Although an increasing number of vehicles have four-wheel disc brakes, many vehicles -- especially trucks and vans -- still rely on rear drum brakes. To ensure proper brake force distribution, you need to make two adjustments whenever you replace brake shoes and anytime you remove the brake drums: brake shoe adjustment and parking brake adjustment. While specifics may vary depending on the vehicle, the basic adjustment steps are similar.
Instructions Shoe Adjustment
1. Rear drum brake systems contain brake shoes.
Install the drums over the brake shoes and remove the rubber plugs from the access holes on the rear side of each backing plate.
2. Turn the star wheel inside a few clicks at a time with a narrow screwdriver until you feel a light drag while turning the drum.
3. Insert a second screwdriver through the hole to move the adjuster lever away. Turn the star wheel in the opposite direction until the shoes no longer drag.
4. Repeat the process on both rear drum brake assemblies, and reinstall the plugs.
Parking Brake Adjustment
5. The parking brake applies the rear brakes via a mechanical cable, rather than with hydraulic pressure.
Apply the parking brake lever fully and locate the parking brake cable tensioner, where the individual cables from both rear wheels merge with the cable that goes into the vehicle.
6. Mark the current position of the adjusting nut.
7. Tighten the adjusting nut with the appropriate wrench, approximately 1/2 inch farther down the threads of the tensioner.
8. Release the parking brake lever. Make sure the wheels are able to rotate freely, without any drag.
9. Park the vehicle on an incline to test the parking brake's operation. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 if necessary.
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Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 AT 10:11 PM