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Thread: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

  1. #1
    Senior Member warwick-steve's Avatar
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    Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    After leaving my BT7 on my slightly inclined drive I can usually free wheel it down and into the garage. Just now the car did move down but slowly and I had to really push it into the garage.
    Having jacked the car up I found that the ns rear wheel will hardly move and guess that the shoes have not released. How do I release them please?

    The handbrake does in any case need adjusting as the handbrake lever needs about 10 click before it holds. Once I release the shoes I will through the handbrake linkages and check the springs and shoes etc but first I need to release the shoes.???
    Advice please
    Cheers
    Steve

  2. #2
    Yoda
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    Re: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    Get (at least the rear) up on jackstands if you can (safely), and check that the linkage can move freely. If it does, one or both shoes may have become stuck to the drum, esp. if the car sat for a while. Back the adjuster out a few turns, but not all the way out if you can help it. Then, it's a matter of banging on the drum with some sort of non-marring hammer; a lead knockoff hammer would be good, or one of the lighter hammers with plastic faces. Bang the drum (heh) on all sides and from behind, being careful not to chip or crack it, and hope for the best. Some light heating might help, but you'll likely spoil your paint.

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    Jedi Hopeful aero3113's Avatar
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    Re: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    I had this happen once on a car I owned. I just hit the drum a couple of times with a hammer and it freed it up. Never had a problem after that. Once it does free up, lube the pivot points.

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    Senior Member warwick-steve's Avatar
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    Re: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    Thanks guys
    The shoes are not totally locked on as I can with some effort turn the wheel ( slightly easier forward than backwards). I will do as you advise.
    Cheers
    Steve

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    Re: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    If it's still binding after you have backed off the adjuster you may need to remove the clevis pin out of the lever to allow the shoes to retract if the linkage is seizing somewhere.

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    Re: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    Maybe your rear brake hose needs replacing. They can act as a one way valve when they get older, keeping some pressure on your brake shoes . . . .

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    Senior Member warwick-steve's Avatar
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    Re: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    Thanks both. Just off into the garage to tackle this!
    Steve

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    Yoda Randy Forbes's Avatar
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    Re: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    Take a good look at the return springs that go across from shoe to shoe when you have the drums off. I was sent a set of replacement springs that were unacceptable; they were too long, and the "hooks" were way too long to be hooked into the shoes, so I had to reuse the originals.



    Even with the hand brake, these springs do the duty of retracting the shoes.

    The tip for checking an (internally) swollen hose is a good one too, but should affect both sides equally__unless one side is drawn up tighter with the adjustment than the other...
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    Senior Member warwick-steve's Avatar
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    Re: Brake shoes won't move back after releasing handbrake

    Thanks Randy
    Just managed to release the shoes by backing off the adjuster. However, I do plan to check over the complete handbrake linkage and shoes over the next few weeks. I had planned to fit new springs if I needed to fit new shoes so your comment about the spring length is useful
    Cheers
    Steve

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