Zorba's JeepThere's just not anything "sexy" about brakes, especially drum brakes, and most especially rusty drum brakes! Driving home from the previously mentioned test drive for the transmission oil, I decided I'd had enough of the parking brake not working correctly. I figured I probably needed to do a rear axle brake job as the fronts were done by the car dealer. The brake shoes were about 2/3rds gone - they could have stayed in service a bit longer, but they were grossly out of adjustment because the self adjustment mechanism was broken in the right (rear), and both sides couldn't even be adjusted manually because the adjusters were a mass of rust. Probably a result of salt roads in Montana would be my guess. So I decided to simply replace the shoes, springs, and adjusters.
Brakes and rear DC outlet.
Rusty mess on rear axle, shoes about 2/3rds gone, and broken self-adjuster.
Shiny new adjuster and self-adjuster pawl.
Drums looked fine...
Other side torn down.
It took me about 3 hours actual work time to do the first one, as it has been MANY years since I've worked on drum brakes, and I don't remember ever working on drum brakes with self-adjusters. But elapsed time was almost an entire day! They sell the brake shoes by axle. They sell the spring kit by axle. They sell the self-adjuster replacement bits kit by WHEEL. Something I didn't notice when ordering. Furthermore, the self-adjuster kit is side specific, the one I had was for the left, and I was currently working on the right! To make the experience complete, when I went back down to the auto parts store to get the kit for the right - you guessed it! They didn't have it in stock. So I got the correct part the next day. Once the first one was done, the second took about 45 minutes!
Took it out for a test drive, backed it up numerous times to let the brakes adjust themselves, all seems very well. The parking brake now works correctly too!
I wanted to have at least one DC outlet in the rear of the Jeep, to run my Coca-Cola fridge or "whatever". It turned into a bit of an adventure. I had had several extra feet of 10 gauge black wire after completing the inverter/compressor wiring - so I cheated and used it for the positive feed for the desired rear of tub outlet, then spliced more (red) wire onto it to get the power all the way to the back. This latter wiring was sold as 10 gauge, but it was really 12. Still "good enough" for this purpose, although I would have rather had the 10. The vendor is sending replacement wire, but I'm going to use that for the CB radio as the 12 gauge is already in place.
Triple "Cigarette Lighter" DC outlet.
Nice, sturdy design.
Inside view. Note plus and minus brass bus bars insulated from each other by phenolic insert.
...and disassembled. Brass bus bar with large holes is minus.
Copper foil doubled over and holes punched. See text.
Reinstalled in housing with tabs overlaying the mounting holes.
Bottom re-installed after filing it slightly so the foil would fit through.
Bolted down near rear seatbelt winder.
Little Coca-Cola fridge - Jeeps are so small that it won't even fit behind the seat...
... but it will sideways!
Reprised from previously - note the "DC Outlet" label and wiring on the underhood power distribution block.
Then there was the whole mess of trying to find an outlet of acceptable quality. A single outlet would have been enough, a dual ideal. I bought a rather nice looking dual outlet that, when it arrived, was such poor quality as well as being a pain in the ass to deal with that I threw it away and looked for something better. I found this one which, even though it too is "Hecho en China" was a much better design. Granted, there's no insulation where the positive posts pass through the negative bus bar (and my added extension), but careful assembly and making sure things are good and tight "should" be fine.
This one wasn't as nice looking as the one I junked, and it was a triple which means I couldn't readily mount it where I really wanted to, but all in all, it worked out well. The pre-installed wiring and fuse holder was removed (and kept) as it was 18 or 20 gauge wire and some accessories that get plugged into these things can pull 15 amps, thus my desire for 10 gauge wire. I used copper foil as seen in the pictures above, doubled over for increased mechanical strength, better current capacity, and mostly because one side of it was covered with a kind of tar as it was cut from a roll of copper roof flashing! Didn't want the tar to insulate anything, so its now harmlessly sandwiched in the middle.. Both ends of the copper foil are grounded to the tub of the Jeep by the two mounting screws with star and flat washers for good contact.
Anyway, in it went, and it runs the little fridge just fine!
Read on for the next part!