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72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together…
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tjmartin317
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 4:08 pm    Post subject: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Been a hot minute since I’ve made an honest to goodness post here on this forum. I’m still kicking, my 72 Squareback is still broken and rusty… though, against all odds, it’s less broken than when I started to the point where all it needs to drive again is new brakes all around. Started on the rear drums today and came across this:


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


To my limited understanding, these bad boys are supposed to adjust. And they aren’t adjusting at all. No click, no movement. Keep in mind these photos were taken *after* dousing them in brake cleaner and PB blaster…

Now, I’m the Bentley manual I used to get these apart, I didn’t find anywhere that laid out how to take these out, which leads me to believe they’re part of the actual backing plate, which unleashes a whole new can of worms when it comes to scare parts. So I ask you:
- is there any way to cure the terminal cancer I have? And what is the bare minimum I can get away with in terms of being able to adjust my adjusters?
- is it possible to find these adjusters/backing plates/assemblies relatively easy? That way I can keep on trucking with these brakes?
- am I totally screwed?

The hope is to do a short movement/brake test up and down my driveway on the weekend of Halloween. Hopefully this doesn’t delay that too much. Then it’s patching the floors and trying out the asphalt. Exciting stuff.

Here’s a photo of Fargo, still happily sitting on Jack stands as he has been since April.

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KTPhil Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 4:42 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

If memory serves, the block is welded to the backing plate. The stars are aluminum parts that should be free to rotate, and are held in place by spring steel fingers welded or crimped to the block. The studs screw in/out of the stars. Maybe you already knew all this.

If you can chock the aluminum adjusters out of the block, and if the fingers are intact, you can just install new stars and studs. Steel wool them, and use a light coating of anti-seize on the stud threads and in the bore for the stars. Just a SLIGHT smear, not enough to dribble out and ruin your shoes! An even lighter smear on the friction/locating tabs on the backing plate helps, too.

If you can't the the stars out or if the fingers are broken, you probably just want to check the classifieds and sellers for a good used OEM plate.
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tjmartin317
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

I’m guessing these are the little fingers your talking about:


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Either way, I’ve been vice gripping the hell out of the stars and studs, but those bastards won’t budge. Found the kits you were talking about with the stars and studs needed, but it looks like I’m not going to be so lucky :/
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blues90
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:04 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

At this point since you have nothing to lose try a propane torch and heat the blocks to try to get the adjusters out. If that works then wire brush the backing plates and some paint might do it.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 7:06 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2506212

Here is what they look like it just spins in the hole.

Heat it up and see if you can break it loose.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2022 10:16 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Not all studs are the same. Some have an angled surface where the shoe fits, some are perpendicular.
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tjmartin317
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

74 Thing wrote:
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2506212

Here is what they look like it just spins in the hole.


Funny you sent that link, I emailed this exact seller last night and just bought 4 of each from him. Here's hoping I can get the old ones out...

Sounds like it's time to light my garage on fire!
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blues90
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Heat will get them out , after heating them try using a hammer to jar the rust and break it loose , not real hard hits you don't want to damage the block . the heat and hammer taps break up the rust and also allow more penetrating oil to get in .

You might want to consider new springs and the clip that secures the parking brake arm the the shoe.


ISP West lists all of these parts .

https://vwispwest.com/type3/wheels-brakes/wheels-backing-plates-brake-shoes-cables/


Last edited by blues90 on Wed Oct 05, 2022 12:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tjmartin317
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 12:31 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

New springs are already on the way. Will see if the old clip comes off (currently the lever is still on the old shoe) and go from there.
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blues90
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

tjmartin317 wrote:
New springs are already on the way. Will see if the old clip comes off (currently the lever is still on the old shoe) and go from there.


Try the heat and light hammer taps to get the adjusters out as I stated before.
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Bobnotch
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 3:53 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Oxy acet heat to get the stars out of the block, then use it again to get the bolt out of the stars. Living in the salt belt, this is a common procedure. Then polish up the inside of the block as best as you can, and polish with a roll of sand paper the star pieces. Run a 10mm tap on the stars, and a 10mm die on the bolt portion. Replace the wheel cylinders, and put everything back together. Keep in mind those parts were used on type 3s from 66 thru 73 (all body styles).
_________________
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71 Notch ...aka Krunchy; build pics here;
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=249390 -been busy working
64 T-34 Ghia...aka Wolfie, under construction... http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=412120
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tjmartin317
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 10:16 am    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Bob, what would you use to polish the inside of the block? Otherwise I'll just use a brush strapped to a drill Wink
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Did you get them out?
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Multi69s
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 12:20 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

tjmartin317 wrote:
What would you use to polish the inside of the block? Otherwise I'll just use a brush strapped to a drill Wink


