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How to Guide Miller Brake Tool


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  • 5 years later...

I couldn't afford the fancy tool, so I measured the inside diameter of the drum with a caliper then used an outside caliper to measure to the outside surface of the brake shoe.  From the drum diameter you have to divide by 2 then add 1/2 the diameter of the axle shaft.  Using the caliper I would go around the shoe adjusting the heel and toe until it just barely rubbed.  On the tapered axle I used a bearing slipped over the shaft to maintain a constant surface for me to measure with my caliper.  In that case the caliper was set to 1/2 of the drum diameter + 1/2 of the bearing diameter.  Worked well.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 1 year later...

For the front brake drums, you can use a side grinder and cut a notch in a spare drum, so a feeler gauge can be slipped in to measure shoe clearance.  I simply put the spare drum on temporarily while I get the shoes adjusted, then put the regular drum back on.  This will work if the spare drum is the same inside diameter as the normal drum you will be driving with.  For rear drums with tapered axle shaft, not so easy to do the switch.  Maybe someone else has a good method for adjusting the rear shoes, although the method described by darenfroe is  pretty good!


Dennis M. in W. Tenn.

Edited by dmartin_egroup
correction in last sentence
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How'bout taking a 1x4, cutting it with a jigsaw so that it fits inside the drum, then cutting a hole at its center so that it can rotate on the shaft...then ya could drive a bent nail in the end of the board to act as the gage tip...easy to make, easy to adjust, easy to replace if lost or damaged... 

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  • 3 years later...

Hey everyone...It's easier than you think.  Simply turn arrow the correct direction until the shoe just barely makes contact with the drum. Rotate a few revolutions to make sure there's no binding, just a very slight drag and that's it.  The shoes must be sanded/ground back from the ends about 3/8th's inch. Tapered back so as not to have a sharp cut off edge to the shoe. After a few dozen good stops, the shoe seats in. We're only talking .006 clearance.   I've done this for 50 years, never had any brake squeal/chatter, nothing. No pull either.  Stop perfectly.  Remember, it's all in the touch.  Give it a try... JK   PS, Now my friends bought me an NOS Milller 19 tool... go figure.

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  • 10 months later...

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