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Best guess adjusting drum brakes?

Discussion in '6.9L IH & 7.3L IDI Diesels' started by Cubey, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. typ4

    typ4 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Before you pull that all apart jack up a wheel ,tighten up the brakes with the adjuster until the wheel is locked solid then you have to push the star wheel holder away with a super thin screwdriver or a piece of stiff welding rod back it off enough clicks until you can turn the wheel with a slight drag. Do that on both sides you'll be amazed at the difference. You need to have 1/16 to 1/8 of play between the master cylinder piston and the push rod in the booster or the brakes will drag and you will have a low pedal because the master cylinder never returns to come back and fill up with fluid.
     
  2. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    If I had a second 22 ton jack stand then I could have both sides up at once with it in N (with front wheels chocked) but I only have one. I don't trust the ratcheting stands, plus 12 ton stands are too tall. 6 ton would be questionable for this heavyass RV. A pin style 22 ton stand set to the lowest height is perfect for this RV, and I don't worry about it breaking or falling. I don't really want to have to buy a second $100 stand, when I can pay nothing by just removing the lug nuts and wheel simulator center piece to pull the axle shaft.

    upload_2020-10-7_21-13-2.png

    I have a USA made proper brake spoon and a small old Craftsman Philips screwdriver that work great for the star wheel. Not sure why they seem to turn opposite from how the Chilton manual says though. Maybe somebody put the adjusters on the wrong sides. Wasn't me... I had each side apart one at a time. Maybe that's why it's not self adjusting. I guess I should have just replaced them too since they aren't very expensive.

    So, I might just have to totally take them apart for a THIRD time so I can replace the freaking self adjuster screws and plates. At least it'll be all new and hopefully adjusted right and have self adjusting working.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  3. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    Can anyone confirm if this is right or wrong in terms of the direction to expand the brake shoes? These books do get things wrong sometimes. My star wheels turn the other way to expand. I'm guessing it's a case of a screw up by that awful shop that did the hydraulic work that left off the coiled spring above the self adjuster screw in the diagram below. I couldn't have done it since I only had one side apart at a time due to only having the one 22 ton jack stand.

    1007202213.jpg


    I know I put them back on correctly... with the exposed thread ends facing towards the front of the vehicle. That's how the manual shows:

    upload_2020-10-7_22-18-13.png


    Dunno what vehicle this guy has but his turn like mine do. (jump to 3:45. OB wont let me post a link with the timestamp jump)


    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  4. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    I hate to blow $30 on another tool but these are supposed to make it so you never almost have to mess with the star wheel from the outside to get the shoes adjusted when installing new shows. You measure the inside of the drum with the caliper and then use that measurement to adjust the star wheel for the shoes with the drum removed, then install the drum and you're done:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/K-D-KD-Too...688911?hash=item217938d6cf:g:9VsAAOSwKFlfd4I~

    One in use:


    EDIT: I submitted a $25 best offer and they accepted. $25 is still less than paying a shop to do brake work and I have a very handy tool to show for it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2020
  5. gandalf

    gandalf Senior Member

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    I think I see what you're saying, but let me play it back. You measure the internal diameter of the drum, and somehow use that measurement to adjust and set the star wheel. Right? They're saying that will put the shoes exactly where you want them, so you have only to slip the drum over the shoes, which will be a tight fit, and you're done, other than mount the wheel again. How will this work if your drums are worn and have a lip on the outer edge. That lip may not allow the drum to slip over the already adjusted shoes. If the shoes are supposed to be adjusted to the point where they barely drag on the drum, then that lip may prevent the drum from sliding over the shoes.

    I'd be a little leary of this procedure at the best of times. A couple clicks on the star wheel will barely move the shoes. I don't see how you can mathematically measure and adjust so precisely that it won't need tweaking after the drum goes on.

    Am I missing something, or do I simply not have enough faith?
     
  6. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    The idea is that you can get it about 99% right without having to mess with the star wheel through the hole on the backing plate. If self adjusting is working properly, the rest should auto correct. Or you can do a tiny bit of adjusting of the star wheel after the drum is on if needed.

    If you have a lip on the drum, measure from there or have the drum turned.

