Wednesday 18th July 2012
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This is a an easy step by step guide on how to replace brake shoes yourself.

Estimated time: approx 1-2 hours for each set                           Difficulty: Medium

Brake shoes are usually only located on the rear wheels. You will begin by jacking up the vehicle at the rear to be able to remove the wheel. Using a wheel jack or similar instrument, unlock the four wheel nuts and remove the wheel.

Step 1

Once the brake drum has been exposed, you may need to get a big hammer to hit the drum a few time to loosen it up. When it’s loosened up you can just pull the drum cover off over the bolts which hold the wheel on.

If you are having trouble getting it off, there are two small holes just inside where the bolts are. You can screw two bolts into these which will loosen off the drum cover.

Step 2

The next step is to loosen the springs inside the drum which hold the brake shoe in place. You will need a pair of clippers to grab hold of the top spring and pull it off. Using a pair of pliers you will now need to pull off the retaining spring by twisting it and pulling it at the same time. This should loosen it off and eventually pull it out.

The shoe should just pull right out at one end and you will have to remove the spring from the other end to completely remove the shoe. You will be able to pull the other shoe out, but there will be an emergency brake cable attached to it.

Step 3

To remove the emergency cable you will need a pair of clippers to lightly squeeze the end, pull up and twist to free the cable. This is the old brake shoes completely removed now.

Step 4

Transfer the springs and parts from the old shoes to the new ones. Put the springs in the holes and hook them in place.

Fitting brake shoes

Before putting the brake shoes back in place you will notice rub marks on the inside of the drum where the brake shoes have been sitting. Rub some brake calliper grease on these parts of the drum to stop it from squeaking.

Step 1

Grab the emergency brake cable with the clippers and gently pull it back and hold it in place, clipping it back in place on the brake shoe. Place the back brake shoe in place inside the drum, putting the retaining spring back on. You will need to press it on hard and twist a little with the pliers until it clicks in place.

Step 2

Now get the other brake shoe and put the bottom spring on the bottom hole connecting the two shoes together. Place the second brake shoe inside the drum and connect the top. Now you will have to grab the top spring and pull it into place until it connects.

Step 3

Put the retainer spring in with the pliers, pulling and twisting until it clicks in place. You need to loosen the automatic adjuster which you do with a screwdriver. This is located on the top spring. It has to be done because the new shoes are thicker than the old ones.

Step 4

Now you can slide the drum cover over the bolts which fit the drum back in place. When you turn the drum now, it should drag slightly. If it moves to easy then you need to tighten the adjuster slightly.

Repeat the above processes to change the shoes on the other rear wheel. Remember that you must change both sets of shoes on both wheels.

Step 10

Place the wheel back on and tighten the wheel nuts securely. Remove the jack and the job is done.