I have a Vw Polo 6n2 from 2000 without ABS. A while back I replaced rear drum brake cylinders and shoes. After the change, with the wheels off, one of the drums were stuck while the other side spin freely (by hand). I had to disengage the (automatic) parking brake lever with a screwdriver, but after pulling the hand brake it would get stuck again.

Fast forward many months later, I don't remember exactly what I did back then but now the hand brake lever doesn't get stuck anymore. Yesterday I also adjusted the parking brake cables in the cabin. With the wheels now on, the wheel turns but hesitates to continue, as if the brakes are slightly engaged.

I've read somewhere that the drum can get a little deformed when hitting it with a small sledgehammer and cause uneven braking, which is possible because IIRC this drum were more stuck compared to the other, so I might have been slightly more violent with this one. Though it's not like there are only certain spots where the wheel hesitates to spin. The hesitation is consistent.

Is this normal? Will this even out eventually? At the moment I'm not able to test drive the car but should I be worried about overheating the brake?

Here's a video I recorded, comparing the two rear wheels.

Also, regarding the adjustment of the parking brake cable. I put the lever on the 4th notch and tightened the left cable until the wheel wouldn't budge. While only adjusting the left cable the right wheel went stiff long before the left wheel, so I loosened the right cable as much as i could to make them somewhat even. This resulted in the left being tightened all the way and the right loosened all the way. See pictures. Is this OK? Is this related to the issue explained above?

  • Presumably the rear brake's have automatic adjusters. Do the adjuster seem to be working OK correctly?
    – HandyHowie
    Feb 7, 2023 at 13:08
  • Yes, they are automatic. Yes, I think so. Although, come to think of it, the adjuster might be a little more loose in the connection to the shoe compared to the other side. I remember I could wiggle it perpendicularly inwards, if that makes sense (English is not my native language). I did lubricate the connection very carefully, and while it did not do any difference at the time, I'm thinking the lube might have fully settled in by now since it doesn't get stuck anymore by pulling the hand brake. I'm not sure about adjuster on the other side though. I will go and have a look at it.
    – neortic
    Feb 7, 2023 at 14:13
  • Ok, the play of adjuster on the other side wasn't that much different so I don't think it that has anything to do with it. While I had the drums off I tried pulling the left adjuster on the as much as I could, though it only marginally made the wheel spin easier. I also tried loosen the hand brake cable as much as possible and it made it considerably easier to spin but it wont fully engage the brakes and the hand brake way up (around ten notches). When I disengage, it is not quite as easy to spin the wheel, though only marginally so. Is this a sign that I need to replace the left brake cable?
    – neortic
    Feb 7, 2023 at 18:48
  • Also the automatic adjuster were not in the exact same position as the adjuster on the other side, indicating that the brake cable is slightly more tight. How is this possible? What is causing this? Is it possible that there is rust or some gunk in the guide tube?
    – neortic
    Feb 7, 2023 at 18:53
  • The "adjuster" you're messing with (inside the car at the hand pull) is not what you need to be adjusting. You need to be adjusting the brakes at the wheel itself. This video seems pretty comprehensive on how to change and adjust the rear drums (as long as I'm looking at the right model!!!). I believe you need to release the self adjust wedge to make it stop dragging. Feb 8, 2023 at 0:29


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