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2003 Brake Question...

 
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Old 28 Jan 2016, 01:54 am
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Alhambra, CA, USA.
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Default 2003 Brake Question...

I just lost a rear brake cylinder on my 2003 Cruiser. The front piston was popping out of the front of the cylinder and fluid was oozing out everywhere.

This is the original cylinder on a 173,000 mile car, so that, in itself is not earthshaking.

What is unusual, is that the brake shoes are also original. Every time I took the car in for service, the dealer told me the shoes were fine-which they were.

They appear to have had almost no use, leading me to believer that they were not doing much of anything towards stopping the car.

I did clean the self adjusters to make sure they would work, going forward (I suspect they have not been doing much, given the lack of wear on the shoes).

Is there a known issue with the rear drum brakes on the PT, where they don't really do anything?
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Old 28 Jan 2016, 02:30 am
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Default Re: 2003 Brake Question...

When you turn the drum you should have a slight drag should be felt while rotating the drum. If not you need to adjust the drums until it does.

After you put the tires back on road test the vehicle stopping in both forward and reverse directions. Automatic-adjuster will continue to adjust brakes as necessary during road test.
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Old 28 Jan 2016, 03:02 am
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Default Re: 2003 Brake Question...

Depending on the ABS system the back brakes may not even work at all. I worked on a chevrolet lumina with an ABS system so complex a special dealer tool was required to reset it to get the back brakes working again. Not sure if the PT cruiser is the same.
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Old 28 Jan 2016, 02:29 pm
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Default Re: 2003 Brake Question...

When I installed the new rear brakes, I did adjust them so that there was just a bit of drag. Test driving around the block went well (the pedal was firm, the car stopped straight ahead, etc.). There is a slight squeak coming from the right rear wheel.

On this car, there is no ABS (it is a bone stock base model).

Thank you both for the very prompt replies!
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Old 28 Jan 2016, 05:38 pm
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Default Re: 2003 Brake Question...

Did you replace the brake hardware and springs? With that many miles on the OEM ones, I'm sure they've lost tension and should be replaced. It's just good, cheap peace of mind.
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