How to repair rear drum brakes
cant figure out how to get drum off
cant figure out how to get drum off
Drum brakes work by spreading brake shoes outward and causing friction on the inside diameter of the brake drum. As the drum wears, the shoes are designed to keep a small amount of pressure on the drum so as to scrape up against it during normal driving.
This slight pressure is maintained by an adjuster screw assembly, which spreads out when you back up and use the brakes. In order to remove the brake drum, the pressure on the shoes needs to be released by turning the adjuster screw assembly in reverse. This is done by inserting a tool such as a flat screwdriver in a slot behind the drum support plate and turning a toothy wheel to loosen the adjuster. Once it is loose, the drums will slide right off.
Check out these great exploded view of brake drums and be confident, they all work mostly the same.
A tip, take both drums off but change only one wheel at a time, use the other side for reference upon reassembly
Excellent answer with very good research. +
It seems there is first hand knowledge about this beginning to emerge. I like that. There are now better answers on here than 18 months ago. It's nice to see this developing correctly.
Date Performed : DEC 2010
2007 FORD Focus SE
Rear Brake/Drum Repair
I replaced the rear brakes for the 1st time, since the car was purchased. And it was not an easy task. If possible raise the car overhead, on a rack. Also, work in a well ventilated & lit work environment.
1st step was to remove the tire.
2nd step was removing the dome shaped dust cover. It was the only way to gain access to the nut, which keeps the brake/drum attached to the hub. I used small flat head screwdriver, to gently pry off the dome cover. Work the screwdriver around the edges. (The same way to open a gallon of paint.) This step took a long time. There may be a tool which makes this step easier. If so, I highly recommend having this tool before starting.
3rd step was to clean the drum assembly with brake cleaner. Have about 3-4 spray cans on hand.
4th step was to remove the nut. I recommend an air compressed impact gun. With a high-impact deep 1 1/8 or 1 3/16 socket. (NOTE: this nut is a ONE-TIME -USE only part! You will not be able to use once it is removed.) I can not stress enough, the importance of buying this OEM part from a FORD dealership! The part number needed is – YS4Z *3B477*AA They are not cheap. You will need (2) total. In California the price was $12.05 for each nut. $24.10 total with tax included. These parts should be the 1st parts purchased. Also, keep in mind the FORD dealership may not have them in stock. I had to buy one and have the other shipped a week later. Not cool after starting the project. You could try buying the part at the auto part store. But, trying to describe the part needed was a hassle. I also recommend creating a free user account on FORD’s website. Have your VIN number handy. It will make navigating the site easy. The account allows you to utilize many useful FORD services. Like buying parts, finding the nearest FORD dealership in your area, and free downloadable PDF schematics for all OEM FORD parts needed to complete your project.
5th step was to install the new brake shoes, springs, and clip parts. Take your time and keep notes as you remove the old parts. Install the new parts, the same way you removed the old parts. Work with one brake/drum assembly at a time. Like they say, if something can go wrong. It usually does. (Note: Check and tighten the E-Brake cable if needed!)
6th step is to replace the drum assembly, and double check all parts have been assembled correctly. Spin and turn the drum assembly a few times. Ensure the correct assembly of all parts. Replace the one-time-use lock nut. Next, the dome shaped dust cover. Last, is to attach the tire.
I hope this may be of some help. Good luck and always use PPE when working. Example safety glasses and ear protection.
+Mike, very well done. Good Job.
There are two ways to remove the drums on the Focus. There are 4 small bolts on the back side (I believe either 13mm or 15mm) that you can take off. The only issue with this method is that those four bolts are slightly hard to get to, and will likely require a socket extension and/or a universal joint, and lots of patience. The other method is to take the dust cap off and just remove the wheel bearing nut. This method is "easier," but requires an impact gun or huge torque wrench to do properly, because the wheel bearing nut requires something like 177 ft-lbs of torque. In addition, you have to mark the wheel bearing nut every time you take it off, which should ideally be no more than 4 times.
I actually have the pictures to make a repair guide for this somewhere, I need to get around to writing them.
I just did my 2005 ford focus and what a $!^&#!!! This set up was different than any other drum I have worked on. There is infact 4 bolts that keep the housing together. I wasted about 2 hours pulling and beating on this thing. You need a 13m socket to pull the 4 bolts, and one of the 4 is a super pain in the &!@ because the brake line prevents you from getting a nice clean shot at it. If you are like me, and do not have the luxuary of nice lift, you need a good jack for sure. The key is to get the car high off the ground to allow good work space behind the drum. I had to pull the brake line to get to that 1 tricky bolt, and luckily thats one simple nut thats very easy to get to. After pulling the 4 bolts the %^#! thing slides right off. Now keep in mind the bolts hit a pattern and this thing will only go back on one way. So be very mindfull when you go to put the @%!!@ back on, you need to hit the holes on the pattern perfect. I also found that putting this thing back together was a pain!!! Im guessing because the new after market shoes are a bit thicker than the stock ones. So I had to fight the new shoes + hitting the bolt pattern perfect to put it back together. Providing I had this info Im guessing I could have banged this out in about 1 hr per side. Im hoping this proves helpful for the next guy!!!! Good luck, and NEVER pay out of pocket for something you can easily get done yourself!!
