How to Change Brake Shoes on Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The brake shoes on the Vehicles rear brakes work with the parking brake. The rear wheels on the car also use brake discs with calipers, so you need to get around these brakes in order to work on the shoes. You don't need to remove the brake drum, but changing the brake shoes is still a complex task involving multiple springs and rods.

Under The Hood:

 How to Change Brake Shoes on a Nissan Frontier

Raise the truck at the brake to be repaired with the floor jack. The floor jack should be positioned ahead of the wheel, with the head on a frame rail, not the body or suspension. Pump the jack until the wheel is in the air.

Remove the wheel by turning the lug nuts in a counterclockwise direction. Then pull the wheel free. Set the wheel aside, away from the truck.

Remove the drum from the brake assembly by turning the keeper bolt in a counterclockwise direction. Then pull it free. The keeper bolt is on the front of the drum, slightly off center, that holds the drum to the assembly.

Disengage the long shoe springs by levering them from the shoe with a screwdriver. The shoes has hooks on its side which hold the long springs.

Remove the primary spring bolt in the center of each shoe. Then slide the shoes out.

Replace the shoes with new units. Then slide them onto the brake assembly and turn the primary spring bolt clockwise to lock them into place. Attach the long springs by levering them with a screwdriver back onto the shoe hooks.

Replace the drum by sliding it back over the shoes, lining up the keeper bolt hole. Turn the keeper bolt clockwise to secure the drum.

Replace the wheel by turning the lug nuts clockwise, in an alternating pattern. Lower the truck from the floor jack by turning the jack's pressure screw counterclockwise, slowly.

Repeat the entire process on the opposite side brake.

Items you will need

  • Socket set

  • Screwdrivers

  • Floor jack

  • Lug wrench

 How to Change the Brake Shoes on a Honda CRV

Accessing the Shoes

Block the CRV's front wheels to keep it from rolling. Raise the car's rear end, support it on jack stands, release the parking brake and remove both rear wheels; loosening the lug nuts prior to lifting the car makes the wheels easier to remove.

Remove the rear brake calipers by removing the mounting bolts with one wrench while holding the caliper pins with another wrench. Support the calipers with a strong wire or coat hangar so they don't hang by the hoses; don't disconnect the hoses.

Take off the brake discs by removing either the lug nuts with a wrench or the two retaining screws with a screwdriver. If the disc is stuck to the hub, thread two bolts into the holes in the disc and tighten them back and forth until the disc is free.

Clean the entire brake assembly with an aerosol brake cleaner; don't use compressed air. Place a drain pan under the assembly to catch the residue.

Removing Old Shoes

Remove the two upper return springs from the brake shoe assembly. You should need pliers to grasp and pull the springs.

Push the hold-down clips on the shoes and turn the pins 90 degrees so you can remove the clips.

Disconnect the connecting rod and rod spring. Remove the lower return spring. Pull back the leading shoe and remove the adjuster screw.

Pry the U-clip and washer off the top of the rear shoe using diagonal cutters; the clip is on the backing plate side of the shoe.

Disconnect the parking brake lever from the rear shoe and remove the shoe.

Installing New Shoes

Lubricate the areas on the backing plate that come into contact with the brake shoes; lightly apply high-temperature brake grease. Clean and lubricate the adjuster bolt and clevis.

Assemble the parking brake lever to the new rear shoe, lubricating the brake lever pin with the grease. Place the shoe against the stationary stop at the top of backing plate, insert the hold-down pin through the backing plate and install the hold-down clip.

Install the adjuster and lower return spring onto each of the new brake shoes. Position the front shoe onto the backing plate using its hold-down pin and clip.

Place the rod spring onto the connecting rod and separate the shoes so you can install the connecting rod. Connect the two upper return springs to the shoes; you will likely need pliers to stretch and position the springs in their holes.

Re-install the brake disc and caliper. Tighten the caliper mounting bolts to 17 foot pounds.

Turn the adjuster star wheel to adjust the brake shoes; use a screwdriver inserted through the adjusting hole. Turn the wheel until the shoes drag on the brake drum as you rotate it. Then back off the star wheel until the shoes don't drag any more.

Re-connect the wheels and lower the car once you've changed the brakes on both sides.

Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wrench

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Brake cleaner

  • Drain pan

  • Brake shoes

  • High-temperature brake grease

 How to Change the Brake Shoes on a Plymouth Breeze

Park your Plymouth Breeze on a flat surface and block the wheels with chocks placed in front of and behind the wheels so the vehicle won’t roll.

Raise the car with a jack and remove the lug nuts from the wheel. Then remove the wheel from the car and set it aside.

Tap lightly on the drum by hand to loosen it. Pull the drum and slide it out. Insert a 7/16-inch bolt into a bolt hole on the drum and tighten the bolt to push the drum off. Visually check the drum for grooves that are cut into it. If it is not smooth, you should replace it.

Remove the springs and the spring clips from the brake shoes once the drum is off.

Install the new brake shoes in the reverse order of removal.

Place the drum back onto the wheel hub after you have installed the new brake shoes.

Turn the adjuster screw assembly ¼ of a turn counterclockwise until the drum fits snugly. You may have to remove the drum a couple times to get it to fit tight.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wheel chocks

  • Standard or metric socket set

  • Standard or metric wrenches

  • 7/16-inch bolts, coarse thread, 1 to 1 ½ inches long (2)

 How to Change the Brake Shoes on a Honda CRF230F-06

Loosen the rear axle's lock nut using a 16 mm socket and a long-handled socket wrench. Do not remove the lock nut at this time. Place the motorcycle on a stand or lift to raise the rear wheel off the ground.

Unscrew the adjuster nut from the brake rod using a 10 mm wrench. Depress the rear brake pedal to disengage the brake rod from the brake arm. Rotate the chain adjusters on both sides of the rear wheel forward to loosen the drive chain. Pull the chain off the rear sprocket.

Remove the rear axle lock nut and pull away the chain adjuster from the right side of the rear swing arm. Pull the rear axle out from the left side of the rear wheel and remove the left chain adjuster. Lower the rear wheel to the ground and remove the spacers from the wheel.

Lay the wheel on its side with the brake drum facing upwards. Pull the brake drum off the wheel and lay it face down to expose the brake shoes. Remove the brake shoes. Disconnect the brake-shoe springs and discard the old brake shoes. Connect the springs to the new brake shoes.

Sand the inner surface of the brake drum with a medium-grit sandpaper to remove any burrs or glazing that may have formed on the drum. Spray the inner surface with an aerosol brake cleaner to remove brake dust and dirt. Apply a coating of grease to the brake drum's cam and brake-arm pivot.

Insert the brake shoes into the drum and install it onto the rear wheel. Replace the rear wheel's spacers and lift the wheel into the motorcycle's rear swing arm. Place the left chain adjuster against the rear swing arm and insert the rear axle. Place the right chain adjuster onto the rear swing arm and loosely screw the rear axle lock nut into place. Insert the brake rod into the drum's brake arm and tighten the brake-adjuster nut. Slip the drive chain over the rear sprocket. Rotate the chain adjusters back to tighten the chain.

Depress the rear brake pedal to engage the rear brakes, aligning the brake shoes with the rear wheel. Hold the rear brake pedal in place and tighten the rear-axle lock nut completely. Release the brake pedal and adjust the rear brake as needed.

Items you will need

  • 16 mm socket

  • Long-handled socket wrench

  • Motorcycle stand

  • 10 mm wrench

  • Brake shoes (Honda part #06430-GBJ-J10)

  • Medium-grit sandpaper

  • Brake-cleaning spray

  • Grease

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