Break drum not fitting

Have a 91 Buick Century that I am trying to replace the drum shoes I got everything put into place properly and now the drum will not seat over them and if I do get it over it it is very hard to turn the wheel

Have you gone back over the shoe adjustment?

1 Like

Did you turn the auto brake adjusters so that they’re at their shortest length?

Also, do you have the brake shoes installed correctly?

The primary brake shoe is the one with shortest brake lining and faces the front of the vehicle. And secondary brake shoe has the longer brake lining, and faces the rear of the vehicle.



Ad if everything is properly adjusted and it still won’t fit look at the circumference of the shoes and if it isn’t on center with the hub bump the shoes until they are centered and get the drum over the shoes then bring the drum in line with the lugs.

Are you sure the emergency brake is completely released and operating so it can fully retract when released?


How would you get the brake drums off if the emergency brake was applied?


Measure the inside diameter of the drum and the corresponding measurement for the shoes. What numbers do you get?

Are you really sure you want to be doing your own brakes?

By having run the brakes well past the replace point so that it’s metal-on-metal and there isn’t as much friction to overcome. And a big hammer. :wink:

1 Like

Yes it is all the way in

Is there a rusty lip at the inner edge of the drum? If so, grind it off.

Being so close, you could sand the shoes down a bit where they’re hitting, or file the shoe adjuster notch (in one or both shoes) a bit deeper (use the edge of a flat file).

Are the parking brake strut bars installed correctly?

The slot on one end is larger than the other.

The larger slot fits over both the parking brake lever and the brake shoe.


Around here , because of the rust it is common for the parking brake cable to not retract quite all the way when the handle is released. For thr same reason, it is common for the self adjusters to stop adjusting. So the drum comes off with a little persuasion , but won’t go back on over the new thicker shoes.