Thanks Larry and you are right this is a pain in the @$$ and I've worked on cars for 40 years and many makes and models. I still don't have this done. Thought the drum puller I had would have done it. Nope. Loosened ebrake cable thinking there is a ridge in the drum and shoes are hanging up.....but this thing won't budge and I was saving removing the 4 bolts for my last measure....which I am in the process of doing. Your steps are spot on for this model though I bought a new spindle and new drum so I won't have to worry about the alignment problem you had when putting it back together.
You can get that fourth bolt out, as well as the other three, with a wobbler drive and 13mm socket.
I removed all four bolts using a 3/8" ratchet, extension and 13MM socket: no need to remove a brake line. Unless you need to replace the drum (or bearing), IMO this method is the easiest and cheapest way to access the shoes. If you remove the spindle nut, it's recommended you buy a new one, plus you need a torque wrench capable of approx. 173-175 lb-ft. You probably had difficulty getting the drum back on because new shoes WILL be thicker than the worn-down originals. Consequently the self-adjusters must be reset to accommodate the newer, thicker shoes.
Not having worked on the specific car, but generally
There is usually a Phillips head screw that holds the drum to the rear hub. The wheel studs poke through the drum.
Remove the wheel first of course, remove the screw and then you slide the drum off. Often it's stuck, and a few taps with a hammer loosen it. There is a chance that the pads are in a groove if the drum is worn badly - that could cause a problem taking off the drum.
If all else fails, and you're sure there's no screw that you have to remove to free up the drums, use a brake drum puller tool.
The less technical way to get your drums off.
Undo the big bolt in the centre of the drum, (its very tight) release the handbrake, make ure your wheels are chocked first, pull off the rubber gaiter on the handbrake lever, using a deep 10 mm socket, seriously loosen the nut on the interior adjuter, dont take nut off completely, dont replace yet, as when you've done your brake, yo need to re tighten this.
Get a hammer and carefully hit the sides of the brake drum, not in same place, but all round drum, except the top. a bit of patience and a fair bit of wiggling it should come off. NB. this way of doing it, there is a SMALL risk of damaging the wheel bearing. To get around this problem, instead of undoing the big bolt in centre of wheel drum, you could undo the four bolts on the rear of the backing plate and remove the drum along with the hub. Beware when changing the brake sahoes, the automatic adjusters can be a nightmare, they are a very bad esign, and ford should be ashamed of them!.
I just replaced the rear shoes on my 2007 focus. Holy @*%& what a stupid set up for adjusters and spring design. I have never seen such a ridiculous design for the adjuster. A flat plate with a cam and a small spring that would fit in the average wrist watch. The adjusters on both sides look like they had been seized for a few months. There was plenty of shoe left but the brakes would not work do to the adjusters being seized. I put both sides of springs and adjusters in separate small plastic bowls and poured muratic acid on them. Yes I used all precautions, but muratic acid not as dangerous as it sounds. It's the same acid used in PH balancing some swimming pools. Anyhow, after about half hour, I took all parts out with pliers and put them in a large bucket of water to clean acid off. I then procceded to blow the parts off with compressed air till dry. At this point you will see how easy the parts move and how stupid the design is. Don't put the small spring in the acid as it may get lost in the cleaning proccess. I discovered that reinstalling was just as bad as having a rectal exam. Holy crap what a job putting everything back together. I have done dozens of brake jobs, and I have never fought so much with springs in my life. Make sure you don't put the tiny cam spring on until your all done. It keeps the adjuster from expanding out while trying to get the short inch and a half spring on. This spring will test your temper, knuckles and lower back to the max. BE PREPARED TO FIGHT WITH THIS #&&& SPRING. but once that spring is on, the rest is gravy. Don't forget at this time to put the tiny spring back on the adjuster cam. Make sure you clean the spindle before re-installing the drums as it will have crap all over it. Watch the small seal as well. I have no idea why FORD would design such a stupid adjuster device, but then again, the normal style with the little sprockets seize as well or just rot away. But at least those ones are easy to change. That one spring took as long to put on as it would normally take to dismantle and re-install shoes and springs on most other vehicles. Trust me, it is a pain!
First take off the tire so you have access to the drum. Remove the dust cover and the spindle nut. Then replace the tire with at least 2 lug nuts. Pull side to side and up and down on the tire. The extra torque will help you and the tire and drum will come off together.
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