Oil on rear brakes

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michaelperazzo
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:49 pm

Oil on rear brakes

Post by michaelperazzo » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:08 pm

Ok so this happened to me on the last 63 Thunderbird I had around 2000 to 2003. I just got a 62 in much nicer shape and just remembered this the other day.

I had poor braking and pulling and discovered the rear shoes and drums where covered in some fluid, I assumed at first brake fluid. I replaced the wheel cylinders, brakes, cleaned the drums real good and thought it was good to go. Couple weeks later the same thing started happening.

Pulled the drums and the shoes were wet again. Wheel cylinder was not leaking so I assumed it was the axle seal. Replaced the seals and bearings, replaced the shoes buttoned it all back together. Couple weeks later again! Pulled the drums and the shoes were wet! again!

Had to be the axles seals, the wheel cylinder seals were dry, not leaking or seeping. Ok so I must have installed the seals incorrectly, did them again.
Put everything back together and it happened again. Took it apart and the shoes were wet again. I then noticed the oil was not like gear oil, more like ATF.

So I am thinking how can ATF get to the rear brakes? I knew I had a small leak in the trans. So I get under the car look at the trans and the leak. Notice the emergency brake cables are wet with ATF from the leaking trans. I look closer and it hit me! the ATF was leaking onto the cables and traveling down them when the car was moving, down the cables into the rear brake area and onto the shoes! Wow finally figured this one out!
I had never seen or heard of this before or since.... Anyone else?

Just putting his out there in the unlikely case someone else is going through the same thing, and hopefully this helps.

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RedBird64
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Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:42 pm
Location: Bothell Wa.

Re: Oil on rear brakes

Post by RedBird64 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:54 pm

So that's what those rubber grommets around the speedo cable in the backing plate are for! :smile:
1964 Coupe Wimbledon white/Rangoon Red w/black int. Owned for 41 years. It was my folks car before that (second owners). VTCI # 12013.

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Karl
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Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 6:03 pm
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Re: Oil on rear brakes

Post by Karl » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:40 pm

Speedo cable doesn't go into the backing plate? Do you mean handbrake cable into the backing plate?
And if it is the handbrake cable then the rubber grommets would be to stop dust and dirt/mud, not transmission oil.
Karl.
1963 Thunderbird Hardtop

fordrodsteven
Posts: 66
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:46 pm

Re: Oil on rear brakes

Post by fordrodsteven » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:05 pm

I never heard of trans fluid running down the cables and into the brakes but if your trans is leaking that much I suppose it's possible. I once had a '63 Mercury Monterey that needed rear brakes and found oil on the brakes, much moreso on the passenger side than the drivers side. I did the brake job and wheel cylinders and the next day I lost brakes. I got it home (driving very carefully) and pulled the rear drums off to find the passenger side shoes almost completely stripped of material and chunks of brake pad lying in the bottom. Long story short was that the rear axle bearing was so bad that the axle was moving back and forth (while driving / accelerating) and ripped all the padding off the shoes.
Steve

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RedBird64
Posts: 1608
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:42 pm
Location: Bothell Wa.

Re: Oil on rear brakes

Post by RedBird64 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 3:24 pm

Oops, I meant parking brake cable. :oops:
1964 Coupe Wimbledon white/Rangoon Red w/black int. Owned for 41 years. It was my folks car before that (second owners). VTCI # 12013.

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