Nissan Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Went looking on the drum backing plate for an access to the star wheel so that I could adjust the shoes; couldn't find one.

So, I have to remove the drum to adjust the shoes, right?

I ask because I've already adjusted the e-brake pedal cable to pick up some slack and the pedal is getting close to the floor again. Rather than tighten it up anymore, I was going to adjust the shoes. I guess these things don't have self-adjusters or they don't work too well.

Anyway, maybe it's a good thing if I have to go in there. If I'm having to adjust the e-brake pedal that much, I must be getting some serious wear on the shoes, no? I've got 43k on the truck. Front pads look great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
A common thing (from what i've noticed) is that the e-brake on the frontier isnt very good...they seize up rather quickly if you dont ude them regularly. Kind of dumb for me to say that as your truck is standard but you should try cleaning and greasing everything and try that...if its still not working properly the adjuster may not be set up right. I have a 2000 crew cab and just recently did the brakes. If the whole assembly isnt perfect that little adjuster tab wont hold tight up against the star wheel and thus it wont adjust.

Not sure if this is at all useful but you may want to check that out.

-Will - 2000 Frontier SE V6 CC 2WD
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well, I finally found the access for the adjusters. It's just under the wheel cylinder. I'll probably adjust the brakes this coming weekend. I have to get my VA safety inspection this month and one of the points is the rear shoes so hopefully, they'll tell me if I need to replace them (I've seen a nice looking set for about $40 at a local auto store).

Anyway, I'm thinking the self adjusters are just "frozen" already. I'm a little surprised at that, but they are drum brakes after all :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
Do you use your parking brake? The owners manual for my 2001 XE 4 cylinder King Cab states "The rear drum-type brakes on two-wheel drive trucks self-adjust every time the parking brake is applied." Can you apply your parking brake such that it will not allow the truck to roll at idle or with a little gas (you should be able to resist an idling engine)? Do you have to pull the handle out more that 6 to 10 clicks (you should not)? You might need to adjust the parking brake mechanism first so it properly applies the rear brakes and adjusts them. I assume that the 2004 is the same as the 2001.

I installed the third set of disk pads on my truck at about 115k miles. I still have life in my rear shoes. I'd pull the drums if I were you and look at the shoes rather than wait for a state brake inspection.

By the way, from an engineering standpoint the drum brake is a rather elegant design. A drum brake can "self-energize" during braking which minimizes the need for a power assist. The drum brake's primary weakness is that it does not radiate heat very well so it is susceptible to fading. That can be mitigated by use of different friction materials, e.g. sintered metallic shoes.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
If you've only got 43K on the truck, your rear shoes are likely fine (unless you leave the E-brake on a lot when you drive). Rule of thumb is typically one set of rear shoes has life of two sets of front brake pads, as most braking is done up front. You just need to manually adjust them, not too difficult, then adjust the handbrake if necessary. You maybe should slack off the handbrake before you do the adjustment. It may be thta your adjusters just aren't working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
There are 2 more things you can do to improve your drum brake stuff...convert to 4 wheel disc lol...itll only cost you about 2 grand...or more. Before i even look, does anyone know how to adjust the e-brake lever? im assuming you all have that stupid hand brake lever just below the dash...i really hate it lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I just wanted to thank everyone for their posts and provide an update. I crawled under the truck today and with the trans in Neutral, the front wheels chocked, the parking brake off, and one wheel jacked up at a time, I adjusted the rear drum brakes. The star wheel was indeed behind the rubber grommet/plug just below the wheel cylinder on the backing plate. From what I could see through the access hole, both star wheels actually looked very clean. I was able to adjust them (turning the wheel teeth closest to the center of the truck down to tighten) with about 25 "clicks" of the star wheel each. I would guess that was about one revolution of the star wheel. I'm assuming the click was caused by the star wheel turning against the automatic adjuster, but that's just a guess. There was enough room for me to do the adjustment with a flat bladed screw driver, which was good since I apparently either loaned out or gave away my brake spoons. Once I finished the adjustment I checked the e-brake pedal and it is now back to around half-way up from the floor, maybe even a smidge more, which is much better than it was. Oh, I also looked underneath the length of the truck and there is no turnbuckle or other adjustment for the parking brake underneath (just the adjustment at the e-brake pedal itself -- that's a pair or 10mm bolts, one for adjusting and one for locking, on the left side of the pedal). Anyway, unless I get a bad report at next week's inspection, I think my drum brakes, and with them my e-brake, are set for a while. Thanks again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
There are 2 more things you can do to improve your drum brake stuff...convert to 4 wheel disc lol...itll only cost you about 2 grand...or more. Before i even look, does anyone know how to adjust the e-brake lever? im assuming you all have that stupid hand brake lever just below the dash...i really hate it lol.

Yeah, wouldn't rear disk brakes and a limited slip differential be nice. Doubt I'll ever do it though. Check my previous post for the e-brake pedal adjustment. If you need a pic, let me know, I took one today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
There are 2 more things you can do to improve your drum brake stuff...convert to 4 wheel disc lol...itll only cost you about 2 grand...or more. Before i even look, does anyone know how to adjust the e-brake lever? im assuming you all have that stupid hand brake lever just below the dash...i really hate it lol.
Going to 4 wheel disk brakes will not significantly improve the Frontier's braking because most of the braking is done by the front brakes. Of course, if it's the look you're after and bragging rights then a 4 wheel disk conversion makes perfect sense.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Going to 4 wheel disk brakes will not significantly improve the Frontier's braking because most of the braking is done by the front brakes. Of course, if it's the look you're after and bragging rights then a 4 wheel disk conversion makes perfect sense.

Steve
I think the big advantage of rear disk would be maintenance. Pads are easier to change than shoes. And, even if the p-brake is a drum set-up built into the rear rotor, the shoes would have virtually no wear on them so they would last forever. The only problems would probably be the result of corroded or worn linkage or other hardware.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
515 Posts
I think ease of maintenance is a push if you need to machine the surfaces (drum or disk). I never considered the 4 wheel drums on my Corvairs to be that difficult to maintain.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I think ease of maintenance is a push if you need to machine the surfaces (drum or disk). I never considered the 4 wheel drums on my Corvairs to be that difficult to maintain.

Steve
I never liked them on my '68 Mustang (at all 4 wheels). I replaced the drums, wheel cylinders, MC, and shoes, and cleaned everylthing up; and even after several bleedings, the brakes still felt spongy to me (soft lines were good or replaced).

But, I absolutely HATED the parking brake on my '77 Corvette. It was the disk with the built in drum. The wheel hubs were in the way and the axles were held in by "C" clips in the differential, so unless you wanted to open the diff to 1pull the clips to remove the axles, you had to work through small holes in the hubs to pull springs, clips, the whole ball of wax. I spent many, many hours replacing the whole p-brake setup on that car (a spring tied by dental floss tip I found on the Web saved me extra hours -- at least on one side of the car). I had heard it was a PITB and I was glad I spent the extra money and replaced everythign with SS parts.

Anyway, I think the truck is fine for now. And, while I haven't pulled the drums on this vehicle yet, the diagrams I've seen make a shoe replacement look pretty straightforward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
drum brake

I heard if you go backwards the shoes will adjust it self. so back up lock it up and go forward and repeat this step a few times and the shoe willself adjust.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top