89 Mazda Drum brakes...AAAUUUGGGHHHH!!! (to borrow from Charlie Brown...)

Crossing due to the number of knowledgable people spread across these groups...
Tried to do the brake shoes on my 89 Mazda 626 today...no go. Couldn't get
the drum off (spent about 2 hours on one drum...)
No hole to insert a bolt, no hole to adjust the adjuster; manual said "Insert screwdriver in hole and push spring retainer to release shoes." Absolutely fantastic, except there WAS NO HOLE! I even took the spindle nut off since the pics showed no spindle nut...un-uh. Nada. No pulling, pounding or prying would get the drum off.
I finally got fed up and put the whole mess back together...
Any hints?
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If my memory serves me right, the whole drum/hub comes off after removing the 17mm (or 19mm) nut, washer, & outer bearing. I do believe there's a hole in the backing plate, just off center, on the upper middle, just above the spindle mount. There should be a rubber plug covering the hole. The plug is rather flat and easily missed. I used to use a 6" flat blade screwdriver to back-off the adjuster. Had to do it by feel since I couldn't see into the hole. Just felt for the adjuster teeth and rotated the adjuster in the opposite direction.
I found the brake assemble pix in AllData and upped a copy, link below.
http://i149.photobucket.com/albums/s58/thisisme_024/1989626rearbrakes.jpg

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On Mon, 18 Jun 2007 15:46:55 -1000, : P wrote:

Thanks, :P...I'll have another look, but I got up under there and felt around with my fingers. I may have missed it, but I don't think it's there... :(
It looks like I also have to do the right half-shaft, too...

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Hachiroku ハチロク wrote:

Check on Autozone.com: http://autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/17/e4/38/0900823d8017e438/repairInfoPages.htm
There are diagrams showing the (approximate) location of the adjusting holes on the *back plate*.
Lilke the other poster said, the rubber plugs are likely very easy to miss, especially if there's a lot of dirt buildup.
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On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 07:51:21 +0000, Matt Ion wrote:

http://autozone.com/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/17/e4/38/0900823d8017e438/repairInfoPages.htm
Thanks! But, my latest disaster (posted in the Toyota group...)
___________________________________________
My First CV Joint!
Probably my last. One of those, If it can go wrong, it will...days. First, couldn't get the steering knuckle off the ball joint. When I did, the boot was in poor shape. Autozone has a ball joint. What? It's PRESSED IN?!?!?! WHO THE HELL PRESSES IN BALL JOINTS!!! Replace the lower control arm? I don't think so.
Then, trying to pry out the axle...I pried the wrong damn part. Instead of the CV assy, I tryied to pry out the half-shaft. Bent the flange all to crap. New one is $125...
Bent the flange back...er, somewhat, got the dust boot off the new ball joint, and on to the old ball joint...er, somewhat, finally got the shaft into the hub...and the ball joint won't seat...
I started at 3PM. Finished at 9PM. So tomorrow, I'll rip the whole damn thing apart again and TRY and do it right. The oil seal at the tranny isn't leaking...for now, so I'll just leave it and see what happens.
And if it needs to be replaced, I'm PAYING someone to do it!!!
(Ya know, there was a guy in town that had a Sunoco station, and he did repairs, and he replaced the CV joint in my Tercel AWD wagon...2 bolts on the top of the steering knuckle, two bolts at the bottom, the strut/hub assy swag out of the way, a quick pry with a screwdriver, insert new oil seal, slide the shaft in, and four bolts (oh, and the axle nut...) and it was done. He charged me $25. THAT one I could have done myself!!!)
_______________________________________________________
I have to straighten this mess out before I go back to the brakes.
I'm beginning to think I should just give up and *PAY* someone!!! (Funny, I'm not usually *THIS* much of a Gumby...)
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Hachiroku $B%O%A%m%/ wrote:

your first best bet is indeed to pay someone else to do it. your next best bet is to go to evening classes on basic vehicle maintenance. that way you get to learn safely and without damage either to yourself or to your own vehicle.
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"your next best bet is to go to evening classes on basic vehicle maintenance. that way you get to learn safely and without damage either to yourself or to your own vehicle."
I don't think they cover replacing CV joints/boots or axle shafts in that type of class.
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On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 14:59:21 -1000, : P wrote:

It's done. I went back at it with a clear head today (after giving much thought instead of *SLEEPING* last night) and had a much better go of it.
ATF in a manual tranny?!
http://www.autozone.com/N,21200280/shopping/specsSelect.htm
YUP! That's what was in there!
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Hachiroku ハチロク wrote:

Ah, I feel your pain, I've had the odd disaster in my time... things that you look back on the next day and say to yourself, "WTF was I thinking when I did THAT???"... things that at first glance with a clear head, you realize, "Ahhhh, crap, if I'd done it THAT way it woulda been EASY!"
Of course, if your mechanic will let you watch, it's always an idea to let a pro do it once and find his secrets... then you'll be better prepared to do it yourself next time :)
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On Wed, 20 Jun 2007 13:24:29 +0000, Matt Ion wrote:

LOL!!!
Yeah, I have rounded shoulders and a flat forehead.
The rounded shoulders are from shrugging when reading the manual, and the flat forehead is from smacking it when I realize what I *SHOULD* have done! ;)

I saw a guy change one on my Tercel once, but it was an entirely different animal. 4 bolts and the hub was free of the axle...
Looked easy to me!
Job's done, went for a 10 mile test drive...<knocking on wood>...
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Hachiroku ハチロク wrote:

Better than the knocking coming from your CVs ;) Congrats on getting it done!
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On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 07:20:50 +0000, Matt Ion wrote:

Um, yeah...about that...
Tonight the DRIVER'S SIDE started clunking!!!! :(
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