Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

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Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby Burnage on Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:39 pm

OK some pictures have been updated as promised. Post up or PM me if further clarification is required anywhere. Anyway on with the show.

Before I start, I should reiterate the warning in the Haynes manual; brake dust is dangerous and may even contain asbestos, so get yourself a mask with a filter before beginning. There were a couple in the shed so I used one of them, if you don’t have one I’m guessing Halfords or B&Q will.

Park the car on a level surface, chock the front wheels securely and release the handbrake. Loosen the wheel nuts of the brake to be serviced, jack that corner up and remove the roadwheel. Put an axle stand under the car (see Fig. 1). You can now see the drum (Fig. 1 again).

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Fig. 1

Look now behind the drum and locate the four 17mm bolts securing the drum to the stub axle (see Fig. 2). These must be removed; years of rust and road grime can conspire to make this extremely difficult. Find a good spanner that will get a firm grip and strike it with something heavy, a clubhammer was my Dad’s weapon of choice. Remember that as you will be working in front of the drum, i.e. the position Fig. 1 was taken in, you will be behind the four bolts, and so you will have to turn them to your right, which corresponds to their left, thereby undoing them. I tried to tighten mine for an hour. Idiot. When you do loosen them, take care when removing them completely, as the drum is quite heavy.

Image
Fig. 2

With the drum removed, the view shown in Fig. 3 can be seen. Actually this is not quite correct; in that picture the cups and springs securing the shoes have been removed, leaving only the pins (circled). To remove the cups and springs, you will see that you must depress the cups sufficiently to allow the pin to rotate independently of it; a 90 degree rotation will align the head of the pin with the slot in the cup. I did this by using the socket end of a 13mm spanner to push the cup and spring inwards, then a pair of needlenose pliers to rotate the pin. Store the cups and springs safely; you will need them to refit the new shoes.

Image
Fig. 3

Now the shoes will move a little, we can remove the handbrake cable. Using a long screwdriver or other suitable implement, push the handbrake cable away from the trailing shoe until you can get at the cable with pliers, chunky ones are better for this. See Fig. 4 for where to put the screwdriver. With the pliers, pull the spring away from the handbrake cable and slide the cable along the groove and out of the larger opening. Unfortunately this is easier said than done, as said spring is extremely stiff!

Image
Fig. 4

Now remove the lower spring (arrowed, Fig. 3); grab it with a pair of pliers and pull one end far enough to unhook it. This spring is also very stiff; you will have to pull quite hard. Store the spring in a safe place, it will be needed later. Meanwhile the shoes will now come off the backplate; work them free of the lower pivot and the piston at the top and remove them from the car. Fig. 5 should be the result; remove the pins by pushing them through the backplate, and store them safely.

Image
Fig. 5

Now take them to your garage/shed/wherever you want to work on them; you will need a work surface, don’t do this bit sitting by your car on the driveway! You should have the items shown in Fig. 6. Now the upper spring must be removed, don’t try and pull it off, prise the hook out of the slot from behind with a screwdriver. Give the third, shorter spring the same treatment. Keep them both safe for later. You should now have what you see in Fig. 7. Prise the thin washer/nut type things off with a screwdriver; I wasn’t bothered about bending them as the new shoes came with new ones, I am assuming this is standard. This will give you the handbrake lever, which will go on the new shoes. Now we need the rest of the adjuster mechanism to transplant also, shown in Fig. 8. Turn the pawl with your hand and you’ll be able to swing the cam free of it and off the shoe completely, the adjuster strut will also detach. My shoes came with new pawls, pawl springs, bolts and clips so you can just leave the old pawl mechanism on and use it to help you build your new one. Take care to use the correct ones; the two springs are not identical, but are mirror images of each other, I think the same goes for the pawls as well.

Image
Fig. 6

Image
Fig. 7

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Fig. 8

Fig. 9 shows all the bits and bobs you should have recovered by now (new pawl mechanism and clip shown); now we perform the reverse process and reassemble everything with the new brake shoes. Begin with the pawl mechanism (Figs. 10, 11); the square clip with a slot cut out holds it on from the other side. In typical Blue Peter “here’s one I made earlier” style, Fig. 11 shows a completely rebuilt offside assembly alongside an incomplete nearside one. As hinted at earlier, the two assemblies are mirror images of each other, so it’s quite handy to have a (picture of a) complete one to guide you.

