A Breeze-Through Brake Adjuster Replacement
Without a quality brake adjuster, the distance between your car's brake shoes and drum will not be able to readjust as the brake shoes wear. This makes the shoes travel longer to reach the drum when braking, thus giving you the feeling that your brakes are responding in delay. Automatic self-adjustment of the shoes' rest position is necessary in order to maintain a quick braking response. If you do not remember the last time your brake adjuster was replaced, it is probably now that you need to work on its replacement.
Brake adjuster replacement is just easy if you have the following tools ready. Plus, following the detailed steps below will definitely ensure your success in this do-it-yourself task.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- A full set of brake adjuster (including the cable, washer, adjustment rod, adjustment hex nut, stud pin, and adjustment lever)
- Jack and jack stands
Step 1: Place the car on jack and jack stands. Block the wheels with wood or stone as an added precaution. Make sure that your car's system tank pressure is above 100 PSI.
Step 2: Remove the wheel you are working on by loosening the lug nuts. Set the wheel aside.
Step 3: Apply air to the release spring brake and retract the push rod. Manually cage back the spring brake if air is unavailable.
Step 4: Remove the top nut by turning it counterclockwise. Remove the lock washer as well.
Step 5: Install the anchor bracket and hold it loosely with the lock washer. Thread the nut on the stud without tightening it too much. Reposition the anchor bracket so that the slot points upward.
Step 6: Apply anti-seize to the camshaft splines. Install the brake adjuster, making sure that the adjusting hex points away from the brake chamber.
Step 7: Secure the brake adjuster to the camshaft. Slip the stud of the adjuster through the slot of the anchor bracket. Thread the nut on the stud without tightening.
Step 8: Rotate the adjusting hex counterclockwise and line up the clevis hole with the brake adjuster arm hole. Apply anti-seize to the clevis pin. Install the clevis and temporarily secure with the cotter pin.
Step 9: Rotate the control arm counterclockwise toward the air chamber until it comes to a permanent stop. If the adjuster has an installation indicator, use it as a guide to know if the components are properly aligned and installed.
Step 10: Tighten all fasteners. Make sure that the control arm is steady while doing the tightening.
Step 11: Manually adjust the brake adjuster to ensure proper contact with the drum. Rotate the adjusting hex clockwise until resistance is felt (which means that the brake lining is contacting with the brake drum). Rotate the adjusting hex a half turn counterclockwise.
Step 12: Release the spring and service brakes by applying pressure to the air chamber. Check if the installation indicator is within the slotted area. Remove the clevis pin temporarily. If the installation is correct, the push rod does not retract and the clevis holes remain aligned. Repeat the installation if the push rod retracts.
Step 13: Put back the clevis pin and insert the cotter pin. Secure the installation by spreading the ends of the cotter pin.