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Old 06-08-2010, 12:09 PM   #1
JohnHupp
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Default Rear drum brake adjustment

I haven't been able to pull my rear brake drums so far. The last time I was able to I think pounded a lot on one side while pulling on the other side (and alternating pounding/pulling sides).

The commonest explanation seems to be that the shoes have worn a ridge on the inboard side of the drum, and the ridge hits the shoes when you try to pull the drum. The other explanation I've seen is that the drum is rusted to the hub.

The FSM says that if drum removal is difficult, shorten the adjusters (i.e. loosen the brakes), and I've seen that recommended here also, so I'd like to do it that way this time.

Two problems: 1) I wonder if I have a tool that will work. 2) Which way do I turn the star wheel?

I have one brake adjusting tool on hand (see attachment). But the Saturn Drum Brake Adjusting Tool, SA9201BR, pictured in this Autozone diagram (http://repairguide.autozone.com/znet...528017ec98.gif) seems to show a flat, two-dimensional tool instead of what I have, which is more like a wonder bar.

Then there is the question of which way to turn the wheel. I read in one source that the right adjuster is right-threaded, and the left adjuster is left-threaded. If that is the case, then to shorter the adjusters (loosen the brakes) I would expect to turn the star teeth up on both sides from the oblong adjustment hole in the back plate. Anyone confirm? (One thread refers to a Richpin video on this point, but he was working with the drum removed, and besides, I couldn't tell what he was doing with the screwdriver.)
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File Type: jpg My brake adjustment tool.jpg (70.5 KB, 56 views)

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Old 06-08-2010, 12:42 PM   #2
rc1488
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Default Re: Rear drum brake adjustment

I don't think that took would work because as you said, you need the flat end so that it catches the teeth of the adjuster.

IIRC For both wheel; you would push up to loosen them if going from the back

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Old 06-08-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rear drum brake adjustment

it is most likely your hubs are rusted. If the shoes were catching you'd be able to pull the hub part out about 1/4" as the shoes are mounted on springs. I've always been able to wiggle around the rusty ridge.

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Old 06-08-2010, 07:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rear drum brake adjustment

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Originally Posted by eljefino View Post
it is most likely your hubs are rusted.
That was it. I had to give them some of this, that and the other (PB Blaster, pounding, heat), but they did come off without any bloodshed.

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Old 07-21-2019, 02:44 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rear drum brake adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by rc1488 View Post
I don't think that took would work because as you said, you need the flat end so that it catches the teeth of the adjuster.

IIRC For both wheel; you would push up to loosen them if going from the back
To clarify, to loosen, when looking at the back plate from the back, the wheel goes down ( screw driver goes up).

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Old 07-21-2019, 06:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rear drum brake adjustment

I live in the salt belt and those things can seize on the hub along with the brake shoes creating a deep grove on the outer edge. Get a puller and force the drum off. Then get a set of shoes, drum, and hardware kit.

This tool WILL remove the drum or shatter it in the process. Either way, it will come off - https://www.amazon.com/OTC-6980-Heav...dp/B004CGOGFS/

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Old 07-21-2019, 07:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rear drum brake adjustment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macgyver View Post
I live in the salt belt and those things can seize on the hub along with the brake shoes creating a deep grove on the outer edge. Get a puller and force the drum off. Then get a set of shoes, drum, and hardware kit.

This tool WILL remove the drum or shatter it in the process. Either way, it will come off - https://www.amazon.com/OTC-6980-Heav...dp/B004CGOGFS/
I have that tool as well, very handy to have. A word of caution with drum brakes, cut the pins holding the spring cups before using the puller. You can tear the pistons out of the wheel cylinders if the shoes are that badly stuck. Cutting the pins helps free things up a little bit.

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Old 07-22-2019, 03:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rear drum brake adjustment

And always remove any ridge that's formed.

I toss them on the 3 jaw chuck on my engine lathe and take a clearance cut.

If you don't have a lathe - you can simply grind it out with a body grinder. It' s clearance - it doesn't need to be perfect.

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