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DIY: Drum Brakes

This is a good job for a moderately skilled DIY. It only takes about three hours to do and will save you quite a few bucks. Plus you will get the satisfaction of saying "I did it myself!"

» Part 1
» Part 2
» Part 3
» Part 4

Brake Adjustment:

  • Remove rubber adjusting hole covers from brake supports.
NOTE: Some adjustment holes are in the backing plate and some are in the drum. Some are pre-cut and others need to be opened. You will see a partially stamped cutout in either the drum or backing plate. To open the hole, use a hammer and chisel to pop out the cutout. When you are done, be sure to install rubber covers to keep water and dirt from entering.
  • Release parking brake and back off cable adjustment to slacken cable.
  • Step on the brake five or six times to seat the shoes.
  • Insert a narrow screwdriver into adjusting nut hole. Move screwdriver handle downward on left side or upward on right side until wheels are locked.
  • Back off nut 10 clicks.
  • Adjust parking brake

This job will require a moderate skill level. If you do not feel comfortable doing this job yourself, then I would recommend taking it to a qualified mechanic and have it done. It is not difficult to do, but getting springs and shoes into position can be tricky. Sometimes you'll wish you had three hands while you do this. Be patient and take your time and it will come together.

Start to finish, to do both sides, you can figure on about three hours to do the job. If you take the drums to the parts store to be resurfaced before you start, they will probably be ready by the time you are done.

» Part 1       » Part 2       » Part 3       » Part 4

Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
© 2000-2007 Vincent T. Ciulla

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