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Old 12-31-2010, 01:25 PM
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How do I clean and preserve old brake parts

I'm upgrading the brakes on my project car and have found numerous links about how to upgrade using salvage yard parts. I'm gathering master cylinders, brake lines and calipers. Since this is a long term project, how can I clean and preserve the used parts that I'm collecting?
I'll use new rotors, but everything else comes from "donated" parts.

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Old 12-31-2010, 01:41 PM
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Master cylinder and caliper seals dry out when not used.....Brake lines rust from the inside out and are so cheap, why wouldn't you put new on?
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Old 12-31-2010, 03:41 PM
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I agree with poncho, I would only keep the calipers and master cylinder if they were needed for cores.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:27 AM
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Totally agree. Get new. I redid the brake parts on my boat trailer. I tried to "rebuild" the calipers. Spent $10 on new seals etc. Spent a couple of days sourcing all the parts. Found out that I could buy a new caliper for $14 from big box autoparts store. Needless to say I kicked myself
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grogetter
I'm upgrading the brakes on my project car and have found numerous links about how to upgrade using salvage yard parts. I'm gathering master cylinders, brake lines and calipers. Since this is a long term project, how can I clean and preserve the used parts that I'm collecting?
I'll use new rotors, but everything else comes from "donated" parts.

Thanks
What's your definition of "long term"? If you're talking good used parts that will sit for a year, then skip it. A new master is really cheap, so why do anything used, except for mockup? I got a new master for my '71 Camaro for $36, and no exchange at that price.
On my Austin gasser I did buy a used master, booster, and brake pedal assembly, but I installed them within days, plumbed the lines, bled them, and got them going within a couple weeks after installing. Needed to go used on the Austin just because I wanted a package that all worked together and couldn't afford a new brake pedal assembly.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:53 PM
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One qualifier and that is the system the parts are being removed from must be in working order;

Here is how I did it, remove the calipers do not drain the brake fluid. Leave the flex line on and about 3 - 4 inches of the steel line attached. Smashed the steel line, hit it with a hammer crimping and sealing the line. I set them a side, 3 years later I installed the calipers and they were just fine. As long as you keep everything sealed, and with the brake fluid it is all good.

I would think storing a master cylinder would be possible providing you keep the fluid level as it would be in the car. If the MC is mounted, leaving the cover on disconnect the brake lines and install plugs, or cut the lines and smash/seal them. You do not want the brake fluid to run out and keeping the cover on will keep it from doing that.

Brake fluid absorbs moisture and as long as you prevent that you should have no problem having serviceable brake components when you are ready. The only way to do this is to keep the brake fluid in the parts as if it were on the car. The trick to the whole process is the brake fluid and air tight, real simple.

Brake lines do not waste your time no way to save them, they will be open to mother nature and the moisture will take them out ... rust

Last edited by pepi; 01-02-2011 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:17 PM
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My biggest problem was the rotors, and still is. Even with a driving car the rotors rust quickly while sitting, and after just a couple weeks of damp weather they get surface rust. It goes away with a few short miles of driving, but I wonder what it would be like if the car sat with rotors untreated for a year or so?
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:32 PM
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One way to store brake parts:
Disassemble,
clean w/ alcohol,
dry,
place in labeled zip lock bag,
store in dry area.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:43 AM
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First, thanks to all for your insight. Sometimes it takes someone on the outside looking in to see things clearly.
I agree about the brake lines being disposable. Just thought I'd ask.
The replacement master cylinder that I'm working with is over $100 everywhere I've looked. The calipers are about the same for two of them so I'm tryingto save a couple of "bills".

As a point of discussion, when you buy a new or rebuilt brake part, the manufacturer obviously puts something on/in it to preserve it on the parts store shelf. Does anyone know what that stuff is? Surly it's not brake fluid. It has to be something compatable with brake fluid but doesn't attract moisture.

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Old 01-03-2011, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 001mustang
One way to store brake parts:
Disassemble,
clean w/ alcohol,
dry,
place in labeled zip lock bag,
store in dry area.
How do you keep the o rings from drying out? sounds like a good idea, but those pesky little o rings like to be lubed.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1971BB427
My biggest problem was the rotors, and still is. Even with a driving car the rotors rust quickly while sitting, and after just a couple weeks of damp weather they get surface rust. It goes away with a few short miles of driving, but I wonder what it would be like if the car sat with rotors untreated for a year or so?
Rotors easy WD 40 or any light lubricant, then clean them with some brake cleaner before install.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepi
How do you keep the o rings from drying out? sounds like a good idea, but those pesky little o rings like to be lubed.
Dry rubber will oxidize.

Could store rare rubber parts in a jar of compatible brake fluid.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:35 PM
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Question have you ever done any of this?

Seems to me removing a caliper crimping the line and trapping the fluid as I suggest. Is a way easier process, with less possibilities of loosing or damaging parts, storage confined to the caliper, a working assembly that would only need to be bolted in its new home, bled and put back into service.

All this plastic bags and disassemble of the caliper, putting o rings in some jar, used o rings will swell and be no good. Is a big waste of time.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepi
Question have you ever done any of this?

Seems to me removing a caliper crimping the line and trapping the fluid as I suggest. Is a way easier process, with less possibilities of loosing or damaging parts, storage confined to the caliper, a working assembly that would only need to be bolted in its new home, bled and put back into service.

All this plastic bags and disassemble of the caliper, putting o rings in some jar, used o rings will swell and be no good. Is a big waste of time.
I have done this for calipers and master cylinders; I don't bother w/ wheel cylinders.

Even though it is a big waste of time it allows me to inspect bores for pitting and decide if part is worthy of hoarding. Pitting will not worsen during dry storage as will happen during wet storage if any water is in the hygroscopic brake fluid.

I store some rubber parts such as residual pressure valves which only swell to normal size when stored in brake fluid.
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:12 PM
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Since the last posts to this thread I found this. I don't know anything about it but it may be what I'm looking for.
http://www.summitracing.com/parts/WIL-290-11087/
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