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Adjusting the &%#!in' drum brakes

Discussion in 'Technical Chat' started by ecgreen, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Aug 31, 2017 at 2:11 PM
    #1
    ecgreen

    ecgreen [OP] overeducated redneck

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    I have a horrible time looking through that little stinking hole to adjust that star wheel. Trying to balance a light and two screwdrivers sucks. Any advice?

    Sean
     
  2. Sep 1, 2017 at 1:35 AM
    #2
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Practice !! years of experience

    I don`t even look in any more thinking about it I don`t think I ever did.

    I do find it easier to use the proper tool to turn the adjuster

    being slightly bent it makes it easier to hold the locking arm off the wheel with a small screw driver when backing the adjuster off .

    I can see where two screw drivers would make it harder
     
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  3. Sep 1, 2017 at 2:27 AM
    #3
    ecgreen

    ecgreen [OP] overeducated redneck

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    Where can I get an adjuster? Is it something like thi?

    https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-50700-Brake-Adjusting-Tool/dp/B0002SQU6S
     
  4. Sep 1, 2017 at 12:20 PM
    #4
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Along that line I got mine years ago from Snap On

    Snap On #S6005 made for Toyota`s seems to work for me.

    Really the only way to back the adjuster off to remove the Drums as well as adjust things going back together

    It does take some time but it should get easier
     
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  5. Sep 17, 2017 at 10:54 AM
    #5
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    Just how do you plan to measure ??

    To remove the drum one most often backs off the adjuster

    Since the shoes wear more at the top where the wheel cylinders are
     
  6. Sep 17, 2017 at 11:06 AM
    #6
    Shelf Life

    Shelf Life Well-Known Member

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  7. Sep 17, 2017 at 11:20 AM
    #7
    JJ04TACO

    JJ04TACO Well-Known Member

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    I do most of the adjusting with the drum off. I get it it where the drum will go on. Then take it off and adjust it till it won't go on. Then I back it out till it will just go on easily enough not to get stuck. Then, if I feel I need to make adjustments I don't have that far to go, limiting my frustration.

    Also practice with the drum off so you know what it feels like and see whats happening inside. Once you get it close enough the auto adjustment will take over. Just don't get it too tight but slightly loose is ok. The adjuster will take over from there and get it just right.

    I'm not too worried about too loose, the fronts do most of the braking anyhow.
     
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  8. Sep 18, 2017 at 4:06 PM
    #8
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    These brakes adjust from use of the parking brake.

    That is why if the parking brake is broke or never used the rear brakes need adjusted manually often
     
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  9. Sep 18, 2017 at 4:10 PM
    #9
    ecgreen

    ecgreen [OP] overeducated redneck

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    I was wondering if you could just adjust the brakes so the barely stop the drum on rotation and then put the wheel on and use the ebrake for the rest. The service manual says to lock the brake up and then back the adjuster off 15 clicks​
     
  10. Sep 19, 2017 at 12:04 AM
    #10
    Wyoming09

    Wyoming09 Well-Known Member

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    I guess it is one of those things you get a feel for after doing it a few times.

    I am sure that your method will work .
     
  11. Oct 30, 2017 at 6:24 PM
    #11
    Taco'09

    Taco'09 Well-Known Member

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    If you carefully study the whole mechanism on the rear the self-adjust operates through a rocking motion of the shoes so that really forward and backward is needed to get the self-adjustment working. It depends a lot on the star wheel to move freely because it tends to become difficult with time as brake dust builds up on its threads.
    Sort of the best way I have found is to roll in reverse slowly with the brake pedal depressed slightly and then suddenly yank the emergency brake full on. Release the ebrake and then go forward and do the same. You may have to do this a number of times if the rears are seriously out of adjustment.
     
  12. Feb 6, 2018 at 5:41 PM
    #12
    04Burk

    04Burk Well-Known Member

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    Last year I bought new rear brakes just to change something (190k ish miles on old ones). No noise or anything that indicated it needed replace. Took the drum off and the shoes were like brand new. Put it back together and took the new ones back. Don't think those things will ever be changed.
     
  13. Feb 6, 2018 at 6:05 PM
    #13
    JJ04TACO

    JJ04TACO Well-Known Member

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    That was like mine. In the end I measured the drums and they were just about out of spec. So I did new drums and shoes. Shoes had about 30-40% left. I could have made it many more miles.

    It is a good idea to crack them open and clean them out frequently however. I had been in some deep water and then Moab, and they were a hot mess.
     
  14. Feb 6, 2018 at 7:35 PM
    #14
    04Burk

    04Burk Well-Known Member

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    Like you said, when I did open em up, they had a ton of dust.
     
  15. Feb 8, 2018 at 12:20 PM
    #15
    glk21c

    glk21c Well-Known Member

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    Toyota rear drums self-adjust by using the parking brake all the time, not by hitting the brakes while going in reverse. American manufacturers (GM, Ford, Mopar) use a drum set up that self-adjusts while getting hard on the brakes while going in reverse.
     
  16. Mar 7, 2020 at 11:44 AM
    #16
    m0fus

    m0fus New Member

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    This did the trick. Thank you.
     

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