rear brakes: proper function question

After sitting for several years with some brake issues that are listed in earlier posts, I finally resolved my brake issue on my '89 wagon. I was sold the wrong wheel cylinders for the wagon. I have recently found new old stock wagon wheel cylinders and installed them, bled the brake lines, and I now have a good firm brake pedal and the car stops good.... almost to good. It has been so long since I drove it with decent brakes and I can't remember how they should respond.

When I get the car rolling at about 5-10 MPH, and hit the brakes pretty hard (like you would have to do in a hard brake situation) both of the rear wheels skid.
Is this how the rear brakes should work?
I just need a refresher.



  • They should not work that well! Sounds like you just need to adjust them. Having just replaced them, you know what the adjustment screws are inside there and just need to turn those a few times.
  • Hey Frank, I have a question about changing out the wheel cylinders. Did you have a problem getting one of the bolts out of the wheel cylinders? Seems like Im having an issue with not enough room to get a wrench in there, and the nut being up against the control arm so nowhere for it to back out to.

    Did you experience that at all?
  • ~rf~~rf~ Band Wagon
    Hey glass!
    I do not recall having an issue like you are speaking of with the wheel cylinder nuts. My wagon is a standard FWD model and it seemed like there was adequate room to get to the nuts. Seemed fairly easy. I did have the vehicle up on blocks with the suspension fully extended, so maybe that helped? What year wagon do you have?

    In regards to rear brake adjust, should I bring the shoes back in a bit with the adjuster? I adjusted the shoes so they would barely touch/drag the drum and the wheel still spun freely, but man they sure work well. I may have to take it for a spin down the street to just make sure of the operation, even though the car isn't street legal yet. I'm ready to get it back on the road.

    Thanks for the response.
  • rf it sounds like you have the drag right on the drum. After you are done you need to go in reverse to set the brake adjusting lever. Use Google or what came with your brakes. But I know it takes 2 or 3 times going at a good clip in reverse and then braking pretty hard to get everything set right. Obviously check the braking before you jet off in reverse the first time, but it sounds like you are OK.
  • ricards2ricards2 Band Wagon
    Any update, OP? Did you find the cause of your brake problem?
  • ~rf~~rf~ Band Wagon

    It's been a minute since I've been here. Life crept in and I got busy. My apologies for the tardy response. In regard to my brake issue, it turns out that the parts store sold me regular civic wheel cylinders... and we all should know those will not work.... although the parts store insisted that they would since they were listed for ALL civics. I did a bunch of parts hunting and actually found some NOS wagon wheel cylinders (since it seems they are getting harder to find) and installed them. Within 2 go arounds of the bleeding sequence (probably could've just done one run through but wanted to be sure), less than a half a bottle of brake fluid, there was and still is a very firm brake pedal. The wagon has been driving wonderful and stops as it should with no more brake issues.

Sign In or Register to comment.