Following on from last week’s post about brake shoes and drums, this week is about hydraulics. They sound scary, but are less so once you know a little about it.
The brake cylinder is the….erm….cylinder at the top.
Is it leaking or otherwise not in good shape? It is bolted through the back of the hub with a 13mm bolt. Inspect the hose as well, they need replacing after a while, especially if you see any lumps, bumps, bulges or splits. These are replaced by undoing the 11mm nuts, remembering that you will need to plug the rest of the system to stop all of the brake fluid from dropping on the floor and that stuff is slippery. I normally use a plastic golf tee pushed into the hole then cling film / food wrap over that and the pipe / bracket and some insulation tape to hold it all in place. You won’t keep the air out totally and will need to bleed the brakes at the end.
If you change the cylinder, it attaches with that same bolt. If you change the brake pipe, just do up the nuts. Paint the metal, copper grease / anti-seize anything that isn’t the drum and shoe and reassemble as noted in last week’s article (link is at the top of this one). The more attention you spend now on greasing and anti-seizing the nuts, bolts, holes, springs and so on is going to save time in the future, let it all last a lot longer and reduce the chances of problems.
Don’t forget to do the other rear wheel too!