Get a piece of 1/4" round material (or close) that is 6" long (or so), metal is best but you could use a wood dowel. Cut a 1" deep slit in it with a hack saw, and mount it in any hand drill. Cut a 1" strip of sand paper, slide it in the slit and wrap it around the dowel (pay attention to drill rotation), and sand away. I wouldn't go to heavy with the grit, about 220. Remember, you don't want to remove material, just make it nice and smooth. If the star wheels left some material behind you could start with 120 grit and then go 220, just don't leave big sanding scratches in it.
_________________
69 road Bug 2110
73 Squareback - 2L, T4, Automatic W/ AC
Gone, but many fond memories 69 Baja Bug 2010 - 5 Rib Bus Transaxle
Gone but not forgotten 72 Baja Bug 2010
My builds
T4 into Squareback http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=458944&highlight=
Auto Trans Rebuild http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=516066&highlight=
AC in Squareback https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...highlight=
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Bobnotch
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 2:26 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

tjmartin317 wrote:
Bob, what would you use to polish the inside of the block? Otherwise I'll just use a brush strapped to a drill Wink


I started with that, then made up a "flap wheel" set up like Multi 69s describes above me. Then use some crocus cloth to polish the star wheel parts. I used high temp wheel bearing grease (just a dab will do) to lube the star wheels inside the block, and a some anti-seize for the lug threads. I make sure everything spins like it's supposed before I do a final assembly of the rear brakes, then adjust them to the drums.
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71 Notch ...aka Krunchy; build pics here;
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=249390 -been busy working
64 T-34 Ghia...aka Wolfie, under construction... http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=412120
Tram wrote:
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Tram wrote:
People keep confusing "restored" and "restroyed".
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Multi69s
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2022 5:37 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

In fact every time you do a brake job, the star wheel assembly should be pulled out, twist the brake shoe holder all the way into the star wheel, and then back out, cleaned, greased and reassembled. This way the threads are cleaned and lubed as well.
_________________
69 road Bug 2110
73 Squareback - 2L, T4, Automatic W/ AC
Gone, but many fond memories 69 Baja Bug 2010 - 5 Rib Bus Transaxle
Gone but not forgotten 72 Baja Bug 2010
My builds
T4 into Squareback http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=458944&highlight=
Auto Trans Rebuild http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=516066&highlight=
AC in Squareback https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...highlight=
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KTPhil Premium Member
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2022 9:29 am    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Multi69s wrote:
In fact every time you do a brake job, the star wheel assembly should be pulled out, twist the brake shoe holder all the way into the star wheel, and then back out, cleaned, greased and reassembled. This way the threads are cleaned and lubed as well.


And check the tension of the spring finger.

Yes, this is the kind of job that seems unnecessary until that day when it jams or breaks. Do it now while it's easy and you will thank yourself every brake adjustment!
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Bobnotch
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 07, 2022 1:06 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Multi69s wrote:
In fact every time you do a brake job, the star wheel assembly should be pulled out, twist the brake shoe holder all the way into the star wheel, and then back out, cleaned, greased and reassembled. This way the threads are cleaned and lubed as well.


Yup, very good advice. I try to do that every so often, as I might not put a lot of miles on the car every year.
_________________
Bob 65 Notch S with Sunroof
71 Notch ...aka Krunchy; build pics here;
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=249390 -been busy working
64 T-34 Ghia...aka Wolfie, under construction... http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=412120
Tram wrote:
"Friends are God's way of apologizing for relatives."
Tram wrote:
People keep confusing "restored" and "restroyed".
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tjmartin317
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2022 4:10 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Well, after a couple hours of MAP gas and hammering, here's where we're at:


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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.



The bolts came off thanks to some vice grips and my significantly stronger friend, stars (as you all call them, I call them gears), are essentially fused to the block. Solid minutes of heat in all directions, getting this thing nice and hot (and smokey at times), then hard hammering with a flathead as a punch. The thing hasn't budged. Part of me worries I missed something and the star is, in fact, supposed to be attached to the block... it certainly seems like it...

The gears/stars are rather warped now too... I have new hardware coming, so that's no issue, and considering neither of these parts were able to be moved by hand at any point in the uninstallation process, I don't think I'd want to reuse them anyways...

It's looking like I need a backing plate. And if I'll be removing the rear hub, I'll probably want to replace the bearing... it's the "if you give a mouse a cookie" version of automotive repair...

While I have you on the phone, I am curious what these little doo-dads are:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Little rubber plugs, two per backing plate, that go into these holes here:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Are these just to keep the elements out? Are they necessary? Am I going to need new ones because the other one got a little melty after being close to the torch for too long?

I wish these had popped off, like good little boys...
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Multi69s
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 08, 2022 5:00 pm    Post subject: Re: 72 Rear Drum Brake Adjusters Rusted Together… Reply with quote

Before you give up, do you know anyone with an Oxy/Acetylene setup? It will get the metal far hotter the MAPS will. I would try and heating up the block until it was red hot, the vice grip the stars and work them back and forth.

You are right on the plugs, they are there to keep the elements out. Do you need them? I've seen a lot of cars without them. However, I run them, and I "think" they are really helpful, if you run through a really large puddle.
_________________
69 road Bug 2110
73 Squareback - 2L, T4, Automatic W/ AC
Gone, but many fond memories 69 Baja Bug 2010 - 5 Rib Bus Transaxle
Gone but not forgotten 72 Baja Bug 2010
My builds
T4 into Squareback http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=458944&highlight=
Auto Trans Rebuild http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=516066&highlight=
AC in Squareback https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...highlight=
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