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Back Brake Binds going backward -- sometimes

greenbean

Donation Time
Hello, new to the site with a 1967 BR Green Alpine. When I back out of my driveway some times the rear brakes, it feels like the drivers side, locks up and I can unlock it by driving forward --- it can take a few tries, but I can finally (usually) go backwards. The booster was removed by the previous owner. Any helpful thoughts would be great.
 

mikephillips

Donation Time
As suggested, pull the rear drum. Do the following, one or more should fix it.
1 check it's not slightly out of round.
2 check condition of shoes, replace if damaged or fluid soaked.
3 check the cylinder, should move slightly side to side, that allows the assembly to self center. Also check the clips on the rear, if missing/broken can allow too much overall movement.
4 Check if wheel cylinder leaking if shoes are wet. rebuild/replace as needed.
5 Check shoe hold downs, one per shoe a pin through the backing plate with a spring and 2 cups or spring clip. Replace if broken/missing.
6 check return springs, one top and one bottom, replace as needed.
 

RootesRooter

Platinum Level Sponsor
My bet is on worn return springs. When one of my small springs started to stretch a bit, backing up would produce an odd sproing, click, sproing, click sound, with accompanying slight binding.

When the big spring goes soft, it results in the brakes locking up under pedal pressure.

The trouble with the springs is, its often tough to tell just by looking at them if they're worn.

You might also check your e-brake cable to make sure the mechanism is moving freely.
 

Nickodell

Donation Time
Since it only happens in reverse, I wonder if it is connected with the automatic adjustment system.
 

mikephillips

Donation Time
Assuming it's got the original rear and it wasn't a dealer demo or otherwise sat on the lot unsold for some time, then 67 should be back to manual adjust rears. Of course, without checking who knows for sure.
 

greenbean

Donation Time
Great comments from everybody, I cannot wait until this weekend to "tear" into the rear brakes. Hopefully if I need new parts, they are available from SS or CS. On the last comment about the adjusting mechanism, it seems that when I was in high school, 30 years ago, and working at a gas station, after a break job we would drive the car backwards fast and slam on the brakes to "set" the rear shoes --- but then that was 30 years ago and my mind has faded. I will add that to the list of items to check --- mmm, how would one check the adjusting mechanism, or would I just have to replace?

Russ
 

puff4

Diamond Level Sponsor
Assuming it's got the original rear and it wasn't a dealer demo or otherwise sat on the lot unsold for some time, then 67 should be back to manual adjust rears. Of course, without checking who knows for sure.

I've got a 67 and it's got automatic adjusters... don't think my car was a demo, and I'm certain the rear wasn't changed out - I've got all the receipts on work done on the car from new.

It is my understanding that self-adjusting brakes were fitted to all SV Alpine car #'s, starting with B395000001 and running through B395017553, and also were fitted to the following exceptions: B395017888,894,896,897,898,899,967,904,932,959,912,929,938,924 & 966.

Self adjusting brakes were removed starting from B39501553 and onwards (given above exceptions).
 

greenbean

Donation Time
Question then, do automatic adjusters go bad? (and thanks for sharing all that knowledge, where did you obtain it all from?)
 

Eleven

Platinum Level Sponsor
Question then, do automatic adjusters go bad? (and thanks for sharing all that knowledge, where did you obtain it all from?)

I have a November 1967 SV and it has automatic adjusters but I don't think they do much
 

Nickodell

Donation Time
Question then, do automatic adjusters go bad? (and thanks for sharing all that knowledge, where did you obtain it all from?)

Without trying to be sarcastic, anything mechanical can and ultimately will go wrong. The automatic adjustment operates exactly as you describe. In an ideal condition, each time you back up and brake it's supposed to take up just enough clearance, but not to bind the shoe to the drum. It's just possible that it reduced your clearance to zero.

You can disable the auto part and adjust manually.
 

