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Discussion Starter #1
68 Camaro. My parking brake is not working. I thought it was a simple cable adjustment so I removed the slack from the cable under the car. When I press the parking brake the cable is pulled tight, however, the rear drum brakes are not engaged. I can see where the cable is connected to the left and right drum. Any ideas how to figure out the problem?
 

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I'd start by making sure the rear drums are adjusted correctly.

You should feel a little drag on the brakes when you rotate the wheels. If not, pull the drums off, and tighten the star adjuster. If they are too loose, you won't have any parking brake.
 

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X2. The only problem with the brakes, adjustment slot is in the drum.
Loosen the parking brake adjustment,
adjust the rear shoes for a slight drag as Brent suggests,
then adjust the cable for tight brakes at 6-8 notches.
 

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It is also possible that one or both of the cables from the backing plate to the intermediate cable (in other words, the cable on each side that actually moves the shoes) has become corroded and stuck inside the housing.

Just another thing to check (before you try adjusting the shoes) if you have not.
 

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X2. The only problem with the brakes, adjustment slot is in the drum.
I thought about that, but wasn't actually sure if that was factory. Mine had a slot in the drum that looks like it was cut with a welding torch by the previous owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It is also possible that one or both of the cables from the backing plate to the intermediate cable (in other words, the cable on each side that actually moves the shoes) has become corroded and stuck inside the housing.

Just another thing to check (before you try adjusting the shoes) if you have not.
Yep, intermediary cables are corroded to hell. But now I have another problem. Out of curiosity I started the car and pressed the brake pedal while the drums were off so I could watch how the drum brakes work. Well, now I am trying to put the drums back on and they do not fit because the wheel cylinder is fully expanded and will not return to the contracted position so I can put the drums back on. What do I do to get the wheel cylinder to contract back to "closed" position?
 

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I would say the pistons under the dust cover are cocked.
You would have to manually align the pistons with your hands and squeeze at the same time. Not a biggie as long as the pistons/cylinders aren't leaking fluid, you're fine.
If they are leaking, replacement is the easiest, or rebuild the cylinders and bleed.
 
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