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The Bear

Brake Shoe Replacement ''how-To''

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Hi guys,

I found a few pics from when I replaced the Fusion's brake shoes and as I have finally realised how to post pics I thought I'd do a little how to guide....if anyone's interested :)

I've had a quick look in the Haynes destruction manual and they do it a tad different to how I did it but my way was effective :)

1. Put in Park if auto or select a gear if manual. Chock front wheels. Release handbrake. Loosen rear wheel lug nuts. Jack up the rear and support on axel stands.

2. Remove rear wheels.

3. Remove the dust cap covering the axel nut. I just got a small chisel, dug in along its rim and lightly tapped. Came off no problem :)

4. Have a willing volunteer to step on the brake pedal and remove the axel nut using a 30mm (I think) socket and long breaker-bar. This is done up to 235nm so is tight but with leverage it came off with no real fuss. If I was to have a lot of trouble with this I'd have put the road wheel back on with the centre cap removed, popped the handbrake on and tried it then...don't be afraid to use your girth by standing on the breaker-bar. Be careful though of course ;)

5. Remove the drum: I started by smacking the drum with a hammer to ''shock it'' and then tried to pull it off. It sort of got half way but got stuck (I imagine on a rust ridge on the drum) so I popped down to Halfords and purchased a brake drum puller. About £9 if I remember correctly made by ''Laser''. That got the drum straight off. You'll then be presented with picture 1. Cover your mouth with a particle mask and empty a can of brake cleaner on the shoes, springs etc (not literally the can ;))

6. Just below the largest retaining spring (blue spring) is an adjuster with a star wheel on the right hand side. Use a screw driver to back the shoes off so everything's slack (and therefore easier to remove). The adjuster may fall out at this point. If it does just keep it safe.

7. Remove the two shoe retaining clips that are held on by two respective pins coming from the back plate. Simply pinch them together and pull them out. They're really easy.

8. At this point I grabbed the shoes at their mid-points where the pin clips live. I pulled them outwards slightly and then towards each other so I've got a brake shoe pancake type thing. Do this slowly because you don't want that main spring pinging off and becoming a permanent part of your eye ball. Wear safety specs. You could of course try fighting that large spring and then removing the shoes. A lot of hassle though and you risk damaging the wheel cylinder in my opinion.

9. You will now have the whole shoe assembly in your hand as one piece (assuming springs didn't fly off) attached to the back plate only by the handbrake cable. Detach the handbrake cable by pulling the cable spring up and removing from the shoe (you'll see how to do this as it's easy).

10. You should now just have a naked backing plate. Clean it up with some more brake clean, light sand paper the 6 areas where the shoes ride and add a bit of anti-seize paste (copper grease). See picture 2.

11. The shoes are the same length from memory so there's no particular order they need to go in.

12. Replacement is the reverse of removal with only a few notes:

  • Clean up the inside of the drum with some fine emery cloth. Clean crud off with brake clean.
  • Fit the new assembly all together off the car (so assemble the shoes, springs, adjuster etc all together on the floor). Pick up this assembly as one piece and then ''spread'' the new shoes in to place. DON'T try and put it all back together in situ and then force the retaining springs on because you will damage a wheel cylinder as you force it back and forth. Ask me how I know this.....I dare you ;)
  • Secure retaining pins using the clips.
  • Then comes the tricky bit; adjusting the new shoes. I did it by turning the star wheel a few times to get a little bit of tension on the shoes/springs. Jump in the car and pump the pedal and activate the handbrake a few times as this will centralise the shoes. Then put the drum on and spin it. It will probably spin freely. Keep adjusting the star wheel until the brake drum has some resistance and only spins one full turn. Put the drum on, cake the stub axel and bearing assembly in grease and then put a NEW axel nut on. Torque up to 235nm. That's how I did it. I'm sure there's someone who does it differently but my brakes feel good and my handbrake was at the same as it was before I did the job (i.e. fully on at 7 clicks).

Ps, picture 3: this is what I did to keep track of where my springs went; I simply laid a brake shoe on the ground and lay components on to it.






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You may be looking at these photos thinking that there is plenty of material on those shoes. You would be right. However, I was getting some squealing from them. I could have simply done an inspection but the shoes were dirt cheap from ECP. The fact that I'd got the drum off I thought sod it, I'll just replace them. On inspection there was a lot of cracking on the friction material so I'm thinking they were binding at some point or incorrectly adjusted. I just replaced them for piece of mind :)

Also (sorry for going on) my taper roller bearing fell out of the drum on removal. Worryingly there was ZERO grease. Not sure why as I thought they're meant to be packed. But anyway I packed them with new grease and applied a load to the stub axel as well.

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Finally see this picture for reference to all the jargony names. Hope this helps further :)


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