Rear Drum Brake Question - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-10-2021, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
kerian159
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Rear Drum Brake Question

I went to adjust my rear brakes this past weekend and the piece that holds the star from backing off the self-adjustment was not engaging correctly. I took the wheel off and looked inside and everything looked correct, but the only way I could get it to engage was to pull the cable that runs down to that piece and tighten it up a bit. Does this make any sense to any of you guys? If you have questions I'll try to describe things better (I didn't get any pictures).


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post #2 of 17 Old 05-10-2021, 08:30 AM
CJ7-Tim
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I often find that cheap crappy Chinese drum brake hardware kits fit and function poorly. I would suspect that is the problem. Often the cable and spring assembly is too long or the star wheel arm is not the correct shape.

I either check/adjust the drum brakes every oil change, or pick up better quality drum brake hardware from the junkyard.


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post #3 of 17 Old 05-10-2021, 08:36 AM Thread Starter
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It appears that the cable is too long so I guess I'll be searching for a new brake kit (just replaced this last oct.)

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post #4 of 17 Old 05-10-2021, 12:31 PM
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I don't think that cable makes any difference. Last time I did the rear brakes they were both broken, so I discarded them as never known XJ (or any other) so-called "self adjusters" to work.

I like CJ-Tim's adjustment routine but it's too organised/disciplined for me - & I don't think they need doing that often. I just do mine for inspection each year, unless it becomes obvious the e-break's not holding as well as it might or the lever's coming up far too high.
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-12-2021, 08:16 PM
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I have had good luck with adjusters but I also use antisieze at all the contact points.
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-13-2021, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
kerian159
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The adjusters work, I'm just not getting the click part to lock into it correctly.

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post #7 of 17 Old 05-15-2021, 06:28 AM
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Could always pull the disc brakes from a ZJ or Liberty (depending on axle) and upgrade. Then you don't have to worry about the adjuster at all other than the initial setup for the internal drum parking brake.

One day of work definitely beats out messing with drum brakes for the rest of the vehicle's life, at least if you ask me it is.
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-15-2021, 09:44 AM
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Of all the things I have had problems with over the years the Drum brakes are not the issue that has been recurrent. on my XJ's. I mean I do check them when changing to winter studs, Maybe a clean and Move them around to check for binding, add a bit of antisieze where needed, but that is kinda it Until I need to turn and replace shoes every 80- 100K or so.

I live in the mountains and tend to run very heavy 99.9 % of the time with lots of stuff in the Jeep.

I didn't know this was a "Thing".
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-15-2021, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyNB View Post
Could always pull the disc brakes from a ZJ or Liberty (depending on axle) and upgrade. Then you don't have to worry about the adjuster at all other than the initial setup for the internal drum parking brake.

One day of work definitely beats out messing with drum brakes for the rest of the vehicle's life, at least if you ask me it is.
That's not strictly true, you'd still have to adjust them once a year pre-inspection (at least, we would).

That said, always wanted rear discs on the XJ's - 'til I did a rear brake overhaul on a WJ! Never again!!
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-15-2021, 01:00 PM
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I have never known self-adjusters to work right. If they did all you need to do is go backwards and hit the brakes hard several times until they tighten up. That "should" adjust them but never does. I remove the self adjusters on all my cars. I can tell the drums need adjusting when my hand brake travel gets excessive. Then I just raise up the rear and adjust them.

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post #11 of 17 Old 05-15-2021, 01:39 PM
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I dunno, Maybe it's because I pull the drums when I swap tires twice a year and check them and do minor clean, Maybe because I back down a hill everyday. Dunno, hasn't been my problem.
They seem to work fine for me.
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post #12 of 17 Old 05-15-2021, 06:01 PM
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Between road salt ruining everything but the tires, and cheap Chinese brake parts kits, I just gave up and adjust the drum brakes as needed when changing oil and/or rotating tires. The only rust free Jeeps I see are new or brought in from elsewhere.

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post #13 of 17 Old 05-16-2021, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourspeedman View Post
I have never known self-adjusters to work right. If they did all you need to do is go backwards and hit the brakes hard several times until they tighten up. That "should" adjust them but never does. I remove the self adjusters on all my cars. I can tell the drums need adjusting when my hand brake travel gets excessive. Then I just raise up the rear and adjust them.
Never knew the self-adjustment was meant to work like that, but rather by use of the hand brake; which is why automatics nearly always fail inspection on hand brake - 'cos last time lever was pulled up was the previous year's inspection! Although I discarded the self-adjusters on my '97, when doing a complete overhaul, that was because the cables were broken but removing them almost as a matter pf principle just seems like an extra job that doesn't need doing. However, I'm totally in agreement about knowing when they need doing (if only they were all as easy as XJ's)
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post #14 of 17 Old 05-16-2021, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Wyo View Post
. . . Maybe because I back down a hill everyday. . . .
Now that's interesting, in light of Fourspeedman's explanation of how the self-adjusters are supposed to work.
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post #15 of 17 Old 05-16-2021, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UKXJ View Post
Now that's interesting, in light of Fourspeedman's explanation of how the self-adjusters are supposed to work.
I always knew that was how they worked, but I don't jam on the brakes as I back down, but I DO firmly apply them for stopping.

and we DO NOT use road salt.
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