Doing rear drum brakes? A must read!

Ditch

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I know this thread is old but I tackled the drum brakes after work and I said the most bad words I have said in a very long time. This is absolute stupidity that they would make it so difficult to work on. I did it in about 2 hours but I did notice that on of the adjusters wasn't contacting the star. The next morning I drove about 300 yards and took off the wheel that seems to have the problem and noticed what had been mentioned in this thread where the cable guide wasn't in the hole in the shoe. It's hard to believe that this is held in by just the spring. I got it though but don't feel great about it.
It’s enough to make you want to drop the cash for the disc brake conversion.. or might as well upgrade the whole axle😁
 

JoshNZ

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I’ve had the Jeep up on stands this weekend, hugely productive. Started as just a deep clean after a muddy trip, ended with trans fluid and filter, transfer case fluid and a new speedo drive, tidied up some minor surface rust etc and noticed the rear shoes needed doing so that too (PO left me a great selection of spares)

However, the PO must’ve had similar difficulties as described here, because I’m just flat out missing the adjuster mechanism...
Normally I go through vehicles in detail when I get them, but this Jeep has impressed me so much I got complacent and spent most weekends in it, rather than under it. Good lesson for me!!

Anyway, while I track down some parts and wait for their arrival, how does the adjuster actually work? Does the arm pull up every time the drums are expanded, but only when the shoes are warn enough does it allow enough travel to rotate the star?

I like to think I get the other concepts, still putting concepts into practice though, I’ve only had one other car with drums. My ‘72 Mercedes was discs all round!
 

jazngab

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I know this thread is old but I tackled the drum brakes after work and I said the most bad words I have said in a very long time. This is absolute stupidity that they would make it so difficult to work on. I did it in about 2 hours but I did notice that on of the adjusters wasn't contacting the star. The next morning I drove about 300 yards and took off the wheel that seems to have the problem and noticed what had been mentioned in this thread where the cable guide wasn't in the hole in the shoe. It's hard to believe that this is held in by just the spring. I got it though but don't feel great about it.
I would do it again and make sure the guide stays in the hole. I found it easy to have a second set off hands holding it in place as I pull the springs into place.
 

jazngab

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Anyway, while I track down some parts and wait for their arrival, how does the adjuster actually work? Does the arm pull up every time the drums are expanded, but only when the shoes are warn enough does it allow enough travel to rotate the star?
I believe when the brakes wear down
 

markopolo1956

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Zephyr Cove, NV
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.
+1 on the cable guide/cam. The PO did not install that guide correctly and the adjuster ratchet was just dangling. Took about 1/2 hour to put the guide in correctly, and adjust the brakes.
Thanks for the tip!
 

AussieNick

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Can someone please help me figure out where these things go. I can't find any mention of them anywhere?View attachment 64093. I am trying to reassemble and I don't see where they are on the old setup. When I took them apart the shoes were locked up inside the drum so they didn't come off as nice as I wanted them to. I don't have a good side to really go off of for reference. View attachment 64094


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I think the clip goes over the adjuster plate and holds it flat. This would solve many of the problems people are having with the adjuster plate not touching the adjuster wheel and removes a dependency on which way springs are installed. The shop manual mentions this spring washer and clip but doesn’t show a picture.

0E9F4043-A2C0-4C42-A7A6-4778A93E8438.jpeg
 
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AussieNick

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By the way, I have never worked on drum brakes before and just spent about 6 hours doing these until I was completely happy. I cursed every Jeep design engineer that worked on these drums.

I have a bunch of parts if people need anything. Just PM me.
 

RobertJ

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I just finished my passenger side (still working my way to the drivers side on my restoration) drum brake overhaul, and I want to thank all of you that contributed to this thread. The pictures and descriptions were invaluable. I won't lose any sleep if I never have to do them on this TJ again.

One thing to note though, in the original picture that started this thread (and that one ^^^^) the spring on that bracket is install incorrectly and as is won't provide any resistance whatsoever. It needs to be installed so there is pressure against the shoe it should be butted up against. See those two indents for where the spring should seat.

Other than that, great thread!
 

