Damn Drums

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Mar 27, 2003
Georgia Tech
Ok I now have 100% brand spankin new 4 wheel drums.  new master cylinder, 8 new slaves, new booster.  When you pump the brakes once or twice and then hit them its stops like you'd think it had disks.  Without a pump it still stops but theres not a whole lot left in the pedal and its a much slower stop. This started after I replaced the rear brake line.  I have tried bleeding the rear twice starting at the wheel furthest from the MC.  The front my mechanic bled and nothing has been changed there, so there should be no need to bleed it.  Any suggestions?  Now I am thinking I will live with it until I take it to my mechanics for rearend work at which point I will get him to help me with the brakes since hes much better than I.  When I am bleeding the rear there is no air bubbles or any gunk coming out, the brake fluid looks nearly new.  I am sick of pumping the brakes when they are 100% new.  And please don't say do a disk conversion, I am planning on one eventually but not till after some other stuff.  Any ideas? ???
join the club, just did the same thing to my hj45, although i kept 2 slaves.  a few tips, adjust one drum shoe right up till you feel resistance in the wheel when spinning. back them off 2 clicks, adjust the other side of that particular wheel till you feel resistance, then add the two clicks to the side you backed off (so drum shoes nice against the drum) repeat for each wheel. remember to have your drum on when doing this or no resistance. i only add this cause i watched it being done by my old man :)

i know some people may frown apon not backing them off, but they'll wear in :D .  and if that's not enough try adjusting the pushrod going from the brake pedal through the firewall. you'll see a lock nut which you loosen, then turn the rod.  you'll figure out which way (i can't tell clockwise from anticlockwise, i'm a good 21st century DIGITAL boy) .  you want the rod to push further in towards the firewall.

anyone else got some tips, mine still aren't 100% . i've reassembled my drums about 4 times per wheel in the last 3 days
I tried adjusting one of the fronts, I was doing the 5 clicks according to Haynes, with the depress brake pedal twice to center pads. Unfortunatly I think I screwed it up when I would adjust one, center it, and then do the other and center it. I think you need to have both adjusted and center them at the same time. My rear brakes still lock up when I slam on the brakes. :-/
Did you bench bleed the new master before hooking up the brake lines? Sometimes it helps to get all the air out of the master before you go and bleed all the rest.
I wouldn't know because my mechanic installed the master many moons ago, before I could do much of anything :-/. I plan on asking him when I go down there next. (He lives across the street from my grandparents) about 45 min away.
i bench bled mine. it's a dual cylinder master, and i'm not sure if something's wrong with it, brand new i hope not. but when bench bled, the rear brake line got fluid come out of it well before the fronts did

cruisinGA, did u bench bleed? try the push rod on the pedal? try ignoring the urge to back them off? did you remember to bleed BOTH wheel cylinders in each side of the front? my fronts had 2 bleeder nipples per wheel. these are some of the things i overlooked.

did you get your drums machined before installing the new shoes? does anyone want to shoot the toyota designer responsible for drum brakes all round on a 2000 + kg vehicle? i'm next in line with the gun.

my drums sink to about half an inch to an inch off the floor. but stop better than my disk brake equipped shorty. single brake application, so any ideas how to get the pedal further off the floor?
This may just be a bad MC.  You guys have OEM MCs? I know that some people have had series of up to 5 bad aftermarket MCs.

See, it is just that I have done just as you have and have replaced all that stuff and have absolutely no trouble.  I wouldn't think of going to disc brakes, nothing to gain that I see.  So, I don't think it is a design problem.
I'm sorry to say you just need to adjust them better again... (yeah I know it's kind of a pita :-/)
or just swap to discs and be done with it for the front... It'll be cheaper in the long run anyway, and much less hassle...
I bet you won't regret it...

If you have a firm pedal after a pump or two then the wheel cylinders are misadjusted and your pumping extra fluid into the wheel cylinders to close the gap between the shoes and the drum. Problem with that is when you let off the pedal completely or let the pedal back to the top for a few seconds, you uncover the compensation port in the MC and the wheel cylinders contract and your back to square one. I would just reccomend that you know for sure which way to turn the adjusters and spend some quality time in the garage with your jack and SOR brake tool before you start throwing parts on your rig. BTW, Im almost done doing the same thing on my '74 except I rebuilt my wheel cylinders and replaced all of the brake tubing. Im on week 13 of the project but Im almost there! ::)
yeah, adjust the buggery out of them, i adjusted mine till the wheels wouldn't turn by hand, and then got a solid pedal. wouldn't ya know it. had to back them off a little though. i'd still love to know if my master is set up wrong cause the backs get pressure before the fronts.

1980 45 series dual cylinder master, OEM, but re-sleeved

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