Rear brakes on all the SPL/SRL are drums with shoes commonly referred to as leading trailing type. There are several differences between the early and the later models noted below.
The rear brake cylinders are held on by several (3 or 4 depending on year of car) metal shims. Pay special attention to the diagram on how the retaining shims go back on to hold the wheel cylinder in place. It does make a difference and will eliminate any future problems. The early models used a 13/16" wheel cylinder and the later models used a 3/4" wheel cylinder. You can safely swap wheel cylinders with little affect on performance. For example I used the later wheel cylinders on my early model '66. They were cheaper and readily available. In the case of a leaky cylinder, rebuild kits are available.
Each wheel has two brake shoes which are held in place with two springs. Between one end is the rear brake adjuster and the other end has the wheel cylinder. Brake shoes are available from many different sources - check the Parts section.
Earlier models have steel brake drums, which were later switched to aluminum. Brake drums are held on by the lug nuts and should be relatively easy to remove once the back wheels are off. If they become stuck, the brake shoes may be in the way. Check the adjustment screw to back off the rear shoes and try again. If they still are not coming off, try whacking the drum with a rubber mallet. Another method is to wedge the drum off by hammering a flat head screwdriver between the drum and the end of the rear axle shaft.
Here are several ways some owners refinished the outside surface of brake drums:
- Mine blasted and powder-coated
- Bead blasted, followed by buffing wheel and clear coat
- Some people finished the drum in black - nice on a spoked wheel
- Clean with a wire wheel and paint with 1200 degree stable engine paint
If you are looking for new drums, there is write-up about How to fit a 240Z brake drum on the roadster.
Rear Brake Lines:
There is a single rubber brake line feeding the rear brakes identical to the two rubber brake lines feeding the front brakes. The metal lines attached to the rear end contain a plastic jacket. It is recommended that this plastic be removed as it has been found to promote rust not stop it as originally intended. This holds true with the front caliper crossover tubes as well. Brake lines can be purchased from vendors, rebuilt by classictube.com or created by hand.
Rear Brake Adjustment:
Adjustment of the rear brakes is carried out by jacking up the rear wheels, placing the axle on jack stands, and turning the adjuster. The adjuster is a four sided adjusting bolt protruding from the brake housing on the backside towards the axle. Spin the wheel by hand as you are tightening the adjuster until the wheel stops. Back off 2 to 3 notches. If your adjuster is frozen solid, remove it(2 bolts), clean it up, put some anti-seize on it and it should work like new again.
That about covers the rear brakes. They are a pretty basic design and relatively easy to maintain. Parts are available from our vendors.