Rear brake adjustment

Changing brakes on the 92 camry
How do i adjust them ??
They have the auto adjuster but can i get them close before i put the hub back on or is it go in reverse and keep hitting the brakes.
I used to know but i forget , im getting old :wink:


Yes. Adjust the brake shoes so the drum barely slides over the brake shoes. Then drive in reverse while pumping the brake pedal. That’ll adjust the brakes.


Thank You

For amateur mechanics, it’s best to do one side at a time so you can use the factory assembled side as an assembly guide…Getting the linkage and springs assembled correctly can be tricky. Check to see if there is a leading and trailing shoe …The longer shoe faces rear…Before disassembling, you can clean the brakes with a garden hose to remove and suppress the dust…

Also, be aware that the emergency brake cable will have to be lengthened if it was ever tightened to keep the throw on the lever within range. You have to remove the center console to get at the adjustment. The drums will not go on if the emergency brake is holding the shoes off the retdurn stop. Reverse braking does not adjust the emergency brake in this Camary. Reverse braking does adjust the automatic adjusters for the service brake i.e. pedal brake

Hope this helps.

Thats what i did
I pulled both hubs off and used the still assaembled one for a guide. I had too. Them old drum brakes arent fun if ya dont do them often. I think i got everything right. I tried backing down a hill in neutral and kept pumping the brake to adjust them. Then pulled the tires back off and checked. They did not adjust themselves so i hand adjusted them and tried the hill again. Not sure if there adjusting. I didnt hammer on the brake … fronts locked up but not sure if the backs are working right or not. I do believe i have them together right


The E brake works but not as good as it did. I havent gotten around to pulling the console off. been busy busy with the rest.


Did you actually remove the brake adjusters and disassemble them to make sure they’re not rusted/lacking lube?


I had to remove the adjusters
I put new shoes on
No rust

Could be lacking lube???

On Camrys the auto adjust works by using the Parking brake not driving backwards and hitting the brakes. On mine I reinstalled the drums manually adjusted the brakes through the slot in the drum reinstalled wheels and the parking brake was fine. If the parking brake still has too much slack you can use the adjusters under the console, but only after you are sure the brakes are adjusted correctly to begin with.

Take the brake adjuster out.

Unthread it and don’t lose parts.

If the threads are rusted/dry, clean off the threads and apply disc brake lube to the threads.

Operate the adjuster a few tmes to make sure it’s free.

Reinstall the adjuster.


AHA…Thats the ticket.
Just adjust them until the bottom out? ie hit the drum?

I wondered why the rubber plug was in the drum. lol i get in a big hurry…patience is not my strong point


Tester. The adjuster moves free. There is no rust in there

Fairbanks Alaska is LOW humidity. I see rigs from the 80s here with little rust. Im talking factory paint rigs.
Back home …in Wisconsin the frames are rusted through…then the salt doesnt help in wisconsin either
Here they use what they call E-Chip. its like a 3/8 in rock.

The toyota has a Alaska windshield.

Get it?

I guess it’s a little late to tell you how to preset the adjustment, but it I’ll do it anyway.

It’s possible to preset the adjuster to get it pretty well adjusted before installing the brakes on the car if the end of the shoes opposite the adjuster is round. On older cars it used to be almost always just a round anchor at the top, and the adjuster went on the bottom. It’s not always that way now. Sometimes on newer cars it’s a large wide block.

If it is a round anchor, you can use a socket with as close to the same OUTSIDE DIAMETER as possible to the size of the anchor. You are effectively substituting your socket for that part of the car during the adjustment.

It goes like this:
You put your socket between the two brake shoes where the anchor normally goes, and the adjuster on the shoes where it normally goes. You then put the whole assembly into the brake drum, ON THE GROUND, NOT ON THE CAR. You adjust the adjuster out until it’s reasonable tight in the drum, lifting and reseating the shoes a little from time to time because they tend to jam in the drum without being correctly seated. After a minute or two you’ll have the adjuster tight enough to seat the shoes in the drum pretty tightly. Back the adjuster up half a turn and install the shoes on the car without letting the adjuster change. When you put the drum on the car the brakes should be very close to correctly adjusted.

That sounds like the ticket. Ill take the tires off for the 3rd or maybe 4th time


The FSM for my 91 Corolla says that you should have 5 to 8 clicks on the parking brake handle. The shoes auto adjust using the parking brake.


Before you take the wheels off again, just work the parking brake handle up and down a few dozen times, the brakes should adjust themselves. It will only take you about a minute to do this.

The “by the book” method of initial adjustment it to get a brake caliper (measuring tool, not a caliper for disc brakes) from any parts store, it will be in the tools section along with the other brake tools and bleeder kits and use it with the drum off to set the initial adjustment.

Being the type that does not buy something that I don’t feel I need, I have always just worked the parking brake a few dozen times until it tightened up, and it has always worked.

Ill try that