Rear drums brakes suddenly lock, will not disengage.
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Thread: Rear drums brakes suddenly lock, will not disengage.

  1. #1
    Opeler Limerick is on a distinguished road Limerick's Avatar
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    Rear drums brakes suddenly lock, will not disengage.

    Hello! I am currently stuck in northern California without a mechanic to work on the Opel, thought somebody here may be able to offer some much needed help! What happened was this, GT had been sitting for a couple weeks with the parking brake engaged and in reverse/park. I pulled it out of the garage and drove it a couple blocks to see how it was doing, all seemed perfectly fine. I stopped, parked, and got out for a few minutes, and when I jumped back in to continue the drive the brakes had locked up. My first thought was the e-brake, however I soon realized that the cable was not stuck and I could roll backwards with some difficulty and still stop the car with the e-brake. With that out of the question I jacked up the front two wheels and found that both discs were still unlocked and rolling freely. Since I could roll backwards but not forwards I deemed the problem to be the rear drum brakes. Does anybody have any idea why they would suddenly lock up like this? I cannot get them disengaged by simply rocking the car and would burn the clutch up if I tried forcing it. I do not have access to any tools since I'm away from the house in southern California or else I would have tried my hand at looking at the assembly. Any immediate thoughts on what it could be? Thank you in advance for any help, I appreciate it!

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    Mid-West Opeler My location sawdust is on a distinguished road sawdust's Avatar
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    What kind of insurance do you have. Lot of us have "Road side Assistance" which includes towing (up to 100 miles)

    just a thought...
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    Opeler Limerick is on a distinguished road Limerick's Avatar
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    Yeah, the problem is I am around 330 miles from home, towing that distance would be very expensive unfortunately :/

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    Dallasmanta dallasmanta is on a distinguished road dallasmanta's Avatar
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    The reason you can roll backwards easier than forward is because the brake shoes are designed to rotate just a bit to cause better brake shoe application to the drum when moving forward. Thus the reference to leading shoe vs trailing shoe. The chances are that you have some rust build up on the drum surface from sitting with out use. This rust may have caused the drums and shoes to stay in the shifted locked position.

    Fairly easy fix with basic tools. Jack up each side on the rear axle and check to see if both are binding or just one side. Either way take off the wheel and remove drum to inspect what is binding up. Look at the spring that holds the shoe to the backing plate to make sure it did not come loose, if this is loose it will cause the shoes to not return as they should to center position. check the pivot point for the shoes on the opposite side from the wheel cylinder to see that the shoes are sliding back and forth.

    also check to see if anything is binding. Fix and re install. any brake shop/ garage can inspect this function. Hope this helps. Ron

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    Opeler Site Supporter My location vk2000 is on a distinguished road vk2000's Avatar
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    Rear brake hose?

    I just replaced the flexible rear brake hose on mine because the rear brakes were binding. They would lock up for a few seconds after I would come to a stop. Not quite the same scenario as yours but a possibility. That hose may have deteriorated to the point where it won't let the pressure back out.

    First thing I'd do is rotate the shoe adjusters on the backing plates to see if you can free up the brakes. If they free up but the problem comes back when you apply brake pressure, I would suspect a deteriorated hose.

    vancek

    Quote Originally Posted by Limerick View Post
    I stopped, parked, and got out for a few minutes, and when I jumped back in to continue the drive the brakes had locked up. My first thought was the e-brake, however I soon realized that the cable was not stuck and I could roll backwards with some difficulty and still stop the car with the e-brake. With that out of the question I jacked up the front two wheels and found that both discs were still unlocked and rolling freely. Since I could roll backwards but not forwards I deemed the problem to be the rear drum brakes. Does anybody have any idea why they would suddenly lock up like this? I cannot get them disengaged by simply rocking the car and would burn the clutch up if I tried forcing it. I do not have access to any tools since I'm away from the house in southern California or else I would have tried my hand at looking at the assembly. Any immediate thoughts on what it could be? Thank you in advance for any help, I appreciate it!

  7. #6
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    This may, or may not, be related but I have a similar condition on one of my GTs. I can roll it very slowly forward and I can roll it backwards but the second it goes too fast forward the rear wheels lock up solid (skid solid at 2mph).
    On mine it's not the brakes. I redid them and still same symproms. It's in the diff.

    Other than that, if you have an 8mm wrench, I would crack open the bleeder valve to make sure there isn't pressure in the line. If there is, let it out and try to get home. You could have water (or an air bubble) in the line and barometric pressure or temperature could be affecting the brakes.
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    MiniCorvette69 MiniCorvette69 is on a distinguished road
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    Collapsed hose?

    I have heard that old soft hose(s) can collapse, thus, brake issues... This is one item on the "To Do" list for restoration. My Rear Brakes are always frozen from sitting too long. At first, I thought it to be E-Brake. Not the problem, but I am replacing that too. My Game Plan is to ensure 100% Brake overhaul. Temporary fix to get home is get car dragged up to a block and try to drive the distance without backing up.
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    Last edited by hrcollinsjr; 05-13-2011 at 07:51 AM.

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    Senior Member My location zippy7575 is on a distinguished road zippy7575's Avatar
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    +1 on the collapsed rubber brake hose. I just had mine replaced for the same problem. There are three of them, two to the front calipers and one to the rear axle. Most likely the rear one is collapsed.

    My GT sat in the garage for a year because I couldn't figure out how to move it. Finally I rented a gear puller and was able to remove the locked rear drum (driver's side in my case), but OGTS told me it was probably the collapsed brake hose that was causing the problem. Sure enough, no more problems since I replaced them.
    Last edited by zippy7575; 05-13-2011 at 12:04 PM.
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    Opeler Limerick is on a distinguished road Limerick's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the help! Been MIA for quite some time and completely spaced a followup post. Very informative replies about the collapsed hose, turns out the shoes just needed to be rotated and they freed up. Problem hasn't returned since! I'll keep that hose deterioration in mind though...

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    Opeler PSabre62 is on a distinguished road
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    Just did the rear brakes on my GT finished up and took road test. I changed cylinders; they were frozen up, new rear shoes and a new flex hose. The flex hoses are overlooked too often. After BCA nationals I will tackle fronts along with a new master cylinder. I've worked on older cars too long not to skimp on the brakes!

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