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They are self adjusting, as on the ICE version. :)

AR42.10-P-1010-11SM Adjust Drum Brake

When the brake drum is assembled no manual adjustments may be performed at the automatic adjuster.

1 Operate hand brake once and release again.
2 Operate service brake, release, and wait for approx. 1 second. Apply hand brake with button pressed and release. Repeat the procedure until no "actuation clicks" can be heard in the brake drum.
3 Check the rear wheels rotate freely
4 When all work has been completed, check the vehicle brake on the brake test stand.
Differences in braking power above 20 % are not permissible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thye are self adjusting, as on the ICE version. :)
I tried the backing up procedure but did not do anything. So I adjusted them manually. The right rear wheel is very hard to adjust. It took me a while to make it do 3 clicks. The left rear wheel was a breeze. It did 3 clicks and it was perfect @ one turn tight.

I adjusted the drum brakes when I just got the car new. The two wheels were completely loose, I wondered why the car was not stopping. I again adjusted them yesterday; after almost 4 months and 2,500 miles. This time the wheels were about 2 turns loose.

Now it stops very evently and quick.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
They are self adjusting, as on the ICE version. :)

AR42.10-P-1010-11SM Adjust Drum Brake
When the brake drum is assembled no manual adjustments may be performed at the automatic adjuster.

1 Operate hand brake once and release again.
2 Operate service brake, release, and wait for approx. 1 second. Apply hand brake with button pressed and release. Repeat the procedure until no "actuation clicks" can be heard in the brake drum.
3 Check the rear wheels rotate freely
4 When all work has been completed, check the vehicle brake on the brake test stand.
Differences in braking power above 20 % are not permissible.
Why doing all that above?
"Check the rear wheels rotate freely"

If the wheels rotate freely; then the drums are not tight enough for the brake shoes to push out and there is no braking force. I wonder why many say that their brake shoes never get spent. Mine really do get spent:)

In my corolla I even replaced the drums because I really brake hard and even brake with the engine, doing down shifting.

1-) The rear wheels have to be @ 1 to 1 1/2 turn tight for the brakes to stop the wheels. Otherwise just the front brakes stop the car.
2-) The shoes should spend evently
3-) Check them periodically to make sure they are working optimally.
 

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Ditto - The shoes should NOT be dragging the drum. The shoes are supposed to be a very tiny distance away from the drum, but not actually touching.

My brakes work exceptionally well and my drums aren't dragging.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't know, just a wild guess it was put in there by the engineers who designed the car - but what do they know? :wink:
I bet you that my car stops much better than the cars of all those engineers together.:)
PS - I don't think the shoes should be dragging on the drums, unless you're looking to change them early.
So your goal is that you drums don't spend at all? My goal is that my car stops quickly and evently. Not pulling to the right or left, not skiing, just stopping on the spot if possible.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ditto - The shoes should NOT be dragging the drum. The shoes are supposed to be a very tiny distance away from the drum, but not actually touching.

My brakes work exceptionally well and my drums aren't dragging.
Oh yes, for many people just braking with the front brakes is just fine.
Read this:
Evilution - Smart Car Encyclopaedia

"Using the flat screw driver adjust the gear the other way until it gets to the point where you can no longer turn the drum by hand"

That's about 3/4 turn tight once you put the tire back.
 

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Here's a tech manual with the full explanation as to why your brakes aren't supposed to drag:

http://www.autoshop101.com/forms/brake03.pdf

From Page 25

An excessively large clearance between the brake drum and lining will
cause a low pedal and a delay in braking. If the drum to lining
clearance is too small the brakes will drag, expand with increased heat,
and seizure between the drum and brake lining may occur.
Furthermore, if the clearance is not equal the rear-end of the vehicle
may fishtail (oscillate from side to side) as one brake assembly locks-up.
 

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Jeez, if stuff like that needs adjusted on a brand new car, take it to the dealership and let them do it, its a freebie and you won't have any issues with warranty coverage should the drums fry themselves. Not to mention safety issues, not just to you but to those on the road with you.

I haven't had to adjust a set of rear brakes since the 1970's.
 

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36,000 miles driving all sorts of conditions and my drums still work great and the handbrake still noticeably catches after the first notch. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Jeez, if stuff like that needs adjusted on a brand new car, take it to the dealership and let them do it, its a freebie and you won't have any issues with warranty coverage should the drums fry themselves. Not to mention safety issues, not just to you but to those on the road with you.

I haven't had to adjust a set of rear brakes since the 1970's.
I agree to disagree. You don't know anything about brakes, though.
Warranty for a drum? They cost about $50.00 a pair brand new. Even if I had to go thru one set per year that is $150.00 within the 3 year lease, but I'm much safer than you. Keep braking with your front brakes only:D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
36,000 miles driving all sorts of conditions and my drums still work great and the handbrake still noticeably catches after the first notch. :)
Give me a break! You never adjusted your brakes in 36 months? I'm sure your car brakes very safe:rolleyes:
In another works you use your rear brakes for parking only with about 100 clicks:D

Yes, I can tell that you drive safer than me.:D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So, I guess the answer from Neonspinnazz, trooplewisand jwight is Never.
My adjustment is done about 2,500 or 4 months. Any other guys who do drum brakes maintenance to their car?
 

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Woah, hold up here! I didn't say anything about my driving skills! :D

My only (friendly) debate is that you aren't supposed to drag your drums. :)

My dealer opened up my drums last Winter because I heard a noise coming from the rear, but other than that nothing. :)
 

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Woah, hold up here! I didn't say anything about my driving skills! :D

My only (friendly) debate is that you aren't supposed to drag your drums. :)

My dealer opened up my drums last Winter because I heard a noise coming from the rear, but other than that nothing. :)
Man! they have to touch a portion as you turn them, therefore, the 1 1/2 turn tight. If they don't touch anything, more likely the piston does not even open with the neccessary force to brake.
 

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Yup, very true! However, you forgot the final step! :)

Using the flat screw driver adjust the gear the other way until it gets to the point where you can no longer turn the drum by hand. Back the gear off another 4 clicks and put the screw back into the drum. Replace the wheel and complete the same on the other side.
Evilution - Smart Car Encyclopaedia
 

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I have over 85,000 (highway mostly) miles on my smart and never had to adjust the rear brakes, they work perfectly normal. I haven't had to manually adjust any brakes in a long time, the last time was when replacing shoes on my daughters car when they dragged and the liner came off the shoe from overheating which locked the wheel, dragging shoes is not a good idea. Chumly
 
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