96 Voyager rear drum brakes - uh-oh


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Old 10-28-07, 07:15 AM
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96 Voyager rear drum brakes - uh-oh

Drove my wife's car yesterday and felt/heard groan in the rear brakes. Took the driver side wheel off, looked for uneven wear, all springs etc connected, made sure cyclinder pushed in both directions (with the engine running - front side extendes first and backs off last, but it does extend both ways) and then cleaned it with brake spray, let it dry and put it back together.

The wheel seemed a little tough to get off and even tougher to get back on - the drum was definitely not clearing the shoes. Might have been that way coming off but pulling off is easier than pushing back on?

Anyway, I saw no uneven wear (although I don't have the stuff to really measure). But that wheel definitely has brakes applied, maybe both. The parking brake is not the culprit, it hasn't stayed engaged in a couple years, and I did pull the lever to release just in case I went into the twilight zone engaged it in some fashion.

Where do I go from here?
 
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Old 10-28-07, 08:12 AM
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An edit

Couldn't find the edit button

Anyway, it was the drum that was tough to pull off put on.

And I've been reading about installing cylinders and it seems like you have to compress them when you install, so I guess I should have compressed these old ones after I tested too, huh?

Install new pads and cylinders? Maybe drums - guess I'd have to take em in since I can't measure accurately? This car will be donated sometime in the near future - tho I am not prepared to replace it right now (no time spent looking yet and work/family schedule is jammed the next month or two). If need be this one can sit - I can ride the bus.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 01:21 PM
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Is vehicle used all the time, and has not just sat?

Did you try to spin the wheel when it was jacked up before removing the drum, so you coud better identify the sound and feel the drag?

Is the wheel cylinder leaking? (Indicator besides wet around cylinder or on the backing plate or even on the inside sidewall of the tire, would be that fluid is disappearing from the master cylinder.)

You positive the sound came from the side you think it is coming from?

How worn down are the shoes?

Do the drums have record-like groves in it?
 

Last edited by ecman51; 10-28-07 at 01:26 PM. Reason: eliminated unnecessary question
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Old 10-28-07, 02:46 PM
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Solved for now

I guess the key should have been that it was tough to remove the drum to begin with. After staring at it long enough I figured out that there is a 'star wheel' adjusting mechanism. It was forcing the shoes out, or not letting them retract enough, when there was no brake pressure. Adjusted it so that there was just a bit of clearance and we're a-ok. There is no leakage. Pads have plenty of life left and the drum is smooth. Will look at the other side after dinner. Have no clue how it would get out of adjustment like that to begin with (that is before I engaged the brakes with no drum on that side I know not to do that again).

BTW - the star wheel adjuster works backwards, at least from my perspective. So if you're adjusting this thing make a reference mark when you start so you know which way it's going.
 
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Old 10-28-07, 04:28 PM
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Quite often you'll find the drums will have a ridge on them that won't let them slide off the shoes as the drum wears or rusts. Un-adjust the brakes to remove (not always that easy) & re-adjust after or you will have a low brake pedal. Remember to always tighten the wheel nuts with a torque wrench before you drive. Roger
 
 

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