RootesRich

Donation Time
Without trying to be sarcastic, anything mechanical can and ultimately will go wrong. The automatic adjustment operates exactly as you describe. In an ideal condition, each time you back up and brake it's supposed to take up just enough clearance, but not to bind the shoe to the drum. It's just possible that it reduced your clearance to zero.

You can disable the auto part and adjust manually.

It pains me to say this but Nick is correct.

The self adjusting never worked the way Rootes intended which is why they switched back to manual adjusting in '67. Somewhere in my collection I've got a copy of a service bulletin that recommends disabling the auto adjust.

In my case my Dad disabled the auto adjust shortly after purchasing our pre-production SV in '74 due to the shoes binding. My late SV (built in '67) came with manual adjust.
 

RootesRooter

Platinum Level Sponsor
Question then, do automatic adjusters go bad? (and thanks for sharing all that knowledge, where did you obtain it all from?)

Yes, they do go bad.

Setting the parking brake is supposed to adjust the brakes. However, the teeth on the 'star' on the back of the wheel cylinder gets rounded off and the lever eventually doesn't grab and turn them anymore. Probably what first happens though is that the threads on the bolt that goes thru the star and pushes against one end of the brake shoe gets gunked up over time or rusts solid, preventing the 'star' from turning and adjusting the brakes.
 

RootesRooter

Platinum Level Sponsor
To adjust the 'automatic' brakes manually, you have to slightly pry the lever off of the star, then turn the star using a large plier. Then slip the drum back on over the shoes. The drums should just slide cleanly over the shoes, but not flop around. Yes, it's very unscientific. Sort of like setting the valves - where there should be just a hint of drag on the feeler gauge. You'll possibly end up re-adjusting the brakes after a test drive.

If you have it all apart, mark the position of the bolt in the star, then remove the bolt, clean & lube thoroughly til the bolt turns easily, and reassemble. Then pull up on the parking brake handle seveal times. Who knows? It might just start working like new again.

Take a look at the online Series V factory manual diagrams before you start.
 

Ron67Alpine

Silver Level Sponsor
Just an FYI. I have one of the late model SV's, that has the man-adj brakes. I lost the "wishbone" locking clips for the wheel cylinders. These clips seem to be NLA @ SS. Al Mason, saw a comment I made, in another post and helped me figure out that the clips, for the auto-adj will work, as a replacement. He sent me a pair, and they were easier to fit so they won't fall out. (thanks Al) IMO that 3 piece "wishbone" clip setup is a totally stupid, overly complicated PIA. If you lost those clips, the cylinder can move around and could bind things up.
Also note that the Rootes light car manual does not show these "wishbone" clips...at least my copy only shows the earlier type man-adj clips and the auto-adj clips.
Good luck
Ron
 

Jimjordan2

Donation Time
Well, now, let's think about this, self adjusting rear brakes adjust when you are braking in reverse. In other words when you brake going in reverse the adjuster tensions the brake shoes outward. The problem seems to occur just going in reverse. Just seems tied together somehow.

Better think about this over another glass of cheap wine. Good Luck
 

sunbby

Past SAOCA President
Gold Level Sponsor
The self-adjusting brakes don't adjust while braking in reverse. They adjust when you pull the parking brake.

As RootesRooter said, the common failure mode is they stop "adjusting" because the lever either moves away from the toothed wheel or the teeth wear out. This would cause a long brake pedal, not rear brakes that lock up when reversing.
 

ceecpa

Donation Time
The automatic adjusters (AA) "adjust" when you lift the handbrake lever. The AA can seize with dirt, crud, etc. There is a lever that engages a one-way-only ratchet wheel and the lever will hold the wheel which holds the brake shoe within a few mm of the surface of the brake drum.

Remove the adjusters from the wheel cylinders and thoroughly clean them in rubbing alcohol. If the wheel cylinders have much time/mileage on them perhaps replacement is appropriate. Then reassemble.
 
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