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Old 02-09-2018, 02:09 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jp2code View Post

Applying the parking brake stopped the wheel immediately, and I was not able to manually turn it.

The little adjuster arm, from what I remember from last night, almost looks like it would fit flush against the gears on the adjusting rod.

I wasn't able to get that adjuster to move. I figured it was in a bind or something with all the springs in there. The only tool I had for the springs was a screwdriver, and I wasn't willing to pull those off without knowing how to get it all back together.
That's usually how I get the springs off and back on, a long flatblade screwdriver that's narrow enough to fit into the mounting holes for the springs.

Here's a random thought: On some cars one adjuster is left-hand thread and the other side is regular right-hand thread. Could it be possible whoever worked on it last got the adjusters mixed up and put them on the wrong sides? To test this out you could adjust them until the brake works and then drive the car for awhile and once it stops working take the drums off again. Make sure to take note of the visible threads on the adjuster wheels before and after. If the threads on the adjuster wheel have bottomed out afterwards it's actually loosening the parking brake tension. Kind of a lot of work, but food for thought.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by cadillacdude1975 View Post
i never use the little window to adjust the rear shoes. i remove the drum. why? it doesnt take that much more time, and it is also a chance to see everything. there could be a broken retainer spring or a leaking wheel cylinder. and i also clean the rear brakes and backing plate with brake cleaner every time as well.

i know what the manual says to do, but i say that is a quick fix and not a proper preventative cleaning and inspection.

try doing that with a worn drum. it wont work. you cant get the shoes in adjustment while slipping a worn drum (within spec) over the shoes
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by jp2code View Post
> what method are you using to determine
> that the brakes are loose? is the stopping
> power reduced? reduced heat in the drums?
> parking brake?

Well, the drum slid off with no resistance from the brake pads. They were that loose.

After I snugged them up, I could still spin the wheel around on the axle, but it would only make 1 or 2 revolutions before friction stopped it.

Applying the parking brake stopped the wheel immediately, and I was not able to manually turn it.

The little adjuster arm, from what I remember from last night, almost looks like it would fit flush against the gears on the adjusting rod.

I wasn't able to get that adjuster to move. I figured it was in a bind or something with all the springs in there. The only tool I had for the springs was a screwdriver, and I wasn't willing to pull those off without knowing how to get it all back together.

Luckily, this woman is too busy tonight to come back for another round ...or at least she hasn't called me yet.


okie dokie. good info

ASSUMPTION: Drums and shoes are new.

QUESTION: have you disclosed what car this is on? Also, i didnt see how you were determining that braking power is reduced unless you are only referencing the parking brake.

NOTE: drum brakes dont technically use pads, they are called shoes. (anyone that corrects you in real life is just a dick)

im going to assume the drums are new. if so, the fact they slid off with 0 resistance is ok-ish. with the shoes properly adjusted, if you spin the wheel by hand the wheel should make a rotation or two before it stops on its own. remember the shoes will wear just a wee when you use them so they are kinda "self machining for 0 clearance" if you will.

parking brake: sounds ok-ish, but doesnt sound like you tried it on a slope. depending on the setup and the car this is on. it could actually be a problem with the cable.

starwheel adjusted and adjustment rod: They should be touching. thats fine. at rest, this is how they sit. the fact that the star wheel is stuck is a bad sign. you should be able to rotate the star to adjust it regardless of spring tension. thats how they "auto adjust" while in the middle of their service life. im leaning towards this being the culprit.

You adjust, drive, the shoe wear a wee and lose contact.

clang noise: i just realized that a clang noise would likely be the adjuster arm slipping off the starwheel without moving the starwheel screw. Consider putting a drip pan under the brake assy and hosing the shit out of it with brake cleaner (non chlorinated). then potentially removing the starwheel, cleaning it, greasing the threads and then reinstalling. there is a small spring behind the starwheel.

springs: the location and orientation are standard and the same on almost ALL brake drums. so virtually any diagram will show the proper locations and what not.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:00 PM   #14
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This is a Dodge Caravan. I *think* it is a 2001 model, but I'm not sure. FWIW, that sucker has 300,000 miles on the little V6. Impresses me.

Since our goal is to get the parking brake to pass inspection, using it has been the focus of all our tests.

I suppose if this adjustment bolt were installed backwards, the adjusting arm would turn the threads the wrong direction.

Correct?

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Old 02-09-2018, 03:07 PM   #15
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You don't say...I have a 1996 beater edition Caravan in the garage at the moment. 231K, The transmission has been replaced at least once and I'm about to drop the donor engine in. I'd go look at the parking brake setup but I'm afraid the cable has rusted in place somewhere so I can't even move the pedal.

Anyways, it would turn the threads the wrong direction. The main thing is to see if the adjuster is moving inwards instead of outwards when the parking brake stops working.
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Old 02-09-2018, 03:16 PM   #16
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the arm would turn the adjusted the wrong direction but its unlikely that the arm would reach the wheel if it were backwards.


start looking at the parking brake cable upstream of the drums. also, is this a drum-inside-of-a-rotor setup?
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Old 02-09-2018, 04:40 PM   #17
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Here's a look at a Dodge Caravan setup. Passenger's side wheel, and we've been jacking with the driver's side, but about similar.

Copied video at timeslot to skip past that ding-dong's way of doing stuff.

https://youtu.be/5oKF8T3uto8?t=635
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Old 02-10-2018, 03:56 PM   #18
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did the adjusters get reversed on the last brake job? seems there is a right and left hand threaded adjuster.
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Old 02-10-2018, 05:36 PM   #19
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did the adjusters get reversed on the last brake job? seems there is a right and left hand threaded adjuster.
very good question. and yes they have opposite threads.
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Old 02-10-2018, 07:02 PM   #20
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That's what I was asking up in post 14.

If that woman comes back with her van, I'll look into it. Otherwise, I'm working on Taxes today.

Hate taxes. A lot of work, and then I get to send the government money.
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