    I have a full floating dually Dana 70 that requires the entire wheel hub and a drum as one assembly to be removed to get at the shoes, so it's a heavy chunk of metal to have to repeatedly lift and install if I try to adjust it without that special brake resetting caliper. I also have to install the outer bearing and spindle nut before I can spin the drum, so it's best to minimize the amount of times that has to be done.

    EDIT: In addition, the Chilton manual actually tells you to use that type of tool to adjust the shoes before installing the drum:

    upload_2020-10-8_11-34-17.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
  7. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    I wonder if the reason the drums got so hot was because the shoes weren't out enough, rather than too much. The backing plate only got hot at the top but the drum all over. Maybe only the upper part of the shoes were contacting, hence too much pedal travel and poor braking, making all the heat concentrate at the top of the backing plate and making the drum get hot from too much heat on the top of shoes.

    Well, I'm still gonna go back in a third time and replace the self adjuster screws and plates. It's costing me more since I bought some of the other self adjuster hardware already separately because I'm such a big dork about drum brakes. I thought the screws were expensive for some stupid reason.

    But again, it's still all cheaper than a shop and I know I'm not leaving springs off or leaving foreign bits of metal in the drums like shops have done to me. I can also look at the shoes and see if they suffered any major damage/wear.

    At least the shoes don't have to come off for the self adjusting screws so it won't be too much work to swap them out. I can have a good look over everything again to be sure I didn't mess up something else. I'll try to remember to take pics before the drums go back on so I can look back at the work done at a later time.

    EDIT: The self adjusting kits (screws and all) are on order for pickup on Saturday at nearest O'Reilly. $21.xx total with tax for both sides. If for some reason I decide I don't need them, I'll return them. I'll compare one in the sealed bag to the one on the first side I take apart, which should tell me if the screws got put on he wrong sides by someone (hence them ratcheting the wrong way). Being not very expensive and so old, they can probably stand to be replaced regardless while I'm in there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2020
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  8. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    I picked up the self adjusting repair kits today. Based on the screws in them, the Chilton manual is WRONG! They have to turn opposite from how diagram shows to expand the brake shows. The diagram shows how to retract the shoes but says expand. I thought that was suspect since it shows a screwdriver pushing the plate.

    The top of the screw has to be turned toward the differential, just like the guy's video shows.

    The new ones are color coded (silver is LH, gold is RH side) and the plates say L/R.

    I'll just replace them anyway since the old screws are nearly 36 years old with 73k miles on them, and I want to use that brake resetting tool to 99% adjust the shoes and have self adjusting all fresh and new.. and hopefully working.

    I'm glad I went with the reusable ratcheting spindle nut upgrades over the nylok/wedge ones!
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
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  9. typ4

    typ4 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    My head hurts.
    As long as the the ratchet holds the adjustment in the proper direction they are correct.
    The shoes are not arced to the drums perfectly. They cant get it perfect on mass produced shoes. As they wear they will get better.
    I have my shoes line with premium lining and take the drums so they can perfectly arc the shoes to the drum.
    Hard pedal, awesome brakes right off the stands.
    But I went to mechanic college under a different set of rules. Used to be every brake lathe had a shoe arcer on it.
     
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  10. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    Don't tell me... the brake shoes themselves are made wrong? The tab isn't very tall there, making the lever bit ride on top of the secondary shoe (rear, left side in pic. It makes it get stuck. It has worn the primary/front brake shoe some.

    20201017_130029.jpg

    20201017_131103.jpg

    20201017_113710.jpg
     
  11. gandalf

    gandalf Senior Member

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    Here's a picture for comparison. This is the rear passenger side of my '92 CC Dualie. The black think I'm holding on the left is a flashlight, not part of the brakes. DSCF0416.JPG
     
  12. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    Yep. That looks right.

    This is the angled stock photo for the Centric 112.03580 shoes. It's hard to tell but it sorts looks reversed from the ones I have. Just a bad design or I got a bad set? I am probably SOL on them but I will try emailing the maker, since it's long beyond Amazon return's window. I didn't want to try buying another set even if it's free shipping and free returns. I just don't want the hassle.

