How to Adjust the Rear Brake on a Ford Ranger

by Lee Sallings

The Ford Ranger uses a servo-style, rear drum brake system that is equipped with self-adjusting and parking brake functions. When the brake shoes are adjusted properly, the result is a firm pedal feel and proper parking brake function. Once adjusted, the self-adjuster is activated by parking brake application and helps to adjust the shoes as they wear. The average home maintenance enthusiast can perform this adjustment in less than an hour to help keep the brake system functioning correctly.

Step 1

Raise and support the rear wheels by blocking the front wheels with wheel chocks, lifting the rear axle with a floor jack until the wheels are off the ground. Support the weight of the vehicle by lowering the jack until the Ranger is resting on jack stands placed under the rear axle tubes.

Step 2

Release the parking brake if it is applied. Remove the rubber access plugs located on the lower edge of the brake backing plate. It may be necessary to pry the plugs out with a screwdriver if they are hardened from age.

Step 3

Insert the brake adjusting spoon into the slot that the rubber plugs were removed from. Feel around inside the opening until you feel the spoon contact the adjuster. Rotate the adjuster upward with the brake adjusting spoon to pry on the adjuster wheel. Spin the wheel as you adjust the brakes until the shoes drag slightly when the wheel is turned.

Step 4

Raise the Ranger off the jack stands with the floor jack and remove the stands. Lower the truck to the ground and test drive to verify that it stops properly and the parking brake holds.

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