Front Drum Brake Adjuster

Discussion in 'Technical' started by simsrw73, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. simsrw73

    simsrw73 Member

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    My grandfather's 74 Mav has been pulling hard right when braking. I pulled the front wheels and found 2 problems. 1) the guy that installed the brakes put two short pads on one side and two long pads on the other. Fixed. 2) The driver side adjuster trigger does not line up correctly to the adjuster wheel and I don't know why. Replaced the adjuster & related hardware and still doesn't line up. Passenger side look perfect, but I can't see what's wrong. I'd appreciate some other eyes. Thanks.

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  2. RMiller

    RMiller My name is Rick

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    I don't think that bottom spring is on correctly, it should be from shoe to shoe and not connected to the arm. Every car I remember messing with had that spring holding the shoes together and a small coil spring on the bottom tab of the arm pressing against the back of the shoe. I could be wrong, it has been a long time since I looked at drum brakes.
     
  3. RMiller

    RMiller My name is Rick

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    OK, I was wrong on this one. I guess it was my Pontiac I was thinking about. Wish I could have been more helpful.:huh:

    edit....OK, try this, take a look at the eyelet on the cable. It looks like it is in the groove with the springs, check the other side and see if it's the same. On my Pontiac that eyelet went on the thicker part of the pin along with the winged washer. Might be enough to line it all up.

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
  4. stumanchu

    stumanchu Stuart

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  5. Hotrock

    Hotrock MCCI Member Supporting Member

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    From what I can see the one item that might cause the adjuster arm not to position properly is the cable. Is the steel cable longer than it should be? You might want to remove both cables and compare lengths.
     
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  6. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    Agreed...
     
  7. simsrw73

    simsrw73 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    Both the original cable and the cable from the new adjuster set are the same length and both share the same problem. I'll compare it to the one on the passenger side a little later this morning...

    Also, just to confirm something. The return springs at top. Are they supposed to be identical? Most pictures and videos I look at on other cars show 3 different springs, usually all different colors. These springs are identical. Of course they are also identical on the passenger side and the passenger side lines up and operates correctly...
     
  8. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    Wrong springs won't cause your problem. Has to be cable or maybe the crescent that keeps cable in place.

    One thing to note. Other than shoes, I believe the hardware should be assembled exactly same on R & L. Meaning adjuster will be on front shoe for left & rear shoe for right.
     
  9. Acornridgeman

    Acornridgeman MCCI Wisconsin State Rep Moderator Supporting Member

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    I think it is just that the drum is off yet and the shoes are in. Once installed and the adjuster expanded, that will push out the shoe and pull the adjuster lever up the wheel and into position. Put a drum on, adjust the star wheel, and then see what it looks like.
     
  10. simsrw73

    simsrw73 Member

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    This. Besides being off when I took the wheel and drum off, I put the shoes on there twice myself without noticing that the crescent was popping partially out, just enough to put slack in the cable. :redface: I hate drum brakes. After a few attempts I got it to seat correctly and stay in place and everything adjusts fine.

    Is it possible that this piece knocks out going down the road? Nothing but a little pressure pressure keeping it seated in there. I just pulled off the rears to check them and found one side out in the same way. Or is this something that just happens during sloppy installs? And this was a very sloppy install, by a younger cousin, but I'm gonna rag him big time next time I see him. He hit every possible combination of shoe placement. In front the short shoes on one side, long shoes on the other. Now in the back: short shoe facing front on one side and facing back on other side, and I haven't taken the rest of the hardware off to see what else is done in back. No wonder brakes weren't working smoothly. Still: hate drum brakes.
     
  11. dyent

    dyent Member

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    Another thing to check, on the backing plate, there are a couple of "pads" which the brake shoe metal frame slides on. If worn really bad, it will cause issues, I tossed out my old drum brake backing plates so can not take pictures of the area in question. If you where to remove the shoe, you will see the "pads", approx 3/4" square and raise up from the backing plate, applying some wheel bearing grease or anti seize, helps lube. Have seen people braze up these worn areas..........
    David
     
  12. Krazy Comet

    Krazy Comet Tom

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    The spring that fits through the guide should pull it against the shoe, holding it in place. If hook on spring is bent outward, it's possible for guide to slip out of place.
     
  13. 71gold

    71gold Frank Cooper Supporting Member

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    did we get this fixed...:huh:
     
  14. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    The two springs on top are not the same. That's part of your problem. The adjuster arm tab hooks into the bottom of the brake shoe. The cable runs from the top post, down around the shoe through a thin metal guide then down to the adjuster lever. The slack adjusters are side specific, one left side, one right side. One has counterclockwise threads, one is clock wise. The springs are the same for both sides as are the cables. And as you've found out, there's a long and short shoe on each side, the long shoe is the rear shoe if I recall..
     
  15. baddad457

    baddad457 Member

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    Oh, really ? Yes they will. There are three different springs for each set. You cannot use them otherwise and hope it all works.
     
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