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Wheel Cylinder Use antiseize or grease?

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  • Brakes: Wheel Cylinder Use antiseize or grease?

    In the past, I have only lubricated rubber brake components and other components within wheel cylinders with brake fluid.

    Question: Can anything be used in new wheel cylinders to stop seizing besides using silicone brake fluid?

    (1) Sil-Glide, Antiseize, Copper Antiseize and other greases cannot contact the brake fluid or other internal rubber parts - corrrect?

    (2) It is OK to use Sil-Glide, Antiseize, Copper Antiseize and other greases for metal to metal contact in brakes, such as the metal pistons within the cylinders, the adjusters, the top at the of the brake shoes?

    (3) Only use brake fluid to lubricate rubber parts?

    (4) Use small amount of liquid dishwashing detergent on internal wheel cylinder rubbers to stop seizing?

    (5) If everything is new on a brake system except the power booster, can you use silicone or must the booster be flushed with alcohol? Procedure?

  • #2
    Bottom line is, NEVER use anything in the brake system except brake fluid, or if flushing use alcohol. If you want to use something else besides brake fluid to lubricate the wheel cylinder pistons and rubber cups use an approved assembly fluid specially made for that purpose. Should be available at auto stores. A small dab of grease can be used at the shoe contact points at the backing plate.
    Last edited by 41 Frank; 01-13-2013, 06:55 AM.
    Frank van Doorn
    Omaha, Ne.
    1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
    1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
    1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD


    • #3
      Brake-fluid, brake-fluid, brake-fluid. For everything in the system, including when rebuilding, i.e. with wheel or master cylinder kit. This is true for all EXCEPT the booster. The Shop Manual says use "neets foot", but neets are getting scarce and hard to catch. So a few substitutes are around, i.e. power tool oil. Follow the Shop Manual as to, how much and how to, service the booster.


      • #4

        This has been used for years and I have used it many times without a problem. For the rubber parts of the system, such as the cups in the cylinder. Len.


        • #5
          Assembly fluid, or the rubber grease Len mentions for the cylinders. I usually use anti-seize on the metal-to-metal contact points of the brake assembly, like outer ends of the cylinder push rods, park brake linkages, and the tables where the edges of the shoes rest.
          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


          • #6
            Thank you all for your comments and the Red Rubber grease suggestion. I visited their site and there is a lot of good information.

            I did find Neetsfoot Oil at a Horse supply shop. They seem to have found a source for little neets.


            • #7
              Paul, I've been using polydimethylsiloxane grease, otherwise known as dielectric grease, on outer cylinder bores, pistons and cylinder boots on Studebaker brake cylinders for the past 10 or more years. I find it is a good solution for brake cylinders that do not have a positive boot seal. The grease offers high lubricity, corrosion protection and moisture entry resistance. It's also very stable to high temperatures. I suspect that Sil-Glide may be the same thing as dielectric grease is recommended in factory manuals for the lubrication of slide pins for caliper mounting. Anti-seize is definitely not recommended for that application as it lacks lubricity and will cause uneven pad wear according to a GM factory manual. The same wear factor would apply to cylinder pistons and most if not all anti-seizes are petroleum based and could contaminate the brake fluid in the cylinder.
              Last edited by WCP; 01-14-2013, 06:00 PM.


              • #8
                Thank you Bill for your suggestion.

                I've done some research on the internet now.

                I understand you can use dielectric grease on the outside the cup - same as Sil-Glide, but not on the rubber cup. It is used typically for metal to metal contact.

                The Red Rubber grease seems to be compatible with brake fluid and can be used on the entire cylinder bore and cup to provide lubrication and prevent corrosion and moisture.

                Unfortunately, it seems to be available only in the UK and Australia or by ebay in any quantity.

                Has anyone found a source for it in Canada or the US??


                • #9
                  makes you wonder whatever happened to the idea of silicone brake fluid. OK having said that don't bother to flame me LOL
                  1947 M5 under restoration
                  a bunch of non-Stude stuff


                  • #10
                    I'm with Tbird, I've used silicone brake fluid for 35 years in many many cars with no problems.

                    I guess you could just lube the rubber parts with silicone (DOT 5) and then use DOT 3, but why?, since the DOT 3 will evaporate and leave those white deposits anyway.

                    If you use DOT 3 or 4, just remember to flush the whole system every 2 or 3 years. That cuts down on the time white residue can accumulate and seize the parts.

                    BTW, liquid dishwashing soap is water based. Might be slippery now, but soon those nice iron wheel cylinder smooth surfaces will be orange! Then pits.
                    Frank DuVal

                    50 Commander 4 door