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Doing rear drum brakes? A must read!

RaymondT

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Aug 13, 2016
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Summerland, B.C.
Hi all,

I just spent a good long day installing new drums, shoes, hardware, and auto adjusters. I ran into a little issue with the auto adjuster cable that everybody attempting this repair needs to know. It's not mentioned in any factory repair manual or youtube video. In fact, there's virtually no mention of it. It's very important that the little green spring and the bracket that surrounds it is installed just like in the picture, otherwise the part of the adjuster pivot that engages the star wheel will not hold enough tension and your brakes will never adjust up for wear. It took me 4 extra hours to sort this out. Many YouTube videos did it wrong and they just slapped it together none the wiser.

IMGP5618.jpg
 

Chris

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I've never had to mess with the drum brakes since my Rubicon has rear discs. I do want to give you a tremendous thank you though for sharing such valuable information. This very well may help someone out in the near future!
 
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Serbonze

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Nov 12, 2015
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1,871
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USA
I just ran into that exact issue with my drums this week. I couldn't get them adjusted to save my life, and the parking brake didn't work. I swallowed my pride and took it to the local Tire Kingdom. They offer a full clean, lubricate, and adjust service for $30 and it was well worth it for me. Turns out the tech was a Jeep guy and had a YJ and XJ, we talked Jeeps for about 30 minutes.
 
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RaymondT

RaymondT

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Aug 13, 2016
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Summerland, B.C.
I can't take credit for the photo or the info. I poached it off Google images as I had mine all buttoned up and then decided it would be a good thing to pass on. A google search turned up a discussion on this same thing in another Jeep forum.

I just couldn't understand why the adjuster was sitting a 1/16 or so off the star wheel and I knew that would never work so I kept at it.
 

Agonist

New Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2018
Messages
1
Location
Tennessee, USA
Hi all,

I just spent a good long day installing new drums, shoes, hardware, and auto adjusters. I ran into a little issue with the auto adjuster cable that everybody attempting this repair needs to know. It's not mentioned in any factory repair manual or youtube video. In fact, there's virtually no mention of it. It's very important that the little green spring and the bracket that surrounds it is installed just like in the picture, otherwise the part of the adjuster pivot that engages the star wheel will not hold enough tension and your brakes will never adjust up for wear. It took me 4 extra hours to sort this out. Many YouTube videos did it wrong and they just slapped it together none the wiser.

http://s584.photobucket.com/user/canadianTJ/media/rear brake shoes/IMGP5618.jpg.html?t=1271690751
Thank you for posting this. I spent 3 days tearing my rear brakes apart over and over (multiple parts kits from different parts stores) to try and figure what I was doing wrong with that cable. No matter what I did I could not get the cable to keep the adjuster up where I thought it should be. It’s like I knew in the back of my mind there was something wrong but I was putting the new parts in exactly how the old parts were installed. The local dealer wants $28 for that cable alone and NAPA had the entire kit for $7 so hopefully others will see this and save themselves the money and aggravation.
Thanks again for posting this.
 
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Mark2006TJ

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Joined
Mar 18, 2018
Messages
22
Location
Mariposa, CA, USA
Thank you for posting this. I spent 3 days tearing my rear brakes apart over and over (multiple parts kits from different parts stores) to try and figure what I was doing wrong with that cable. No matter what I did I could not get the cable to keep the adjuster up where I thought it should be. It’s like I knew in the back of my mind there was something wrong but I was putting the new parts in exactly how the old parts were installed. The local dealer wants $28 for that cable alone and NAPA had the entire kit for $7 so hopefully others will see this and save themselves the money and aggravation.
Thanks again for posting this.
I had my jeep (used) for 3 years, and have adjusted the rear shoes 2 times and the rears keep locking up! With new shoes to try and adjuster kit, I found the curved cable guide, the part that goes in the hole of the shoe was 1/2 warn out and not holding the adjuster in the right spot. Brakes work great now!
 
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xackley

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Apr 7, 2017
Messages
178
Location
Finger Lakes, NY, United States
Note the molybdenum grease on the adjuster. I would also unscrew it and power brush the threads.
Manually adjust the shoes until you can just get the drum to slide on.
When you get the wheels back on backup and apply the brake.

