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

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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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