Drum Brake Auto Adjuster Operation


Old 09-13-15, 12:01 PM
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Drum Brake Auto Adjuster Operation

I've been struggling with the rear drum brakes in my 2004 Toyoa Tundra for quite some time and decided to take another look today. I installed brand new cylinders, shoes, drums, and all hardware last Spring. The shoes seem to be making contact with the drum, but the parking brake isn't self adjusting like it should. I have one of the drums off and retracted the star adjuster fully and am trying to determine if it is doing what it is supposed to be doing. As I understand it, the little metal lever on the rear shoe is supposed to lift upward and turn the adjuster one click at a time if the shoe does not make contact with the drum. When I pull on the parking brake bellcrank, the shoe moves, but the metal tab hardly moves at all and therefore does not advance the star adjuster. I can move the adjuster easily by hand, so it is not seized. Shouldn't the adjuster continue to adjust as I keep tugging on the bellcrank? Does it sound like something is wrong with that lever piece?
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Old 09-13-15, 12:21 PM
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Yes..... the part with the arrow lifts, catches the adjuster and pulls it down. It's a very slow process. I've never put much faith in the auto adjusters. There is a rubber plug that you pull out of the backing plate and adjust thru there.

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Old 09-13-15, 02:12 PM
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My Tundra is actually a slightly different design, even from what they show in the Haynes manual. The adjuster lever is on the back of the rear shoe. I think I finally determined what the problem was. The end of the adjuster that straddles the rear shoe and adjuster lever was binding on the shoe so that the adjuster could not slide back far enough to push on the lever, which therefore could not advance the star wheel. I filed down the notch on the shoe a little and greased it up real well and everything seems to be working now. Time will tell. I'll post back in a few thousand miles.
Old 09-13-15, 02:21 PM
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Most adjusters work when in reverse. Push brake pedal and shoes lock on drum and will rotate slightly. When shoes wear down enough it will click adjuster. Your's may work different been many years since I have worked on one of your type.
Old 10-08-15, 09:22 PM
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The adjusters on newer vehicles are placed on top and are adjusted by and access hole on the backing plate or by pulling the parking brake several times while pushing on the brake pedal. Older vehicles gm, ford, chrysler have the adjuster on the bottom and adjusted by reversing. Moving it on top and attatching to parking brake ended that.. what I do is adjust the shoes where I can get 3 clicks on the parking brake..
Old 10-17-15, 02:29 AM
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I have no idea on a Toyota .

After a brake job ( GM ) , I adjust the brakes as tight as I can get them and still get the drum back on .

Then I back up , hit the brake petal . Repeat as many times as needed .

Honestly , I drive vehicles with an automatic transmission . I put the vehicle in park and NEVER use the parking brake . The only time it is used is during state inspection ( if they even check it then ? ) .

God bless

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