How to Assemble Drum Brakes

by Alibaster Smith

The brake drum of your vehicle is responsible for about 25 percent of the braking done in an automobile. Brake drums are typically used in older-model vehicles as rear brakes, but some newer vehicles still come equipped with brake drums in the rear. If you are rebuilding your brake drums, then this article assumes you have already raised your vehicle on jack stands, and you are ready to assemble the brake drums and put them on the vehicle.

Put the brake shoes on the outer surface of the inner brake drum. The shoes are held in place by retaining springs, so you need to orient and align the brake shoes with the retaining springs. There is only one way that the brake shoes can be oriented.

Secure the brake shoes using the brake spring tool. This tool is fit over the brake shoe retainer spring clip. Once the tool end is "inserted" over the clip, push in and turn clockwise to secure the brake shoes to the inner brake drum.

Inspect the brake springs, the shoe return spring and the wheel cylinder. Make sure that there is tension on all of the springs and that there are no leaks or rips in the wheel cylinder boots.

Place the inner drum over the hub assembly and secure the inner brake drum to the hub with the factory-supplied bolts. Tighten the bolts using the socket wrench and do a final tightening with a torque wrench to your manufacturer's torque specifications.

Connect the brake line to the wheel cylinder and inner brake drum assembly. Use the open-end wrench for this. You need to hand-tighten first. Then use the wrench to finish tightening until you feel resistance on the tube nut of the brake line. Then give the tube nut a 1/4 additional turn.

Place the outer drum over the inner drum, place the wheel on over that and secure it with the wheel's lug nuts. Tighten the lug nuts clockwise with the tire wrench.

Items you will need

About the Author

I am a Registered Financial Consultant with 6 years experience in the financial services industry. I am trained in the financial planning process, with an emphasis in life insurance and annuity contracts. I have written for Demand Studios since 2009.