97 Shoreland'r tandem axle trailer with rear axle surge drum brakes. I want to try to adjust them, because they are not working. But what I can't figure out is what way I should be trying to turn the star wheel. I don't want to take the drums off yet, cause I don't want to mess with reassembly. My wheel cylinders are at the top.
So I assume that it will be "turn the star wheel down on one side, and turn it up on the other."? But I don't know which side to turn either direction. If my question doesn't make sense I apologize. If it's so blatantly obvious, just tell me this one time, and I promise I'll not forget! Thanks.
They're only going to turn one way because of the locking device inside the drum. Turn it one way and if it doesn't turn, go the other. You're better off pulling the wheel so you can get a feel for the drag when setting up drum brakes. I believe drum brakes also self adjust when applying the brake while backing up.
If they are self adjusting, you will need to make a tool out of heavy wire to move the self adjusting lever away from the star wheel notches while you turn the wheel to back off the brakes after removing all shoe travel inside the drum. I make mine out of 1/8" gas welding rod. Make a 3/4" long end bent at 90 degrees and modify the shaft to allow it to go around the adjuster on the drum side.
If the self adjuster lever is above the star wheel, you move the wheel up to tighten when adjusting from the backing plate side. Opposite if the self adjuster lever is below the star wheel.
Thanks for the replies fellas. As I thought it wasn't a simple answer.
I had the drums off 4 years ago to replace frozen wheel cylinders and I don't remember there being any self adjuting mechanism. I do remember that there was a spring that the star wheel rubs against that makes turning it very difficult. Most likely I am going to to stop being a wimp and just disassemble it. I probably need shoes anyway, there might not be any adjustment to make.