star wheel adjustment


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Old 02-09-09, 06:36 PM
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star wheel adjustment

Trying to get the brake drum off. Need to turn the star wheel to back off the shoes, as they're keeping it from coming off. Got a small oval access slot behind the wheel above the axle in which to try to turn the star with a screwdriver. Can see in there that the adjuster lever needs to be held up out of the way in order to turn the star. How is this accomplished through that little slot? How can you hold the lever out of the way with a screwdriver and still have room for a second screwdriver to try to turn the star? How can you even tell what you're doing when you can't see with the screwdriver(s) in the way? And which way does it probably need to turn to back off the shoes?
 
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Old 02-09-09, 06:52 PM
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The Pro's will be better at explaining this...but sometimes it helps to close your eyes and just visualize what you are doing. A small flat screwdriver (like real small) and a real brake adjustment tool work pretty well. As to the direction, if its real hard to turn, I have always gone the other way, since the shoes are probably against the drum.

Might want to post the type of car..some folks could probably tell you exactly which way.
 
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Old 02-09-09, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Gunguy45
it helps to close your eyes and just visualize what you are doing. A small flat screwdriver (like real small) and a real brake adjustment tool work pretty well. As to the direction, if its real hard to turn, I have always gone the other way, since the shoes are probably against the drum. Might want to post the type of car..some folks could probably tell you exactly which way.
Thanks Gunguy. I can visualize turning the star as I'm trying, but if the adjuster lever or whatever its called exactly needs to be held out of the way with the small screwdriver, there sure doesn't seem to be enough room to maneuver another screwdriver or brake adjustment tool to turn the star. There must be some normal way regular mechanics handle this...

Its actually a 2000 KIA Sportage, but I call it a PIA (pain in ass) Sportage. Any further advice on this appreciated.
 
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Old 02-09-09, 07:10 PM
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Small screwdriver as in something with a small shaft (3/16 or so) and about 4-5" long. I always put the adjustent tool in first..then slide the screwdriver in.

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Old 02-09-09, 10:30 PM
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helps if you have the proper brake adjustment tool, or take an old flat blade screwdriver and heat and bend the shaft the appropriate amount then you can turn the adjustment wheel, and a coat hanger with the right bends will move the lever out of the way it won't need to move more than about 1/16th of a inch to allow the backing off, most of the time the wheel will rotate up to loosen

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Old 02-10-09, 09:37 AM
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On the outside surface of the brake drum, not too far from where the central circular area of where the lugs protrude through, two rather large-headed phillips screws are installed into the drum, located opposite eachother. When I unscrew these short screws I can see that these apparently serve as plugs of the holes they're screwed into, and that each of these these threaded holes are there to provide a way for someone to perhaps screw a sufficiently longe enough screw/bolt into until the drum would finally be pressed/pushed loose away and off the wheel. What about trying that method?
 
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Old 02-11-09, 02:29 PM
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Cool

Not familiar with your car, but drum brakes probably haven't changed that much. The arm you see is to keep the adj. from backing off. The wheel will need to be turned in the direction opposit that arm. If it turns with a brake tool only, then the arm will need to be pulled back a little and turn the star the opposite way.(Probably on-right/off- left). When you get the drums turned/replaced, remove the adjuster and lubricate it before re-installing. Tighten the star enough to just allow the new/turned drum to go on without binding. With the wheel and tire replaced, adjust the star so the drum just TOUCHES the shoes. When you back up and stop, it will adjust itself after a few stops.
 
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Old 02-11-09, 05:01 PM
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sgull,

If you sever the heads off 2 pins that are on the backside of the backing plate, which are located on a horizontal plane, on each side of the axle shaft -this will sever the pins and springs that hold the center of each brake shoe back towards the backing plate. Then you will be able to pry off the drum. Even though the bottom and top of the shoes are still hooked - when you pry off the drum, the shoes will pull loose and fallout with the drum. Not theory. It works.

Chances are your adjuster is so rusted on it will take you longer to free that up and figure which way to turn it, than to do my method.

I was able to do mine with the described method, and never even had the car jacked up, yet was able to accomplish this, by hammering the heads off with a hammer hitting a sharpened flat scredriver. I was told this trick by an old time auto parts guy - and it wound up getting aired on nationally syndicated call-in car repair radio show, that is on every Saturday morning!!

Regarding the already suggested tip, by accessing 2 brake drum plugs. **IF** you have such plugs, my guess would be you have to line them up, horizontally over those center pin/springs, and twist off that lock washer to release the pins/springs, that hold the shoes. Another version of my suggestion.
 
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Old 02-11-09, 08:48 PM
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ecman if the adjuster is tight enough to hold the drum then the wheel will turn, no reason to cut the pins. if the adjuster is frozen then it will not adjust out tight enough to hold the drum on. that is my experience from doing hundreds of brake jobs.
cutting the pins is only needed on brakes that don't have access holes on the brake backing plates in my experience.

if the drum has screws on the outside to hold it in those will need to be removed before attempting to pull the drum.

