Which way to turn star wheel brake shoe adjuster through port at backing plate? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 05-17-2019, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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SOLVEDWhich way to turn star wheel brake shoe adjuster through port at backing plate?

OK, this is related to my thread about the disappearing brake fluid.

I'm trying to remove driver's side brake drum, but it's not coming off. Parking brake is NOT engaged. Blackness suggested I retract the brakes using the star wheel. I popped off the little rubber cover at the back of the brake backing plate/dust shield, but I don't know which way to turn it for retracting it. I tried both ways, and man is it very hard to turn (or maybe it was hard because I was expanding it?--, but it wouldn't turn the other way with my limited leverage. The brake line is in the way and I can't get any leverage on the star wheel without pushing against the brake line, which I don't want to do. I'm just using a screwdriver as I don't have one of those angled brake tools for adjusting the star wheel. Do I really need to get that tool? Which way do I turn the starwheel through the back port to retract the shoes? Down? Up? (This is from the perspective of behind the brake system through the rubber capped port, not the front when you've takent the drum off.

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1987 Toyota Pickup base, 4spd 162K+ miles.
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post #2 of 8 Old 05-17-2019, 10:41 PM
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You can't just turn the star wheel. There's a ratchet mechanism. It will only tighten unless you push the ratchet pawl out of the way with a second screwdriver.

To give you the idea, the Youtube video below shows how the self adjusters work as a ratchet on the star wheel. To loosen the brakes, you need to turn the star wheel downward at the slot.

This video makes it look as though setting the parking brake lifts the self adjuster pawl out of the way. I can't attest to that from my own experience, but it's worth trying. I have only ever used a second screwdriver to lift or push the pawl out of the way to adjust the star wheel.

It's very tricky and you think you'll never get it, and then everything just works.



Another video that gives you more instruction.


Last edited by Wekadog; 05-17-2019 at 11:09 PM.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-18-2019, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Duh, I forgot about that. I've done that before on another car and just forgot.

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2004 Corolla LE 375K+ miles.
1987 Toyota Pickup base, 4spd 162K+ miles.
1996 Toyota Camry LE I4 (son's car) 230K+ kilometers.
2010 Toyota Camry LE I4 (mother's car). 162K+ miles.



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post #4 of 8 Old 05-25-2019, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think there is an adjustment plate like in the 2nd video. It looks like a spring is running behind the starwheel (from the point of view of the camera). Here are some photos:




I tried pushing the spring back and also up, but I can't get that starwheel to rotate downwards from the port behind the backing plate.

I think it's like the brakes on this video below, even though it's an '89 and my truck is an '87. You don't need to watch the whole video, just look at the still shot and see that there isn't any plate against the star wheel. It's just a spring that goes by it:


Any ideas?


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2004 Corolla LE 375K+ miles.
1987 Toyota Pickup base, 4spd 162K+ miles.
1996 Toyota Camry LE I4 (son's car) 230K+ kilometers.
2010 Toyota Camry LE I4 (mother's car). 162K+ miles.



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post #5 of 8 Old 05-25-2019, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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I found something down below the port when I looked down through the port from a higher angle. I got a pick in there and lifted it up. What the heck? Is this the adjuster pawl/plate? Isn't it supposed to be on the OTHER side of the star wheel, towards the drum? Isn't it not supposed to be on the backing plate side? I've never done any work on this brake system before, so I don't know who did what to it before I bought the truck.

I removed the brake fluid pipe to give myself more space and leverage, btw, so that's why you don't see it in the photo.


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2004 Corolla LE 375K+ miles.
1987 Toyota Pickup base, 4spd 162K+ miles.
1996 Toyota Camry LE I4 (son's car) 230K+ kilometers.
2010 Toyota Camry LE I4 (mother's car). 162K+ miles.



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post #6 of 8 Old 05-25-2019, 09:42 PM
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Check out these pictures of the brakes and self adjust lever. In your video, the self adjust lever can be seen at about 3:30 minutes. It looks like the self adjuster is behind the star wheel.



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post #7 of 8 Old 05-25-2019, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so that self-adjuster is supposed to be on the backing plate side of the star wheel adjuster. I think it is not in correct position, though, because it is floppy in there and was sitting below the access port. Also, I saw what I think is another part of that self-adjuster when it is below the port, to the rear there is the part of that adjuster that has a hole that either a pin fits into or a spring connects to. In any event, I believe it has been thrown out of position and loose. Something defiintely wrong in there.

I'm assuming from the access port, that the star wheel is rotated downwards to retract the shoes, regardless if it is LH or RH, correct?

I also tried to remove the RH side drum by turning two bolts into the two threaded holes in the drum to force it off, but as the drum was almost flush with the tips of the lug bolts, the two bolts stripped as it was very tight. Can't get that drum off, but I at least got it to the tips of the lug bolts. With this LH side I can't get it to budge. I did look in the access port for the RH and it looks more normal with the self adjuster right there, so I'm pretty sure the self-adjuster on the LH side is messed up and out of position as I mentioned above. That RH backing plate is real difficult to get my head up in there as the spare tire and some other stuff are blocking me from doing that, so I can't take a look in there very well. This is where I wish I had a lift instead of just using jack stands.

I won't be working again on this until Monday afternoon. Thanks for the diagram, which does show the self-adjuster.

If it makes any difference, my truck is not 4x4, and it is a Japan built truck. 4 spd standard transmission.

If anybody comes up with any bright ideas, I woud appreciate it.

.



2004 Corolla LE 375K+ miles.
1987 Toyota Pickup base, 4spd 162K+ miles.
1996 Toyota Camry LE I4 (son's car) 230K+ kilometers.
2010 Toyota Camry LE I4 (mother's car). 162K+ miles.



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post #8 of 8 Old 05-27-2019, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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I finally got that drum off. It took a lot of elbow grease. I found a round rubber plug at about the 2 o'clock position from the perspective from behind the backing plate. I put a long skinny pry bar in there and gave it some hard whacks with a 3 lb. hammer. It started to come off just a little. I then took an air hammer and chiseled off the two pins that hold the shoes in place. I kept prying and beating around the edge of the drum until it started opening up more. I also got a pry bar in through the access port and banged it out even more and just kept working on it until it finally popped off:

Here's that hole that had the round rubber cover:



The springs, caps, and pins dropped out, of course:



You can see that the self-adjuster was not connected with the U-shaped washer to the arm that holds the brake cable. The self-adjuster was doing nothing and something was stopping the star wheel from turning:


.



2004 Corolla LE 375K+ miles.
1987 Toyota Pickup base, 4spd 162K+ miles.
1996 Toyota Camry LE I4 (son's car) 230K+ kilometers.
2010 Toyota Camry LE I4 (mother's car). 162K+ miles.



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