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Discussion Starter #1
I installed the new axles and suport plate for the drum brakes. As I started to put the drakes back together, the strut would not fit. I ground off a 1/4" and it fit.
That probable was not a good idea, but to late.
After that everything went smooth, until the drum.
The drum slid on, but it went back to far against the support plate and would not let the tire spin.
Putting 1/8" thick washer over the lug nut bolt solved the problem.
I got the axles from Dr Diff. Not able to contact him until August 19.
Are there different length axles for an a-body housing? Ones that are only a 1/4" longer?

I'm not sure about the washers, is there a plate that can slide over the 4.5 bolt pattern and keep the drum from hitting the plate.
Or do I have to get new axles that are longer?

Last question if theses are the wrong axles can I keep them and install disk brakes to make this problem go way?
Thanks
 

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Not sure what you are talking about with the strut unless you are doing front and rear. The strut itself is on the front, runs from the radiator support to the lower control arm, and if you did remove quarter inch, as long as the flange places were not altered by grinding then you are OK. The struts are kind of fun to install, the front goes into the radiator support location, then the lower control arm goes into the K member while guiding onto the strut at the same time, then the torsion bar installed after the pivot point nut tightens on the inner end at the K member (opposite end of the torsion bar).

As far as the axle goes, I don't think there are different lengths for an A body. The bearing itself has a flange on the end to prevent the bearing retaining plate from going too deep, so using your book, make sure everything is the proper length (can find it online, too, axle length that is) and everything bolted to the axle flange correctly with gasket, etc., and proper side, adjuster goes on the passenger side. Only thing I could think that would make the axle too long (essentially) would be the axle retaining plate not being installed on the axle prior to the bearing (assuming it is the 8.75 rear end, not the 7.25 axle that uses an inside clip and pin to hold the axle in place). Again, check the book for proper sequence of bolting things together and such, make sure something isn't shimming the backing plate out too far.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Dana44
The strut according to the book I have is the horizontal piece that slips into the brake shoes. It has the anti raddle spring attached to it.
As far as I know everything is installed correctly.
It just seams that the the part of the axle from the housing out to the part that the drum sit up against is around 3/8" to short.
Do you think that the washers will work or should I have a spacer piece made to slide over the lug bolts and hold the drum bake so it does not hit the plate?
Thanks again
 

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OK, you are talking strut as in part of the emergency brake part. Are you sure it was in the emergency brake pivot arm properly? At the same time, if it isn't, it won't work the emergency brake, but if it was too thin, different story. Set the emergency brake and see if you can turn a tire. The spring at the same time should still hold it in place, just odd you would have to grind it down to fit, the star wheel on the bottom or the emergency brake cable being too tight are the only two things that would prevent it from fitting properly otherwise, brake shoes should collapse small enough otherwise.

My concern with the backing plate is that it isn't installed properly, or, is the drum hitting one spot on the backing plate, as in the backing plate is bent? Verify it isn't a bent plate by taking off the wheel, remove the washers, put the drum back on and gently finger tighten and turn the drum until it starts to scrape, see if it is even scraping or just one side/spot doing it. Figure out where it is scraping before determining it needs to be shimmed, that is not normal, It could be the edge of the drum that does not match the backing plate itself, so first things first.
 

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Are you using the correct drums/brakes for the A-body 8.75? The brakes are only 1.75" wide and the drums have flares on the open ends.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was told that I would be able to reuse the drum brake set up from the old 7 1/4 rear end. The existing and new pads are 2 1/2" wides.
If the axles are designed for 1 .75 pads , that would explain my problem. The drum and pads are to large. So the drum is hitting the backing plate before it bottoms out on the axle.
So would you guys get the smaller pads and drum or pay the money and go with a disc brake conversion?
 

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The smaller brake set up is getting more difficult to find and the drums are all small wheel bolt pattern. If you want the larger wheel bolt pattern go to discs.
 

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Well, the two rear ends are definitely not compatible. Rear disc brake setup will alleviate the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dana44
I went back and looked at the way I installed the backing plate. I had pictures of drums when they were installed on the 7 1/4 rear.
I bolted the axle directly onto the housing. So the thickness of the plate that holds on the axle was what was making the drum hit the backing plate. The axle plate pushed the backing plate out a 1/4". Once I switched the two plates around everything fit and works properly.
I snapped off a bleeder screw, but that's a story for another day.
Thanks again for all the help.
Never having done anything like this is quite a challenge. Even when I think I'm doing the corrected method, I'm not, but I am having a good time learning.
 

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How do you think we all get to the point we are? Don't hesitate to ask questions, it is the best teacher for all of us if unsure about something. Glad you figured it out.
 
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