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Old 02-12-09, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeTN
Not familiar with your car, but drum brakes probably haven't changed that much. The arm you see is to keep the adj. from backing off. The wheel will need to be turned in the direction opposit that arm. If it turns with a brake tool only, then the arm will need to be pulled back a little and turn the star the opposite way.(Probably on-right/off- left). When you get the drums turned/replaced, remove the adjuster and lubricate it before re-installing. Tighten the star enough to just allow the new/turned drum to go on without binding. With the wheel and tire replaced, adjust the star so the drum just TOUCHES the shoes. When you back up and stop, it will adjust itself after a few stops.
The reason the drum was on there so tight is because the vehicle was driven a few blocks with the parking brake set, which caused that self adjuster business to tighten up and lock the brake like that. I finally managed to get the drum off by screwing bolts into the threaded threaded holes provided there on the lug face of the drum which finally forced the drum off the spindle there. That star wheel was so durn tight and hard to get at from behind I never could begin to turn it to try to get the drum off, that's why I resorted to the other method.
After getting the drum off I noticed the hold-down pin for one of the shoes had apparently broken off, and the shoe was just sitting there unsecured and loose. Local repair shop happened to have a replacement pin, so after I replaced the pin and put things back together all is well again. I did go ahead then adjust the shoes via the star wheel adjustment method afterward as you mention, by turning the wheel the direction opposite that arm, not with a brake tool but a screwdriver. Then I backed up the the vehicle a few times and stopped, to let the brake adjust itself. Moral of story do not drive with parking brake set. thanks.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedwrench
ecman if the adjuster is tight enough to hold the drum then the that is my experience from doing hundreds of brake jobs.
cutting the pins is only needed on brakes that don't have access holes on the brake backing plates in my experience.

if the drum has screws on the outside to hold it in those will need to be removed before attempting to pull the drum.
Mine were frozen and the drums had huge outer ridges that would not let the drum go by the shoes. Drums were so worn down to nothing I had to put on new ones. And even before I knew of this, trying to get behind the backing plate, with the car not up off the ground, and trying to feel around in the with screw drivers, was MUCH worse than just slamming off the heads of those pins.

Hundreds of jobs worked well your way. Mine worked excellent my way.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 08:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ecman51`
If you sever the heads off 2 pins that are on the backside of the backing plate, which are located on a horizontal plane, on each side of the axle shaft -this will sever the pins and springs that hold the center of each brake shoe back towards the backing plate.
I was able to do mine with the described method, and never even had the car jacked up, yet was able to accomplish this, by hammering the heads off with a hammer hitting a sharpened flat screwdriver.
I'll keep that method in mind and try it next time I have to fight with getting the drums off again. I don't doubt that it worked good for you, but it sure seems like I would have to be whacking pretty darn hard with a sharpened flat screwdriver to cut the heads of those pins off. The pins look to me about the thickness of 16-penny nail, pretty tough it would seem to me, without yet trying it, to just lop off the heads with a hammer and screwdriver without possibly denting/damaging the backing plate with all that banging. But, I'll definitely give it a try next time, sounds like a good trick.
Anything would beat that trying to feel for that starwheel through that backing plate access slot with screwdrivers or whatever and not being able to see what I'm doing, scrunching myself into position under the car especially when there's so little room to work with the coil spring etc in the way and I'm trying to fidget the two dam screwdrivers in there while lying out on the cold wet ground and rust and grimey crusty road dirt is falling into my eyes.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 06:32 AM
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You can use a die grinder to cut the heads off. Be careful of the backing plate. In 40 years had to do that only 2 times.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sgull
I'll keep that method in mind and try it next time I have to fight with getting the drums off again. I don't doubt that it worked good for you, but it sure seems like I would have to be whacking pretty darn hard with a sharpened flat screwdriver to cut the heads of those pins off. The pins look to me about the thickness of 16-penny nail, pretty tough it would seem to me, without yet trying it, to just lop off the heads with a hammer and screwdriver without possibly denting/damaging the backing plate with all that banging. But, I'll definitely give it a try next time, sounds like a good trick.
Anything would beat that trying to feel for that starwheel through that backing plate access slot with screwdrivers or whatever and not being able to see what I'm doing, scrunching myself into position under the car especially when there's so little room to work with the coil spring etc in the way and I'm trying to fidget the two dam screwdrivers in there while lying out on the cold wet ground and rust and grimey crusty road dirt is falling into my eyes.
I never tried it before. Only went off that expert tip. The pin metal is very malleable and was easy to get it to leave deep crease and either sever completely or to cut enough in to be able to snap it off. To **my* surprise also, and to my good fortune, the backing plate must not be as malleable, and did not get damaged at all! The pins rest in a countersunk recess. Since the pins are connected to springs, the screw driver can force the head of the pin to become more exposed. I did the job with the car not even hardly off the ground, and I was able to do this. I had the car not only jacked some(enough to get the wheel/tire off, but had the frame resting on wood blocks. I was in no mood to have my head become like what terrosts did to some of their captors.

Watch your eyes. My brother- in- law was doing this and he got such severe eye damage he needed surgery recently and they had to lay his eyeball out on the operating table! And he has some sort of damage to his retina, from the rusty crud that fell in his eye.!!
 
 

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