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UMDSportsman

Brake Issues

Question

UMDSportsman

I know some of you guys know a lot more about vehicles than i do and i have a question for you. I have a 1995 Ford F-150 180K miles. It has disc brakes in the front and drums in the back. When it is slippery out and i step on the brakes the fronts will lock up but i dont think the rear ever grab that well. It does not have ABS and i do know how to brake without it. I was wondering if there is a way to adjust the brakes so they are more even? Is it just worn tires(see below)? If it can be adjusted can i do it myself or do i have to take it in? Is it just because disc brakes grab better than drums?

Other misc background info: I know that the parking brake cables are rusty, but i know/pretty sure those are independent of the regular brakes. My tires are on their last winter, they should be changed soon, but they are not bald yet. Last time i rotated tires all the brakes looked good. I have changed the pads in front, but never messed with the drums in the rear.

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Shack

I think you adjust the rear brakes the easy way by using the e-brake. On that model, the rear brake shoes are the e-brake as well. Short of manually going under and adjusting, I thought you might be able to adjust (if everything is free), by driving in rev. and hitting the e-brake in a parking lot.

Airjer or 4wondering might have an easier way, but most likely you will have to crawl under and adjust with (cringe) screw driver or a e-brake adjustment bar. Stuff could be stiff back their and you might need to brake down, clean, adjust or replace parts.

Good luck

P.S.

Activating the e-brake could cause it to seize and lock up, if it has not been used for some time.

Also, how often do you burn threw a set of front brake pads (mileage). If you are getting 20,000 to 30,000 miles on a set, the brakes are doing what they need to do. Some times I have seen the rears last a very long time. Plus, the portioning valve directs a large portion of pressure to the front and less to the rears. They might not lock up, unless from a high rate of speed. Plus if the front tires are thinner then the rears, they will skid first on ice.

Good luck..

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upnorth

If your self adjusters are working backing up and braking should adjust the rear brakes up bit. If that fails to work there is a way to adjust the rear brakes. On the rear drums there should be a little rubber plug that you pull our and inside there will be a little wheel that you can take a screw driver and turn that will adjust your rear brakes. You have to be very careful of over adjusting the brakes doing that, so I wouldn't do that unless backing up doesn't activate the self adjusters.

Your rear brakes never grab as hard as the front brake...keeps you going in a straight line.

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Macgyver55

I don't know if your vehicle is so equipped, but many pickups are equipped with a load sensing proortioning valve that will cause more braking in the rear as more weight is applied. I've seen several that the linkage has either worn or rusted off, leaving the brakes opperating at what ever level they were at when the valve quit working. I'd check that out too.

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UMDSportsman

I am not going to use the e-brake, i am pretty sure it will lock up if i do. i did know about the reverse and locking up the brakes, will have to try that again if i can find a clear spot in a parking lot. Won't happen in the lot i park in on campus, they never clear it out.

Macgyver- where would i find the load sensing proportioning valve if it is equipped?

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Macgyver55

 Quote:
where would i find the load sensing proportioning valve if it is equipped?

They vary, but generally the valve would be mounted on the frame above the differential and there should be a linkage that attaches to the differential.

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Scott K

These guys are right, the rear brakes are made to adjust while backing up and hitting the brakes, but unless they have been taken apart and cleaned and lubed regularly, they wont work if you drive the truck in MN. As for adjusting, there is a rubber plug in the back of the rear drum backing plate pull that out and adjust the wheel. But before doing that I sugguest removing the drums and inspecting the shoes. If you adjust the brakes and the material is gone, you will need drums very soon. If the shoes are ok, adjust the brakes up when the rear tires are off the ground, and adjust so the wheel has a slight drag while spinning the rear wheels by hand.

Macgyver is correct the proportioning valve should be above the rear diff on the body of the truck, it should have a lever atached to the diff. But check the rear brakes and adjust them before messing with the valve.

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Jeremy airjer W

The back up trick will likely not work. It doesn't take long for the adjusters to stop turning. They should turn when done manually. After you adjust them you should notice a higher pedal and quicker brake response when applying the brakes.

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UMDSportsman

Thanks for all the help guys. I've had more important issues with my truck come up and i think i will wait until i go home to mess with my brakes. I don't like working in a parking lot unless i have to. At home i should have all the tools i need incase something goes wrong.

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