View Full Version : Adjust those rear brakes!!!

06-16-2006, 12:32 AM
While I was on the lift checking my wheel cylinders the other day, I went ahead and adjusted the drum brakes out untill i could feel the slightest bit of drag.
Lemme say, it made a BIG difference, even with the leaky wheel cylinders. I have hardly any pedal travel now, compared to a good 2 inches or so before.
We always do this to customers cars (with drum brakes) with any brake job, and they always come back saying how great the brakes feel :D

To adjust them - raise the rear up off the ground, and pop the rubber plugs out of the adjustent slot. You can use a screwdriver, but a brake spoon tool make it easier.
You simply use the tool to turn the star wheel up (coming from the backing plate) while spinning the drum untill you feel the slighted bit of contact. Of course, this will usually cause you to have to back them off to remove the drum next time, and you have to fight the lever sitting on the star wheel to adjust them back in, but the security of a great feeling brake pedal is well worth it.

06-16-2006, 12:36 AM
I gotta check mine, I get plenty of brake pedal travel, and I know it ain't cause of my front brakes... weird thing is when I was pulling the drums in the winter they were dragging on the pads, or so it seemed... will check on it this weekend.

06-16-2006, 12:47 AM
I gotta check mine, I get plenty of brake pedal travel, and I know it ain't cause of my front brakes... weird thing is when I was pulling the drums in the winter they were dragging on the pads, or so it seemed... will check on it this weekend.

Forgot to mention the other day when you were here. the rear brakes seem to back off on the GM I have had. Check them. Or they jusdt weat quick

Grand Marquis GT
06-16-2006, 04:17 AM
I did them on justins car when he had stock brakes, and bled the rears.

What a difference!

06-16-2006, 04:19 AM
yes good info on adjusting those pesky drum brakes......rear discs=teh win!

06-16-2006, 05:50 AM
rear discs=teh win!You had to say that, didn't you :stfu1: I was planning on doing the rear disc conversion this summer, but that front end rebuilt kinda screwed up my budget :bawling:

Dave, I'll have a look at my drums, I'll actually pull them just to be on the safe side.

06-16-2006, 09:49 AM
If you lightly hit the inside edge of the drum with a die grinder to remove the ridge, it makes future removal and installation of the drum much easier.

06-16-2006, 11:37 PM
Actually my drums were fused to the half-axles by rust, even the small sledgehammer didn't want to get them off, so I had to resort to the acetylen torch - once they were off I took the die-grinder along the inside edges, never had a problem ever since. IIRC the ridge you're talking about Thain also got grinded off at that time, but I'll double check, thanks.

Pimp Hard Or Bust
06-17-2006, 08:02 AM
what kinda star is it, and do i need a special tool?

also do i have to remove the wheel and drum to do this?

06-18-2006, 01:39 AM
nope! you can use a screwdriver, but its easier with the 'brake spoon' tool... I got one for 10 bucks. just get that wheel off the ground (or both if you need to) and flip up that wheel through the hole in the bottom of the backing plate. You can feel around for it, or peep in with a light. Its toward the rear of the adjusting slot-hole.


06-18-2006, 02:12 AM
I believe on e of the issues with the rear drums is now the pads that the shoes rub on are stamped into the backing plate. The old school backkinng plates the pads were hardened and spot welldedd to the backing plate. Ever notice how the new one's are worn and grooved. I have them welded and ground flat again and they workk better.

06-18-2006, 02:34 AM
i plan to grease mine thourogly :D

06-18-2006, 04:37 AM
i always grind them flat if they are grooved.......if they are really bad i'll do some welding and grinding

06-18-2006, 11:42 PM
mine were way groovey, so I way lubed em. will do till the rear disks :D

Pimp Hard Or Bust
06-19-2006, 08:11 AM
thnk you very much for that pic, it helps alot, i dont have my towncar handy but i checked my dd before i saw that pic and couldnt fid it, now that i have an idea ill give it another look.

Pimp Hard Or Bust
06-19-2006, 01:44 PM
i just adjusted mine on my camaro, and once i got the drum off i could see a punch out for that adjust slot. punched them out, greased it up, and tightened them till i could hardly get the drum back on. after i go for a test ride im going to adjust them a bit more

06-20-2006, 12:33 AM
If its close, you can put the car in reverse and pump the pedal a few times. That should adjust them if the self-adjuster system is working. It won't get them quite as tight, but having excessive drag will only wear the pads out to the point where they stop contacting the drum,

06-21-2006, 03:05 PM
stupid question here...if they are drum brakes why are you guys calling them pads....arent they called brake shoes on drum brakes???

06-21-2006, 03:58 PM
gadget im sure had a slip of the typing fingers... I do that too sometimes.
Turbo was referring to the raised areas of the backing plate that the shoes rest on as 'pads'. There are the areas you see with black grease on them in the picture.

http://www.supermotors.org/getfile/341237/thumbnail/dbl.JPG (http://www.supermotors.org/vehicles/registry/showmedia.php?id=341237&original=1)

06-21-2006, 11:01 PM
yeah, shoes is the correct term for the friction materials in a brake drum assembly. I knew what I meant I swear!! :D

06-21-2006, 11:08 PM
I used to rivet pads to the brake shoes or was it linings when I owned an auto machine shop. Call them anything if they dont work it might not matter anymore to someone. I would rather it stop than start.