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Old 04-02-2011, 11:22 PM   #1
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Drum Brake frustrations on my 98

Hey Wrangler Forumers! I've had suspicions my rear brakes weren't working or at least weren't working well. I'd never worked on drum breaks before so i was a bit hesitant, but today i jumped into it and sure enough the adjuster cable on the driver side was not in the adjuster cable guide. I thought it'd be a quick fix, but found the cable seemed to long as placing it in the guide did not provide enough tension to the adjuster lever to the star adjustment. I thought perhaps the cable stretched and was in need of replacement. I went cheap bought just the cable not the hardware kit or spring kits available. I found the new cable had the same problem and seemed too long. Next, I completely disassembled the drum hardware and springs and greased what needed greased and put everything back together. no change. (btw, i loosened the parking brake cable till it was slack at the beginning of the job.) My plan was to go by the replacement spring kit and replace the springs to see if that made a difference although it sure seems like the springs all have plenty of tension since they were such a PIMA to take off and put back. That was my plan till I found a suggestion on this forum that pressing the brake pedal would center the shoes and should be done through out the adjustment process. This sounds like what i need to happen to fix my problem with the star adjuster not being in contact with the adjustment lock/lever. If I manually 'moved' the brake and shoe assembly then every thing aligned the way i think it should; I just could not figure out how to get it to stay like that and started suspecting maybe one of the springs just wasn't pulling it's weight. Do you think pressing the brake pedal to center the shoes is the correct course of action? should i go ahead and replace the springs anyway? It's a pretty cheap purchase. If centering doesn't work, what else could be the problem here? I really like being able to stop. Thanks for any feedback.
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Old 04-03-2011, 02:01 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by sc0tt View Post
Hey Wrangler Forumers! I've had suspicions my rear brakes weren't working or at least weren't working well. I'd never worked on drum breaks before so i was a bit hesitant, but today i jumped into it and sure enough the adjuster cable on the driver side was not in the adjuster cable guide. I thought it'd be a quick fix, but found the cable seemed to long as placing it in the guide did not provide enough tension to the adjuster lever to the star adjustment. I thought perhaps the cable stretched and was in need of replacement. I went cheap bought just the cable not the hardware kit or spring kits available. I found the new cable had the same problem and seemed too long. Next, I completely disassembled the drum hardware and springs and greased what needed greased and put everything back together. no change. (btw, i loosened the parking brake cable till it was slack at the beginning of the job.) My plan was to go by the replacement spring kit and replace the springs to see if that made a difference although it sure seems like the springs all have plenty of tension since they were such a PIMA to take off and put back. That was my plan till I found a suggestion on this forum that pressing the brake pedal would center the shoes and should be done through out the adjustment process. This sounds like what i need to happen to fix my problem with the star adjuster not being in contact with the adjustment lock/lever. If I manually 'moved' the brake and shoe assembly then every thing aligned the way i think it should; I just could not figure out how to get it to stay like that and started suspecting maybe one of the springs just wasn't pulling it's weight. Do you think pressing the brake pedal to center the shoes is the correct course of action? should i go ahead and replace the springs anyway? It's a pretty cheap purchase. If centering doesn't work, what else could be the problem here? I really like being able to stop. Thanks for any feedback.
make sure he cable guide is in the shoe and sits flat against the shoe

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Old 04-03-2011, 10:43 PM   #3
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make sure he cable guide is in the shoe and sits flat against the shoe
thanks, after changing out most of the hardware on both rear wheels, i still had issues. I went to the only thing left to troubleshoot and both wheel cylinders are shot, one side was completely siezed up and the other sticking badly. Have to finish later this week.
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:11 PM   #4
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Same Same

I'm having the same issues on my sons 2001 wrangler. We replaced shoes and springs and the right rear is still not tight enough to keep the adjustment lever in proper placement. The cable and guide are in proper placement, flat against the shoe.

Any ideas? Did you finally fix your issue Sc0tt?
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:40 PM   #5
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The cable and guide are in proper placement, flat against the shoe.
When it comes to the cable guide, the difference between "fully seated" and not is pretty subtle. If the guide is properly seated, it might be time to procure a replacement guide and cable.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:55 AM   #6
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There is quite a bit of info available about the problems with TJ rear brakes. And I don't remember exactly where I read it (and am too lazy to search for it) but there is a different way to put the adjuster lever on that forces it to stay in contact with the star wheel.

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