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My brakes were making a very faint squeak/click at low speeds about 10mph when coming to a slow stop.

Serviced the front thinking it was the slide pins but turns out it was my rear drums.

I'd never cleaned/adjusted drums so it was my first time. I did a bunch of research on adjusting but as usual there were many different opinions.

Few sources said correct adjustment is when the tire is mounted it should only do 1 full revolution when spun hard. Others say it should spin free up to 3 full revolutions.

I adjusted them to where the tires only made 1 full revolution when installed and spun.

Now I'm wondering is this too tight? A quick test drive at first the car felt like it dragged very slightly but in neutral on a small incline the car rolls when I let my foot off the brake pedal.

Just curious if I adjusted them properly or not and any reference for the future

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It does depend on the brake manufacturer, but I was taught to "wind on" the brakes until they touched and then "back off" two or three clicks.

This method worked well on my Landrovers and I never had brake problems even going from 8" drums at the front to 12"twin leading shoe...

  • Is it normal for the car to have a little roll resistance after an adjustment or means they're too tight? – user140123 Jul 29 '17 at 11:14
  • Drum brakes should not cause drag as the shoes should not touch the drums unlike disc brakes where the pads tend to "lightly" touch the discs. – Solar Mike Jul 29 '17 at 12:10
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Brake drums have an automatic adjuster associated with them. It's the arm which comes down from the side and makes contact with the star (serrated wheel) on the adjuster (the arm also doubles to keep the star wheel in place so the adjustment doesn't back off). When you back up and stop, the arm comes down and adjusts the brakes as needed. The more play in the brake shoes, the more the arm moves and the further the adjuster is moved. Due to this, the easiest way to set up the rear brakes is to have the brake shoes lightly binding on the drums. You should be able to hear it contacting the drums, but not doing much to slow down rotations (without brakes applied). Then, when you get in to test drive the vehicle after installation, you'll go through the adjustment process of putting the vehicle in reverse and move the vehicle several feet with an abrupt stop, repeating this action several times. The adjusters will adjust the brakes out to the point they should be for proper use and your brakes will be perfectly adjusted. Everyday use keeps them right where they need to be because the adjuster continues to do its job.

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Sounds like you did it correctly. As long as both sides are adjusted the same. You could also remove the drums and clean out the brake dust. Wear a mask and use a squirt bottle with water to keep the dust down then use some brake clean. You could also add a little lube to the 3 spots per shoe where the shoe makes contact with the backing plate. Be aware that the backing plate can develope a groove where the brake shoe can hang up.

  • Is it normal for the car to have a little roll resistance after an adjustment or means they're too tight? – user140123 Jul 29 '17 at 11:14
  • @user140123 Fyi, drums never stay perfectly round due to heat expansion/contraction. A very slight drag is normal. But not enough drag to hold or stop the vehicle. – cano Jul 29 '17 at 14:31
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Rear drum brakes are normally set up so that they are very slightly binding. If you then go on test drive and they're binding too much just back the adjusters off a bit. Also make sure that the hand brake cable is not adjusted up too tight because if it is this will cause the rear shoes to bind excessively.

  • Is it normal for the car to have a little roll resistance after an adjustment or means they're too tight? – user140123 Jul 29 '17 at 11:14
  • You should be able to roll the vehicle easily.. If the brakes are binding that much they're adjusted up too tight and will definitely overheat. – Orb Jul 29 '17 at 11:17

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