See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4
Drum brakes installed in Ford and Mercury vehicles are self-adjusting. All that is normally required to adjust the brakes is to apply them moderately hard several times while carefully backing the car in reverse. However, if this action proves unsatisfactory, or if it proves necessary to readjust the brakes after replacing the linings or removing the drum, the following procedure may be used.
- Raise the car and safely support it with jackstands.
- Remove the rubber plug from the adjusting slot on the backing plate.
- Insert a brake adjusting spoon or equivalent into the slot and engage the lowest possible tooth on the starwheel. Move the end of the brake spoon downward to move the starwheel 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 starwheel on the adjusting screw.
- Holding the adjusting lever out of the way, engage the topmost tooth possible on the starwheel with a brake adjusting spoon. Move the end of the adjusting spoon upward to move the adjusting screw starwheel downward and contract the adjusting screw. Back off the adjusting screw starwheel until the wheel spins freely with the minimum of drag. Keep track of the number of turns the starwheel is backed off.
- Repeat this operation for the other side. When backing off the brakes on the other side, the adjusting lever must be backed off the same number of turns to prevent side-to-side brake pull.
- When the brakes are correctly adjusted, lower the vehicle and road test. Make several stops, while backing the car, to equalize all of the wheels.
- Check the brake fluid in the master cylinder assembly. Add if necessary.
See Figures 5 and 6
The parking brake should be checked for proper operation every 2 years or 50,000 miles (48,509 km) and adjusted whenever there is slack in the cables. A cable with too much slack will not hold a vehicle on an incline which presents a serious safety hazard. Usually, a rear brake adjustment will restore parking brake efficiency, but if the cables appear loose or stretched when the parking brake is released, adjust as necessary.
The procedure for adjusting the parking brake on all pedal actuated systems is as follows:
- Fully release the parking brake.
- Depress the parking brake pedal one notch from its normal released position. On vacuum release brakes, the first notch is approximately 2 in. (51mm) of travel.
- Taking proper safety precautions, raise the car and place the transmission in NEUTRAL.
- Loosen the equalizer locknut and turn the adjusting nut forward against the equalizer until moderate drag is felt when turning the rear wheels. Tighten the locknut.
- Release the parking brake, making sure that the brake shoes return to the fully released position.
- Lower the car and apply the parking brake. Under normal conditions, the third through fifth notches will hold the car if the brake is adjusted properly.