Rear brake - posts collected from the mailing list

(Szerző: z. (Houdek Zoltán), utoljára módosítva: 2007.01.15.)

This article is a summary of a few-week-long thread on our mailing list. Rear brake is not always easy to repair, let's see how others succeeded... posts are collected by Imre Richter and translated by z.

From: Richter Imre
Well I bought the brake drum today. Hungarian made. It is good looking. I also bought brake shoes, so I started removing old things in the afternoon. Brake drum got off easily, and there was no problem with the handbrake cable end either. I stuck with getting off the brake shoes' retaining springs. Tried to remove them with pliers, no success. What technique do you apply? Thanks in advance.

From: Benedek János

you wrote:

> I stuck with getting off the brake shoes' retain springs. But how?
> Tried them with pliers, no success. What technique do you apply?

I did it with a cutting plyer. Don't panic, the spring is made of hard steel, it won't even be scratched. If so, the spring would have been one needing replace anyways.

Regards: Janek

From: Veréb András, Chury

I tried it with pliers, no success either. At the moment my technique is to get into the brake system besides the slave cylinder with a long and strong screwdriver, and lift the shoes off, next to the cylinder. Now it is much easier! Well, yes, I have the manual adjusters, which can support the screwdriver. You with automatic adjuster can support the screwdriver with the brake base plate, it wont bend. Take care anyways.

From: M. Krisz

I use flat headed plier, or I lift it out with a huge screwdriver (watch hands!)

From: gm

> and lift the shoes off, next to the cylinder.

This is totally wrong. If it gets to the rubber protector of the slave cylinder, the rubber is immediately torn. :-(

I do it in a simple way. I do it from downside. I put up a screwdriver into it, I support it against anything in the way (halfshaft screw or nut, etc), and the shoes are lifted out above the lower support of them. If both of them are off, the smaller spring immediately drops off.
Putting it back is the same process: first shoe is sitting on the lower support's round rivet from outside. (the spring-retained lock can be put on this one now). The other one on the opposite side "wants" to come closer. Spring is put in both, 2nd spring lifted on the rivet, 1st on the place, 2nd on the place.

upper part removal howto: when the lower part is free, first remove the handbrake things. Then pull apart the shoes' lower part (upper parts still on the slave cylinder), the upper rod will fall off its place at both sides. Then release the shoes a bit, and leave the whole thing falling a bit lower. Now the cylinder is freed after springs are removed in a tricky way - or you can get off the shoes with the springs still on. now the cylinder rubbers are intact!

From: PMAP

I use a more simple method. I prepare a special tool of one steel spoke: I simply bend it. then I push them out and that's all.

From: Richter Imre

I successfully replaced the rear drum+shoe assembly. Springs were removed by the method of gm. Practically it is more simple than written above. I also "ran in" the cylinders. I have a question on that. If the drum is off, and I push the brake, do both shoes have to move? Question may sound silly, but as I tried that, only one part of the cylinder has moved. The other one has moved only if I held this one at its place.

in addition, at rear brake repair I experienced something sipping out of the halfshaft bearing house. It is deifintely not transmission oil, because I can recognize its disgusting smell. Is it the halfhsaft bearing grease? When the car was lifted and engine running, one wheel stopped and ran, stopped and ran, while the other wheel was running constantly. Is that normal?

After tapping it by hand, I experienced left side was hotter at the center of the hub, but the brakedrums had equal temperature. That is why I am not accusing the brake system.

Thanks in advance

PS.: Replacing the rear brake system resulted in easier brake pedal usage, no shaking from the rear while braking (more smooth braking) etc. :)

From: gm

> If the drum is off, and I push the brake, do both shoes have to move?

your slave cylinder is automatic.
therefore it has a free travel of 3..5mm. If you push the brake, first the cylinder does this travel, then the shoe will touch the drum. releasing the pedal, the upper spring will push back shoes to the place given by this free travel. If you push the pedal now without** the drum on, both pistons should come out at the same time. Maybe one of them is stuck.

** care! if you push it without care, the cylinder's piston goes off too much and it is over

regarding the oil or grease leak, try and fasten the halfshaft nuts.

differently spinning wheels while car is lifted: don't give a damn. it could be caused by asymetrically re-assembled brake elements.

From: Kompis Péter

Q: Last weekend I removed rear brakes and it revealed that cylinders went south. brake fluid is leaking both sides. How come these went out of order at the same time?

A: worn-out shoes and drums let the pistons go out very much, they almost fall apart...