Drum brakes 65' Mustang


I have been trying to repair the drum brakes (front) on a 65’ Mustang. I have replaced everything including the hardware. The drums were also turned. Now I can’t get the drums back on over the shoes. I checked the shoes before I installed them and they matched the old ones. I discovered that the self adjusters have been removed at some point. I don’t see how this could affect applying the drums. Any ideas? Thanks.


So the self adjusters have been removed, but were they replaced with manual adjusters ?

If so, make sure they are fully unwound, otherwise you’ll never get the drum over the new shoes.


Did that, still no luck.


The brake shoes have two points each that they seat on when they’re not expanded because the brake cylinder is spreading them. Those two points are the round seat at the top and the adjuster at the bottom. Make certain that the shoes are in fact seated at both these points.

Do yourself a favor. Find a 3/8 drive socket that’s as close as possible to the same outside diameter as the top round seat. Take the shoes and the adjuster off the car and put them inside the brake drum configured just as they would be if they were still on the car. Put the socket in place at the semi-circles at the top of the shoes. Tighten the adjuster until the shoes fit fairly snugly in the drum. Make sure they’re still seated and square in the drum. Then LOOSEN the adjuster half a turn. If you install the brakes now without allowing the adjuster’s position to change your brakes will be correctly adjusted.

Make sure the shoes seat on the top seat and on the adjuster, and are centered on the backing plate and you’ll have no problem installing the drum.


Do the shoes fit inside the drum when they are off the car? Make sure they fit against the drums and that the drum contacts the mid point of the lining. If they don’t fit, they’re too big.


Did you clean the backing plate and lube the contact points? The shoes rest on six contact points or pads, three each. Make sure they are clean and lubricated with a film of lithium or moly-lith grease.


Why not try to put the old shoes on . . to see if they are really the same size as the new. You might have a size difference so slight that it just keeps the drums from going on . . . maybe the new shoes are just a little bit bigger. Rocketman