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I've got a 72 with 4 wheel drum brakes. Just got it. When I brake, it pulls so hard to the right that I was able to go around my block without using my steering wheel.

I pulled all 4 drums off and to my surprise, nothing really stood out. They were really dusty, but no leaks or anything. Wear looked normal. I haven't been able to have someone push on them so I can watch them work. Any suggestions? If only the front right was working, would that make it pull right?
 

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Bad idler arm, bad ball joint, bad strut bushing, bad tie rod, all these could do this, even if your brakes were perfect.
 

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I had wheel cylinders so rusted on the inside they would barely work.
Check the left side.
 

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Sounds exactly like a bad brake line hose. If they are old this is the first place I would start. Dont skimp and just replace one, replace both of them. As soon as you replace the one you will take it out for a spin and it will do the same thing to the other side of the car. Been there, done that ;)
 

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When you have the car jacked up as suggested above to check the brake application you should also check the health of your suspension.

As others have suggested there are three primary causes for a brake pull (pull when braking).
1 - If one brake assy is working much better than the other it will cause a pull to the side that is working correctly. This could be caused by a collapsed brake hose, failed wheel cylinder, shoes way out of adjustment. So check for these on the left front.

2 - Wheel alignment way out of spec - if the caster on the right side was considerably more negative than the left side you could have a brake pull to the right. This is not all that likely, but it is possible. Additionally, it would probably lead to 'wander' while driving straight.

3 - This third cause is tied directly to number 2 but with a different cause. If (as suggested above) you had worn/failed suspension components you could end up with enough play in the suspension that when you brake the alignment goes into a negative camber condition resulting in a pull to that side. So for these issues check for lateral movement on the wheel (similar to checking for wheel brg adjustment) on the right side with the wheel off the ground.

Hope this helps!
 

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Welcome to the world of drum brakes. I lived with intermittent pulling for years. Sometimes left, sometimes right. No matter how many components I replaced it still did it.

I agree that in your case it is probably some kind of problem. But they still suck.
 

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The very first thing you do is check the brake's adjustment. Start with the front. Get the front two wheels in the air and rotate them by hand with the tires on. Listen for "brake drag" which is the sound of the brake shoes rubbing slightly on the brake drum.

No sound, then adjust the brakes up. You want both sides to be the same. After you have them adjusted properly have someone spin the tire by hand and you apply the brake pedal and verify it stops the wheel.

Repeat for the rear let us know if that fixed your problem.
 

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I would jack up the front end and see if the ball joints and tie rod ends are ok. I got an Old Continental that did the same thing and it ended up going a tie rod end.
 
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