Rear Brake Trouble Or Axle Bearing Or ?

NVERL8

Member
Mar 31, 2005
72
3
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42
Cincinnati
Hi everyone, need some serious help diagnosing an issue on my 65. If I take the car for about a 10 mile drive something on the drivers side rear wheel is heating up enough to cause minor smoke. By the time I pull everything apart I cant tell where the smoke is coming from. The brake drum is very warm when I get to it (much warmer than the passenger side) but it is free and not difficult to turn at all, and I don't have the normal brake dragging smell or any smell at all for that matter. If I press the brake pedal hard and let go the brake is free. The pads look very worn but since I do not get any drag I am not sure what the issue is. My other thought is wheel bearing allowing the axle to move some and contact the brake shoes however when I run the car I get no noise from the back and when I have the drum off and manually look for play the axle is tight.

My first thought was to try a new wheel cylinder and pads, but since I get no drag one the jack stands playing with everything I don't know if this would be a waist of $$$$. Plus I used the adjuster to adjust the brakes in a lot and got the same results on a test drive

If it might be the axle bearing I would have a buddies shop do but I do not have any other symptoms of bearing failure and really don't want to take it to him if a brake job is all it needs.

What am I missing?
 
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tos

SN Certified Technician
Apr 27, 2001
896
68
59
Cincinnati Ohio
If your bearing where getting that hot it would have failed by now or at least making noise. Plus you likely wouldn't see any smoke. Its got to be the shoe rubbing the drum. What does the surface of the drum look like? Can you post pics? Can you still rotate the drum with the car running (or does it not make a difference running or not)? Is the other side rear brake definitely engaging?
 

NVERL8

Member
Mar 31, 2005
72
3
9
42
Cincinnati
Makes no difference with the drum on or off or running or not running. I can spin everything freely with my fingers. The drum does not look bad and no uneven wear. Brake oad wear does look un even though.
 

tos

SN Certified Technician
Apr 27, 2001
896
68
59
Cincinnati Ohio
[QUOTE="Brake oad wear does look un even though.[/QUOTE]
You mean one shoe is worn more than the other on the same side?
Did this start happening out of the blue or did you do some work in this area recently?
 

NVERL8

Member
Mar 31, 2005
72
3
9
42
Cincinnati
not really, mostly like it is wearing more in the center of the shoes and not so much around the edges....... very strange
 

tos

SN Certified Technician
Apr 27, 2001
896
68
59
Cincinnati Ohio
not really, mostly like it is wearing more in the center of the shoes and not so much around the edges....... very strange
That just indicates that the drum is a slightly larger diameter which means a bigger radius than the shoes. Probly due to the drum being turned a time or two.
So the only thing I can guess at this point giving the information is that maybe only your drivers side brake is working in the rear but the passenger side is not, or just barely and the drivers side is doing all the work? This would explain getting that hot but turning free.
Unless you have an exhaust pipe pointed directly at the area heating it up that's all I got until we get more symtoms.
 

NVERL8

Member
Mar 31, 2005
72
3
9
42
Cincinnati
rebuilt the brakes on both sides last night and all is well. Must have been a bad wheel cylinder or maybe the original springs just didn't have enough strength to close the brakes back in....
 
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