I have two questions for you guys. Last week I was working on the rear brakes of my 87’ honda civic. I switched out the brake shoes and bleed the brake system. After everything was put back together the parking brake had no tension. My father-in-law said the system self adjusts but the e brake hasnt gotten any tighter. Also, after this brake job, my brake pedal goes almost all the way to the floor when I try to brake. I have to pump the pedal once or twice to get some pressure behind the pedal. I’m pretty sure there’s no air in the system cause we kept filling up the reserve every few times we would bleed the system. any help?
Either you didn’t bleed it enough, or when you bled it you let the pedal sink too far. When you let the pedal sink too far, the plunger in the master cylinder goes farther than it normally does, and in an old master cylinder that means it picks up years of accumulated gunk from the walls of the cylinder. This then breaks the seal between the plunger and the cylinder, and fluid can get through which reduces pressure and causes your pedal to sink. The solution to this is to rebuild or replace the master cylinder. I recommend replacement - you can get a rebuilt master cylinder generally for under $100, and the job itself takes 15 minutes plus bleed time.
Oh and to make the rear drums self adjust, drive in reverse and stop hard several times. Assuming it’s just an adjustment issue and not a “you routed the cable wrong” issue, doing this several times will bring the brake into adjustment. I recommend waiting to do this part until after you’ve solved the squishy brakes.
Do you know EXACTLY how to do rear shoes on a vehicle?..they actually arent that easy to do. You have to pay particular attention to how the auto tensioner goes in the system…it is easy to put it in backwards…or put one of the forks on pointing in the wrong direction if you do this the park brake lever will have nothing to pry against and thus will not engage the shoe to the drum…VERY COMMON MISTAKE…sometimes even if you have the fork in the right direction…you may have to turn it 180 degrees to be in the right place…go on the net and you will find you tube instructions on how to do the rear shoes…you can them see the correct fork arrangements to make it work right…my guess is thats where the mistake was made… This would cause your problem…I suspect that you didnt re-assemble the shoes and hardware properly. Pay particular attention to the tensioner assy and the P brake lever and how it attaches to the shoe. This is the most common cause of this issue.