment because of the ad stating SS & Caprice. (Different axle width) I have drum and intend to keep them. They said that if I was concerned, I could send my lines and they would fab up a set to spec of the lines I send in. That includes stainless steel. Seem to be very amiable folks. One more thing. Notice they come with the rock guards covering the line.

Mark: Snowman-33
 

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For a budget fix:


Confirm the size of line wrench you need. Then buy a single good one from the store, industrial supply, or truck of your choice. As said by others cheap ones may flex and round the fitting.
Most auto parts places will sell you a piece of brake line with one flared end. If you round the fittings they should have replacements as well. The lines are in inches and the fittings are metric thread as far as I know. Just bring the whole line and the cylinder for good luck. They will lend you the flare tool kit to do the other end. You just have to make sure you buy the line with the right flare. If you practice flaring and do not like the result, get a mechanic to do it.


Cylinder should be here by Friday.
I hope you mean cylinderS. Unless you know the other is brand new changing both is cheaper. You are replacing shoes on both sides, and bleeding the rear lines. If the other cylinder fails you will have to do the shoes and bleed again. Labor wise a cheap part like a cylinder out weighs a second pair of shoes and a second bleed.


As said by others shoe placement and adjuster placement are easy to mess up. This is why I recommend taking pictures AND have a photo copy of a manual. Doing one side at a time can also reduce errors. For me this is a start on friday with a friend and alternate transportation lined up project. If everything goes well a quick project. If things are rusted and stuck you need to have budgeted extra time.


It also helps to Start the Nut/Line into the Wheel Cylinder first before mounting the cylinder to the backing plate.
4DoorSS Great advice. It is amazing how hard it can be to get the line perfectly square to the cylinder so the fitting will thread.


Safety glasses when you remove or replace springs are a very good idea. If you do not have drum brake tools needle nose pliers and some small steel cable or very tough wire will make it easier to get the springs on and off.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Thanks for all the info guys. I did order two cylinders but I'm just doing the one for now. Maybe the other next week if all goes well. Can the cylinder not be wiggled out without removing the brake pads (assuming they are still good...which I think they are)? I got under there today to soak it and inspect condition. The line nut looked good. Felt square. No rust that I could see. I'm sure if I was still on the east coast that would not be the case. Strange thing, I matched the nut to a standard 11mm Craftsman wrench. The Snap-on 11mm standard wrench I also tried did not fit. I would think the Cman would be the ill fitting one but it was tight on there. Two different 12mm wrenches I put on it had too much play so it's 11mm but I'm curious why the Snap-On doesn't fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Quality of your Flare Wrench will be important here. Harbor fright is okay for some things but Cheap wrenches can open a little when torqued and cause the fitting to get rounded.

I picked up this exact set (used on ebay) a while ago and love them. they are very stout and come in a nice case....

One of the best and cheapest tools in my shop! Evercraft tool review - YouTube

If you do happen to round the nut, there are always vise grips in a pinch but it will chew up the fitting. Hopefully the nut breaks free for you and the line doesn't get twisted.

I would think that would put too much torque on the brake line but apparently not (assuming it's not seized). Will have to look into a set. Thanks.
 

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7/16in=11.112mm
If Snap-On is right I might be wrong.

If it was "out of round" it would loose if you tried the next position.

You might get both and return one. You want a tight fit
I have found the open end of some wrenches fits tighter than the enclosed end(12 or 16point).
I can not believe we are talking about 0.112mm or 0.00441in. Or 1%. Simple things can be complicated.
I still expect the 11mm is the one..
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
7/16in=11.112mm
If Snap-On is right I might be wrong.

If it was "out of round" it would loose if you tried the next position.

You might get both and return one. You want a tight fit
I have found the open end of some wrenches fits tighter than the enclosed end(12 or 16point).
I can not believe we are talking about 0.112mm or 0.00441in. Or 1%. Simple things can be complicated.
I still expect the 11mm is the one..

Yeh, it's a bit nuts to me. The 11mm Cman fit on perfect (no play) but the 11mm Snap-On just hit against it. Tried it from another angle and same thing. Just watched a video on removing the cylinder without taking off the pads. We'll see. I look forward to getting this done.Tired of it being on my mind. Appreciate the help. EDIT: I just went ahead and ordered an SK 11mm line wrench from Amazon.
 

