DRUM Brake Overhaul - Now, for something totally different...

oldbee

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
10,182
Reaction score
10,303
Location
NE Ohio
Forget, miles on Fred? I forget.
 

Kern Dog

Life is full of turns. Build your car to handle.
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
9:41 PM
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
26,495
Reaction score
77,758
Location
Granite Bay CA
Good to have you back.
You were missed.
I read from Rick Ehrenberg that the darker the shoes, usually the better the quality of the linings. I have absolutely no personal experience to verify this though.
One thing that I did once was to alter my brake pedal ratio. I drilled another hole in the brake pedal lever above the stock hole. I did the math way back then and don't recall the numbers BUT it really made a difference in the effort versus brake response. When I converted to this 5 speed, the new brake pedal to pushrod connection was back to the stock location and I lost that advantage.
 

Kern Dog

Life is full of turns. Build your car to handle.
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
9:41 PM
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
26,495
Reaction score
77,758
Location
Granite Bay CA
During the evening shower, sometimes the mind wanders and ideas form in my head.
If I end up moving to Tennessee, ALL my cars will come with me, including THIS one:

CH LF.jpg

Do you remember the name I gave this car? (Ginger)
Fred would have a dancing partner!
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
13,840
Reaction score
23,111
Location
On the Ridge, TN
During the evening shower, sometimes the mind wanders and ideas form in my head.
If I end up moving to Tennessee, ALL my cars will come with me, including THIS one:

View attachment 1121097
Do you remember the name I gave this car? (Ginger)
Fred would have a dancing partner!
Ha, wouldn't that be something? :thumbsup:
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
13,840
Reaction score
23,111
Location
On the Ridge, TN
Input/opinions based on the pics of existing so far, please?
For example, if a wheel cylinder looks to be doing fine - do I replace it anyways?

One thing that may or may not matter that I noticed right away on the teardown:
the left rear drum was tougher to get off at first, had noticeable amounts of brake dust in it
vs. the right side, which flopped right off by hand and had little/no dust residue in it.
It appears both adjusters were not bottomed out and had at least been doing some adjusting,
just not the same amounts apparently.
I'm sure the shoes can't have been American made, but it looked like the hardware was original
(amazing, really) and both drums appeared to have been replaced at the same time (I refuse to
believe they're originals).
 

The Rebel

Well-Known Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
4,255
Location
SW CT
Thanks for the documentation! My breaks suck, a PO put in the purple cam and I draw so little vacuum that I need a external pump. I've had my breaks looked at but I have a feeling that if I get better shoes & pads I'll have a better breaks.
 

Kern Dog

Life is full of turns. Build your car to handle.
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
9:41 PM
Joined
Apr 13, 2012
Messages
26,495
Reaction score
77,758
Location
Granite Bay CA
If your brakes break, that is no good.
I don't replace wheel cylinders if they are dry and functioning.
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
13,840
Reaction score
23,111
Location
On the Ridge, TN
If your brakes break, that is no good.
I don't replace wheel cylinders if they are dry and functioning.
I'm inclined to think the same - and although there is some self-pressure to install the newly
fetched ones "just because", it won't harm a thing to shelve them in the inventory for now, either.

In fact, this whole process could be performed in phases, in between cruise-ins or what have you.
I believe I'll go that route this week, since we have a local cruise-in Friday. I'll get the new rear shoes and hardware installed, then drive the car that way to see where we're at. :thumbsup:
 

MWFan

Well-Known Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
192
Reaction score
351
Location
East Tennessee
I'm inclined to think the same - and although there is some self-pressure to install the newly
fetched ones "just because", it won't harm a thing to shelve them in the inventory for now, either.

In fact, this whole process could be performed in phases, in between cruise-ins or what have you.
I believe I'll go that route this week, since we have a local cruise-in Friday. I'll get the new rear shoes and hardware installed, then drive the car that way to see where we're at. :thumbsup:

Just read through this, and as Johnny come (back) lately to this thread I will mention that when these cars were new the braking systems were quite adequate. My recollection was that the switch to discs was to reduce heat fade, which my memory tells me usually happened when I was exiting from one of those newfangled interstate superslabs at a lawfully unacceptable rate of travel going downhill. Otherwise they worked pretty darn well.
Having done my '63 Chevy C10 truck drums recently, I will say that they are not comparable to the wife's 2013 Malibu, but they do get that $#!t stopped. I bought all 4 cylinders and used 3. One had not leaked yet...
One thing I'm not sure you do or even if it is correct but a little dab of grease on the pivot points seems to help.
Hope to see you and Fred Friday.
Bernie
 

oldbee

FBBO Gold Member
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
Oct 15, 2011
Messages
10,182
Reaction score
10,303
Location
NE Ohio
Just read through this, and as Johnny come (back) lately to this thread I will mention that when these cars were new the braking systems were quite adequate. My recollection was that the switch to discs was to reduce heat fade, which my memory tells me usually happened when I was exiting from one of those newfangled interstate superslabs at a lawfully unacceptable rate of travel going downhill. Otherwise they worked pretty darn well.
Having done my '63 Chevy C10 truck drums recently, I will say that they are not comparable to the wife's 2013 Malibu, but they do get that $#!t stopped. I bought all 4 cylinders and used 3. One had not leaked yet...
One thing I'm not sure you do or even if it is correct but a little dab of grease on the pivot points seems to help.
Hope to see you and Fred Friday.
Bernie
^^^1 on the above!
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
13,840
Reaction score
23,111
Location
On the Ridge, TN
One thing I'm not sure you do or even if it is correct but a little dab of grease on the pivot points seems to help.
Hope to see you and Fred Friday.
Bernie
Yep, sure will - and yes sir, Fred, the misses and I will be there unless the weather goes to pot.
Thanks, Bernie! :thumbsup:
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
13,840
Reaction score
23,111
Location
On the Ridge, TN
Well, so much for the (now cancelled) cruise-in. Weather's been uncooperative....
oh well, back to work on Fred this weekend after one hell of a rough work week. :thumbsup:
 

