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Civic drum brake adjusters won't adjust

garyk.f16 garyk.f16
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 12/08
Posted: 12/20/08
12:49 AM

I have always had difficulty getting the rear drum brakes on my '95 Civic LX to work right. I've got the 4 door sedan w/automatic, non-ABS brakes. The adjusters do not seem to work properly. I have had the brakes completely apart, replaced all springs and the adjusters themselves, cleaned out all the old dry crud from the adjuster threads. The starwheel moves easily when adjusting manually, the starwheel ratchet is in contact and clicks when turned. I have tried the back-up-and-jam-on-brakes adjustment technique, doesn't make the adjusters move. I get the shoes adjusted as far out/snugged up as I can without too much drag, so I won't overheat the brakes/wear them out. Blush

At normal temps, they are OK, but on cold mornings, the drums make a lot of scraping noise for the first few minutes Mad , until the drums warm up and expand enough to allow clearance, that's how close I have them adjusted. If I adjust them too loosely, the parking brake has too much travel, and my brake pedal goes way down because the shoes are expanding farther.

Not leaking or losing brake fluid anywhere in the system. Drums sound like they are very slightly, but not badly, out of round, no scratches/scoring. No pedal pulsation, can squeal both back tires and stop straight using the handbrake.

Any ideas how to get the adjusters to do their job? May need to try turning the drums lightly and true them, but I think the problem lies elsewhere.  

waynep712 waynep712
Enthusiast | Posts: 651 | Joined: 10/08
Posted: 12/22/08
12:35 AM

i seem to recall that on honda brakes.. and others of like designs... the adjusters are operated by application of the parking brake ...

when the parking brake is applied... the cable is pulled.. the lever pushes the adjuster toward the other shoe... this applys the pressure to the drum...   when the pressure is released... the link rotates the adjuster star wheel if it is far enough out of adjustment...   so... get in and do some pull ups on the parking brake lever...  

do not try to adjust the parking brake cable adjustment until the brakes have been adjusted properly...   this will make the shoes drag when they do adjust ...  

one more thing.. did you replace the drums ... or have them turned...    when brakes wear... the drums go bell mouthed.. except for a ridge around the opening...   the worn area of the drum will also be narrower than the new linings... so they will give you a false adjustment feel...  

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