Step-by-Step Guide to Installing Rear Brake Shoes on Your Vehicle
Installing rear brake shoes is a fairly straightforward job that most intermediate level car enthusiasts can complete in less than half an hour, if all the necessary parts and tools are readily available. Getting the car to a garage for service is never all that convenient, so learning how to take on smaller and simpler tasks like brake shoe replacement can help save time, money, and hassle.
The process for rear brake shoe replacement starts with jacking up the rear end of the car and placing it securely on jack stands. The rear wheels must then be removed and set aside. Also, an extra safety precaution must be taken and the car’s parking brake must be set. Make sure to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel before raising the car, as they can be difficult to get off when the vehicle is elevated.
Using either a flathead screw driver or a brake tool, pry the springs from the hooks that hold them to the brake shoes. Then, turn the center spring bolt to remove the shoe, and press the new shoes onto the brake once the old ones have been taken off. Tighten the spring bolts, and fasten the long springs onto the hooks of each respective shoe. Now, slide the drums back into place and turn the keeper bolt until it it is snugly fastened.
Next, turn the bleeder nipple of each brake cylinder to open it, and allow any fluid or air to be released. Turn it back when fluid begins to come out, and top off your car’s master cylinder. Finish up the shoe changing process for the other rear brake, and test the brakes for any adjustments.
Put the wheels back on the car and securely tighten the lug nuts. Lower the car from the jack stands and check the brakes once more to make sure there is no air in the lines, then grab a steel wool pad to clean up the lug nuts and wheels. And with that, the rear brake shoes should be set up and ready to use.