Rear Brake Drum out of round??

Jun 1, 2005
Quick question for Cruiserdom -

How acurately ROUND are the '60 drums typically?

Reason I ask is as follows - I have tried to adjust the drums and it seems I always get a low spot no matter what I do (drags on one of the pads). I have had the drums turned to no effect (bad lathe? doubt it though). Then, and here's were my stuborness kicks in, I bought a new set of drums - much the same. OK, moved on to the Axle. Pulled the Axle half shafts to get to the bearing and seals - maybe a duff bearing - wasn't (BTW - AutoZone will allow you to rent a puller. It's a piece of cake!!! ). Checked the Axle itself for out of roundness or warping - nothing. Did however discover if you lift slightly on the axles while they are sitting in the bearing there is a very slight bit of play. It's not as tight of a tolerance as I would have thoght.

SO, at this point I'm stuffed. Pulled the whole bloody thing apart, put it back together (new bits) and I still get a low spot (slight drag). What gives?!?! Any ideas or wisdom out there??


"87 FJ 60
Apr 9, 2003
Ahwatukee, Phoenix, AZ, USA
Almost every brake drum I have ever had on any vehicle or trailer has exhibited this same behaviour.
Even after turning. It's just how they are.
If it's just a slight drag, and not a lockup at that low spot, ignore it. Your brakes will wear in in a few hundred miles.


Jun 25, 2003
Boulder, CO
Well, do you have an indicator and a magnetic base? You could measure it to be absolutely sure of what is out of round and how much but I'll bet its due to two things. When the drum was turned, it had some runout when it was mounted in the lathe. Maybe not much but a little can mess it up. Second, is the drum mounted super flat on the axle surface? No rust or other gunk between the drum and the axle flange? If you haven't taken a wire wheel to it and some Scotchbrite, that might help. One other possiblity is a bent axle. Harder to measure, but doable. If you can't feel the brake drag when letting the truck roll at a stop light, I wouldn't worry about it.
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