Thanks everyone for the wealth of information. After removing the the rear drums, the right side had no parking brake spacer bar and a spring or 2 missing on the left side. Strange because both right and left have new pads and spring hardware.
Is there a way to tell if the drum is beyond spec? at $110 each don't want to replace if I don't have to.
Already plan on getting new hardware. The cylinders show no sign of leaking so I will probably keep them.
I have not been able to get the front drums off yet. Tried using a SFH, should I use a BFH?
Was afraid of damageing them. Is their a trick?
John, most brake shops should be able to use a set of calipers to tell you if they are within spec, need to be turned, or can be turned. Some brake drums actually have the maximum ID stamped on the drum.
The front drum is removed as the drum/hub assembly. You have to pull the dust cover and remove the cotter pin, spindle nut, and then the bearing. It should slide off. BUT.......
The shoes could be hanging up on the inside lip of the drum that has been formed from wear. The drum may not come off to easily. That's where you need to back off the star wheel inside the brake assembly. Put your outer bearing back in and put the nut back on the spindle to keep the drum/hub in place. You will see an oblong slot in the backing plate down near the bottom to the rear. It may still have its rubber plug in place, but most get removed and tossed out. You need to push in and hold the automatic adjusting lever away and off the star wheel with a screw driver while you use the star wheel tool which looks like a wide blade screw driver with an angle on it so you can manipulate it up and down to turn the star wheel (I use a small flat bladed screw driver if it will fit, but the brake tool is so much easier). Not sure which direction to go, but if you use one of the rear star wheel assemblies from the same side you are working on as your guide, you can determine which way to turn the star wheel. You want to screw it in to compress it and allow it to clear any ridge that may have formed on the drum and could hang up the shoes. My '68 manual says that right front & rear adjusting screws have left handed threads while left front & rear have right handed threads. All adjusting screws must be installed with the star wheel end of the screw toward the rear of the car.
You can try and pull the drum/hub off without messing with the adjusting screw/star wheel first to see if it will pull off without much effort. But if it is hanging at all, don't force it, just turn in the adjusting screw/star wheel as noted previously. Hopefully it is not stuck with corrosion.
Check your drum to ensure it is good and useable. You want to bring the bearings with the drum/hub to your local brake shop if you get it checked out and if they need to turn the drum - they need the bearings to do this.
Install your new shoes and brake parts kit. Note which shoe is the primary and which is the secondary by the amount of shoe surface each brake shoe has. The shorter primary shoe goes to the front, the longer secondary shoe goes to the rear.
You can clean up your bearings to inspect them for wear or blueing. Check the races for pitting or wear. If they look good, repack them with grease by placing a glob of grease on your palm and drawing the bearing down and over the bearing. You want to get the grease packed into the bearing & race and should see it pushing out the top and sides throughout. The inner bearing has a seal and you want to replace this with a new one, I never re-use the old one. Pull the seal off and the inner bearing will fall out. Do the same procedure on it as the front.
Install a new seal, BUT it can be tricky and you can easily bend/damage the seal. I got a cheapo 18 piece Seal Driver Kit from Harbor Freight to do this. I typically do it without, but when I saw how cheap the kit was, I bought one and can't believe I didn't buy one sooner. The kit is made by Pittsburgh Automotive. I suspect other stores or even the auto parts store may sell or rent one of these.
I put a little grease on the ID of the seal and then gently install your drum/hub on the spindle keeping it level and square so as not to tear up the seal. While still holding the drum/hub on the spindle and somewhat centered, install your smaller outer bearing to support the drum/hub and keep it centered on the spindle. Hold it in place and install the big washer, & then the spindle nut by hand. I then like to tighten the nut down snug with a wrench or pair of slip joint pliers, not overly tight, and this will seat the seal drum/hub. Then back it off just a little and spin the drum to seat things. Tighten snug again and spin just a little and the drum/hub should feel a little tight and not spin so readily. Then back the nut off just enough so you can put the cotter pin in. You don't want to go tighter to line up the spindle nut with the hole in the spindle as this will make it too tight. Better a tad loose so you don't burn up a bearing/spindle. Install the cotter pin and spin the drum one more time. It should spin fairly easy and not be sloppy. If it doesn't spin well, then the nut is too tight. I have been doing this so long that I can tell by feel. If it spins OK, then bend over the cotter pin and install the dust cover.
Adjust your brake shoes at this time using the star wheel and brake tool. I like to spin the drum just to the point where I can feel/hear the brake shoe rubbing on the drum. (After you drive it a little, you can use the self adjusters to zero in on the brake adjustment by putting the car in reverse and doing a couple of easy stops.)
Mount your tire and you should be able to freely spin the tire by hand with no problems. If it doesn't spin well, the spindle nut is too tight or the brake adjustment is too tight, and you will need to correct this. But if you adjust it correctly in steps outlined, you should have no issues.
Now, should your front drums be in poor condition, you knock the hub out of the drum and then get a new front drum as a replacement using your old hub and follow the above procedure.
This is all by memory as it is easier for me to be actually doing it as I go, so I think I got it right.