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Old 02-04-2003, 06:17 PM
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Post Pulling my wheels

I have a 72 chevelle with 4 wheel drum brakes with a wicked pull when I apply my brake pedal. It pulls to the right and have tried adjusting them numerous times with no change. The pedal seems to be harder than it should be. Help would be greatly appreciated as I'm a virgin to this system.

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Old 02-04-2003, 06:58 PM
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I have seen several things cause this.

1. If your shoes are not adjusted correctly one side will grab before the other does and pull the wheel over. One trick I have used for years is after you adjust your brakes and have the hubs back on, wedge a 2X4 between the brake pedel and the front seat, so that you do not have full pressure on the shoes. Try turning the hubs, to get the same resistance feel on both wheels. When you do the shoes will contact the hubs at the same time. The wheel should turn freely when the brake is off. It will take you a few tries but you will get it.

2. Its possible you have greese or oil on one side and not the other causing the car to pull to one side.

3. If a wheel cylinder is stuck or partially stuck the shoes don't go into the drum the way they are supposed to. The wheel opposite the frozen wheel cylinder will pull the car to that side. To determine this. Pump the brake pedal several times, jack the car up and turn the front wheels by hand. If one is difficult to turn and the other wheel is easy, the difficult to turn wheel probably has a bad wheel cylinder. (Or your shoes may need adjusting as described above)

4. You may have a bad flex hose. The wheel opposite the side with the bad flex hose will pull the car to that side when the brake is depressed. To check for this, hook up a clear bleader hose to the bleader valve on the wheel cylinder and note how much fluid comes out of the wheel cylinder when someone else depresses the brake pedal. If one side has a steady strong stream of fluid, and the other side shows much less fluid flow, you have a bad flex hose.(It is possible you have trash in the line) If you discover this I would replace both hoses, as they are not that expensive.

5. In some cases I have seen uneven ware on the front shoes cause the problem because someone previously serviced the brakes with new shoes on one side and left the old ones on the other side. This is a no no, but it happens.

If your tests prove inconclusive, replace the wheel cylinders, brake shoes, flex hoses, adjust properly, blead the system, and I bet you will solve the problem.

Hope this gives you some ideas. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 02-04-2003, 07:00 PM
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I would pull those front wheels. Sounds like you've got a problem with debris, leaking wheel cylinder, or misadjustment. I've got a '72 El Camino and I've learned that the brake system is not one of its best attributes!
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Old 02-05-2003, 05:27 PM
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Thank you fr the quick replys. My first attempt will be trying to adjust the fronts again. What about a hard pedal? Is that the brake booster causing that problem?
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Old 02-05-2003, 07:17 PM
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By hard pedal you mean excessive pedal effort, that can be caused by:

1. Frozen wheel cylinders.
2. Brake fluid, oil or grease on linings. If you find this you can usually sand that off with 150 grit sand paper.
3. Worn out shoes.
4. Booster inoperative.
5. Leaking booster vacuum check valve.

Make sure you have equal tire presure in both front tires, also.
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Old 02-05-2003, 07:19 PM
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First make sure you don't have a leaking wheel seal or wheel cylinder on the front and back. Are the shoes on correctly and positioned correctly. There is a long shoe and a short shoe. The long shoe goes to the rear of the vehicle and the short shoe goes to the front. If you have oil or grease soaked shoes you will need to replace them to get the best brake performance.
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:05 PM
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What I mean by hard pedal is it feels like the power booster isn't working, but I'm not sure how to check if it is working. There is lots of vacuum and I'm told if you pull the booster check valve you should hear a pop to make sure the booster is holding pressure. The brakes and wheel cylinders are new with no leaks. Thanx

Trev
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:11 PM
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With the car turned off pump the brake pedal a bunch of times, this will use up any stored vacuum in the booster. After this step on the brake pedal and hold it (should be firm), while holding your foot on the pedal start the engine. As soon as she's running the pedal should drop a little from the engine vacuum actuating the booster. If you start the car and the pedal doesn't drop at all I would say you have a problem.
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