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Rear Brakes Adjustment


Jedi Trainee
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Over the winter I replaced the brake cylinders and shoes on the rear wheels of my BJ8.

When all was back together, I tried to adjust the brakes by tightening the adjuster until the wheel locked, and then backing off slightly. Problem is, I used up 100% of the adjuster to get the brakes to lock ( and they only just managed to lock).

Second problem is the handbrake can't be adjusted to get anywhere near locked enough. It will only just stop the car rolling on a shallow gradient, even with the lever at full.

I’ve adjusted the adjuster to the full extent, and the cable and lever assembly are smooth and giving full movement (cable is reasonable new).

The handbrake did used to operate fine, so it’s not wear in the drums.

Wonder if the new shoes are under size?


Jedi Knight
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There was a post within the last month or so on this forum and that turned out to be the problem. The new linings were noteably thinner than originals were. If you can get a real lock of the wheels with the adjuster but the handbbrake is weak you may also have a cable issue.

Guy Marshall

Country flag
Hi Jeepster - this sounds exactly like the issue I had too. I measured the old drums and they were a little oversize - maybe 1/16 of an inch but enough run out of adjustment. I am sure the new shoes were slightly smaller than the old ones too.

I bought new drums from AH Spares. There weren't too expensive but they took ages to arrive and I had to pay extra tax and duty.


Jedi Trainee
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I wonder what the dimensions of the new replacement shoes are compared to new originals? Parts were purchased from AH spares in the UK and I would expect their products to be fit for purpose.
Re the hand brake - I can’t see that the cable is the issue. It’s pretty new and moves as expected. Problem seems to be the full movement of the cable and pivot doesn’t seem to move the pads enough but this may be down to the issue with the shoes.
Maybe I need to source a second set of shoes? Anyone know the original dimension of lining thickness?
Country flag
It's been awhile, and my memory isn't entirely clear, but IIRC there is an adjustment turnbuckle on the e-brake cable that can be used to take up some slack. Mine was at the limit of adjustment and only the last couple inches of the handle movement would engage the shoes, but I was able to shorten the cable (should be evident how if you have a look). Now my handle/lever starts grabbing after only a couple inches of pull (you want some slack so the shoes don't drag).


Jedi Trainee
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I’ve taken out as much slack as possible with the adjuster. Ideally it should be zero slack before the hand brake lever pull starts to move the through lever on the back plate.
problem is now the through lever is at mid movement when the hand brake lever is fully off.
must be the shoes being too thin.


Country flag
If you unscrew the clevis from the cable, you can pull the cable out through the stop on the axle. Then you can add some washers between the cable housing and the stop. This will give additional adjustment.

In order to give additional throw, I built these adapter plates for the rear disc kit I used to sell. Possibly they would help with the too-small shoe problem. Just a thought - I never tried them when I had drum brakes.

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