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how to adjust drum brakes??

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Old 06-02-2001, 10:29 PM   #1
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how to adjust drum brakes??

I read the chiltons and it was not the most clear explination. aparently I adjust the spacer in between the shoes at the bottom of the drum until it lets the drum rotate with some resistance -- then back off 12 clicks??
anyone have a tried and tested method for getting the drums adjusted just right?>>?

James

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Old 06-03-2001, 02:34 AM   #2
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I haven't tried what you said. When installing shoes I just turn the adjusting screw wheel to the point where the drums will fit over the shoes. With new shoes the adjusting screw wheel usually has to be at its starting position. Once everything is back together. I make several-short forward and reverse stops. I keep making short passes until the brakes feel firm. That's just the way I've always adjusted the drum brakes on my camaro.
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Old 06-03-2001, 08:05 AM   #3
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hmmm
well the chiltons seems to be a little more specific and I was thinking that somehow you have to set them to a certain tolerance and then they self adjust like you said during stops.
I just wish that a real mechanic could tell lowly me what the right way is to do this....
gmtech, im looking in your direction....

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Old 06-03-2001, 11:37 AM   #4
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I'm not a GM Tech, but I took some auto repair classes at my local junior college. The shop teacher said in GM cars, that's all you gotta do on rear drums. I have a Haynes Repair Manual in front of me and it says, "Make a number of foward and reverse stops to adjust the brakes until a satisfactory pedal action is obtained." These Haynes books are made for shade tree mechanics like ourselves. It's all in simple terms and includes pretty pictures on how to do stuff. It's really cool actually. Click the image to open in full size.

Don't do like I do all the time and make something harder to do than it actually is. I do that all the time. Click the image to open in full size. Then I get ticked off due to my own ignorance.

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Old 06-03-2001, 12:52 PM   #5
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Like said above, they are self adjusting. I just do whats above, adjust the self-adjuster until the brakes are near the drum and then go make a bunch of short stops. If they are too far away, then the brakes just wont work real well until they adjust to the correct spot... just make sure you keep in mind it may not stop as well until they are adjusted right, so stay away from cars and walls and such Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-03-2001, 02:22 PM   #6
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Is there a hole to get to the adjuster in the backing plates?? (some have this, some have a hole in the front of the drum)

If so, adjust the shoes so they are close to the drum and then install the drum and wheel.

With the car still on stands and in neutral, rotate the tires by hand and adjust the star wheel (through the hole) with a brake adjusting spoon or a screwdriver till there is a drag on the drums.

If the hole is in the front of the drum, just install the drum and a lug nut or 2 without the wheel. Adjust the same way as stated above.

If there is no hole anywhere, just adjust the shoes so the drum is tight going on, this will be perfect. Be sure to set the E brake a couple of times because the brakes will use the E brake arm to adjust properly.

Hope this helps you out.



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Old 06-03-2001, 04:24 PM   #7
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Ahha.
thanks for all the help guys I guess I am just making a mt out of a molehll.

but that does bring me to the other thing I cant understand completely in the chiltons which is the E-brake adjustment.

and you say that its adjustment effects the rest of the brake also???

please explain e brake tuneup for my un-educated a**.

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Old 06-03-2001, 10:16 PM   #8
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This is for drums only....

You should never need to adjust the e brake.

When you run out of ebrake adjustment it is usually a sign of worn out or out of adjusted rear brakes.

When the rear brakes are installed and adjusted correctly, the e brake will be perfect.

For anyone that has a stretched cable, you can adjust the e brake by turning the nut in line with the cable where the 2 rear cables meet and become one.

Some disc rears (newer f bodies and others)
use little shoes inside the rotors for the e brake....these need replacement from time to time.

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[This message has been edited by Engineboy (edited June 03, 2001).]
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