View Full Version : Brakes: 50 Starlight brake dragging

09-29-2012, 07:59 PM
The books and manuals I ordered from SI have not arrived yet and I need some help on the brake system.

Both front brakes were dragging when the car arrived. I pulled the front drums and found that both drums had some rust on them and there were some deposits built up on the surface of the shoes. I used sand paper to get rid of the rust on the drums and the deposits on the brake shoes. This got the drivers side turning free but the passenger side is still dragging a little. It is better than it was but not as free as it should be. And when you drive it you can hear the a bit of a howl coming from the shoe rubbing.

This is the fist set of drum brakes I have ever seen that don't have the little wheel in the bottom to adjust the position of the shoe. Is there a way to adjust these? There is some type of device I am not familiar with shown in the photo below. Is this an adjustment?


Or should I just drive it until the shoe wears down enough to stop rubbing?


09-29-2012, 08:45 PM
On the outside of the backing plate, there are two adjustments, one for each shoe. If you clean off the crud/rust and put everything back together, you can adjust each one so they do not drag. Make sure that the shoes are not stuck to the backing plate by rust, although they look pretty good in the photo.

Make sure that the plug in the shoe is flush with the surface of the shoe and not protruding or pressed in.

In, towards the center backs them off and out, towards the wheel rim tightens them. You can turn the wheel by hand and listen to it rub. I usually adjust them so there is an ever so slight rub part of the way around while rotating the wheel.

these adjusters work very well, and when they are set up properly there is very little need to readjust the brakes over their service life.
When you get the shop manual, there is an excellent write up on how they work.

09-30-2012, 05:58 PM
Thanks Roy,
I thought those were just the back side of the pin that the retainers clip into. Then I took it all apart and found the cam underneath. Now I understand how they work, I backed them off and the problem seems to be solved.

I also discovered the plug was recessed into the shoe. I tried to move it and it wouldn't budge. So I took it all apart, cleaned the crud off and discovered that it had been put together wrong the last time. I could only see only way it could work, so I put it back together the way I thought it should be and was able to get the plug level with the surface. Hopefully, when I get the shop manual, I will find that I put it back together correctly.