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86-95 Trucks & 4Runners 2nd/3rd gen pickups, and 1st/2nd gen 4Runners with IFS

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Old 11-27-2007, 07:49 PM   #1
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New rear brakes - is there a "break-in" period?

I just did a rear brake job this last weekend (new drums, shoes and wheel cylinders). I set the shoes so they were just rubbing against the drum. In that position the parking brake took about 4 clicks to fully lock in to place. I've driven the truck about 80 miles since then and the parking brake has seems to have gradually loosened a bit, meaning it now takes waaay more than 4 clicks to engage. I didn't count but it's more in the range of 15-20. It may just be my imagination but it feels like the brake pedal goes further to the floor than before, but again, I could just be imagining things. As far as brake pedal feel, I bled the brakes well so I'm fairly confident there is no air in the system.

So, with all that said. Is this normal after doing a rear brake job? I'm gonna pull of the wheels and check the drag on the drums and possibly tighten it up a bit if the drums are spinning freely. Just wondering if it's common to have to go back and move the shoes in closer after driving for a bit.

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Old 11-27-2007, 10:16 PM   #2
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I would assume that there is a little break in, but 15-20 clicks from 4 in 80 miles seems like a lot to me. There is a chance that the adjustment rod was pinched or was a little stuck and now it settled to where it is suppose to be, putting your brakes out of adjustment. I would try pulling hard on the parking brake a few times to see if it automatically adjusts rather than crawling under the vehicle and doing it manually. The adjuster seems to work best when slowly coasting backwards while pulling the parking brake. If the auto-adjuster is working properly, then it usually does a good job of keeping the shoes where they are suppose to be.

Brake shoe adjustment is related to both pedal and parking brake travel. The way I usually check to see if my brakes are getting out of adjustment is to slightly pull on the parking brake while driving and then see if pedal travel greatly decreases. The brakes will grab a little sooner even if they are adjusted properly, but if there is a noticable difference in pedal travel then the brakes are out of adjustment.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronk View Post
So, with all that said. Is this normal after doing a rear brake job? I'm gonna pull of the wheels and check the drag on the drums and possibly tighten it up a bit if the drums are spinning freely. Just wondering if it's common to have to go back and move the shoes in closer after driving for a bit.

Thanks!
Yep, that's pretty common. You'll find they're loose and need readjusted. You may need to do this 1 or 2 times before the shoes take their new shape. What's happening is the high spots are being removed from the shoes surfaces and reshaping them to the arc of the drum. The shape of new shoes is just an approximation of what arc they will encounter on new drums(or old drums for that matter). It's important to keep retightening them while they reshape themselves. Doing so improves the surface contact, which provides better braking and allows the shoes to wear correctly.
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Old 11-28-2007, 09:57 AM
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