When I bought the car I was told that the brakes were new. I have no reason to not believe Brett (the guy who sold it to me) as he has been 100% correct with everything else he told me…..however it is brakes, so it is not worth the risk of assuming.
I started with the RH Front Wheel. Removed the wheel and found a brake drum…. big tick! 😉 I removed the split pin and bearing nut so I could pull the drum off (the wheel bearing is part of the drum with old Cadillacs). The grease looked clean and clear like it had been replaced recently…..another big tick!
Looking at the brake shoes, they have lots of material on them, and there is very little dust in the drum. It looks like Brett was spot on again!
One thing I did notice was the bottom spring was installed incorrectly. It had been installed on top of the star wheel adjuster. This means that it would not function as designed, and would not give the notches needed for adjustment. It also meant that it was a bugger to remove because it locked itself behind the star wheel and the edge of the brake shoe.
I removed the spring and installed it in the correct position. This meant that there was now a notch effect for adjusting the brakes using the star wheel.
I reassembled the brake drum and wheel bearing with fresh grease (Amsoil Synthetic Grease of course!) and adjusted it all up. The workshop manual says to adjust the brake until the drum is tight, and then back it off 14 notches of the star wheel. I actually backed it off a couple more notches to reduce the drag a little more – I can always tighten them up later if needed.
I have a full set of masticated rubber seals for the car, and noticed a pretty shabby piece while I had my head in the wheel arch. I went and looked at what I had, and there was indeed a pair of the piece required for both sides. No time like the present to solve this one!
I removed the old piece which was hard and brittle.
I then installed the new piece and realized that the hole at the bottom of the Wheel Arch Liner was to support the rubber seal. Replacing the staples is always a pain in the butt, however it needs to be done. You can see below that the old part was only half the size it was originally.
Now that the RH side was done, I moved to the LH Front Wheel. I came up against 5 immovable objects – the wheel nuts! The nuts on the LH side of the car are LH thread, however I suspect someone did not know this and has locked them up real tight. Rather than risk breaking my standard socket, I stopped.
I will buy a 13/16″ impact socket this week so I can use my impact wrench to try and loosen these nuts.
Happy Australia Day!