Wingryder

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Nov 30, 2019
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Utah
@LHC30 you are right. Why would the top end of that adjust cable have that great big hole in it only to go over the narrow part of the post. ? And that leaves the cable too long.

That mismatch of big hole over small mounting post... has bothered me everytime I see it. including my 97 which also had a failed adjustment cable installed wrong.
 

Wingryder

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@LHC30 you are right. Why would the top end of that adjust cable have that great big hole in it only to go over the narrow part of the post. ? And that leaves the cable too long.

That mismatch of big hole over small mounting post... has bothered me everytime I see it. including my 97 which also had a failed adjustment cable installed wrong.
Sorry LHC30 I have to withdraw my support. Just talked to Mechanic.. The hole is over sized so it will not bind but slip around the post even though there is side tension from spring ends. To fix over lenght.. be sure curved guide is in correct and then if necessary you can carefully open where cable is attached to eye (or other end) slide cable up and reclamp adding several chisel hits to make sure it is solid attachment. If all else fails take the new china part to a Jeep dealer and compare lengths. If is is shorter.. buy it and get on with life.
 

Wingryder

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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:)
Dont fight that wire/cable. Loop top end of cable over post. Let it hang behind backing plate. Finish up everything else. All springs in place. Now bring the adjustment cable down (not over curved guide yet) Attach at bottom. Then swing that lower assembly up with your thumb for maximum cable slack.. Move the cable into the guides groove and its done.
 

EMSJeepmedic

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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.

View attachment 36446
Just about to do mine. Thanks for the heads up!
 

06TJ35's

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Spent almost all day working on my drum brakes. What a PITA🤬 that was. I think next time I’ll just cough up the money and let someone else handle it. I wish I would have read this thread first. Having the same problems as other members where the adjuster plate doesn’t reach the star adjuster. I’m done for the day. Tired of sitting on my ass. Oh and I won’t touch drum brakes again after I fix mine.
 

WallyWest

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Dont fight that wire/cable. Loop top end of cable over post. Let it hang behind backing plate. Finish up everything else. All springs in place. Now bring the adjustment cable down (not over curved guide yet) Attach at bottom. Then swing that lower assembly up with your thumb for maximum cable slack.. Move the cable into the guides groove and its done.

That's the way I did it, super easy.

Also, the yellow spring in the photo, on the bar across the top, is on backwards. Installed as pictured it's literally doing nothing.
 
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Zorba

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I went through this thrash a couple or three weeks ago. I *think* I ended up doing it right, the adjustment pawl is in contact with the star, but it took a couple of hours figuring it out as it had been 25 years since I last did drum brakes and those didn't have self-adjusters. Parking brake much better, blah, blah. With that said, I'll pull the drum off "sometime soon" to see if the spring/bracket arrangement is as shown here.

The "gotcha" that got me was the fact that O'Reilly's sells the brake shoes by axle, the spring kit by axle, but the self adjustment replacement bits kit by WHEEL. The latter is side specific, and of course I was working on the right side and had the self adjustment kit for the left! Making the experience complete, O'Reilly's didn't have the RH kit in stock, I had to go back the next day!
 
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JC123

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Aug 13, 2018
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Arlington, Virginia
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.

View attachment 36446

replacing the drums and shoes now. had this printed out next to me and still having trouble getting the pivoting bracket to engage the star wheel. any advice about what I might be doing wrong from the photos?

also the guide up top for this cable won't stay in its hole but the spring seems to keep it in place. is that okay?

IMG_9151.JPG

IMG_9152.JPG
IMG_9155.JPG
IMG_9153.JPG


IMG_9154.JPG
 

06TJ35's

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replacing the drums and shoes now. had this printed out next to me and still having trouble getting the pivoting bracket to engage the star wheel. any advice about what I might be doing wrong from the photos?

also the guide up top for this cable won't stay in its hole but the spring seems to keep it in place. is that okay?

View attachment 172546
View attachment 172542View attachment 172545View attachment 172543

View attachment 172544
The star adjuster needs to be flipped and I’m not sure what you mean by the guide not fitting in the hole?
 
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