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pacerven

rear brake adjustment

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:banghead:I have a 91 loyale and need to pull off the rear brake drum. However I am having problems with the adjuster. I was trying to use the GM tool for drum brake adjusters (the end with the point) but it doesn't grip the little mechanism to pull the shoes away from the drum. Does subaru have a special tool for this and if so where may I get one? Any suggestions or tips? Thanks, Paul

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Erv:

 

A brake drum puller is what it'll probably take to get it loose. These can be expensive to but, but well worth it if you do a lot of serious wrenching.

 

You might also check the drum for a pair of threaded holes on opposite sides. (I'm not sure if the OEM's had these, but some aftermarket drums do). With these, you can thread a metric bolt thru the hole and push the drum out by turning clockwise on the bolt.

 

good luck, John

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The automatic adjuster that is used on your drum bake is nothing like what GM uses, there is no little star thing to turn. What you need to do is take a small screwdriver, stick it into the access hole and push the release mechanism. A can't really go into more detail then that since I've only had to do this once and that was about 5 years ago.

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I DO NOT recommend using a drum puller unless you have first released the tension like Craig is talking about. The brakes can be adjusted tighter by turning the "wheel" but to release them you have to "push the release mechanism". At one end of the little oval access hole is a toothed "ramp" that engages the adjuster and holds the shoes spread. With a small screw driver you should be able to push this ramp away from the adjuster and let the shoes retract. I figured out how it works when I installed rear discs and after using a puller. Good thing I was installing discs because by the time I got the drum off with the puller I had bent/destroyed several small parts that secure the brake shoes and springs. Maybe some one can provide a better discription of how this is done.

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Superoo makes some good points about using the puller.

 

If you use a puller, you can count on buying a new hardware kit, shoes, and turning the drums, just to do a basic brake job. Not necessarily a bad thing, but some people think this is overkill.

 

If the adjuster can be moved, it doesn't hurt to back off a bit to release the tension.

 

But oftentimes the rear axle has been serviced once, maybe twice during the lifetime of the car, and the adjuster may no longer be functional. In that instance, pulling the drum, and doing a major overhaul is the fastest, most efficient way to get things done. All of the damage that's done won't matter because you'll want to replace those parts anyway.

 

Myself, I do a major overhaul everytime I do shoes/pads. $$ well spent, for the extra safety IMO.

 

good luck, John

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Good points also John.

 

If Pacerven ends up where I was (couldn't get brakes released) then a puller is really the only option.

The small parts that could get damaged are available and replaceable and relatively inexpensive.

 

Getting the drums turned is a good idea and results in better brakes when the work is done.

 

Now that I think about it, what the heck, use the puller.

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Alright, thanks all for the help. I actually ended up using a brake puller on one side because the mechanism was froze up, the other side came off no problem. As far as having the drums turned has been a headache. I live in the Milwaukee area, and so far many places have said they cannot turn them due to the splined shaft. (4wd) And of course the dealer won't do it unless I have them do the breaks. Anyone who may be local, know of any places that will do the task? Thanks.

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Erv:

 

Actually, both the 2wd and 4wd drums are splined, though the diameters are different.

 

Some machine shops can't do them, but there's always someone around that professional mechanics send their work out to. I'll bet NAPA or Carquest has a central machine shop/warehouse in Milwaukee, that can take care of you. Some brake shops will do them too if they are not busy.

 

good luck, John

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