I did the dreaded drums, hardware, shoes, and cylinders on my car. Because I'm such a bonehead it took me 1 & 1/2 days. I was making a basic mistake not related to the actual brakes that made the job impossible to finish. Let's have some fun and see if anyone can guess what I did wrong.
The setting: Yesterday, I ended up doing the driver side set up six or seven times, so I know drum brakes like nobody's business now. I got the entire set up all complete except when I went to install the drum I couldn't turn it no matter what I did. I tried it with all new hardware, old hardware, and a combo of both, but couldn't get that drum to turn. I even checked the adjuster at the bottom several times and it was all the way closed. I checked the E-brake and it was all the way disengaged. Over and over I did and redid those rear brakes, but each time I couldn't turn the drums. They felt like the brakes and/or e-brake were grabbing.
The solution: After fooling with it all day I came in feeling quite defeated. I went to bed feeling the same way, too. Then, in the middle of the night, thank the Lord, I woke up with an epiphany,my error became clear to me. What did I do wrong?
Here's a pic of the old shoes and why I wanted to R&R:
From the looks of things this might have been the second pair of shoes and hardware EVER on this 28 year old car:
So anyway, what was my boneheaded self doing wrong? GO!
1) Make sure E-brake is disengaged.
2) Make sure car is in neutral once on stands (frt wheels chocked).
3) Seems easier to disassemble from the top down.
4) Seems easier to reassemble from the bottom up.
Good. Hopefully my lame brain mistakes can help someone else.
As far as the car goes: thank you. I plan to keep the engine untouched. Its unopened from the factory. I'm just doing some exhaust (already done), added a 95GT MAF (massive help in air/fuel ratio), installed 327 gears so I can highway cruze and still be a little faster than factory, and that's it for performance at this time. I've almost got the car full LED conversion. Only a few more lights to go. LEDs are a HUGE improvement.
1) Had to R&R drive shaft yoke. It had a slight burr on it causing the output shaft seal to leak. 2) Installed firewall adjuster.
Question: Having rear end re-shimmed (correctly). I'm currently running a 3.27 final ratio. I also have stock accessory pulleys. I'm wondering about installing 3.55s since the rear will be open. I don't want anymore aggressive gearing that that ratio because I enjoy leg length on the highway.
At the same time I'm also wondering if a 3.27 and under drive pulley combo would feel like a 3.55 rear. What do you all think? Would a 3.27 rear and under drives feel like 3.55s in SOTP? If so, I keep reading that the BBK aluminum pulleys do the job w/o affecting cooling and charging. How is that possible since they are UNDERDRIVE pulleys? I don't want the pulleys if they will cause cooling and charging problems as many of them do.
If I'm looking at needing a 3G upgrade to run underdrives it doesn't seem worth it. Again, 3.27s w/underdrives, or just install 355s and retain stock pulleys? Go!