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Drum Brake Rebuild

This last Saturday, I got the chance to rebuild the drum brakes on our "new" 1973 Ford F-100.  They were pretty well-worn.  As a matter of fact, they weren't active at all.  Both wheel cylinders were leaking badly and when I pulled the drum off the rear-right side, two of the springs fell out to the ground in pieces.

I also used a full can of brake clean getting the insides cleaned up.  I love the way that they turned out.  I forgot how much I actually enjoy rebuilding drum brakes.  Most people can't stand drum brakes for some reason, but I actually like them.  I didn't mess around with trying to salvage anything.  It doesn't really make sense to.  I was able to completely rebuild both drum brakes with all new components for $63.  That includes a big bottle of brake fluid and the can of brake clean that I used.

Jodi helped me bleed them out on Sunday afternoon and they work awesome.  I'm very satisfied with their performance.  There's just something about repairing a vehicle correctly and knowing you can confidently use that vehicle without fear of your "repair" being some Achilles' heel to the entire vehicle.  I find immense satisfaction in it.

I took it to A-1 Custom Muffler to get new exhaust pipes welded in where they were all rusted through and so it has all new pipes on it.

I still have a few things that I need to do to it.  It needs the following:
  • New right-hand exhaust manifold and gasket.
  • New valve cover gaskets.
  • New proportioning valve brake dummy sensor (or plug since it's not hooked up anyway).
  • Wheel alignment.
  • 2 replacement tires.
I found a company that makes new aftermarket exhaust manifolds for a fraction of the cost that auto parts stores sell them for, so I'll be placing an order for one of those this week.  I'll pick up an exhaust manifold gasket at O'Reilly Automotive when I get valve cover gaskets and a plug for the brake proportioning valve.  I'll tackle the wheel alignment myself.  I've done it once before on a '94 Ford van and it worked great.  I'm actually looking forward to all these little projects to better the truck and have it be a worry-free vehicle.


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