Do you have drum or disc rear brakes? If they're drum, look for an adjuster cable rusted apart and that star wheel isn't adjusting, or the star wheel is rusted tight and may even have some teeth missing from the lever sliding over it repeatedly. The clue to misadjusted drum brakes is the pedal will get higher and be firm if you pump it rapidly a few times, then hold foot pressure on it. Once you release pressure and wait a couple of seconds, it will be low again the next time you push it. Pumping the pedal keeps taking more and more bites of brakes fluid before the return springs have time to pull the shoes back to the anchor so each pump of the pedal pushes the shoes out further until they contact the drums.
Also look at the parking brake levers hanging down from behind the rear shoes. If they are not all the way back, suspect rusted parking brake cables that are not fully retracted. That will prevent the automatic adjusters from working. If the parking brake cables aren't rusted tight, you might be able to get the levers back with a pry bar. Also look at the strut rod between the two shoes just above the axle shaft. You must be able to push that bar forward about 1/8" with your thumb against the anti-rattle spring pressure. If you can not move it, the parking brake is partially applied. If that is real bad, you'll find one of the shoes is not resting against the large anchor pin on top. You have to get the parking brake released enough so the shoes all rest on that anchor pin and there's free play in the strut rod.
Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 12:54 AM