ARRRGG!!! Drum Brakes Question

Messages
1,098
Location
MO
Hey guys, its been a horrible day for me and my car. its a 2001 chevy prizm (corolla clone). I was swapping out the rear shoes and drums. Checked the rear brake cylinders, no leaks. Car brakes have been a bit spongy for the past few months. Get everything all tightened and closed up, start driving, brake pedal is VERY spongy. The parking brake works maybe 25%. I take the wheels back off, one of the rear brake cylinders has exploded. Car is an '01, the brakes have never been done from what I figure since its a rust bucket in there. Both cylinders looked very rusty. My question: Could the cylinder have failed from me over tightening the adjustment screw?
 
Messages
5,091
Location
USA
More than likely the shoe iron slipped off the cylinder piston and it freely popped out when you stepped on the pedal.The shoe iron (called the WEB) needs to perfectly align with the cylinder plunger or else it will go poppo...
 
Messages
4,449
Location
Guilford, CT
Sounds like the shoes weren't adjusted properly (the shoes were way too far away from the drums). The pistons in the wheel cylinder had to extend so far out, they just came completely out of the cylinder. Just a guess.
 
Messages
36,528
Location
ME
They should have little tangs that fit snugly. If you can stretch the springs on and get the drum on you should be good. I expect (dangerous word) a new cylinder would have enough internal friction, and help from the rubber ends, that it won't fall apart on you while you're putting it together. PS if you got your shoes wet with brake fluid you should get new ones.
 
Messages
7,430
Location
beaver land EH?
I wouldn't blame drum brakes in general but given the year/mileage accumulated to date on that car, I'd always resort to having all brake cylinders replaced as well (anything rear drum brakes not serviced for 6yrs or more, consider replacing the brake cylinders as part of the brake job). Q.
 
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