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Driver side rear brake shoe not engaging drum at all.


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03-17-17, 12:39 PM   #1 (permalink)  
Driver side rear brake shoe not engaging drum at all.

I have the 92' Ford Ranger XLT with 2.9 V6 and touch drive 4WD. My driver side rear drum brake shoe is not engaging at all. The wheel has no heat after driving. I also penciled a small X on the shoe and it has not worn down. I have been troubleshooting, adjusting, and inspecting my work for about a week now and considered all the other possible causes too.

I also pulled the fuse on the RABS (rear anti-lock braking system) module and pulled the wire harness off RABS valve on the frame rail. I'm suspecting the RABS valve.

I believe metering and proportioning functions are incorporated into the RABS valve on my truck. Am I understanding this correctly? If I remove the RABS valve altogether and plumb in a bypass line, I will have a functioning but biased brake system that could cause rear brake lock up or front nose dip?

I was looking online for a metering or proportioning valve of simpler design. But I have not found anything that is direct fit yet.

 
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03-17-17, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)  
While it's possible that the fluid is blocked somewhere and not making it to the wheel cylinder, the odds are it's something mechanical in the brake shoe assembly. I'd pull the drum and inspect to make sure everything is correct. You can post a pic of the brakes if need be.


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03-17-17, 01:07 PM   #3 (permalink)  
I've inspected multiple times now. If you want I'll be glad to post a pic this evening or tomorrow.

 
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03-17-17, 01:08 PM   #4 (permalink)  
You need an assistant.

Someone to press the brakes down while you spin the tire/drum and seeing if anything is happening.

Also check the parking brake. If the parking brake doesn't hold then the service brakes won't work correctly either.

When you replaced the brakes.....did you put the drum on and adjust the star brake adjuster ?


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03-17-17, 01:30 PM   #5 (permalink)  
I don't have an assistant. But wheel never heats up like other side and there is no friction wear on X mark I made on shoe.

Would it help if I put the rear on jack stands put it in drive and then hit brakes? I can turn my head and see if tire stops spinning.

The parking brake functions ok.

I adjusted the star wheel adjuster according to manual instructions. There is a little drag when I pull off the drum like there is supposed to be.

Strangely enough, after I finished rear brake work 7-10 days ago the braking function improved significantly. But I only seem to have braking on three wheels.

 
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03-17-17, 02:10 PM   #6 (permalink)  
Wheel cylinder frozen or brake line crushed. I would lean on wheel cylinder frozen. Take drum off and move shoes side to side on bottom. You should see the see the shoe go into the cylinder. Would be easier to have somebody lightly push pedal while you watched to see if shoes moved.

 
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03-17-17, 02:46 PM   #7 (permalink)  
Wheel cylinders still new and I inspected brake lines.

I just did an experiment. I jacked up rear wheels, started the engine and put it in drive. When I depressed brake pedal, both rear wheels stopped.

But when I let off brake pedal, left rear drum/wheel in question started rotating before the other rear wheel. Does this help?

Maybe from this, you have a good idea of the problem.

If you think I should investigate further, I think I can use my camcorder to record if the brake shoe is extending or not as Don mentioned. I can also take a photo too. Let me know.


Last edited by bluesbreaker; 03-17-17 at 03:12 PM.
 
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03-17-17, 03:49 PM   #8 (permalink)  
Brake not adjusted a tight as the other side. I always tighten shoes up until wheel will not turn and back off Just enough for wheel to turn freely.

 
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03-17-17, 03:52 PM   #9 (permalink)  
It would pretty rare for both tires to start to start or stop at the same time.

It's also pretty rare to have a frozen brake cylinder. I've worked on a lot of old Fords and don't remember ever changing a wheel cylinder. Changed many calipers though.

That should have a single rubber line to the steel brake line on the axle so it's not a problem before the axle or both sides would be not working.

There is usually a pretty good amount of drag trying to remove the drum. If you didn't cut or replace the drums then there should be a lot of drag removing the drum.


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03-17-17, 04:15 PM   #10 (permalink)  
Geez...................all this time I was thinking could it be that I still not adjust the left rear side correctly after all the attempts? But I am still inexperienced at this.

