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1993 Ford Explorer

How to perform a Rear Brake Shoe Change


Items Needed Special Tools Needed
Brake Shoes:
Monroe BX581 Brake Shoe
3 Ton Jack Stands
2 Ton Floor Jack

The rear brakes on the Ford Explorer (as well as most cars currently on the road) are an older drum style brake. While changing the shoes is more difficult than simply swapping out some pads on a disk style system, it's not that daunting of a task when taken slowly and carefully.

Chock the front tires and make sure that the car is in park (or 1st gear) and the emergency brake is NOT set. Put your jack under the rear axle and raise it just enough to slightly support the vehicle. Loosen the lug nuts, but do not remove them. Raise the car further into the air and put a jackstand under the frame. Once appropriately supported you can remove the lug nuts and the wheel.

Here you can see the rear drum. With age they tend to get a bit stuck. Try to lever it off. If the brakes are stuck up against the hub you may need to use a BFH (Big F'ing Hammer) to loosen it. Also note there is a small hole in the back of the brakes towards the bottom. There's an auto adjuster in there that you can try to spin to remove tension from the brakes.

With the drum removed you can see the inner workings of the brakes. There's lots of fiddly bits in there so, you'll want to proceed slowly and keep track of everything.

First the upper springs need to be released. I've found that using a screwdriver and air of pliers gets these loose fairly easily.

Once removed lift the brake auto ajuster cable off of the center pin. Note the front spring is connected to the front show and passes through a small half circle of metal. That piece is part of the auto adjuster When performing reassembly this is often an easily forgotten piece.

Then the center pinion piece.

There's a third spring at the bottom that pulls the pads together and maintains tension on the auto adjuster for the brakes. Pop that loose.

Remove the auto adjuster.

Remove the auto adjuster control and cable.

The final point that holds the shoe onto the brake assembly is this pin. It's a spring loaded clip over a retaining stem from the rear of the brake. Put one hand on the back of the brake to hold the pin in place. Use the other hand to press down on the clip and rotate it 90 degrees to slip it off the pin.

With the clip removed you can slip the brake shoe off of the assembly. The front shoe will still remain connected via the parking brake cable.

Grab some good size pliers (I use my channel locks) and pull the cable free of the brake shoe. It's an up and pull type movement to compress the spring enough to free it.

The arking brake arm needs to be removed from the shoe by prying off the clip and lifting off the washer

Here you can see it removed from the old worn out shoe.

Once the new shoe is clipped in to place and the other brake shoe has been removed, then reassembly is the reverse of the installation.
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Contents copyright 2008, 2009 - Jody F. Kerr

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