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Rear brakes that won't adjust - one solution


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Several threads over the years have dealt with rear brakes that won't adjust, usually due to the use of aftermarket brake shoes.  Here's a simple solution that worked for me.

 

The brakes are unadjustable when the adjustor cam has turned the adjusting pin as far inward as it will go but the shoes still won't contact the drum. Additional diameter is needed on the adjusting pin.  

 

I was in the boondocks with no metric parts available and needed to make SAE parts work. At my local hardware store I found nylon bushings (OD 3/8", ID 3/16", length ½") that did the trick for many years. I drilled out the hole to proper metric size for a snug fit, slipped it onto the pin, and that was that. If the outer diameter as adapted proves too be large with your specific brake shoes, a file can be used to scrape down the contact side as necessary.

DSCN1936.JPG

Edited by schuetz1619
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I had just the opposite problem with newly purchased brake shoes:  I couldn't get the (brand new) drums over the shoes, even with a small sledgehammer.  Took a great deal of filing and fitting on the shoes to finally get the drums to slip fit over the shoes.  

 

Question about your clever fix with the nylon bushing:  was the nylon sturdy enough not to let the edge of the brake shoe wear a groove in the nylon?

 

mike

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12 hours ago, Mike Self said:

Question about your clever fix with the nylon bushing:  was the nylon sturdy enough not to let the edge of the brake shoe wear a groove in the nylon?

Hi Mike,

 

The fix lasted 6 years and 41,000 miles and was still fine when I totaled the car. The only force on the bushing is the return spring, so any wear is from a very slight movement inward and outward under minimal pressure. As I recall I did need to file the bushing, but that was probably advantageous from the perspective of wear. 

 

In any case, I adjust the rear brakes about every 10K and all remained well through four adjustments.

Edited by schuetz1619
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