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Join Date: Dec 2007
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ALWAYS USE YOUR PARKING BRAKES, or turn your license in for public transportation
My owners manual says to use the parking brake when parking. It doesn't care if you're on a non-hilly environs or sloped surface. When parking, you use it. There is no statement on not-using the parking brake when parking. No exceptions! Its not a once-in-a-while parking brake. Its an always-used when parking brake.
I can't use the test fit drum method since every drum I've ever reused had a rusty no-wear edge lip. I even have a drum/shoe vernier which I've never use. New drums can be test-fit adjusted, but I prefer the 'shhh shhh shhh' method.
Even if the brakes adjust mechanically on their own, it has limitations on much and how fast they'll adjust, especially with short-sighted owners that don't use their parking brakes(which is also an emergency brake when there is an all out hydraulic failure). If the brake job is recent, you could wait some time before the adjuster catches up to all the slack. And, if you like endangering the public by never using your parking brakes, or stressing an easy to break automatic transmission parking pall, don't expect it to adjust.
I've always used Dave's method, and recently re-adjusted my rear drum shoes about 2 weeks ago(for my state inspection). Parking brake works perfectly now(was a little weak before) and is used always. Brake pedal has great feedback. My brake shoes will last another gazillion miles. I don't give the state inspectors a reason to pull tires.
Owners manual doesn't explain brake jobs. Factory service manual explains how to take apart, put together, fix stuff,... but doesn't go into any reasons 'why'.