How Do You Adjust A Handbrake In a Truck Easily

How do you adjust a handbrake of a truck? Most trucks have the drum braking system at the rear wheels and the handbrakes operating directly on the brake shoes. When having problems with the handbrake, consider checking the cable before anything else. This cable might be attached under the belly of your truck.

How Do You Adjust A Handbrake In a Truck

If you are an amateur learning some stuff about the vehicle, then one of the questions you could be asking yourself is how do you adjust a handbrake of a truck? You need to jack up the rear end of your truck and follow the cable from the handbrake as you check for physical signs of damage. To effectively assess the cable, have someone in the truck operate the handbrake as you watch how it moves.

Check the Shoes and Adjust Them

4WD trucks have a small auxiliary drum brake mounted inside the brake disc. It has a pair of brake shoes similar to the drum brake. The shoes press against the drums. These shoes have a star wheel adjuster. The handbrake cable adjuster takes the remaining slack if the star wheel adjuster is used up.

You have to rotate the brake shoes to adjust them. Rotating will enable you to determine the lining left. If there is an excellent lining, use a screwdriver to turn the star wheel adjuster until you feel the wheel is locked.

If the cable needs to be adjusted, consider doing it at the U-shaped yoke or on the cable or the rod by using an adjuster nut.

Check the Shoes

After confirming the condition of the cable, consider checking the adjustment. Ensure you adjust the handbrake in all the disc systems in both parts. To adjust the handbrake cable effectively, consider adjusting the brake mechanism first. You have to locate the handbrake adjuster. While doing this, ensure the cable seats properly as they pass through the brake shoes.

Locate the adjustment access slot around the brake drum part of the disc assembly.

Star Wheel Adjuster

Look for the star wheel when the shoes are in good condition. The star wheel adjuster is located at the six o’clock position. To effectively work on the star wheel adjuster, consider lubricating it and its surrounding with oil. Doing this will give you an easy time to work on it.

After the star wheel adjuster has received adequate oil, consider turning it using a heavy screwdriver. Rest the screwdriver on the edge slot as you lever it against the arms of the star wheel. Keep turning the wheel until you feel the rear disc is wholly locked and it can no longer move.

When working on the star wheel adjuster, you might note that the adjustment slot is sealed by a blanking plug made of rubber or plastic. In such a scenario, use the screwdriver to remove it. 

Adjust Brake Cable

Sometimes you will need to adjust the cable. The handbrake cable is usually under your truck, similar to the typical drum handbrake. Most cables have the adjuster at the U-shaped yoke.


The handbrake is necessary, especially when parking your truck. Sometimes it might fail because it is composed of various parts. This guide will aid you in performing necessary adjustments to your handbrake.

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