Rear Brake Wheel Cylinder Retainer Clip

dave82

Member
Appreciate any assistance, mainly want to confirm I installed this correctly - I’m in the process of replacing my rear brakes, have new spring hardware and replacing the wheel cylinders as well since they were fairly rusted and I just did all new stainless lines so already had those off. I got the old retainer clip off and just installed the new wheel cylinder and clip. It appears to be fully seated and tabs are locked in but the wheel cylinder isn’t as tight as the original. Not sure if that’s just because the original had a lot of rust around it. I can shift the new one around slightly by hand and even very slightly rotate it. It’s not falling out so the clip is definitely holding it but seems to have more play than I was expecting. Is this normal? I haven’t proceeded with installing the shoes yet and spring hardware so maybe that will tighten it up but want to make sure I’m not missing something. Thanks
 

TexasT

Texas, Where are you from
Backing plate might have some rust that made it thinner. Possibly a new backing plate or some kind of shim or washer in the old one to tighten her up a bit.
 

dave82

Member
Backing plate might have some rust that made it thinner. Possibly a new backing plate or some kind of shim or washer in the old one to tighten her up a bit.
Thanks for that tip! I was also considering if there was anything else I could add to tighten it up.
 

1KWIKSIX

Well-Known Member
A clip is available (will post pictures of mine, got em from Napa),
These bolt onto your backing plate & completely support & secure your brake cylinder to ensure a nice N tight install.
You will need to drill the two new holes for this bracket & will need nuts & bolts to secure them
They are cheap insurance for the money
 

1KWIKSIX

Well-Known Member
Interesting, really appreciate you sharing this. Didn’t know anything like this even existed. This is perfect! My local Napa showed they could have it in next day at $17 a piece. Just ordered a pair. Thanks!!
Glad to help a Buick Brother! 😉
I would personally instal a nut on the back side of that bolt. Looks like you might also be able to cut some threads on the backing plate by tapping (depending on how thick the metal is in that particular area).
Orange thread lock on the bolt (this stuff is 3X stronger than the blue thread locker )
 

T-type Jones

Active Member
Appreciate any assistance, mainly want to confirm I installed this correctly - I’m in the process of replacing my rear brakes, have new spring hardware and replacing the wheel cylinders as well since they were fairly rusted and I just did all new stainless lines so already had those off. I got the old retainer clip off and just installed the new wheel cylinder and clip. It appears to be fully seated and tabs are locked in but the wheel cylinder isn’t as tight as the original. Not sure if that’s just because the original had a lot of rust around it. I can shift the new one around slightly by hand and even very slightly rotate it. It’s not falling out so the clip is definitely holding it but seems to have more play than I was expecting. Is this normal? I haven’t proceeded with installing the shoes yet and spring hardware so maybe that will tighten it up but want to make sure I’m not missing something. Thanks
It'll help out if you have this Brake Retaining Tool, yo ucan pick it up at NAPA Auto part #776-9403 $9.99 / PowerBuilt #648413...It makes life Soooo easy doin this job
 

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dave82

Member
It'll help out if you have this Brake Retaining Tool, yo ucan pick it up at NAPA Auto part #776-9403 $9.99 / PowerBuilt #648413...It makes life Soooo easy doin this job
That clip really is a pain. I was able to manage getting it off and the new one on using just some flat screwdrivers but wasn’t easy. What sucks is that I already put the one side on and now will have to take it off to put the bracket on mentioned above. I think I’ll pick up this tool also considering it’s relatively cheap. After looking at it further I still didn’t like how much the wheel cylinder was shifting. Also was concerned it might cause noise every time I applied the brakes. You can somewhat see in this photo how crooked it is with just the stock retainer ring holding it.
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GNTIM

Senior member
It'll help out if you have this Brake Retaining Tool, yo ucan pick it up at NAPA Auto part #776-9403 $9.99 / PowerBuilt #648413...It makes life Soooo easy doin this job
Hopefully your tool is good quality. I've bought 2 so far and both were flimsy and either bent or broke.
 

T-type Jones

Active Member
Sorry you had such a hard time with your tool, I've done a couple jobs with this tool, and had the same one a few years, maybe spray the back of your brakes with WD40 or PB Blaster like an hour or two before you start taking off the retaining clip, open it slowly and pull it slow, if you have built on rust, maybe use a small wire brush to clean around the cylinder before sliding off the retaining clip. Also after you have the retaining clip lips spread open, maybe use a screwdriver and slide the retaining clip off slowly, if you have debris you haven't removed yet. Good Luck
 

1KWIKSIX

Well-Known Member
I had no luck with this tool either . Agree that it is too flimsy and bends.
I ended up using a large socket & C clamp to press it on.
Worked great.
 

GNTIM

Senior member
Sorry you had such a hard time with your tool, I've done a couple jobs with this tool, and had the same one a few years, maybe spray the back of your brakes with WD40 or PB Blaster like an hour or two before you start taking off the retaining clip, open it slowly and pull it slow, if you have built on rust, maybe use a small wire brush to clean around the cylinder before sliding off the retaining clip. Also after you have the retaining clip lips spread open, maybe use a screwdriver and slide the retaining clip off slowly, if you have debris you haven't removed yet. Good Luck
Thanks for the advice. The problem is the quality of the tools these days. I was a master tech from the late eighties until 2005 or so and used the same tool many times without any problems. I lent it to a buddy and he somehow broke it.
 

T-type Jones

Active Member
Thanks for the advice. The problem is the quality of the tools these days. I was a master tech from the late eighties until 2005 or so and used the same tool many times without any problems. I lent it to a buddy and he somehow broke it.
LOL, come on Master Mechanic.....NEVER loan out your tools. If you make a living with your tools, then your life is shorten (by stress) when you don't get them back
 

GNTIM

Senior member
LOL, come on Master Mechanic.....NEVER loan out your tools. If you make a living with your tools, then your life is shorten (by stress) when you don't get them back
Hah, I thought he was a good friend. Didn’t even offer to replace it.
 

dave82

Member
Just thought I would update this thread on my observations after attempting to install the universal wheel cylinder bracket that was suggested. These aren’t needed to do the job but I was hoping to secure it a little tighter than what the retainer clip provides. Ultimately I don’t see how this bracket would work because of where the mounting holes for the bolts would need to go. After marking the locations to see where I would need to drill holes into the backing plate I then looked at the other side and it appears the axle housing would interfere. There is a very small area where the backing plate is exposed but the bracket bolt hole locations are not wide enough. I also held the bracket up behind the plate approximately where the wheel cylinder sits to verify. Even if I managed to sneak a small drill bit through there definitely wouldn’t be enough space to thread a nut. I was not going to attempt to drill a hole through the almost 1/2 thick axle flange. If anyone managed to get this to work props to you. I decided to just stick with the retainer clip and assembled it all as is. Once I got the remaining springs/hardware installed there seems to be enough tension on the wheel cylinder where it’s now tight. It still doesn’t appear to be sitting perfectly level but after checking the photo I took before disassembling I noticed the original was also sitting slightly tilted. Reason being, once you torque down the brake hard line in back the tension naturally will twist the wheel cylinder until it hits the stop on the backing plate. So that’s that, time to move on to the other projects.
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