Piston Slap: Melting paint and draggin’ drums on a Daytona?


Joe writes: 

Hi, I have a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona and the rear brakes don’t release and actually get too hot—they melt paint on wheels. The car is drivable after sitting till the next day.

To be honest, I already found the problem, but let’s get this out in case others have a similar issue. (Agreed! – SM) 

Sajeev answers: 

One of the perks of these highly desirable, highly modified (well, on the outside) Winged Warriors is the fact that they use mechanical bits from their Charger counterparts, including the rear drum-brake hardware. And these drum brakes can get sticky if they are out of adjustment, or if the emergency brake cables are not releasing.

Hagerty has a great video on drum brakes, but since you already solved the problem, I’ll take a SWAG and say you need to spend some quality time with the brake-adjuster screw and a screwdriver. Or that specialized tool that’s superior to a screwdriver. The adjustment must be done with the emergency brake disengaged.

It could be other issues, like a dragging emergency brake, collapsed rubber brake line, or maybe even a section of friction material falling off the shoe and periodically getting jammed up. But that last one isn’t very likely. What are the odds I got this diagnosis right?

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