Image
Fig. 9

Image
Fig. 10

Image
Fig. 11

Next install the handbrake cable on the trailing shoe (thinner one); see Fig. 12. To attach the nut/washer thingy, I used an 8mm socket to fit over it and gave it a good whack (Fig. 13). Apply some high melting point copper grease to the area of the shoe swept over by the lever (Fig. 14). Great care must be taken not to contaminate the friction material; use the grease sparingly. By now you should be at the stage shown in Fig. 15. Replace the cam next, don’t forget to fix it on with the other washer/nut effort. Apply more copper grease where the cam sweeps over the shoe (Fig. 16 – ignore the adjuster strut, it’s not meant to be there yet!). Also apply a little to the serrated contact faces of the cam and pawl (they won’t slip, just helps them ratchet smoothly).

Image
Fig. 12

Image
Fig. 13

Image
Fig. 14

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Fig. 15

Image
Fig. 16

The adjuster strut can now be replaced. Figs. 17 – 20 show how it fits on to both the trailing and leading shoes. Now see Fig. 21 for how to replace the upper spring. Use whatever combination of pliers, screwdrivers and fingers you can to coerce the little baxtered into position. We can now replace the short spring to secure the adjuster strut to the trailing shoe; see Fig. 22 for its correct location.

Image
Fig. 17

Image
Fig. 18

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Fig. 19

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Fig. 20

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Fig. 21

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Fig. 22

At this point the shoe assembly is complete, minus the lower spring, which does not get replaced until the shoes are back on the car. Before installing the assembly, apply a small quantity of copper grease to the six shoe contact points on the backplate (see Fig. 23).

Image
Fig. 23

At this point I regret to say there are no more pictures; both hands were needed to get the damned thing back on the car! As the Haynes book loves to say, refitting is the reversal of the removal process. Start by getting the handbrake cable on; see Fig. 4 for details of how it is located. Note the plastic washer at the end of the spring does not pass through the slot. You will see that you have to bend the cable round the front of the handbrake lever before you can put it in, which I found very annoying. I ended up turning the whole shoe assembly upside down so I could push the cable straight through, then twisted it upright once the cable was secured. Next, locate the tops of the shoes up against the pistons, then position the lower edges so they rest against the lower pivot. Reattach the lower spring; hook one end on and pull the other one across with a pair of pliers. Complete the process by getting those annoying springs, cups and pins back in place. Unlike when you took them off, the pin is not held steady by the spring, so you have to hold the pin straight, position the spring over it, align and depress the cup and then turn the pin 90 degrees. Personally I found this required three hands, one to hold the pin, one to push the cup in (use the spanner as per removal), and one more to grab the head of the pin with some pliers and twist it. I did the first two and got someone else to work the pliers.

Now you’re right back to where you started, with new shoes. Work the handbrake a couple of times to make sure it’s all working properly. With the shoes sorted, take the drum and clean out the brake dust. Do not use compressed air for this, brush it out gently. Make sure you have a mask on when doing this! Now comes the fun part; replacing the drum. You’ve got to line up all four holes, in all three things (stub axle, backplate, drum), and you’ve to do it blind as you can’t see where the threads for the bolts are! Lots of patience and an assistant to hold the heavy drum are useful here. Something to line up the holes is handy also, I used some drill bits.

And that’s that. Repeat for the other brake. Put the wheels back on and take it for a spin. Work the handbrake some more before you go to get the auto-adjuster working. When you fire the engine up the brake servo will kick in and help you push the shoes out to the correct position. This may take a few pushes of the pedal so don't worry if the brakes don't work perfectly straight away, provided you've done everything correctly the auto-adjuster will sort things out quickly enough. Allow a few hundred miles for the shoes to bed in. Wish you had a car with disc brakes all round :lol: .
Last edited by Burnage on Thu Sep 14, 2006 1:34 pm, edited 6 times in total.
1.8 diesel - too primitive to break!
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Postby ianFRST on Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:02 pm

excellent guide mate :Q

one thing id add is, you should really buy a new spring kit with new shoes. for the sake of a fiver i think its worth it :D

you could also add a bit of info about the cylinders and how to replace if needed to (obviously just the brake pipe to undo, and the 1 10mm bolt) :Q
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Postby Burnage on Wed Sep 13, 2006 5:36 pm

