Series Land Rovers
By Bill Maloney
Okay, you've bought your new brake shoes and have installed them and for one reason or other it stops like crap. The shoes certainly need adjustment but first we must check a few other items:
OK, now you are ready to adjust the shoes. Turn off the radio and try to pick a quiet time or area as you'll need to be able to hear the shoes scraping against the drums. On the inside of each brake back plate is an adjustment bolt connected to a radial snail cam that contacts a post on the front brake shoe of that wheel (109s have one for each shoe on the front wheels). Turn the adjuster while turning the wheel. When it stops turning turn the adjuster a little more. If it stops hard, you're turning the wrong way! On mine most go clockwise but one goes counter clockwise (yes I have had the drum off and examined it). When you are turning it the right way, you'll reach a point where the wheel will stop and you will still be able to turn the adjuster with stiffening resistance and the feel of 2 or 3 more clicks until it is locked. With new shoes turn them in til they just start to drag. With used shoes turn them in til they drag and back off just til they are free. If the adjuster cams are really worn along with the shoes you may turn it til the post jumps off the cam and you have to turn it another 360. Replace the snail cam to cure this or do it again carefully, stopping a little before the post jumps off the edge.
Once you finish this you'll have a rock hard pedal and great brakes.
109 Front Brakes - As I mentioned the 109 has 20 adjusters on each wheel. They also have brake shoe steady posts. It is a bolt or screw with a lock washer that adjusts the sideways angle of the shoe in relation to the drum. If they are not adjusted properly the brakes will pull to one side. What you need is a combination square and a small ruler with fine graduations. At the 3 or 9 O'Clock place the flat part of the square against the hub flange so that the ruler/straight edge part is parallel to the brake lining. Make sure the area of the hub is clean and smooth and that the square is flat against it. take your small ruler and measure the distance from the lining to the straight edge at the outer and inner edge of the shoe. If it is not square reach around to the inside of the backplate and loosen the locknut for the adjusting post and turn the screw in or out until the lining is paralell to the straight edge. If you're not sure it is exact, err on the side of having it hair further at the inside than the outside. This way when the shoe is forced against the drum it will find it's own center. If tilted outwards at all, the adjusting post will prevent it from squaring up with the drum on its own. If you are not having problems this will probably be fine. But if you've addressed everything else and the brakes are still pulling to one side this could be the solution.