- Block the front wheels. Raise the rear of the car and support the car with safety stands. Make sure the parking brake is not on.
- To check the rear brakes, remove the lug nuts that attach the wheels to the axle shaft and remove the tires and wheels from the car. Pull the brake drum off the axle shaft. If the brakes are adjusted too tightly to remove the drum, refer to Step 3, otherwise skip to Step 4.
- If the brakes are too tight to remove the drum, move under the car (make sure you have safety stands under the car to support it) and remove the rubber plug from the bottom of the brake backing plate. Shine a flashlight into the slot in the plate. You will see the top of the adjusting screw star wheel and the adjusting lever for the automatic brake adjusting mechanism. To back off the adjusting screw, you must first insert a small, thin screwdriver or a piece of firm wire (coat hanger wire) into the adjusting slot and push the adjusting lever away from the adjusting screw. Insert a brake adjusting spoon into the slot and engage the top of the star wheel. Lift the bottom of the adjusting spoon to force the adjusting screw star wheel downward. Repeat this operation until the brake drum is free of the brake shoes and can be pulled off. See the brake adjustment procedure for an illustration.
- Clean the brake shoes and the inside of the brake drum. There must be at least 1 / 32 in. of brake lining above the heads of the brake shoe attaching rivets. The lining should not be cracked or contaminated with grease or brake fluid. If there is grease or brake fluid on the lining, it must be replaced and the source of the leak must be found and corrected. Brake fluid on the lining means leaking wheel cylinders. Grease on the brake lining means a leaking axle seal (rear brakes). If the lining is slightly glazed but otherwise in good condition, it can be cleaned with medium grit sandpaper. Lift the bottom of the wheel cylinder boots and inspect the ends of the wheel cylinders. A small amount of fluid in the end of the cylinders should be considered normal. If fluid runs out of the cylinder when the boots are lifted, however, the wheel cylinder must be rebuilt or replaced. Examine the inside of the brake drum. It should have a smooth, dull finish. If excessive brake shoe wear has caused grooves to wear in the drum, it must be machined or replaced. If the inside of the drum is slightly glazed, but otherwise in good condition, it can be cleaned with medium grit sandpaper.
- If no repairs are required, install the drum and wheel. If the brake adjustment was changed to remove the drum, adjust the brakes until the drum will just fit over the brake shoes. After the wheel is installed it will be necessary to complete the adjustment. Refer to the brake adjustment procedure later in this section.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
If you are not thoroughly familiar with the procedures involved in brake replacement, disassemble and assemble only one side at a time, leaving the other wheel intact as a reference.
- Remove the brake drum. Refer to the inspection procedure earlier in this section.
- Place the hollow end of a brake spring service tool (available at auto parts stores) on the brake shoe anchor pin and twist it to disengage one of the brake retracting springs. Repeat this operation to remove the other spring.
- Reach behind the brake backing plate and place a finger on the end of one of the brake hold-down spring mounting pins. Using a pair of pliers, grasp the washer on the top of the hold-down spring which corresponds to the pin that you are holding. Push down on the pliers and turn them 90° to align the slot in the washer with the head on the spring mounting pin. Remove the spring and washer, then repeat this operation on the hold-down spring on the other brake shoe.
- Place the tip of a prytool or brake adjusting spoon on the top of the brake adjusting screw, then move the tool upward to lift up on the brake adjusting lever. When there is enough slack in the automatic adjuster cable, disconnect the loop on the top of the cable from the anchor pin. Grasp the top of each brake shoe and move it outward to disengage it from the wheel cylinder (and parking brake link on the rear wheels). When the brake shoes are clear, lift them from the backing plate. Twist the shoes slightly and the automatic adjuster assembly will disassemble itself.
- Grasp the end of the brake cable spring with a pair of pliers and, using the brake lever as a fulcrum, pull the end of the spring away from the lever. Disengage the cable from the brake lever.
- The brake cable must be connected to the secondary brake shoe before the shoe is installed on the backing plate. To do this, first transfer the parking brake lever from the old secondary shoe to the new one. This is accomplished by spreading the bottom of the horseshoe clip and disengaging the lever. Position the lever on the new secondary shoe and install the spring washer and the horseshoe clip. Close the bottom of the clip after installing it. Grasp the metal tip of the parking brake cable with a pair of pliers. Position a pair of side cutters on the end of the cable coil spring and, using the pliers as a fulcrum, pull the coil spring back with the side cutters. Position the cable in the parking brake lever.
- Apply a light coating of high-temperature grease to the brake shoe contact points on the backing plate. Position the primary brake shoe on the front of the backing plate and install the hold-down spring and washer over the mounting pin. Install the secondary shoe on the rear of the backing plate.
- Install the parking brake link between the notch in the primary brake shoe and the notch in the parking brake lever.
- Install the automatic adjuster cable loop end on the anchor pin. Make sure the crimped side of the loop faces the backing plate.
- Install the return spring in the primary brake shoe and, using the tapered end of a brake spring service tool, slide the top of the spring onto the anchor pin.
- Install the automatic adjuster cable guide in the secondary brake shoe, making sure the flared hole in the cable guide is inside the hole in the brake shoe. Fit the cable into the groove in the top of the cable guide.
- Install the secondary shoe return spring through the hole in the cable guide and the brake shoe. Using the brake spring tool, slide the top of the spring onto the anchor pin.
- Clean the threads on the adjusting screw and apply a light coating of high-temperature grease to the threads. Screw the adjuster closed, then open it one-half turn.
- Install the adjusting screw between the brake shoes with the star wheel nearest to the secondary shoe. Make sure the star wheel is in a position that is accessible from the adjusting slot in the backing plate.
- Install the short hooked end of the automatic adjuster spring in the proper hole in the primary brake shoe.
- Connect the hooked end of the automatic adjuster cable and the free end of the automatic adjuster spring in the slot in the top of the automatic adjuster lever.
- Pull the automatic adjuster lever (the lever will pull the cable and spring with it) downward and to the left and engage the pivot hook of the lever in the hole in the secondary brake shoe.
- Check the entire brake assembly to make sure everything is installed properly. Make sure the shoes engage the wheel cylinder properly and are flush on the anchor pin. Make sure the automatic adjuster cable is flush on the anchor pin and in the slot on the back on cable guide. Make sure the adjusting lever rests on the adjusting screw star wheel. Pull upward on the adjusting cable until the adjusting lever is free of the star wheel, then release the cable. The adjusting lever should snap back into place on the adjusting screw star wheel and turn the wheel one tooth.
- Expand the brake adjusting screw until the brake drum will just fit over the brake shoes.
- Install the wheel and drum and adjust the brakes.
- Raise the car and support it safely on jackstands.
- Remove the rubber plug from the adjusting slot on the backing plate.
- Insert a brake adjusting spoon into the slot and engage the lowest tooth on the star wheel possible. Move the end of the brake spoon downward to move the star wheel upward and expand the adjusting screw. Repeat this operation until the brakes lock the wheel.
- Insert a small prytool or piece of firm wire (coat hanger wire) into the adjusting slot and push the automatic adjuster lever out and free of the star wheel on the adjusting screw.
- Holding the adjusting lever out of the way, engage the topmost tooth possible on the star wheel with the brake adjusting spoon. Move the end of the adjusting spoon upward to move the adjusting screw downward and contract the adjusting screw. Back the adjustment off until the wheel spins freely with a slight amount of drag. Keep track of the number of turns the star wheel is backed off.
- Repeat this operation on the other side of the car. When backing off the brakes on the other side, the star wheel must be backed off the same number of turns to prevent side-to-side brake pull.