All the drum brake parts (including drums) are new or replaced by myself in 2016 and all the brake system fluid replaced last year after bleeding.

It sounds like you're saying there should be a significant amount of drag when pulling off the drum. I thought we were only supposed to adjust it to a small amount of drag.

So I guess the plan is to tighten the star wheel adjuster some more and let you know how it goes tomorrow? I'll probably try that camcorder thing as a backup plan also.

 
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03-17-17, 04:16 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Posted By: bluesbreaker But when I let off brake pedal, left rear drum/wheel in question started rotating before the other rear wheel. Does this help?
Agree with Pjmax, unless the difference in time is significant. If one wheel start gettin on it before the other one that indicates the slow one has significant more drag than the freewheeling one, it's a function of how the differential works. If one just starts up before the the other it's normal. You'd have to be the judge of the time yourself, but it should be obvious if one has a lot of drag.

Do this first

Posted By: pugsl Brake not adjusted a tight as the other side. I always tighten shoes up until wheel will not turn and back off Just enough for wheel to turn freely.
Do both sides so they feel the same when you adjust, if this doesn't cure it....

Use your camcorder and record if the wheel cylinder expands. Press very slightly so you don't blow it out as there will be no force to restrict it. If possible use your extended arm (or a stick) to press on the brake pedal and look at the cylinder visually from the outside. Again don't press hard as all motion will go to that cylinder.

If it looks like the cylinder is expanding and contracting appropriately I'd look into the metering valve as you suspected.

Regarding the X on the brake shoe, depending upon the wear of the shoe and where you put the x it might take a while for the X to be gone. Brake shoe tend to start wearing at the leading edge prior to the whole shoe being worn.

 
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03-17-17, 04:23 PM   #12 (permalink)  
There seemed to be a significant delay for the other wheel rotation to kick in. But I don't really have a trained eye.

If I do the procedure with the camcorder and the brake, do I do this engine on or engine off?

 
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03-17-17, 07:12 PM   #13 (permalink)  
Engine, Tire, Drum off.

All your looking for is if the brake cylinder pushes out and retracts. (You should see the shoes pivot outwards also).

If it does, then your brake cylinder is probably good.

Very light pressure on brake pedal!!!! Just till you hopefully see movement.

Should take you all of a couple of minutes to verify.

If it looks ok, then put drum back on and readjust (both sides equally).

My adjustment is slight different than pugsl, I back off the brake until can't feel contact any more (by spinning drum), then advance star wheel (just one click/pivot of screwdriver) until just feel contact. Either way works. The important thing is they are set the same way each side.

That being said, as the hydraulic pressure equalize on both wheel, you'd have to really have one wheel out of wack adjustment wise for one set of shoes not to make contact while other does. This is why I like recontacting after the wheel spins free on adjustment.

 
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03-17-17, 07:44 PM   #14 (permalink)  
Have you bled the air out of the entire system since replacing the brakes? It could be that there is still some air in the system. You gotta bleed each alamite/bleeder (one for each wheel).

 
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03-17-17, 08:18 PM   #15 (permalink)  
I just read that you changed the cylinder..... so it's not going to be frozen.
Air is a real likely problem. I never mastered bleeding a system solo.
I've always used a "pedal pumper". (That's the beer holder sitting in the drivers seat)

Very light pressure on brake pedal!!!!
This is important or you could spit the piston(s) right out.

When you change the brake shoes.... it takes a while for the shoes to fit properly.
There should be a solid drag on the drum when you spin it....but you should still be able to turn it by hand.

I usually set the adjustment with the tire on. Gives a better feel of the drag.


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03-17-17, 09:45 PM   #16 (permalink)  
I understand about spinning the wheel to feel drag and set adjustment. But you have to be able to pull the drum off also.

So I also ensure that some drag is apparent when I pull off the drum.................correct?

I thought I was supposed to set adjustment with tire off.

I bled the entire system several times last year when I replaced the wheel cylinders and then the MC. And I installed speed bleeders which allow for one man brake bleeding.


Tried to add photos. But I ran out of high speed data. I'm confident I installed everything correctly anyway


Last edited by bluesbreaker; 03-17-17 at 10:41 PM.
 