    [​IMG]

    The drawing for them shows this, having big obvious tabs sticking upward. It's like they changed the design of the actual product so they don't work right now. Yes, they should be right for the vehicle. Note that it has "358" in the model number, that tells me they are right. (the prefix is Centric numbering and the two zeros are too)

    [​IMG]

    Because... I went to O'Reilly and bought the cheap "358" shoes they had in stock. USA made, bonded (instead of riveted), with what looks like less shoe lining than the Centric severe duty shoes, but they have the proper tall tabs and are lifetime warranty:

    upload_2020-10-17_14-48-57.png

    upload_2020-10-17_14-47-45.png

    Gonna get some lunch then go back outside and put them on, at least on one side that's already apart. I might have to the other side tomorrow, if daylight runs out,
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020
  13. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    I got the RH side done but had to quit due to daylight starting to run short. That's fine, it's supposed to be clear again tomorrow, just a bit warmer and more humid.

    Before I noticed the screwed up brake shoes, I had installed the new self adjuster screw, lever, and spring. I didn't see that it was clicking ANY when I was playing with the parking brake arm with the bad Centric brake shoes even with that new hardware. In fact it was almost purposely trying not to work.

    Check it out with the Brake Best shoes from O'Reilly. The video starts with a static pic of the assembly with the BestBrake shoes for 5 secs, then cuts to video:



    Yep, that's working properly. In theory, it should also work under hydraulic braking.

    I'm gonna send pics to Centric of the shoes once I get the other pair off, and claim warranty on them. Maybe they'll send me a replacement set at no cost that I can keep for spares or sell or whatever.

    I adjusted the star wheel a bit after I put the drum on (but before the axle shaft was installed) so it's pretty good now, I feel. Not too tight, not too loose. That brake resetting caliper tool did help a lot for getting it ballpark close. Was it worth $25? Maybe not, but I did notice something with the Centric shoes thanks to it, it seemed like they were wider on the outside edge than they were on the inside, but they don't look to be. So it's like they weren't sitting on the backing plate properly. Another flaw in the design? I didn't notice that with the BestBrake ones. So yeah, I'm never buying brake shoes/pads online again. I'll buy the cheapest ones with a lifetime warranty instead before I buy cheaper online priced "severe duty" ones.
     
  14. Cubey

    Cubey Full timer RVer

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    Well I got the other side done. Braking is way better. I need to back the LH shoes off the drum just a bit since the drum is just a bit too hot to keep my finger pressed against for more than a few seconds. RH side is very warm but I can leave my finger on it just fine.

    But that makes me think there is also something wrong up front. It wasn't lurching forward like you would expect with only front brakes, when the rears were screwed up. Since properly working rear brakes makes it stop better, that is very suspicious. It feels like it's stopping from the rear also. When I first went to drive it today, I did notice a minor squeak from the front LH brake pads when braking in the driveway testing going forward and backwards before I pulled out into the street.

    After only a few miles of test driving, the front calipers are rather warm. I can keep my hand on them so they aren't burning hot but they are noticeably warm. Dragging calipers due to a leak? The fluid looks like it might have dropped a tiny bit since I refilled it a couple weeks ago.

    A neighbor has a pneumatic brake bleeder so we are gonna look around for leaks and if we see none, try bleeding out any air. I might have to replace the calipers at $50/each! Although, I think I have some caliper repair kits I bought for the F250 but never opened or used and they cross reference to fit my E350. I had to replace the F250's calipers because they had weird calipers that I couldn't get new bleeder screws for and the ones on it were just plugs, not actual bleeders.

    The calipers on it are less than 2 years old from that crappy shop near Tulsa that did the hydraulic system flush and replacement parts but that does me no good here.

    EDIT: Looks like I rebuilt one caliper on the F250 back in 2017 since there is one sealed kit and one set of old used seals. Yep, same exact part # as for the E350. So, I ordered a second set of seals for $8.xx on crapazon. I have a free prime trial right now, so it'll be here Tuesday. A couple dollars less than retail and I don't have to go anywhere to get it. Free returns if I somehow don't need it. That beats $50/each for rebuilt calipers since these aren't very old.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020

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