Rear Brake Adjustment - Diesel Forum - TheDieselStop.com
7.3L IDI Diesels (Not Power Strokes) Technical discussion of topics related to vehicles powered by the 7.3 Liter In-Direct Injection Navistar engines.

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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Rear Brake Adjustment

Trying to learn how to adjust rear duelly brakes after complete overhaul. I have viewed many videos of adjustment tecniques but with the weight of the duel wheels and the driveshaft turning I just cant get a feel for the right tension to set the pads/drum. After viewing a video on you tube where the solution to spongy brakes was only solved by taking the truck and driving maybe 10 or so mph on dirt road and jamming on the brakes causing the rear wheels to lock up or slide, then bleeding the brakes afterward. I am aware a more experienced person through trial and error would have the feel or knowledge to set the brakes with either the tire on or just the drum turn but I dont,
So to kill two birds with one stone I started adjusting my brakes by sliding them on dirt road. I thru trial and error have the rear brakes to where they both lock up about the same distance when jammong the brakes. My question is that although the rears are locking up, the front pads are not skidding at all (they have been replaced also). Could someone please weigh in on this situation. Should I adjust the rears so they dont slide like the front. ? Thank everyone for their opinion and I am most grateful.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 01:15 PM
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I'll be the first to agree with you, it takes a certain feel to get them adjusted right, especially with a Pos-i-trac type differential which adds to the drag. But whether they skid or not has nothing to do with correct adjustment. You want to adjust them out far enough with a brake tool so the wheel is locked up---that centers both shoes equally. Then you have to take a tiny screwdriver, stick it in the adjusting hole, press it against the adjusting lever pressing it away from the "star" wheel so then you can back off the shoes until you only detect a slight drag. Life was much easier without self-adjusters.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 11:12 PM
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I believe the automatic adjuster works when you stop while backing the truck. I use a brake adjustment tool (looks like a bent standard screwdriver with two ends) Tighten until wheel won't turn then back off until it turns free (might have slight drag sound). Next do standard brake bedding, the some mild reverse to stop to do final set of rear drums.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by DENNY View Post
I believe the automatic adjuster works when you stop while backing the truck. I use a brake adjustment tool (looks like a bent standard screwdriver with two ends) Tighten until wheel won't turn then back off until it turns free (might have slight drag sound). Next do standard brake bedding, the some mild reverse to stop to do final set of rear drums.
DENNY
Right, but it seems like automatic adjusters have always been far from perfect. Any pickup I've owned I've had to do a manual adjustment every year or two and it's surprising how much pedal play is eliminated.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 10:01 AM
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In theory, that is how they work.
Got to the point I had to adjust mine every month. Sometimes every other week.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-01-2018, 11:20 AM
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Even with all the self adjusting linkage, star wheel threads, etc, properly lubed and free they still are never 100% IMO.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 03:58 PM
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Anyone have pictures of how the adjusters go in these assemblies? Mine looses adjustment after I stop a few times. The pedal starts traveling more and the rear passenger locks up.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2018, 11:39 PM
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Might help. On your passenger side, I would make sure the hub seal isn't leaking.

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1994 F350 7.3 PSD 4X4 ZF5 DUALLY
PHP HYDRA, 6637, 3-4 DP TO STRAIGHT 4 BEHIND THE TIRE, 1.0 EXHAUST HOUSING, DIY D66 TURBO, FUGA E-FUEL, EBPV DELETE. Cooper discoverer AT/3'S.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 10:01 AM
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On your passenger side, I would make sure the hub seal isn't leaking.
Right, and if it turns out that's the case, might save you some aggravation, it's a known fact you can't successfully clean the shoes with Brake Clean or whatever. Over a period of time due to heat from brake use more oil oozes to the surface of the lining and that wheel will start locking up again. Years ago I thought I'd beat the odds on my own pickup, replaced the seal, cleaned the shoes really well and sure enough after a few hundred miles I ended up replacing the shoes.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-18-2018, 05:02 PM
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Don't ask how I know, but after about the third of fourth cleaning, the oil is usually gone. I don't reccomed that, unless you have some sort of death wish though.

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-19-2018, 10:40 AM
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As a side note, it's been so long ago I can't remember the exact chain of events but IIRC I had replaced the shoes and axle seal on the one side when a friend reminded me that it came under the 3yr. 30,000 mile drivetrain warranty. The reason the seal leaked prematurely was because there was a hardened gob of black paint right where the seal rides after the axle housing was factory painted. What I DO remember correctly, I took it into the local Ford dealer, they pulled the drum to verified I'd done the work, reimbursed me for the shoes and seal (one side). The service mgr. shoved a warranty claim in front of my face for me to sign real quick-like and I saw that they'd screwed FoMoCo for labor for a complete brake job, BOTH sides plus shoes and axle seals BOTH sides. Made me really want to patronize that friendly Ford dealer in the future, right?

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Last edited by LMJD; 11-19-2018 at 10:42 AM.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 10:41 AM
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I’ve had this issue since I got the truck and was just thinking that I installed everything wrong because it “just maybe was wrong” before. I HAVE NO LEAKY SEALS!!!! New shoes, new drums, springs, cylinders, everything. Brakes don’t stick or bind. Truck rolls freely in neutral. When I hit the pedal. The rear right grabs first and locks up. Did I mention I even have brand new brake lines?
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 08:07 PM
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It sounds like the right side is adjusted tighter than the left. Try tighteing up the left side, maybe check the adjust likage and make sure it is hooked up right.

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