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03-18-17, 03:25 AM   #17 (permalink)  
I don't remember every replacing a frozen wheel cylinder although I've changed out a lot of leaky ones.
When adjusting new shoes all I've ever done is get them a little snug. The self adjuster should fine tune them. works when backing up. Assuming you don't have anti-lock brakes I'd go down a dirt road, slam on the brakes and inspect the skid marks.


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03-18-17, 09:26 AM   #18 (permalink)  
I put the camcorder on a foot stool and filmed the drum brake assembly. Depressed brake pedal very lightly and I did see some movement. Then I readjusted the star wheels.

I'll road test for a couple days and report back.

 
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03-18-17, 11:15 PM   #19 (permalink)  
Gentlemen, I don't want to take up much more of your time with this.

There still seems to be a temperature imbalance between the two rear brakes after driving. But it seems to have decreased. And the brake performance is really very good. So I'm not going to mess with the brake hardware anymore.

But I still want to get rid of the RABS valve and bypass it. This would give me a chance to bleed the entire system again too. I have a pretty good idea how to do the plumbing and what parts I need. I just wanted to get your thoughts on what I might experience while driving if I do this.

 
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03-19-17, 05:38 AM   #20 (permalink)  
You'll always have an "ABS" or similar light on all the time for one thing.

 
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03-19-17, 08:32 AM   #21 (permalink)  
This is true. The REAR ANTI LOCK light is always on now. I think I can remove the dashboard cover and pull the bulb.

Apparently the valve can get gummed up and cause bottlenecks with the fluid flow. And the part is too expensive.

I don't think I would have any metering or proportioning because the RABS valve handled all that. So there might be rear lock up or front nose dip during heavy braking. I've read a few accounts of people who did this for older Ford Rangers like mine. A few said they adjusted their braking technique and never had any problems. A few reported frequent lock-up although it might depend on make/model/year

 
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03-19-17, 09:12 AM   #22 (permalink)  
Most of my experience is with pre-ABS systems, so I can't say what issues you may run into by removing the proportional valve. I did some basic research & looked at a diagram of the brake system for your vehicle. It did not show a proportional valve as it was called but did show a valve near the master cylinder that directs fluid to the front... or the back. That specific valve, is a one piece valve that, again, sends fluid to both the front & rear brakes. So, in this case, looking at this valve, if you remove it, you wont have a a valve period & will have no way to get fluid to ANY brakes because there wont be any connections for the lines to connect to.

All in all, I'd say removing a valve in the ABS/brake system cant be good. But again, I am an old school general DIY (with some formal training) mechanic pre-computers & pre- ABS.

 
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03-19-17, 10:00 AM   #23 (permalink)  
I just looked under the hood and found that valve you referred to. It is just off the frame and under the power steering reservoir. It looks like a junction that diverts fluid flow to front and rear brakes accordingly, like you say. I would never disturb it. It's separate from the RABS valve. I already disconnected electricity from the RABS valve. So it might not make much more difference if I just remove the RABS altogether.

Thanks for reminding about that junction valve thing. I observed it in the past. But forgot about it.

 
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03-19-17, 01:58 PM   #24 (permalink)  
There was a time, in the '70's, when vehicle manufacturers were dealing with, in my opinion, unrealistic and unattainable, federally mandated mileage and emission standards, and, as a result, there was a lot of tinkering on the part of owners, just to keep the darned things running, and many times components such as air pumps, etc. were, I think, justifiably removed. Those days are past, and while I am sure that there are exceptions, most parts on most vehicles belong there. And yes, I think that this can be said for vehicles manufactured in 1992. So I'm not here to debate it, nothing to debate in my opinion, but I cannot understand the logic of removing something like an anti lock braking system, as opposed to repairing it. I do understand the fact that certain components can be costly, but if I don't think that the cost of a door handle is reasonable, I'm not going to remove the door. Likewise, I'm not going to tinker with and re-engineer something as critical as a vehicle braking system.

 
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03-19-17, 09:29 PM   #25 (permalink)  
Well, If I was just eliminating rear anti-lock braking I would remove it. Older vehicles worked fine without it anyway. But my RABS valve also includes metering and proportioning. I do agree with you there is no point in debating it since I don't know for certain how the thing works

Thanks for being honest. You give me something to think about.

 
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