The rear brakes on my 1950 merc have won't release. I have tried several things and it seems like I need to replace the old drum break springs. I am having trouble finding the right ones. Can anyone point me in the right direction? These look like they should work but I'm not entirely sure https://www.carid.com/raybestos/professional-grade-rear-drum-brake-shoe-return-spring-kit-mpn-h131.html
What have you tried or replaced? If the brakes won't release it could be several things,if its just one wheel it may be rusted. If both rear wheels are locking up your brake hose has probably deteriorated inside causing a restriction.
If you have the stock master cylinder its a single bowl so a problem with it would cause the front to lock up also, if you can open a bleeder on either rear wheel and the wheel will then turn the problem is not the springs.
It is just the rear wheels that won't turn. I did a brake bleed but it did not fix it. I then began to think it was the springs because the brake shoes seem to be further out than normal, and the springs seem to have lost most of their elasticity. It is the stock master cylinder
I have not replaced anything else, and I was able to get the rear wheel to be able to spin by adjusting a specific spring on the bottom of the spring. I can't remember exactly what that spring was called, but using a screwdriver I adjusted it so I could move the car.
This is a common problem with cars as old as our's, The manual adjuster is what you turned, if you can get the drums off and just clean everything up it may work. The return spring is nothing special, all local auto parts stores have "help" racks with brake parts of different lengths.
Okay, I purchased a rear brake spring kit from a local shop and it ended up having only one or two springs that actually worked, I'll be sure to just get the parts individually this time. If If I clean it up and put in springs and the wheels still won't turn do you have any other suggestions for what to try?
You'll have to adjust the brakes with the star wheel, start off with the adjuster out just wide enough so you can get the drum on. Its easier to have a tire on and have a helper moving the tire as you adjust the brakes, you want slight resistance, this is a good starting point.