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So I've cleaned the drum brakes completely, I've had the drums machined. They were pretty shiny and as smooth as an ice skating rink. Now they are looking like they are in great shape. I played with the adjuster to widened the pads. But they might not be tight enough. I don't know how tight is tight. I have to press down on the brakes way too hard to get them to bring me to a stop. WAY TOO HARD, almost to the floor. The pads look like they have plenty of life left in them. Is this a problem of needing to bleed the brakes? Should a adjust the pads even more so that they are tight against the drum? :headscratch:
 

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You should adjust the brakes until there's just a slight drag on the drum. You can then pull the parking brake and release it. This helps get the shoes set in the drum a bit better, then re-check the adjustment. just a slight amount of drag is all you want. Also make sure the imbalance switch in the distribution block is centered ( brake light off, does it work ). Another source of trouble could be the proportioning valve ( only there if you have front disc ). Any leaks around the wheel cylinders? Did you disconnect any brake lines? Bleeding the brakes could also be needed.

Joel
 

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So I've cleaned the drum brakes completely, I've had the drums machined. They were pretty shiny and as smooth as an ice skating rink. Now they are looking like they are in great shape. I played with the adjuster to widened the pads. But they might not be tight enough. I don't know how tight is tight. I have to press down on the brakes way too hard to get them to bring me to a stop. WAY TOO HARD, almost to the floor. The pads look like they have plenty of life left in them. Is this a problem of needing to bleed the brakes? Should a adjust the pads even more so that they are tight against the drum? :headscratch:
Hello T$68,
First, I think there may be a bit of confusion here. You say the drums ae cleaned and shiney. Then you say widening the "pads". I think what you have is probably drum brakes and the brakes are called shoes. No big deal just trying to help.

To adjust the front brakes. Jack up front end. (USE STANDS). Once supported, lay down partially under the car so you can see the adjusting slot. Give the tire a pull to rotate it. The tire will probably keep rotating. This indicates to "Spread the shoes more". Using a brake "spoon" put tool inside slot and push on the star adjuster.
What I do is adjust the space so that the tire rotates about 3/4 revolution with a fairly heafty pull on the tire. You will understand as you do this. Once you get one fron tire down, the other front tire requires the same care.

Now for the rear. This is a bit different because of the rear-end but very similar.
Jack up car. SuPPORT IT, then put the car in neutral. Now do the same type of pull on the tire to rotate it. (You will grab the tire tread at about 12 o'clock on pull down. The rear will feel harder because of the rear-end. But the same principal applies. Make sure the tire has a bit of drag when you are done.

This should get you close and if the self adjusters work, they should balance the brakes themselves.........Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all. These are definitely drum brakes on all four. The rear brake adjustment I will try tomorrow. I never put the car in neutral and never jacked both sides at once. I think this will definitely help. I will let you all know. Thanks again! :bigthumbsup
 

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when you say that you haft to push hard on brakes to get to stop or dose the pedal go down lower than normal if go s down further than normal it is probably the adjusters but if you haft to push harder to get it to stop it is probably not the adjustment my next question is dose the the shoes have a glaze aperenace if so this could be the problem and couse it not to stop easy becouse they got hot and glazed just take some sand paper and remove the glazing sand them a little also do you have a brake booster
 
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