Tip #63, The Secret to Adjusting Your Brakes Correctly So Both Shoes Work….

Submitted: Tuesday, Sep 06, 2005 at 02:54
ThreadID: 122217 Views:3616 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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While we are on the Subject of Tip # 62 on keeping your brakes in good working order, I thought maybe we should breach this little tip.... In older brakes, people are having problems adjusting their brakes…. And then some of the Mechanics are also having a few problems… Here is the difficulty: The mechanical wind out adjuster has a tendency to actually stick with only one shoe moving, and only wind out the other. You Veteran Mechanics can stop reading now, this is for the Newbies, OK?

What happens with your DIY person, is they jack it up, wind out the adjuster, say a few swear words when they figure out they were winding it the wrong way, Ha! And then they wind it back the other way until a brake shoe start dragging on the drum…. Then because they do not want to overheat the brakes, they then back it off until it is not touching as they spin the wheel… Now if they do not do it themselves, they instruct the Mechanic to do it that way and back it off. Then they go out, try the brakes and bring them back because they are not working properly… The Mechanic then sometimes moves them out too much, gets them away on the road, but there are problems later….

As I was saying before, it is a technique issue, in that the two 180 semi-circle shoes do not move out evenly… The problem is that the Adjusting mechanism “floats”, and when one shoe sticks a bit, it is only pushing out the other shoe…. If you are servicing the bearings and have the drum off, you can clean the mechanism and lightly lube it accordingly. Most brakes are dirty and possibly a little corroded, but even clean it still sort of does it… What you need to do to resolve this, is wind them both out firmly, to push both shoes out to the drum firmly, really over-adjusting them firm, not hard; and then back them both off until they are not “dragging”… OK? Not a whole lot different to my ’57 Chevy half a century ago, Ha!

How hard? I can hear the question on my email… Well, adjust them out until you cannot keep the wheel spinning, adjust them out until you cannot turn the wheel, maybe a click or two more than that, but not more… Then back them off until they do not drag…

Definition of drag, can still make a slight scraping noise on some, but free wheeling without dragging resistance to being spun…. OK? Have a Good Mechanic show you…
And do not do this procedure unless you are sure you know what you are doing…

Kind Regards to all from the “Ranger”

Up on the ridges tryin ta look afta ya!!

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Reply By: Grumblebum & Dragon - Thursday, Sep 08, 2005 at 01:00

Thursday, Sep 08, 2005 at 01:00
Good one Steve,

I haven't adjusted any brake shoes since about 1960....something on an old Ford Popular`- they were the 5 quid model available at police auctions and breakers yards.
Cheers John
AnswerID: 567081

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Sep 08, 2005 at 01:55

Thursday, Sep 08, 2005 at 01:55
Look out John,
You are showing your age a bit, sort of like me talking about my 57 Chevy.... Any way, the Posting might help some that have to do DIY, or have problems adjusting them... You never know, you might just have to give it a go again yourself.. Ha!

Cheers, stg
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FollowupID: 844931

Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Sep 28, 2005 at 01:43

Wednesday, Sep 28, 2005 at 01:43
Hello Friends,

In answer to a question on "Which way to turn them" on adjusting the brakes, as we adjust more Bushtracker brakes than anyone....Ha! Here is the answer for everyone:

As you look through the "Peep" hole, you are looking at a gear like wheel.... The side facing you as you look through the hole, has to go "up" click by click, to expand the shoes until it locks up the wheel, and then top "down" to back it off..

In other words you stick the brake adjust lever or flat screwdriver in on the bottom of the gear to click it up to tighten, down to loosen.... OK?

And believe it or not, it is the same for both sides, Left and Right... I just had Wayne go check for me... Up on the wheel tightens brakes, down to back them off...

Regards from the Ranger, "out there somewhere"....
AnswerID: 567082

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