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When ever i need to stop my brakes work but when i hit the brake pedal it goes in too far before it brakes. When it finally does brake its not very strong, but every so often i am able to sort of pump the brake a couple times real fast and it brakes good. If this makes any since what would be the problem. (69 camaro/drum brakes)
 

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I would say if you can pump them up, then your master cylinder is going bad. Have you tried bleeding them at all?
 

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I'd call that pretty typical of drum brakes. Mine were like that, especially if I didn't keep them adjusted. Have you adjusted them? They're supposed to be "aelf-adjusting" but that doesn't always work. Pop the drums off, and turn the star wheels at the bottom until you can still get the drums on and off but there is a slight drag when you turn them. This will give you a higher pedal and more pressure on the first stroke.
 

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That sounds exactly like what happened to me. If you have tried bleeding the brakes and it still reacts the same way then I would say it is the master cylinder. I would definitely park it and test it in a secure location away from other vehicles or objects. I just about learned this the hard way. Master cylinders are not expensive and they are easy to change.

P.S. also check to make sure none of your bleeder screws are leaking. If they are then see about those first.
 

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You don't need to pop the drums like Jim says, b/c you can adjust them manually if you want to by sticking an adjustment tool into the back plate hole and then do like he said..........

IF they still have the little rubber plugged adjustement hole like they should have???? I've used the correct el-cheapo tool as well as a flat screwdriver...

OR instead!!

Just find a big parking lot OR make sure the street in front of your house is clear Sat. afternoon AND stop, then pull forward hard, stomp your brake's AND then pull backwards just as hard and then stomp them again and repeat until your brake pedal comes up!!

I always had to do this several times after even a NEW brake job!!!

And have done it as the time passed yearly or so to make sure my rear brakes were adjusted properly..

AND DON'T do this too much b/c you can set them too tight like I did one time b/c I then had to use Jim's method to hand back them off so the rears wouldn't drag................

pdq67
 

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hehe, you're right of course, Paul, but I always pull the drums anyway. Once when I was a kid, I did em from the back and got em TOO TIGHT! Was a real beetch to get the drums off, and not easy to back the adjusters down thru the access hole. If you can't get the drums back on, it's too tight, and much easier to loosen up!
 
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