Rear Brake Drum Rebuild (Part 1)

Rear Brake Drum Rebuild (Part 1)

This is heavily integrated with the following links:

Drive Shaft removal & Oil Seal

Rear Brake Drum Rebuild (Part 2)


This section I was going to deal with the strip down of the brakes and the Part 2 was going to be the rebuild with the new parts. Like the front the process is exactly the same except for two extra parts, a spring which I didn’t have at the time of writing this and a hand brake lever. So I wont go repeating myself but show the condition of the drums as I found them.


This is can only be done after the drive shaft is removed if you want to remove the whole backing plate like I did. You can obviously remove the brake shoes and springs in place but it could be a little more difficult with the drive shaft wheel plate in the way. You can skip the parts of the nuts removal etc and just remove them the same way as you do the front brakes. The only difference is the Secondary shoe has a hand brake lever behind it and the top of that lever connects to the front shoe. When the hand brake is pulled the shoes move out and (hopefully) hold the car in position. On this bar there is a spring to make sure that the hand brake lever returns out-of-the-way.


Remove the nuts on the studs to remove the wheel. The drum should be able to be pulled off towards you exposing the brake shoes and hardware. If there is a hand brake cable to be removed there is a tool that will help with that or you will need the patience of a saint and real good set of long-nosed pliers and strong wrists. As they (Ford) do not expect you to remove the backing plate or the shaft you will be working in very very tight openings. The hand brake end has three legs that will spring out once pushed into the backing plate. As the three legs are in thirds around the circumference, one leg will always be behind the cable that you can’t see. So you have to nip one of the legs in so it sits in the opening of the plate, slightly turn it till the next shows, then the final leg has to be twisted and kept at an angle or the other legs will spring back out, this is where you need strong wrists. How do I know? I put my hand brake cable in upside down and had to remove it. It was a pig of a job. If you can avoid it do so, or buy the tool! The other and last resort option is to remove the shaft and then remove the plate with the cable in place. The choice is yours.

Anyway, Behind the shaft is four nuts that come through the back of the axle flange, and also remember to remove the Brake fluid pipe. These have to be removed, so I cleaned them stud and bolts as best I could and soaked these for a few days regularly in Plus Gas or WD40 (I would recommend the Plus Gas). Once these are loosened they will release the drive shaft (see the link above for the pictures and walk through). Once the shaft is out-of-the-way you can get to the plate and pull it off. there is a gasket on the inside of the backing plate and the outside of the backing plate. These had disintegrated on mine and need replacing. Once the backing plate is off you can remove the shoes and springs and replace as you need too. Or replace the shoes and springs on the axle itself.

My drums were real bad and the backing plate was rusted solid. Both needed to be treated and stripped down. the Axle flange need to be cleaned by removing the old gasket in order for it to be seated correctly. These gaskets also need to come of the back and the front of the backing plate. I used my old Snap On gasket scraping tool that is a bit like a chisel but not as harsh obviously.

I removed the damaged shoes and springs with the relevant tools (I have reviewed these tools if you want to see them), and inspected the backing plate. The plate itself was in a poor way as there had been some damage from the shoes and had rubbed a groove into the plate itself. This plate needs to be smooth for the correct operation so the cooper slip grease can do its job and make sure for easy movement, maybe the brakes would not come on if the got stuck or com on and grab the drum causing a one-sided braking at the rear. The damage is simply down to the fact they were not fitted correctly. There was no lever to shoe bar in place and the self-adjusting cable was not seated correctly either. All of which are dangerous.

Part 2 will show the cleaning, repair and assembly. Click here for the quick link.

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