How to Adjust Toyota Tacoma Drum Brakes

by Katebo
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Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from

You can adjust the drum brakes on your Toyota Tacoma right from your home garage, saving yourself time and money. There are adjusters on the rear brakes that keep the shoes in the proper place as the shoes wear down. But if you replace the shoes or drive off-road, the adjusters may need to be manually adjusted to ensure that the shoes stay in the correct position, allowing the brakes to function properly.

Step 1

Position wheel chocks behind and in front of each of the front wheels. Loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels using the lug wrench, but don't remove yet. Raise up the rear of the vehicle using a jack and slip jack stands under the vehicle next to each of the rear wheels for support. Lower the Tacoma onto the jack stands.

Step 2

Remove the rear lug nuts and wheels and set aside.

Step 3

Find the brake adjuster, which is a 4-inch spring. Use a flat-head screwdriver to turn the notched wheel attached to the brake adjuster in a downward direction until the shoes touch the brake drum.

Step 4

Turn the wheel in the other direction using the screwdriver. Do this for 15 clicks.

Step 5

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the other rear brake.

Step 6

Put the wheels back on and tighten the lug nuts. Raise the vehicle, remove the jack stands, lower the vehicle to the ground. Tighten the lug nuts all the way. Remove the wheel chocks.

Step 7

Start the Tacoma and drive it slowly in reverse. Apply the brakes often as you do this to seat the shoes and activate the brake adjusters.

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