Cheers :D good point with the springs. I'll look into cylinders/pistons, I guess once you've got the whole thing in pieces it can't be too hard to do them as well. I did forget to mention, don't muddle the drums up; put them back on the side they came from. The bolt holes are actually offset so that you can't do this, if anyone's wondering why they don't line up! Of course, you could easily put new drums on whilst you're at it if you wanted.
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Postby PaulC on Wed Sep 13, 2006 10:55 pm

Another thing you might want to mention is grinding off the lip on the inside of the drum that forms after years and makes it a pain to get over the shoes.

Also, easiest way I find to get them back on is to fully assemble the springs and everything, including the bottom spring, and lever one of the shoes behind the brackets that hold it in at the bottom.
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby lucasdemoley on Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:21 pm

Great guide. Once you start trying it it all makes alot more sence!

Three questions, as ive just done mine however not 100% it is wright. When the hand break is let off the lever within the rear drum that it ataches to hits the little plastic plug on the spring (i assume used to gauge how much brake is left), when it hits this, it pushes it to the side, stopping the lever going back any further. Any ideas? Im thinking of just ripping it out.

I have memories of when I puished the reachet thing that it would autamaticaly close up on itself, and when the handbrake is pulled wihtout the drums on, it clicks and adjusts. Mine doesnt do this, ideas?

The top of each shoe only just sits on the piston thing, they look like they are close to falling off it (backing plate site) which would ruin the rubber.

Mine look as the completed pic of the shoes on the car, however have the above problems?
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby myopic on Wed May 20, 2009 9:43 am

This is a really useful guide, but one thing I'm not clear about, having looked at my car before making a start on it. Do you need to undo the big hub nut to open up the drum and get it off as well as the nuts at the back, or can you do all of this without touching it?
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby headache5678 on Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:43 am

Burnage,

This is a great post. At the risk of going over old ground, may I ask please:

1. The 4 nuts to be undone are presumably those in the centre, with kind of vertical splits on them ?

2. Was your method easier than "undoing the hub nut" method ? (er if that works).

3. Which reminds me, what happens to the hub nut / and whatever the hub nut screws onto, using your (official) method ?


Thank you
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby Shannon on Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:46 pm

Its quicker and probably easier to simply undo the hub and build the shoe's where you're sat. was for me anyway
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby davecrook1 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:49 pm

where can i buy a cam and pawl from? do these come in the brake kit? if so where do i get a brake kit from? i bought new shoes and checked the old one to find they are like new.. but the auto adjuster is holding on.. so im guessing the teeth are worn
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby WarGodGX on Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:09 am

did these on a fiesta in college
omg they are a real F**king pain in the ass if you accidentally twist the brake shoes when trying to pin them back on
3 attempts it took me lol


you can do these without undoing the hub nut just take the hub nut cap off, realease hand brake and take drum off then do what is says in guide

and remember to adjust your handbrake after doing this our fiesta rolled away
[ERRR] a fun day :)
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby Xr2i-Fiesta on Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:29 pm

Dude,

Hub nuts the only thing that holds the drum in place and the wheels are contected to the drum via the 4 studs...
IF the hub nut isnt on correctly (250nm or w.e it's suppost to be) you risk the wheel coming off! o.0

It was loose, because people have undone it before and not torqued it up...

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Not your fault tho,
I blame the college!!!
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby lucasdemoley on Fri Aug 21, 2009 1:08 pm

Every time I have worked on the rear breaks it has always been hub nut off, drum off. The nut tightens the same way the wheel turns i.e unless you were reversing for a long period, it wouldnt come undone.

[quote="Xr2i-Fiesta"]Dude,

Hub nuts the only thing that holds the drum in place and the wheels are contected to the drum via the 4 studs...
IF the hub nut isnt on correctly (250nm or w.e it's suppost to be) you risk the wheel coming off! o.0

It was loose, because people have undone it before and not torqued it up...

