Brake Shoes 1979 Dodge B300

1979 Dodge B300I installed all new brakes. I upgraded from 2.5 to 3 inch brake shoes. Installed new wheel cylinder on Left Rear. Had both drums turned. Left rear shoes wouldn’t compress enough but did manage to get drum on. Bled all brakes. Parking brake has slack, star adjuster is threaded to end but it think shoes are rubbing on drum making the springs have a ringing noise when driving. I backed up hitting the brakes to adjust but don’t know it that was enough. Question; why don’t shoes compress another 1/4″ and then be able to adjust everything?


These brake shoes are manufactured to fit many applications. In some cases you may need to modify them. If you need another 1/4 inch will can modify them. Grind the ends where they fit into the adjuster slots. You can remove 1/16 inch from both shoes and test. If you need more, then go another 1/16 of an inch. Best to take as little as possible as it is easier to remove then to add.

Brake Shoes Adjuster

Adjusting Brake Shoes for Drum Brakes

The drum brakes are self-adjusting and require a manual adjustment only after the brake shoes have been replaced, or when the length of the adjusting screw has been changed while performing some other service operation, as i.e., taking off brake drums.

To adjust the brakes, follow the procedures given below:

Drum Installed
  1. Raise and support the rear end on jackstands.
  2. Remove the rubber plug from the adjusting slot on the backing plate.
  3. Insert a brake adjusting spoon into the slot and engage the lowest possible tooth on the starwheel. Move the end of the brake spoon downward to move the starwheel upward and expand the adjusting screw. Repeat this operation until the brakes lock the wheels.
  4. Insert a small screwdriver or piece of firm wire (coat hanger wire) into the adjusting slot and push the automatic adjusting lever out and free of the starwheel on the adjusting screw and hold it there.
  5. Engage the topmost tooth possible on the starwheel with the brake adjusting spoon. Move the end of the adjusting spoon upward to move the adjusting screw starwheel downward and contract the adjusting screw. Back off the adjusting screw starwheel until the wheel spins freely with a minimum of drag. Keep track of the number of turns that the starwheel is backed off, or the number of strokes taken with the brake adjusting spoon.
  6. Repeat this operation for the other side. When backing off the brakes on the other side, the starwheel adjuster must be backed off the same number of turns to prevent side-to-side brake pull.
  7. When the brakes are adjusted make several stops while backing the vehicle, to equalize the brakes at both of the wheels.
  8. Remove the safety stands and lower the vehicle. Road test the vehicle.
Drum Removed

Brake shoes may contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.

  1. Make sure that the shoe-to-contact pad areas are clean and properly lubricated.
  2. Using and inside caliper check the inside diameter of the drum. Measure across the diameter of the assembled brake shoes, at their widest point.
  3. Turn the adjusting screw so that the diameter of the shoes is 0.030″ less than the brake drum inner diameter.
  4. Install the drum.