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Old 05-04-2010, 10:23 AM   #1
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Question Rear Drum Brakes "Grabbing"

On my 1998 F150 4x4 I have been dealing with a rear brake problem that 2 different shops have not been able to fix for about 6 months. Primarily the right rear brake is hanging up and causes the wheel to lock up when you apply the brakes to stop quickly (not a panic stop, just a hard brake). Since it is only one wheel the antilock does not prevent the wheel from completely locking thus causing a skid on that side. We have replaced the brake cable, replaced the shoes, turned the drum, etc. and after any of these efforts the problem seems to return quickly. You can smell the shoes burning when driving and eventually it warps the drum and makes the problem worse. Any thoughts on what could be causing the shoes to rub constantly and cause that side to lock up when stopping fast?
Bill
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:48 AM   #2
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Did you put all new springs in when you changed the shoes? That could be the problem...
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:55 AM   #3
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Since I did not change the shoes I am not sure if they did or not. I agree with your comment, it had crossed my mind that the springs were not changed. I also wonder if any of the mechanics cleaned all the grease and debris off the surface behind the shoes and took apart the adjuster to ensure it was working properly as well. I guess I should not assume the mechanics are doing these things, I will check on this stuff as well. Its just been in the shop so many times I guess I would have expected someone to have done all this, bad to assume....
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:59 AM   #4
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True...the weak springs will cause the shoes to "expand" more than normal so that would be the first thing I would check along with the adjuster....it could be wore out as well.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:14 PM   #5
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Another thing to try would be to grease the contact points where the shoe and backing plate meet. I had a similar problem to you this winter, only mine would only do it once, the after driving for a while and applying the breaks, it wouldn't do it again. There are 3 points on each shoe that you grease - just try to keep any grease off of the shoe surface (wipe it off if/when you get some on there). It took care of my problem, so it probably wouldn't hurt to try.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:53 PM   #6
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Another good idea, and something that I always did when I changed my own brakes. The truck is at the garage right now but after I pick it up I think I am going to pull the drums, check the springs, and clean and lubricate the backing plate and adjuster. To many years of others doing the brake work I guess, its time to teach the sons how to do this work anyway. I will keep an eye out for other posts and update what the outcome of this effort is. I also heard that sometime the cylinder can get gummed up with dirt and old grease along the piston, keeping it from returning freely, is that true? If so, is there something good to clean that area up with and should you put any kind of lubricant or protective grease back?
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:49 PM   #7
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to me it sounds like the adjuster is bad butim not certified break technitian until thursday
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