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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me how to properly adjust rear brakes on a 1997 5.9L 1500 ?

AS of this posting, i have the truck on jackstands in my garage ready for adjustment.

ANY help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
:gr_patrio
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
nobody's a drum brake king?
 

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i adjust mine so the drum just slides over the shoes snugly just make sure you dont have a ridge on the inboard side of the drum as this will give a false reading
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You're awesome! Thanks!
 

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Find you a stretch of road that doesn't have any traffic on it and back up and hit the brakes. Do this over and over, back up, hit the brakes, etc. The self adjusters on the brakes should adjust them out for you if they're working right.
 

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Find you a stretch of road that doesn't have any traffic on it and back up and hit the brakes. Do this over and over, back up, hit the brakes, etc. The self adjusters on the brakes should adjust them out for you if they're working right.
That's key right there. If his brakes are a little worse off and like tkirk mentioned, might have a ridge, he'll have to adjust them from the back side (assuming theres a hole in the back of the plate to access this like on every other drum brake vehicle i've worked on) with the drums on. Adjust the pads until you feel a light drag on the drum when you turn it by hand. As for which way to turn the star wheel, i'm not sure, i only did front brakes and rotors on my truck when i did both wheel bearings, i haven't tore into the back yet, but i'll find out when i do the gears shortly and pull the axles out.
 

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im not sure about other years but my 97 doesnt have the slots on the back plate to adjust the pads and the self adjusters never seem to work after about a week
 

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yeah just get in there with a screwdriver and push the star adjuster up or down to tighten or loosen it so theres just a slight drag when you spin the drum. But not to much because youll wear your pads down pretty quick!
 

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I was taught to adjust until the wheel was locked, then back the adjuster off to a slight drag. Of course they may have changed procedures in the last 55 years. :gr_patrio
 

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Yeah my 98 has no holes in the backing plate to adjust the brakes either. WTF were they thinking!?!?!?!?!?! Most stupid thing I have ever seen!!!! I thought about cutting some holes in there but how often does anyone really adjust the brakes anymore? Just when we change the shoes.
 

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well i know it might kill ya but u could always just take the drum off. I usually just do that anyways so u dont have to do everything by feel in a little tiny opening
 

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I was taught to adjust until the wheel was locked, then back the adjuster off to a slight drag. Of course they may have changed procedures in the last 55 years. :gr_patrio
Yep, that's the way I was taught also. Course it would be kinda hard to do that without the access hole to get to it. :)
 

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there is an access hole in the back.. its usually plugged by a piece of metal. but its stamped out. Idk why its not punched out for you already, but just take a screw driver or a punch with a hammer and pop it out. If you have a hardware rebuild kit, you'll get the rubber plugs in it.
 

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i shot for the reverse method :) i started to try to get the drums off but got lazy when the BFH (dead blow of course) wasnt doing the trick.
 
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