You can also manually adjust the star wheel with a screw driver through an access window on most vehicles. I haven't look at the tj setup, but assume the window is there.
 

greenliftedtj97

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 25, 2018
Messages
108
Location
New Jersey
also, the "cable cam", upper left, behind the white spring, has to be fully inserted into the hole in the shoe also. Or the cable won't adjust properly either This is hard to do, as you need to be an octopus to hold everything while popping the springs on.
 

99 Wrangler

New Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
2
Location
Millersville, MD, USA
Thanks for the information on the cable, so many people don’t get this correct on websites or informational videos. The yellow spring on the right side spreader bar should be sitting out on end narrow side inwards on bar seat edge and not over the bar to keep tension on shoes and parking brake lever right?

Just note for anyone replacing the backing plates on Cherokee wrangler with 9x 2.5 drum brake dana 35 setup don’t buy the Dorman replacement 924-665 set. They don’t fit properly and you can’t seat the brake cylinders or fit the shoes properly. The shoes sat about 1/8 up off center pivot pin and would not seat flush against the scrub pads on backing plate. Save yourself a headache and go to pick a part or local salvage and get whatever factory parts you need. I finally got set of backing plates off ebay jeep graveyard in Mass 40$.
 
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weldedcambolt

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Mar 15, 2018
Messages
472
Location
ohio
Be calm putting that wire around the moving slide in the middle that slides into the hole, on the backside, its a pain to keep that in the hole, while wrapping the wire around the grove in it, an stretching it enough, to get it around the bolt. Both mine were broke when i took the drums off, to put new wheel cylinders in, when i put them new shiny stainless lines in:)
 
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Stockli

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Joined
Jun 12, 2016
Messages
669
Location
Fort Collins,CO
Going through this right now, brake assembled no drum on the adjuster pawl does not contact the star wheel. Will it engage once the drum is on and the brakes are applied and bled out as the shoes expand? Or do I need to rip it all off and take another look?

Looks like it does in the pic as far as the brakes and spring goes
 
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99 Wrangler

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Apr 30, 2018
Messages
2
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Millersville, MD, USA
One side on my Jeep fit well with cable being right length and pulling up the adjuster paw correctly so it is against the star wheel, my other side is incorrect. Think the aftermarket has some cables that are slightly longer or shorter depending on make and cable clamping of cable to ring and lower assembly. I replaced the aftermarket side hat was not pulled up with my original cable and the paw now sits in proper location. Just make sure the routing is around the side keeper inside the groove and the springs and keepers are all centered and seated. Was a master tech for Gm and Bmw and these brakes for some
Reason are a pain in ass. Third Tj and few Cherokee’s later and all kinda sit funny compared to other makes. Maybe manufacturing tolerances? Simple design but pain and aftermarket has lot of different variations on shoe design, drums, backing plates, and cylinders which doesn’t help.
 
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Stockli

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Jun 12, 2016
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Fort Collins,CO
I did things a little different and it made it easier.


I put the adjust cable and all,return springs on then put the cable over the guide. Much easier and I only needed two hands not 8
 
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Feb 14, 2018
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Lansing, MI, USA
37181755_2074521975892312_5368584492933971968_o-X2.jpg


I have a question regarding the original photo in this thread. In the original photo the Green Spring was routed BEHIND the self adjuster lever. In my installation (done before reading this thread) I routed the Green Spring in FRONT of the self adjuster lever. I do not imagine this difference would matter, but was just curious if it is better to mount the spring as done in the original photo?
 
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RaymondT

RaymondT

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Aug 13, 2016
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699
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Summerland, B.C.
View attachment 48645

I have a question regarding the original photo in this thread. In the original photo the Green Spring was routed BEHIND the self adjuster lever. In my installation (done before reading this thread) I routed the Green Spring in FRONT of the self adjuster lever. I do not imagine this difference would matter, but was just curious if it is better to mount the spring as done in the original photo?

When I routed the spring as you did in the photo, it pulled the adjuster arm away from the adjuster wheel on both sides enough that they would never adjust up. It wasn't a lot but it was visible.
 

Stockli

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Jun 12, 2016
Messages
669
Location
Fort Collins,CO
Raymond, after following your pictures my brakes are flawless. It makes a difference with the adjusters on how the green spring is oriented. My brakes have not been this good since the factory. The last jokers that did brakes for my dad put them together wrong and they never adjusted properly. Now they do.

Thanks for the write up
 
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