---------------------------------------------
Not your fault tho,
I blame the college!!![/quote]
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby kingbillyzboy on Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:39 pm

hi can anyone tell me what size the nut is in the middle of the rear and front hubs to remove them? cheerz
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby mjmj on Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:19 am

Removing the hub nut, and drum only, is usually easier than removing the whole hub assembly. You can remove the whole assembly if you prefer working on the hub off the car, but getting the drum off is often easier than removing the whole hub assembly.

My preferred method (of drum removal / refitting):

Chock front wheels, put car in 1st gear, release handbrake, jack up car, remove wheel.
Remove hub nut cover (it should have a flat spot on one edge that allows you to get some leverage on it with a flat screwdriver). The hub cover just taps on with a mallet so it should just lever off).
Once the cover's off put a socket on the hub nut (over the whole metal shroud that covers the nut) and a 1ft (or more) bar on the socket. A bar's better than a ratchet as you need plenty of torque to undo the nut.
Stand on the end of the bar to undo the nut (assuming you're 14 stone or more! - if you weigh less employ a heavy friend to stand on the end of the bar for you to undo the nut). If you don't have a heavy friend you can stand on the bar and pull upwards on the wheel arch (to effectively make yourself heavier) which should work unless you're *very* light (I used to do this a few years ago before I "filled out"!). Note that on my 1999 Fiesta both hubs are the usual right-hand thread (so you can ignore the direction of the wheel when trying to work out which way to turn the nut to undo it).
Once the nut's undone, and removed, the drum should pull of fairly easily (turn it as you pull). The outer bearing race sits loose behing the hub nut so when you remove the drum the nut will fall out of the drum if you tip the front of the drum towards the ground - get ready to catch the bearing race as you do this as you don't want to get dirt on it.

Now the drum's out the shoes, springs, etc, can be removed as described by the Burnage. I usually take a few photos (with my phone) of the whole assembly while it is in-place before I start removing bits. That way re-assembly is easy (you will be able to reference which springs go where, in which holes, etc). I also usually take springs off one at a time and assemble them, in turn, on the new shoes - that way you can easily build the new assembly bit-by-bit as you disassemble the old one. Note that the adjuster and springs can all be assembled off the car and re-fitted as a complete unit.
Before re-fitting the drum it's worth comparing the arrangement with your photos to make sure you've not missed any springs, etc.

When re-fitting the drum give the stub a good clean and slide the hub back into place. Then re-fit the outer bearing race, followed by the hub nut. The nut should now be done up very tight (I can't remember the exact torque but if you don't have a torque wrench you can get your 14 stone friend to stand on the bar to tighten it fully). Note that if your friend is more than 16 stone be careful they don't overtighten it. I've never stripped the thread on a hub nut by standing on the end of a one foot bar, but I'm sure it is possible if you get a very heavy person to tighten it with their weight.

My only other tip: If you car's older than 7 or 8 years, buy a brake shoe accessory kit for your car before you remove the drums (the pins that hold the shoes in place get badly corroded over time and often snap after 10 years on the road - especially in the UK where the roads are heavily salted most winters). If you strip down the assembly without one of these kits you may be lucky and nothing's broken but after 10 years on the road you'll be very lucky if all four pins are still intact.
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby Jungle Jim on Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:05 pm

Brilliant posts, thanks guys.

One extra note. If the pads are well worn you may have to slacken off the adjuster on the handbrake lever even though the handbrake is off. Just spent an hour (removing hub via the four bolts method) trying to work out why the drum only came half way off. The hub mounting plate must have been catching on a bit of the handbrake assembly. Once I slackened the handbrake cable it came off easily.

Question for the experts. My shoes look like the pictures above, the right hand one is worn thin, the left hand is hardly worn. I've got a mate to press the pedal while I hold the shoes in place one at a time and both sides of the piston operate fine. Any ideas why the uneven wear?
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Re: Guide: How to renew your rear brake shoes

Postby jayrs on Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:56 pm

its common mate with rear shoes, on any car tbh.
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