Bess's Brakes Pulling Left

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. Mick

    Mick Member

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    Evening everyone,
    Need some wisdom. Low mileage 1966 Imperial with power drum brakes. Long story short, she pulled RIGHT when I first got her. Turned out she had a warped right drum. leaking LEFT brake cylinder, and suspect brake hoses.
    Replaced:
    1. Front brake cylinders.
    2. All three brake hoses.
    3. New shoes up front.
    I eventually sought a replacement right drum after turning a couple times, but ended up using a rear right drum and pressing out the old hub.
    Now she pulls left, even with both adjusted really close.

    One thing I did NOT do, was have the LEFT drum turned to more closely match the right. The FSM lists checking for matched drums and worn suspension components under possible causes of brakes pulling.

    Should I expect the self adjusters to compensate, or is that unrealistic? I do plan on matching the drums up before I mess with the suspension because she tracks perfectly and has no other handling issues.
    Any thoughts or experiences with this?
     
  2. Davea Lux

    Davea Lux Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Assuming no suspension/alignment related issues, when a vehicle pulls to the right or left, that usually means the the brake on the other side is not functioning correctly. Start by checking the adjustment, both sides should be the same. Are the brake shoes properly installed? Are the brakes properly bled?
    If one set or the other has the shoes installed backwards, that will cause pulling, the brakes will also pull if both primary shoes have been installed on the same side. Both front drums should be turned the same amount for best brake performance. As the shoes wear in due to mismatched turning amounts, the pull will eventually disappear, but it is better to have it right to start with.

    Dave
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
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  3. Mick

    Mick Member

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    Bleed went fine, but will have to eyeball the shoes just to be completely certain. Thank you.
     
  4. Zymurgy

    Zymurgy Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I agree with @Davea Lux comments, especially that the primary shoe is in the forward position (which is not the larger of the 2), I know this from first hand experience. Also make absolutely sure your distribution block is feeding the brakes correctly, again another thing I screwed up.

    Compare all this to the SM because the PO may have installed something incorrectly throwing everything off.
     
  5. Mick

    Mick Member

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    Thank you. I had this exactly backward in my head (primary shoe position). Will check.
     
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  6. Zymurgy

    Zymurgy Old Man with a Hat FCBO Gold Member

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    I am glad I am not the only one, I had mine wrong for 6 years. It always pulled to the right until I changed to discs on the front, then I had heat issues in the back, until I switched them a few weeks back.
     
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  7. Ross Wooldridge

    Ross Wooldridge Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Also check for brake lining contamination - pull the drum and see if there's a leaking wheel cylinder - if it was stopping straight after dealing with the RH issues, THEN started pulling left there may be new leak issues.
     
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  8. rkrochen

    rkrochen Well-Known Member

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    Lots of people make the mistake installing the shoes incorrectly. I even saw a mechanic on one the tv shows tell people this was the correct way to do it. Obviously I don’t watch that show anymore.
     
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  9. Ross Wooldridge

    Ross Wooldridge Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    ...and as pricey as they may be, Craig @mobileparts will have ALL the right parts in stock.

    You do get what you pay for in that regard.
     
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  10. Mick

    Mick Member

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    Thank you, Ross. Thanks everyone.
     
  11. Mick

    Mick Member

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    Update: Turned the left front drum and now she's straight!
     
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