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I would think that would put too much torque on the brake line but apparently not (assuming it's not seized). Will have to look into a set. Thanks.
Not sure I follow how that would be "too much torque" as you could use as much or as little torque as you need whether it is with a Ratchet or a Wrench. I have both types of Line tools in my toolbox....Wrench set's and the Crows foot type.

BTW - I see you ordered the 1 size wrench. hopefully that works out for you but keep in mind a "Set" will be much better in the long run. Even if you get a Cheapo set for just tightening the fittings. as is the case, you may find you need other sizes for other projects down the road and adding wrenches Piece by Piece can cost a lot more.

Also, it is highly possible that the stock fitting is one size yet the replacement part has a different size. Happened to me with Power Steering hoses on this car. Good luck and hopefully the fitting breaks free and you just have to replace the whee cylinder and not the line too.
 

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......
BTW - I see you ordered the 1 size wrench. hopefully that works out for you but keep in mind a "Set" will be much better in the long run. Even if you get a Cheapo set for just tightening the fittings. as is the case, you may find you need other sizes for other projects down the road and adding wrenches Piece by Piece can cost a lot more. .....

[/QUOTE=95CapriceClassic]
......Yeh, it's a bit nuts to me. The 11mm Cman fit on perfect (no play) but the 11mm Snap-On just hit against it. Tried it from another angle and same thing......[/QUOTE]

Man, you can always tell the old farts in tha house hahaha

I hung a FW back door yesterday, by my F self mind you. I've accumulated 4 sets of metric box/ends through life, and it (my life) was made easier fershur with the multiple 11s for the hinges including one "re-purposed" just for the job. ;) And +20 on fit being different between sets. Tools gotta be the cheapest, but most valuable assets there am. No matter what or how many you buy, every dollar spent guarantees triple-digit ROI.

Thread-related: I did all brand new everything brakes all around when I got my current FWB 3 years ago. Y'all made me remember using either my metric or Eng. line wrench breaking loose the first slave, but the other side was either too loose or tight so I had to switch to the other style line wrench for it. You SAS don't want to round those off if any way to avoid it.

Plus, I'll offer that I've had good luck with a good quality huge (8" or 12") crescent (not regular end wrench) locked down hard to get a good bite and not round off if a line wrench is lacking or absent - that is if you can find good angle and enough room to get it on square.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Not sure I follow how that would be "too much torque" as you could use as much or as little torque as you need whether it is with a Ratchet or a Wrench. I have both types of Line tools in my toolbox....Wrench set's and the Crows foot type.

BTW - I see you ordered the 1 size wrench. hopefully that works out for you but keep in mind a "Set" will be much better in the long run. Even if you get a Cheapo set for just tightening the fittings. as is the case, you may find you need other sizes for other projects down the road and adding wrenches Piece by Piece can cost a lot more.

Also, it is highly possible that the stock fitting is one size yet the replacement part has a different size. Happened to me with Power Steering hoses on this car. Good luck and hopefully the fitting breaks free and you just have to replace the whee cylinder and not the line too.

Well, I've never used a crowsfoot so I was just speculating based on the thin size of the brake line. I'm no mechanic. Just teaching myself repair at a late age. I do have some other line wrenches that I picked up along the way. Money is tight. Which is partly what prompted me to start doing my own repairs. Will get a fuller set when I can. It's frustrating to read reviews on such wrenches. Some of the cheaper ones have half solid reviews and half negative. Even the SK wrench I bought had mixed reviews. Pain in the butt.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The parts and wrench are here. Spraying PB Blaster on the hardware and letting it soak for two days made a big difference. I went ahead and broke everything loose. The SK 11mm flare nut wrench fit perfectly and with a firm turn it broke free. That said, for a premium wrench the finish on this one is not so great. There's even a tiny rough ding on the handle (enough to scratch). I even found some clear medical tubing in the garage that fit perfectly on the bleeder valve. It's blazing hot today so I'm going to do this earlier tomorrow but feeling better having loosened everything. Resprayed the loosened fittings. FWIW, the two bolts that hold the cylinder are also 11mm. 8mm on the valve. Thanks for the help.
 
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