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
13,840
Reaction score
23,111
Location
On the Ridge, TN
FINALLY!
Work has been nuts. Add to that a pretty intense medical testing round of pokin' and probin' the last
couple weeks PLUS a nice healthy suspension from fbbo and here we are. :)

Today, I decided mid-afternoon to just say "fluck it" and head to the garage; enough is enough.
One good thing about Fred sitting there on jack stands in the back, wheels and drums off, was that
if there had been any leaks from anything back there, they would have manifested themselves by now.
Thankfully - there were none.
Ok, let's hose everything down with Brakleen and see if I can remember how to do this....

Reminder - this car had only the star wheel adjusters on it, which were supposedly held in place by
the cross-spring directly above them - a system that proved so unreliable that Mopar went to the fancier
self-adjusters next time in the cycle ('69 for some sizes, '70 in the case of 11" drums like on Fred).
Not only was I going to be replacing linings and hardware and such, I would be converting it to the
more modern self-adjusters - and hoping the combination of Wagner, Mopar, Eis and Porterfield branded
stuff would work together in doing so.
As it turned out today - yep, it all worked, quite well, with only minor tweaks needed here and there. :)

existing rear brakes right.jpg
Here's what I started with (passenger side shown) - typical ratty old brakes, relined and with the metal actually
heavily pitted and painted over with some manner of glossy black whatever to try and hide it.
They were so out of round that parts of them weren't even making contact with the drum:
old rear shoes1.jpg
Just cheap, crappy shoes - but at least they had plenty of meat left, so they didn't score the drums.
The hardware actually looked original!
Well, off came all that crap, followed by a good scrubbing of the backing plate, etc.
Note: Of both the new hardware kits and the self-adjuster kits I bought, neither contained a new parking brake
cross bar or the diamond-shaped heavy washer that goes over the top post and up against the shoes.
Fortunately, both are quite heavy and were cleaned up to be re-used.

Tools at the ready and parts at hand, I went at it with new stuff - and short of the shoe retainers (dumbass me
lost my specialty tool for these, which WILL get replaced before I tackle the fronts!) things went quite well
considering the aforementioned mixing of brands as well as the upgrading of the hardware:
rt rear assembled.jpg
(Picture is slightly bleached out; camera flash was a little strong in this shot)
Everything went together just like it should (and is shown in the manual)...and as I went, the memories of
brake jobs long ago started coming back to me as well.
The newer design self-adjusters went together great and it was cool to see them functioning before my eyes.
I ran the adjuster up just so the drum went on without a lot of slop, then buttoned it all back up.

CAVEAT: It took a LOT of adjusting to get to that point, indicating the old drums are pretty darn thin.
I'm certainly going to be on the lookout for a deal on some 11x2.5 drums as a result.
The drivers' side went similarly and a bit quicker, now that I remembered how to do things...
Of course, an obligatory quick shot of black on the drum faces was applied as well - hey, Saturday morning brake job by a redneck, remember:
rear drum painted.jpg


Once Fred was all back together and on the ground, I cautiously got in and worked the brake pedal a little
bit - SLOWLY - to see what was what (rear brakes determine pedal, I'm told) and after a couple pumps, I
started hearing the adjusters working!
I hadn't expected that, figuring the car would have to be reversing in order for that to happen - but sure
enough, as quiet as it was in the garage, I could distinctly hear the adjusters clicking away with each pump
of the pedal and the pedal became higher and firmer!
Last thing I checked was the parking brake - no drama there, either.
Sore and nasty from sitting on concrete too long, I called it an evening right there, satisfied.

I reckon the fronts are next!:thumbsup:
(Pics will enlarge if you click on them)
 
Last edited:

moparedtn

Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
May 14, 2011
Messages
13,840
Reaction score
23,111
Location
On the Ridge, TN
Awesome job!
Thanks, but naw....strictly shadetree stuff, honestly.
I am enjoying the process quite a bit though, gotta admit.

Almost forgot a cool discovery yesterday when I was working on Fred:
Previous owner had replaced the rear flex line on the axle, complete with junction
block and hard lines, previous to my buying the car!
I'd never really looked that hard at that particular area under the car before...my dumb.

BTW, it occurs to me that some might want to see step by step on this process?
I thought about it yesterday, then figured I'd be insulting the abilities of others by showing
them - I mean, everyone knows how to do drum brakes at least generally speaking, right?
That said, I'd be fine doing so on the fronts if anyone wants to see it.
 

The Rebel

Well-Known Member
Local time
12:41 AM
Joined
Jul 19, 2016
Messages
2,998
Reaction score
4,255
Location
SW CT
Yea I can see you're having fun. That's what it all about. I don't think you'd be insulting anyone at all.

Passing along knowledge is what it's all about there are some out there that might not have had anyone into cars who are learning as they go. With breaks you don't want any mistakes, go for it.
 

Top