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Brake Sleeves

Brake Sleeves

Help! I am in the middle of rebuilding a 1956 140 F.H.C. and have a question about brakes. All the slave and master cylinders are frozen solid. Is there a way of freeing them, is it worth trying or is it better to find new replacement parts. What about having them rebuilt, again is it worth doing this? Does anyone have any ideas of who to contact for rebuilds or new. If rebuilding, I've heard of having them re-sleeved, in either brass or stainless, any comments? At this point what about the silicone vs. Dot 4 question, anyone have any preferences with either one. This is the most modern car I have ever attempted I'm more used to bendex (horrors) or cables....there are lots of questions....Thanks for your help. - Malcolm McNair

Malcom; I have a 1961 MK II sedan . XK's Unlimited re-sleeved all of my wheel cylinders in stainless about 6 years ago. So far, no problems - but - I have heard that if the job is not done juuust right, that the stainless sleeves can separate from the cylinder bores. I am currently restoring a 1961 XK-150 FHC. This time I am going to try one of the company's that supports the Jag Web home page. It's called Hye-Dra-Cyl LLC. If you come up on the Jag web page - you will see them advertised. Sorry, no info on brake fluids. - Pete Perry

I've had good luck with brake cylinders resleeved in brass by White Post Restorations. Of the 18 or so wheel and master cylinders they have done for me, one had an internal leak which they corrected free of charge. Otherwise, no problems. There are several shops which advertise resleeving services in Hemmings. I'm not aware of any major difference between using brass or stainless sleeves except that stainless should provide the greatest resistance to corrosion of any sort. - Dick Cavicke

Hi, Malcolm - Soft spot for XK-140s! Soak brake cylinders in Naval Jelly, lightly warmed to 175 degrees Farenheit (max), rinse well, and try to blow stuck cylinders out (one end, at least) with hydraulic pressure or compressed air (beware the open ends; you're actually making a small cannon!). Alternate - the stuck pistons may be drilled out the clyinder cleaned up, and the assembly rebuilt with new parts. Sleeving with staiunless steel is preferasble to brass (lasts longer) but either is prerferable to pitted cast iron or scored aluminum. AZ number of brake specialists advertise in Hemmings Motor News (no personal experience or reference). Call a few and talk with them! XKs Unlimited and Welsh Enterprises, inc. may have NOS (New Old Stock) or re-manufactured or newly-0manufactured replacements. Same arguments for the master cylinder, though might be harder to disassemble! Remember the internal circlip where the actuator rod enters. My personal preference is for synthetic silicone brake fluid. You'll have all new brake parts, so this should be easy. Remember to replace the flexible hoses, too, and ensure that all flexible parts, including those hoses, is made from synthetic rubber - original seals and gaskets have a high percentage of natural rubber, and will deteriorate rapidly when in contact with silicone brake fluid; trhe more modern stuff is fine! Best of luck! - Larry Schear, Twin Cam, Inc.

I rebuilt the brakes on my '59 150 dhc last winter using the stainless steel pistons from Hy-Dra-Cyl and am very pleased with them. They gave me the eigth piston for free since I was rebuilding all four wheels, and were very helpful over the phone with any questions I had. It took a little while to get used to the new braking power,as I was able to find a replacement booster to install at the same time. I would encourage you to change the brake lines to stainless at the same time to prevent any corrosion. There is a company in New York called Classic Tube that can supply prebent brake lines in stainless for the entire car reday to install for about $200. - Ron Gaeta, ' 59 xk 150 dhc

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