I was taking my drum brakes apart. I am trying to take the wheel cylinder off on my 1992 cadillac deville. I have 1 bolt that I cannot get off the wheel cylinder that holds the cylinder on. The bolt is stripped and that is the only bolt left that I need to take ot to get the wheel cylinder off. Can I take a grinder and grind the bolt off. The only thing that is keeping me from grinding it off is that this bolt screws in. If you have any suggestions let me know. Thanks.
April, 21, 2012 AT 1:49 AM
Grind two flat spots so an open end wrench will fit.
If you have an acetylene torch and a wire feed welder, you can weld a nut onto the bolt head. I can post more detailed instructions for that.
April, 21, 2012 AT 2:00 AM
I don't have a acetylene or a wire feed welder. I have map gas I know it doesn't get as hot. I was wondering what would happen if I cut off the bolt head off then wouldnt it come out. Or could I grind it and make it like a flat head screw. If not I will do it like you said. Thanks.
April, 21, 2012 AT 5:25 AM
Grinding a slot might work but I've always found the bolt heads to be sitting in a recess and hard to reach. If you have a cheap six point socket you're not too emotionally involved with, you might try pounding that onto the head. Also consider an impact driver. If you don't know what that is, it's a hand-held tool that gives a little turn to the socket when you smack it with a hammer. They aren't very expensive.
If you do have to grind the head off, the wheel cylinder should pull right out as long as the axle flange isn't too close.
As an alternative, wheel cylinders are real easy to rebuild right on the car. Auto parts stores will have somewhat universal kits. You'll need to pull out one of the two lip seals and look on the inside to see the diameter molded onto it, then you buy a kit for the same diameter. Ford has had a lot of trouble with their wheel cylinders corroding and leaking. Those can't be rebuilt. Other manufacturers don't seem to have such a big problem. It's caused by moisture in the brake fluid condensing and rusting away a rough spot in the bottom of the bore. If you don't see that, I have a brake cylinder hone that is used with a drill but sandpaper spiraled around a cotter pin works too. You just need to remove anything that isn't steel. Wash it out with brake parts cleaner.
I should mention too that if you tried any type of penetrating oil on the bolts or especially the steel brake line, wash and scrub all of it off and be absolutely sure none gets mixed in with the brake fluid. Just a little on your fingertip is enough to contaminate the brake fluid and cause rubber parts to swell.
April, 21, 2012 AT 4:58 PM
I took a hammer and hit the wheel cylinder and it finally came off. I broke the bolt that holds the wheel cylinder on the back. Is their a place that I can buy the bolt from besides the dealer. I went to advanced auto and they said they don't have it or sell it. Thanks.
April, 21, 2012 AT 7:34 PM
You can use a regular hex bolt but make it a grade 8, not one of the cheap bolts you get in those ten-dollar parts cabinet kits. It's most likely a metric thread. If the head is too wide to fit into a recess, use a split lock washer under it to raise the head up a little.
April, 21, 2012 AT 7:45 PM
Yeah it was a 1/4 in that I had to use. One of them came off easy with the 1/4 in the other didn't. Thanks.