Weird rear drum mash up on '97 XLT 2.3l 2WD


marianarlt

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Mexico
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Some time ago I had the e brakes on a '97 super cab 5 speed 4 cylinder serviced. This truck is located in a very mountainous area and it had no parking brake cables. So I bought a set and had a local mechanic install them. To my surprise it would always get stuck after installation, I attended several mechanics and each just threw more wire around the cable clamp where the two cables meet. A few days ago I finished cleaning, servicing and rebuilding most of the engine bay and so today I wanted to have a look at the rear brake drums.

To my surprise the whole auto adjusting mechanism is missing on both drums, no cable, no guide, no spring, no nothing. There's more details to this: The actual shoes on each drum are NOT of different size, like it's said anywhere I read. Also they enter directly into the cylinder, which may be unique to this model but it's hardly seen on pictures like this. The adjuster bolt turns, but actually won't move at all on its thread.

I could drive before, but always with the shoes slightly touching the drums, not retracting them all the way when loosening the parking brake. It was really slight, but noticeable and sometimes I had to release the brake like 10 times to loosen it to that point. Releasing it only once it sometimes even got stuck. So I was like: Press foot, pull - press foot, pull -press foot, pull like up to 10 times.

The Auto Repair Source gives me the attached diagram for 10&11" drums (probably mine, haven't measured) where the shoes enter the cylinder but there's definitely two shoe sizes, and the adjusting lever and everything.

What would be your approach here? I suppose the most safe thing to begin with would be new shoes? (They're also quite broken on the edges, not too much worn though [I think?]) Could the parking brake work effectively without the auto adjusting mechanism? Which one would I have to buy? The one with the lever arm?
 

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Uncle Gump

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I would just buy new shoes... wheel cylinders... and complete hardware kits and start from scratch.
 

Dirtman

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Over there --->
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Yea, whoever put your brakes together was drunk, stupid, lazy or a combination of the three. To me it looks like they put 2 front shoes on one side and two rear shoes on the other, and I guess just threw the adjustment levers and cables in the trash.

Technically the brakes will function fine without the adjustment levers, they just wont self adjust. I'd do what grump said, buy new shoes, new hardware kit, and 2 new self adjuster kits (these usually aren't part of the regular hardware kit).

The shoes going into the wheel cylinder is normal. As is having the shoes slightly touching the drum, that's the standard way to adjust them. Tighten the adjuster until the shoes just scrape the drum.
 

marianarlt

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Age
35
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Mexico
Vehicle Year
1997
Make / Model
Ranger XLT
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Manual
2WD / 4WD
2WD
You're probably right on that first assumption...
I've found good deals on pretty complete kits including the adjuster, they just all miss the strut, but that's my problem. Gotta bite the apple.

When I said "slightly touching" I was in fact referring to "blocking the wheels slightly from moving" which definitely needs to be remedied anyways :)
Thanks for the comments, appreciate it!
 


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