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Discussion Starter #1
I replaced the front brake shoes on my 67 GTO this past weekend. Since it had been a while since I replaced brake shoes, I thought it would be wise to take plenty of pictures before I removed any of the old parts. I noticed the auto adjuster lever didn't stay engaged with the adjuster's star wheel. I replaced the shoes and put everything back together paying close attention to the adjustment mechanism. All seemed to be as it should with the exception of the adjuster lever. Am I correct in thinking they lever should be in contact with the star wheel in order for it function properly?
 

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It appears the "blue" spring may be in the wrong place. It is pulling up on the lever. There should be a hole on the lever higher up & to the outside near the brake shoe above that small "return spring" shown under the lever. Positioned this way it pulls down on the lever, not up on it.

HINT: ALWAYS take a digital photo(s) of anything you disassemble - unless its already apart. This will always help in reassembly and I do this myself. Also, a factory chassis manual will provide you with many diagrams, pictures, and specs needed to repair, maintain, & rebuild your classic. They can be bought as reprints, on CD, or Ebay as original manuals. Best investment you can make if you plan on owning your car any length of time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for confirming my thought that the lever should always be engaged with the adjuster wheel. I took pictures before and reassembled just as it was before, but obviously that doesn't mean it was correct. I have a factory manual for the car, but the pictures don't provide the necessary details. Thanks for the input.
 

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Thanks for confirming my thought that the lever should always be engaged with the adjuster wheel. I took pictures before and reassembled just as it was before, but obviously that doesn't mean it was correct. I have a factory manual for the car, but the pictures don't provide the necessary details. Thanks for the input.
OK, good. My factory service manual for the '68 models is what I took a look at. If need be, I can scan an image of it and post. It clearly shows the hole in the adjuster where I feel that spring should go. Let me know and I'll put it up here. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks again Jim, I did find a picture and it looks like a different set of hardware, specifically the adjusting lever. I'm attaching a picture of what I think it should look like. Please compare to your 68 manual if you don't mind. Ames has a hardware kit, but says the actuating rod is incorrect so use your old one. I'm starting to suspect the previous owner got these kits and ignored or didn't see the significance of using the new part. I will probably try to find hardware kits from a different vendor that looks more like the attached picture.
 

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Thanks again Jim, I did find a picture and it looks like a different set of hardware, specifically the adjusting lever. I'm attaching a picture of what I think it should look like. Please compare to your 68 manual if you don't mind. Ames has a hardware kit, but says the actuating rod is incorrect so use your old one. I'm starting to suspect the previous owner got these kits and ignored or didn't see the significance of using the new part. I will probably try to find hardware kits from a different vendor that looks more like the attached picture.
Yep, that looks much like my service manual, minus a few parts not shown. The adjusting lever and spring look right. Where the spring attaches at the top, you really can't see it in your photo, but there is a piece called a "pivot" that appears to set behind the adjuster - at least in my Service Manual. Here is a neat color picture that looks like the diagram in my Service Manual https://pontiworld.com.au/usgmsp/product_info.php?cPath=559_561_578&products_id=8684

Here is a step-by-step rear brake rebuild/installation guide. Just click on the photos to enlarge. I think this might be of help. Drum brake assembly Photo Gallery by R Slaughter at pbase.com

I think I found the kit that might be in your set-up, again, looks like the spring hooks just as you have it. Inline Tube - The brake plumbing experts
Again, not like the factory Service Manual diagram or the color parts photo from above.

I have the rear-end out of my '68 as I put a Ford 9" in its place. I will pull off a drum and take a picture of what I have going on inside of it. This way you can see how it is set-up and how it works. This way you won't order any wrong parts. But I am thinking what you need is in the color step-by-step picture guide.

I just did a front disc brake conversion on my '68 Lemans project and everything went well until I went to install the caliper pins/bolts that hold the disc pads in place. Don't know what they sent with the kit, but they were definitely the wrong type and would not work. Had to get what I needed at my local auto store and even had to tell them what part number ('cause these guys don't know what they are doing anymore) - problem solved. Can only imagine if someone was doing this for the first time, they would probably have been stumped and not too happy. So sometimes things aren't what they should be or they are sometimes misrepresented when it comes to aftermarket stuff.

:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the feedback and excellent new resources. I found another illustration my GTO restoration guide by Paul Zazarine and Zazarine, Charles Roberts. The setup looks like mine, so I think it just may be an issue with having the wrong actuator link/rod. It's not obvious in the picture of my brakes, but it's the front. I can't see much difference between front and rear, but all the parts books/sites specify one or the other.
 

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Thanks for all the feedback and excellent new resources. I found another illustration my GTO restoration guide by Paul Zazarine and Zazarine, Charles Roberts. The setup looks like mine, so I think it just may be an issue with having the wrong actuator link/rod. It's not obvious in the picture of my brakes, but it's the front. I can't see much difference between front and rear, but all the parts books/sites specify one or the other.
Ooops, my bad. Somehow I was thinking rear brakes - my Service Manual showed rear brakes as example. However, I did pull the drum on the rear-end I have and it is the same as the front, less the E-cable lever.

Here are pics of the '68 front brake set-up. I just pulled these.

Pic #1 shows the entire brake set-up.
Pic#2 shows where the spring & rod all connect.
Pic#3 pliers point to the "pivot" clip which goes under/through the Adjusting Lever and the springs & rod all attach to.
Pic#4 shows the rod, and its shape, which attaches to the "pivot" clip and then hooks at the top to the "guide." You can also see how the spring attaches at the same place on top at the "guide" and then to the brake shoe.
Pic#5 is a little closer shot.

Hopefully this should help. Now if you need me to disassemble anything and lay out the individual parts and take pics, let me know and I'll tear into it for you. Hopefully you can figure out your situation with the enclosed pics, but will do what is needed to get your car up and running again. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey Jim, can't say thanks enough for the effort you gone to help me. Your pictures are very good. I've been studying your pictures in comparison to mine, looking for any clues such as spring placement over and under, counting coils, trying to see if there's anything that might indicate my actuator link/rod may be different, but nothing jumps out at me yet. I was driving the car the way it was before I changed the brake shoes so it's not parked until this mystery is resolved. Looking at parts kits online, I really don't see any difference in the front and back spring and adjuster kits, but the sellers seem to always differentiate between the two so I'll trust that there's something different. I'm going to continue to reference your pictures to see what I may be missing. Just seems coincidental that Ames has a disclaimer to use your old actuator rod instead of the new one with their kit. I'll let you know if and when I figure it out, since you have time invested in my mystery too . . . . Thanks again, I would be glad to assist you if there's ever an opportunity.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
can you take a picture of the whole drum. It looks like the left shoe is not in the right spot(too far down & out)

Hey Brad, thanks for asking. Sorry I've been slow to respond. I attached a picture that hopefully responds to your request. As you can probably see PontiacJim has provided some great reference pictures and so far nothing jumps out at me as being wrong. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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OK, really tried to study the differences between yours & mine. My shoes are different. May just be the brand. Yours have those rectangular type looking holes at the top used for the rear brakes - the parking brake lever hooks in there. But I don't think this should be of any problem. Shoes should be 2 1/2" wide on the fronts, 2" on the rear. Both are 9 1/2" dia. drums.

What I do notice is that the small spring under the adjuster lever looks different to me. I am looking at the small tang that the spring goes over. That tang on your brake looks further away from the shoe. The spring may be wrong or has too much tension. Just for fun, I'd remove that spring and see if the lever drops down into place. If it does, and the lever moves freely, I might try cutting off a 1/2 coil at a time until I got the lever right at the top of the star wheel as you see in my picture.

I can't see any other differences and your parts look to be correct and match what I have. Also, there is what is called a "sleeve" that goes under the hold down spring/pin that secures the brake shoe on the lever side. The opposite side has a washer. There needs to be the "sleeve" as it goes under the spring, through the lever, and into the brake shoe hole to keep everything lined up and in place. If this was left out, the lever would not be centered with this hole in the brake shoe and would slip to one side and may cause a problem.

