Rear drum brake adjusters won't adjust - HondaCivicForum.com


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Old 12-20-2008, 12:00 AM
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Unhappy Rear drum brake adjusters won't adjust

I have always had difficulty getting the rear drum brakes on my '95 Civic LX to work right. I've got the 4 door sedan w/automatic, non-ABS brakes. The adjusters do not seem to work properly. I have had the brakes completely apart, replaced all springs and the adjusters themselves, cleaned out and lubricated the adjuster threads. The starwheel moves easily when adjusting manually, the starwheel ratchet is in contact and clicks when turned. I have tried the back-up-and-jam-on-brakes adjustment technique, doesn't make the adjusters move. I get the shoes adjusted as far out/snugged up as I can without too much drag, so I won't overheat the brakes/wear them out.

At normal temps, they are OK, but on cold mornings, the drums make a lot of scraping noise for the first few minutes , until the drums warm up and expand enough to allow clearance, that's how close I have them adjusted. If I adjust them too loosely, the parking brake has too much travel, and my brake pedal goes way down because the shoes are expanding farther.

Not leaking or losing brake fluid anywhere in the system. Drums sound like they are very slightly, but not badly, out of round, no scratches/scoring. No pedal pulsation, can squeal both back tires and stop straight using the handbrake.

Any ideas how to get the adjusters to do their job? May need to try turning the drums lightly and true them, but I think the problem lies elsewhere.
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Old 12-20-2008, 07:47 AM
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Sounds like you just need to adjust the parking brake cable.
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by RonJ View Post
Sounds like you just need to adjust the parking brake cable.
I have adjusted the parking brake cable, but it was never putting any tension on the adjuster when released that would cause it to fail to advance. I get about 5-6 clicks when I apply the handbrake to park.

I have always wanted to have rear discs and get rid of drums forever. Don't know if it's possible/worth the $$$ on a '95 Civic with 186K miles. It still needs a paint job to fix paint wear-through and "athlete's fender" in various places, where the paint is just plain flaking off like dead skin.

Last edited by gkitf16; 12-20-2008 at 05:51 PM. Reason: More ideas/comments
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Old 12-21-2008, 07:28 PM
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Are you sure the brake adjuster mechanism is reassembled correctly (see diagrams below)? Have you greased the indicated contact points? If so, try purchasing new drums or have the current drums turned.



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Old 01-01-2009, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkitf16 View Post
I have always had difficulty getting the rear drum brakes on my '95 Civic LX to work right. I've got the 4 door sedan w/automatic, non-ABS brakes. The adjusters do not seem to work properly. I have had the brakes completely apart, replaced all springs and the adjusters themselves, cleaned out and lubricated the adjuster threads. The starwheel moves easily when adjusting manually, the starwheel ratchet is in contact and clicks when turned. I have tried the back-up-and-jam-on-brakes adjustment technique, doesn't make the adjusters move. I get the shoes adjusted as far out/snugged up as I can without too much drag, so I won't overheat the brakes/wear them out.

At normal temps, they are OK, but on cold mornings, the drums make a lot of scraping noise for the first few minutes , until the drums warm up and expand enough to allow clearance, that's how close I have them adjusted. If I adjust them too loosely, the parking brake has too much travel, and my brake pedal goes way down because the shoes are expanding farther.

Not leaking or losing brake fluid anywhere in the system. Drums sound like they are very slightly, but not badly, out of round, no scratches/scoring. No pedal pulsation, can squeal both back tires and stop straight using the handbrake.

Any ideas how to get the adjusters to do their job? May need to try turning the drums lightly and true them, but I think the problem lies elsewhere.
Don't turn drums. It makes the circumference different from that of the shoes, which reduces the contact surface. Turning is best left for rotors and flywheels, if they have enough material to remain within spec.

Check the assembly again. Check the adjustment by hand. It should be smooth. Keep an eye out for worn/bent/damaged components, especially the star teeth.
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2000, adjusters, adjustment, automatic, brake, break, cable, civic, diy, drum, forum, honda, parking, rear, starwheel

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