Getting The Brakes To Work

The DJ Jeep is a 4 drum, manual braking system. Very basic but it works well and with only 100 HP and 2200lbs of curb weight, the drum system will work fine. We are just going to rebuild what is there.

DOT 5! Interesting. DOT 5 is a silicon based fluid instead of the typical glycol based DOT 3, 4, 5.1 stuff. It has some interesting advantages over the glycol based fluid. DOT 5 does not absorb water like glycol based fluids, thus brake systems don’t rust out. Downsides are that it can’t be used in ABS systems. Both are not compatible with each other so we should stick with DOT 5. Maybe future car builds I should switch to DOT 5… I mean look at that master cylinder, just some dried out silicon fluid, no rust!

I cleaned out the master cylinder with some denatured alcohol and then flushed the entire system with the denatured alcohol. This gets rid of any residue and water that may be in the lines. I then took all the soft brake lines out and used compressed air to blow out the rest of the alcohol.

I then popped the drums off the brakes with a drum puller. Highly recommend getting a drum puller like an Astro 78830.

This is what the brakes look like before disassembly. Make sure to take pictures!

To easily remove the springs get a Lisle 44800 Heavy-Duty Brake Spring Tool.

It screws onto the springs and grips them. I find it easier to remove the bottom spring first and then the top 2 springs on drums. After disassembly, clean all the parts with brake clean. Replace the drum cylinder with a new one and install a new rubber line. On all the surfaces where metal rubs on metal, apply some brake grease, don’t need a lot.

Reassembly is reverse of how it came apart. Make sure that self adjusting cable goes on correctly. Put the top two springs on before the bottom spring seemed to be the easiest way.

The outside of the drums I hit with a wire brush to knock off surface rust and then hit them with an anti corrosion spray. It will eventually bake off but atleast keeps them from rusting more for now. I want to eventually paint these drums.

Then fill and bleed the system with fresh DOT 5. This DOT 5 fluid had a dye in it so it was easy to know that the rest of the alcohol was flushed out when the purple DOT 5 fluid showed up in the vacuum bleeder.

Brakes tested and they work!