I found this cheap Dorman small parts kit - just click on the photo to enlarge. You can see the "sleeve" at the top right next to the 4 hold down spring hats. 2 of the hold down springs have a taper bottom. These got used on the side that does not have the lever and the washer goes under them. The 2 springs without the taper bottom set inside the "sleeve" used on the lever side. Check to make sure yours look correct. Dorman HW7008 Drum Brake Hardware Kit | Autoplicity

Still trying. :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Can you move the adjuster arm down by hand so that it touches the star adjuster? Here is a pic of what the arm should look like touching the adjuster(I know its a rear drum but is the same function)
Good question Brad, I will check it out, probably not until Saturday. It's supposed to be less than 100 degrees Saturday, so it will probably be more tolerable in the garage then.
 

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OK, really tried to study the differences between yours & mine. My shoes are different. May just be the brand. Yours have those rectangular type looking holes at the top used for the rear brakes - the parking brake lever hooks in there. But I don't think this should be of any problem. Shoes should be 2 1/2" wide on the fronts, 2" on the rear. Both are 9 1/2" dia. drums.

What I do notice is that the small spring under the adjuster lever looks different to me. I am looking at the small tang that the spring goes over. That tang on your brake looks further away from the shoe. The spring may be wrong or has too much tension. Just for fun, I'd remove that spring and see if the lever drops down into place. If it does, and the lever moves freely, I might try cutting off a 1/2 coil at a time until I got the lever right at the top of the star wheel as you see in my picture.

I can't see any other differences and your parts look to be correct and match what I have. Also, there is what is called a "sleeve" that goes under the hold down spring/pin that secures the brake shoe on the lever side. The opposite side has a washer. There needs to be the "sleeve" as it goes under the spring, through the lever, and into the brake shoe hole to keep everything lined up and in place. If this was left out, the lever would not be centered with this hole in the brake shoe and would slip to one side and may cause a problem.

I found this cheap Dorman small parts kit - just click on the photo to enlarge. You can see the "sleeve" at the top right next to the 4 hold down spring hats. 2 of the hold down springs have a taper bottom. These got used on the side that does not have the lever and the washer goes under them. The 2 springs without the taper bottom set inside the "sleeve" used on the lever side. Check to make sure yours look correct. Dorman HW7008 Drum Brake Hardware Kit | Autoplicity

Still trying. :thumbsup:
Thanks Jim, yes the sleeve you mentioned under one of the hold down springs is in place for each side, left and right. After looking at the actuator rod/link provided in the Ames hardware kit, I'm convinced that I do have the correct ones on my car. The one provided in the Ames kit has a totally different shape on one end. Since mine appear to look like yours, then I think that's no longer a question. I'll just have to go back into it Saturday and as Brad suggested, see what happens while manually moving the linkages. I think I understand the action now and what causes it to engage the adjuster so that will help diagnose the issue. The shoes are 9 1/2 by 2 1/2 just like the ones I removed. I compared the old and new prior to installing the new ones. It's all part of the fun of owning a 50 year old car. Hopefully a little more investigation this Saturday will provide more clues.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay Jim and Brad, I removed my front brake drums again yesterday and here's what I found. On the passenger side, I found that the return spring for the adjuster arm (image 6423 attached) was not pushed all the way back so it was holding the adjuster out away from the star adjuster wheel. I pushed it back against the shoe mounting plate and was able to manually engage it with the star adjuster wheel (image 6426 attached). On the driver's side it all looked good without doing anything. My guess it with everything held in place with springs and nothing rigid, the driver's side settled into place after driving it some. Thanks for the assistance and example pictures you both provided.

I do have a new mystery however, I was cleaning up the front a-frames, getting ready for repaint and found this piece stuck to the magnet on my shop light. I'm maxed out on pictures for this post so will submit a new one.

Thanks again guys,

Rick
 

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