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1958 Eldorado Wheel Bearing Replacement - oil change - winter hibernation...

I finally put the finishing touches on the brake rebuild of my 58 Eldorado. Today I bled the brakes after the full rebuild of the Bendix Master cylinder and brake booster I did recently.
The newly installed Speedbleeder valves made the job a lot easier and quicker. I bled the brakes two times and took the 58 Eldorado for a test drive. The brakes worked fine, but felt differently than before the rebuild. The car did stop perfectly, but pedal travel was too long for my taste, before any brake action took place.
I consulted the shop manual for this symptom and it first suggested to adjust the brake pads first.
As I had no brake adjusting tool, I use a flat screwdriver to adjust the star wheel like described in the shop manual and bled the brakes once again.
After this the brakes worked like before the rebuild again — great!
As I had the front brake drums off anyways, I decided to finally change the wheel bearings as well, as they were making a very slight noise, and I had the new bearings laying around in my garage for years now...
They are pretty easy to remove and replace — no big deal — no special tools necessary. Just make sure to tighten them back to specs (shop manual mentions 4 ft-pound of torque (around 5,5nm))

After this, I also changed the oil after I brought the engine to operating temperature and put in 5 quarts of fresh 10W40 oil and a new oil filter. I also lubed some other parts like the alternator.
I then parked the 58 in the new garage - along with my other cars - where it will spend the long, cold winter.
It will get a good coat of fresh wax on the outside and some good leather treatment soon, and I will also treat the rubber parts and weather stripping, so that everything stays soft during hibernation.

I only managed to drive the 58 Eldorado 86 miles this year - way too less!

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Removed the old bearings
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You just have to tap out the rear dust shield
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The new bearings waiting for installation
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Adjusted the star wheel and checked the front brakes
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Changing the engine oil
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In its winter home
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In the winter home
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Sleep well!

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Repairing the Treadle Vac Master Cylinder and Brake Booster of my 58 Eldorado

In June I bled the brakes of the 58 Seville because it needed some fresh fluid, and the fluid level was a little low in the reservoir of the Bendix Treadle Vac master cylinder.
Now as I wanted to drive it out of the garage, I found a puddle of brake fluid under the car.
So I went on to search where it was coming from.
I suspected a leaking wheel cylinder, but could not find any traces of fluid coming from the wheels. After some more searching, I eventually found out that fluid was dripping out under the brake booster along the push rod. When I checked the fluid level it was only half full.

So I knew that the Treadle Vac would need a full rebuild…
I ordered a rebuild kit at Cadillac Parts LTD. They offer a kit to rebuild everything from the booster to the master cylinder. As I found out, the gasket for the reservoir did not fit from their set and some other correct smaller rubber parts are also not included in the set. So remove everything carefully from your unit as you might have to reuse some parts for your rebuild. I contacted them about the wrong parts and they immediately sent me the correct parts by mail. Great customer services - I would order from them anytime again!

As I had never done a full rebuild I asked my Cadillac friend Lucky for help - knowing that he can repair almost everything, and that he had done this job during the full restoration of his awesome 58 Biarritz before.

He was so kind to offer his assistance and invited me to his fantastic work shop where he is restoring his cars.

So I carefully removed the whole unit from my car and visited Lucky´s workshop.

With his skills he managed to rebuild the whole unit within a couple of hours. As it turned out a bad O-ring caused fluid to leak into the booster.
Due to all the brake fluid the finish of the Bendix unit suffered a lot, and so I decided to strip everything on the outside down to bare metal to repaint it.
So I took everything apart once again to make sure to do it perfectly.
I ordered some great spray cans from Eastwood to get the perfect look to match its appearance to when it was new.
Originally the master cylinder was not painted at all - but left in bare cast metal. Of course it started to collect surface rust very quickly - even on new cars back in 1958.
The booster originally was painted in semi gloss black.

Eastwood has a product called "Brake Gray" which I used to emulate this look. It comes extremely close to bare metal, but of course the paint protects the metal from rust. This paint is also resistant against brake fluid. I first primered the master cylinder with self etching primer two times before two coats of brake gray were applied.

For the brake booster I ordered Eastwoods Chassis Black extreme primer and satin black paint - painting turned out really fine! See pictures below

To make bleeding brakes easier and a one person job I also ordered a set of speed bleeder screws. (SB3824-SS)


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The unit still in the car - before removal
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Removal has started
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The unit out of the car - before rebuilding it.
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Out of the car
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In Lucky´s workshop with the rebuild kit I got from the USA
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My friend Lucky at work
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Lucky´s fantastic work shop
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The Bendix master cylinder fully disassembled


Everything disassembled

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This O-ring was leaking and caused the problem.

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The new o-ring in place.

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The vacuum cylinder
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As you can see the paint suffered from the brake fluid - a repaint was necessary after the rebuild.

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I started to wire brush the paint off - took it apart once again after this picture.

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The master cylinder in primer.

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After painting it with "Brake Gray" - great stuff.

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The master cylinder with paint
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The booster in bare metal before primer. I used Eastwood Extrem Chassis Black primer and paint.

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In primer

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Speed Bleeder screws
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Speed Bleeder screws and bag
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The new Speed Bleeder screw in place
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The reassembled unit back in the car.

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