Gunners Garage


Sometimes old cars defy logic

OK. So we put the rear brakes on the car we’re doing together and when we install the drums we can’t hardly turn them. The emergency brake lever is off and the adjustment is all the way out and both drums just barely turn when the tires and wheels are mounted. And the left hand drum is even tighter than the rght hand drum.

Not wanting to glaze the new linings, we take everything apart, pull the drums off (with a bit of “persuasion”) and take them to the auto parts store to have them turned on a brake lathe. Afterall, drums sometimes get slightly egg-shaped due to the heat.

We marked the position and side of each drum and we put them back in exactly the same spots. Now the left hand drum is nice and losse and ready to be adjusted. But the right hand drum is now TOGHTER than it was before.

I know that sounds impossible, but it’s true. The only thing I can think of doing now is pulling both drums off again and swapping them side to side.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “OLD CAR MYSTERIES

  1. Tom Amundson

    John, It’s possible the linings on the shoes aren’t manufactured to spec (too thick). Years ago we used to measure the freshly machined drum and then arc the shoes to the exact diameter of the drum. AMMCO discontinued manufacturing their shoe grinder about 20 years ago because it didn’t meet OSHA standards, but you may still be able to find someone who has one.


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