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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,

I just replaced the both drums of my rear drum brakes. The reason that I didn't replace the shoes and other accessories is because I found they are fine(my standard). Also you can see that the shoe still has plenty of meat left.

Question 1> Is it common that people only replace the drum without touching other parts of the drum brake system?

Question 2> What is the right way to adjust the drum brake system?
For my case, I found out that I don't have to adjust the wheel b/c the new OEM drum is thicker than the rusted old ones.

I set the parking break or press the brake pedal and make sure that rear wheel cannot move. I am not sure whether this is the right way to adjust the new drum brake.

Summary: I did found two tricks that really saved my day.

Tip1> Use 1" PVC pipe as the extension bar to help leverage the power to undo the wheel nuts.

Tip2> Use a pull bar to remove the frozen drum.

Thank you all!
 

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#1- I've swapped shoes and not drums, but not the other way around. #2- Adjust starwheel so you just have a "slight" drag of shoes on drum. Leaky wheel cylinder(s) or did you spray something? I'd feel safer with a metal cheater pipe.
 

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I grind out the rust ridge on the inside of the drums when I take them off so that they come off easy next time. I also put a light smear of anti seize at the point where the drum meets the hub to prevent them from sticking.
 

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The rear brakes are self adjusting, so you really don't have to adjust them. Just run the adjuster out to where the shoes just start touching the drum when you reinstall it. Ditto on putting anti-seize where the drum meets the hub circle. If wheel cylinders are not leaking, they should be fine for now. Be sure and press the brake pedal down multiple times before you drive the car so that the adjusters will move the shoes to where they are supposed to be.
 

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Great job. I think those shoes look almost new are you sure the adjuster or the wheel cylinders aren't stuck? Wondering why you had to replace the drums? I always make sure the adjuster wheel spins easily so the self adjusting works. Like others have said you should adjust them so the shoes just start touching the drums but not so much that you can't spin the wheel freely, they will be self adjusting from there as long as the hardware is in good working order.
 

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Pic of '03 someone put new shoes on old wheel cylinder. Leak is just starting. Peel the rubber dust boot back and it is full of fluid. New shoes push the piston/cup back to the center over rusted bore.

I replaced the wheel cylinders, they are cheap at RA.

If I had not done that, the nearly new shoes would be totaled. 5 years and 65K miles, they are doing just fine. I check them every fall.

-chart-
 

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When I replaced shoes I always get the wheel kit. That's new springs, adjuster, etc. .
Springs loose tension over time and that affects the auto adjuster, kit is cheap for each wheel and makes it a once and done job.
Touch of brake lube (caliper pin grease) on the contact points on backing plate and you'll have a factory fresh brake job.
 

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When I replaced shoes I always get the wheel kit. That's new springs, adjuster, etc. .
Springs loose tension over time and that affects the auto adjuster, kit is cheap for each wheel and makes it a once and done job.
Touch of brake lube (caliper pin grease) on the contact points on backing plate and you'll have a factory fresh brake job.
Agree but, you do well to take a pic before taking things off. When I got my kit, different color springs, one for the left, one for the rignt. The spring coil/end curl different from side to side. This is a bit of a jug saw puzzle. The springs look identical at first glance but they are not.

springs rust and that makes them loos tension. The outside of the wire where the tension gets smaller. Rust happens. :lol2:

-chart-
 

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After decades of doing drum brakes I've got my system on disassembly. Still do the pre digital old school way of laying out parts on disassembly.
One has to hope previous "mechanic" put it together right, I've seen leading and trailing shoes on backwards many times.
Still have my high school drum brake tools, that makes it a breeze.
Remember the charging more for disc brake jobs days, less work more money LOL
 

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After decades of doing drum brakes I've got my system on disassembly. Still do the pre digital old school way of laying out parts on disassembly.
One has to hope previous "mechanic" put it together right, I've seen leading and trailing shoes on backwards many times.
Still have my high school drum brake tools, that makes it a breeze.
Remember the charging more for disc brake jobs days, less work more money LOL
Well they called them "primary" and "secondary". What does that mean? If they wanted you to know, they would have labeled them something meaningful.

-chart-
 

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Well they called them "primary" and "secondary". What does that mean? If they wanted you to know, they would have labeled them something meaningful.

-chart-
Primary, leading, one and the same.
They assume a "qualified" mechanic is doing the work.
Shoes are labeled, the one with more lining on it is the primary or leading shoe.
 

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Without taking off the wheels, is there a hole in the backplate
that I can use to adjust the starwheel adjuster?
If so, should I turn it counter-clockwise to expand it?

Thanks in advance!
 

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Without taking off the wheels, is there a hole in the backplate
that I can use to adjust the starwheel adjuster?
If so, should I turn it counter-clockwise to expand it?

Thanks in advance!
There is a rubber plug in a race track shaped opening. You use a "spoon" made for that and the handle moves down to turn the star wheel to tighten. But be careful backing one off is a bit more complicated. They self adjust. If they do not adjust, the insides need replaced. They make a kit with all new parts. Old ones rust and bind up.

-chart-
 

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So it seems every time I adjust my rear drums, the pedal is nice and high and I can feel the brakes grab early for maybe 100 miles, after that everything seems to go back to the way it was before.

Drums and shoes aren't in terrible shape, but why would be the reason for this behavior...sorry to hijack, but it seems like a comment to add to this thread
 

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When you manually adjust the rears they are up against the drums tighter than when the self adjuster does it.
Shoes have to "rock" back 'n forth for the self adjuster to work so they self clearance themselves.
Normal feel, rears aren't supposed to grab first, when adjusted tight they will feel that way until they seat in.
 
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