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How to Adjust Drum Brakes

How to Adjust Drum Brakes

How to Adjust Drum Brakes – Drum brakes are used handiest at the rear of some automobiles. Today, many automobiles are being manufactured with four-wheel disc brakes. Antique vehicles were made with four-wheel drum brakes, but the braking reaction was no longer as suitable as that of disc brakes. With that during mind, drum brakes only supply the vehicle with up to twenty-five percent braking capacity. That means the front disc brakes do most of the paintings. If the rear drum brakes end up unadjusted (and there are some common elements that account for that), the front ones start to overcompensate. Problems with the front brakes can become apparent if they may be overworked. Maintaining the rear brakes adjusted is a secure and effective way to balance the braking gadget and increase the durability of your front brakes.

How to Adjust Drum Brakes


Do away with the hubcaps from the rear wheels and break the lug nuts unfastened with the lug wrench.

Carry the rear of the automobile with the floor jack and relaxed it onto the jack stands.

Take away the nuts and wheels.

Discover the adjusting porthole on the back of the backing plate. There ought to be a rubber plug capping the porthole to shield it from the elements. Eliminate the plug by using prying it out with a screwdriver.

Insert the long screwdriver into the porthole and experience your way around for the adjusting retainer clip. If vital, grab a flashlight and crawl under the automobile to look for it. It’s a small lever that holds the celebrity wheel in role. Depress the clip with the screwdriver faraway from the celebrity wheel and use the brake spoon adjuster (or some other directly-aspect screwdriver) to turn the famous person wheel in one path.

Spin the drum by means of hand. If the anxiety is growing, you’re going the right manner to regulate the brake footwear. If the tension is lowering and the drum is spinning extra freely, you are un-adjusting the shoes. Pass back and use the spoon to show the famous person wheel in the opposite direction.

On occasion, among making modifications, yank on the parking brake cable close to the rear of the backing plate to middle the shoes.

Always check the tension of the footwear in opposition to the drum via spinning the drum (each 4 to five turns of the megastar wheel). The drum needs to transport, however, there ought to be a dragging sensation on the drum from the footwear contacting the interior diameter of the drum as you spin it. Modify the brake shoes upward so the drum cannot whole a complete revolution of spinning on its very own (or half of a revolution, if preferred).

Repeat this manner for the opposite aspect.

Cautiously get into the vehicle and apply the brake pedal and parking brake mechanism concurrently. This can center the footwear and combine the parking brake mechanism.

Observe the parking brake and allow it sit. Test each rear drums to make sure they’re protecting correctly. If one is keeping and the other isn’t, you want to discover the equalizer of the parking brake cable and adjust it. Confer with the restore guide for your specific car for the correct technique.

Readjust each aspect after you’ve got pumped the foot brake pedal even as making use of the parking brake mechanism, and changed the equalizer if relevant.

Replace the porthole plug while completed. Update the wheels and lug nuts and tighten.



A few vehicles are manufactured with portholes which have not been “punched” out of the backing plate. This will require disposing of the drum (to get the tab out as soon as it is punched in). You may use a hammer and a punch to pound within the metal tab, however you ought to additionally get a rubber plug to cap it off. If you’re unable to show the star wheel, you may want to take away the rear drum and the megastar wheel adjuster mechanism. Frequently, this component can be serviced with the aid of taking it aside, cleaning it, applying lubricant to the threads and then replacing it. If you cannot provider the star wheel adjuster, it’ll ought to be replaced. Import cars use a self-adjusting cam action lever. There may be no superstar wheel adjuster in these kind of automobiles. The rear drum might want to be removed in an effort to look into the cam adjuster to make certain it is operating properly. On maximum of these vehicles, the rear brakes may be adjusted by using activating the brake pedal and the parking brake mechanism time and again. You may also adjust the parking brake mechanism on these vehicles to tighten the inner ratchet of the take care of. Check with the restore manual for the area of this adjustment. Using the parking brake on maximum cars will increase the longevity of the rear drum brake changes. In case you’re no longer within the habit of using it, try and get into it. Do no longer pressure off with the parking brake carried out, but, as this can cause stress in the rear brakes, in advance put on down the brake shoes, and positioned the engine and transmission underneath duress.