Technical Car Advice – How to Change the Brake Shoes on Your Car

The friction with which the brakes stop the car causes the friction material on the brake shoes to wear. At first the wear can be taken up by adjustment, but when the friction material is two-thirds worn, they must be replaced.

Brake shoes are easily obtainable through your near Parts Center, the sets on both wheels need to be replaced, if you do not, this could cause uneven broking and the car to pull to one side. Do not take chances, always fit the best quality brake shoes.

The shoes are easily replaced, all you need is a new set of shoes to suit your vehicle, a bottle of brake fluid, pair of pliers, a screwdriver, a length of thin copper wire and some high-melting point grease.


Step 1. Jack up the car and remove the wheel, always use axle stands for safety. Chock the front wheels of the vehicle.

Step 2. Wrap a thick absorbant cloth around the brake fluid reservoir to soak up any fluid which may be forced out.

Step 3. Check the handbrake mechanism, on some vehicles it is easier to disconnect it at this stage, on others it comes off with the brake shoes.

Step 4. Remove the drum cover, mark the position of the brake shoes with chalk. Lever off the brake shoes one at a time with a heavy screwdriver or special "shoe-horn" tool. Take care not to damage the dust covers on the wheel cylinders.

Step 5. Wrap a thin length of copper wire around the wheel cylinder to prevent the pistons from falling out. Clean out the slots in the ends of the wheel cylinder pistons, smear them with a dab of high-melting point grease.

Step 6. Connect the new shoes and pull-off springs on the ground, replace damaged springs. Make sure that the springs are properly positioned on the shoes and place one end of each shoe into its slot.

Step 7. Remove the wire from around the wheel cylinders and lever the shoes back into place with a screw- driver. Reconnect the handbrake mechanism. Replace retaining pins, springs and washers in reverse order to removal.

Step 8. Before replacing the drum check for score marks, if they are deeper than 0.4mm or there is obvious signs of damage consult a brake specialist. Now replace the drum. Fully tighten the adjusting screw, with a ring spanner, then unscrew it until the drum revolves.

Step 9. Fit the wheel and lower the vehicle. Pump the brake pedal a few times to center the shoes. Remove the cloth from around the reservoir, check the brake fluid level, top it up with clean brake fluid if necessary, and replace the cap.

I hope this artiste helps if you need to change or repair the brake shoes on your car yourself.

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