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Old 04-19-2014, 10:48 AM   #21
fdryer
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2003 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
Default Re: Rear passenger e-brake stuck after not even using it on 2001 Saturn L200

Look again. All brakes have individual brake bleed valves. Unfamiliarity with brake systems can lead to confusion and misinterpreting information that may not be correct when searching on the internet. Back in post #14 you loosened an adjusting screw to slacken cables...........

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Old 04-19-2014, 03:44 PM   #22
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Default Re: Rear passenger e-brake stuck after not even using it on 2001 Saturn L200

I can add a further bit of info.

I have found that my brake mushiness was not due to air in the brake lines. In installing the new shoes per service manual instructions, you are supposed to start the adjuster at its shortest length, but in my case, as the parking brake able is not pulling the parking brake lever, this leaves the adjuster rather loose. As a result, the adjuster lever became jammed before it advanced enough to seat the adjuster mechanism it, and much before the adjuster had reached its proper extension. The brake cylinders were being pulled in to their minimum, and so the brake had a long travel before the right rear brake would extend the shoes to reach the drum. I simply advanced the adjusting mechanism to start the adjuster to sit snuggly, and corrected the position of the adjuster lever. After driving the car for a bit, I checked the brake again and now the adjuster had acted correctly to set the brake shoes; the mushiness and larger travel in the brake pedal are gone. I feel fortunate in this as I have no way to bleed this line and I am guessing that the only way to fix that would involve installing a new brake cylinder. I'm guessing some mechanic previously snapped off the bleeder valve nipple when I had a brake flush and didn't tell me.

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Old 04-19-2014, 04:48 PM   #23
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Default Re: Rear passenger e-brake stuck after not even using it on 2001 Saturn L200

I'm not sure how a broken bleed screw looks but if a bleed screw were damaged or broken/snapped, the remaining part may be seen when you position yourself around the rear brake hub for a better view. Below are three views; overhead looking down a rear wheel hub, two bleed screws and bleed screws with rubber dust caps.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:57 PM   #24
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Default Re: Rear passenger e-brake stuck after not even using it on 2001 Saturn L200

I'm quite sure that there is no bleeder valve where it should be according to the pictures of the brake cylinder I have. The back of the wheel is dirty, but where I think the bleeder valve should have been I do see a depression. So I can only conclude it was snapped off in some previous service.

The only cure I know to fix a snapped off bleeder valve is to replace the cylinder. Not expensive, but as it now seems there is no need, and the car is to be wrecked ina couple months, I don't plan on doing anything else. I've learned something about drum brakes and how they all work in my first effort to fix a brake problem.

I'm still very puzzled about the behaviour of the parking brake and cable...it wasn't seized, so why did appear to be in the first place. I can't see how it could happen.
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Old 04-22-2014, 06:05 AM   #25
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Default Re: Rear passenger e-brake stuck after not even using it on 2001 Saturn L200

Snapped off bleeder valves can be removed by gently heating the brake cylinder with a blow-torch and hammering a TORX bit into the hole. Spin it gently and you are in business. Be careful, brake fluid is burny and explody!

With a new cylinder being about $5 though, who would?

Also, don't worry too much about the adjusters: I've yet to see one actually work. They are garbage, utter garbage. To paraphrase Clarkson: "They were designed by idiots and built by idiots: they were rubbish even when they were new."

Chris...

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Old 04-22-2014, 10:54 PM   #26
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Default Re: Rear passenger e-brake stuck after not even using it on 2001 Saturn L200

Thanks for the advice. As the brakes are working and I only need the card to last until June (when Honda has said they will probably be able to give me my new Accord Hybrid), I won't try to deal with the brake bleed valve. (But where can you get a new brake cylinder for $5? Seems to be in the $15-$25 range for me.)

Question: is it more likely to snap off a bleeder valve in attempting to open it rather than in closing it?

The adjuster I think is rather important as without it I have seen the brake cylinder piston has a lot of travelling to do to engage the brakes…leading to the mushy brake or rather brake pedal sinking below normal before eating firm braking action. I found the adjuster did its job as long as the adjuster started out somewhat snug. I am a bit surprised, but until the adjuster mechanism was properly functioning and setting the correct shoe position, I thought I had introduced air in the brake line, prompting me to look for the bleed valve.

BTW I can't complain about the rear brakes. They are the original ones, and except for the delimitation of one, they would still be useable for a bit longer…they've lasted 220,000km…I've been through three or four new front rotors and pad sets in that time.

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Old 04-22-2014, 10:55 PM   #27
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Default Re: Rear passenger e-brake stuck after not even using it on 2001 Saturn L200

"delimitation" should read as "delamination" (blame the automatic spell checker)

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