How to Replace the Rear Brakes on a Nissan Quest

by Dan FerrellUpdated November 07, 2017
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Items you will need

  • Lug wrench

  • Floor jack

  • Jack stands (2)

  • Chocks (2)

  • Screwdriver

  • Brake-adjusting tool (optional)

  • Rubber mallet (optional)

  • Hold-down spring tool

  • Brake spring tool

  • Needle nose pliers

  • Brake parts cleaner

  • Lint-free cloth

  • Brake grease

The rear brakes on your Nissan Quest come equipped with a set of brake shoes that you should inspect at your car manufacturer's suggested intervals and replace when worn or damaged. However, installing new brake shoes requires attention to detail to reassemble the several components properly. This will ensure you install them right the first time and your brakes keep working as they should.

Removing the Brake Shoes

Park your Nissan on a level surface and release the emergency brake.

Loosen the wheel lugs on both rear wheel assemblies using a lug wrench.

Lift both rear wheels using a floor jack and place two jack stands on the rear frame for support.

Chock the front wheels and finish removing the rear wheel/tire assemblies.

Pull the brake drums off the hubs by hand. If the drums seem stuck, you may need to retract the brake shoes by rotating the adjusting screw. You can access the screw through the hole in the backing plate. Remove the rubber plug on the hole and use a screwdriver to push the locking lever away from the star wheel on the adjusting screw and rotate the star wheel with a brake-adjusting tool. If the drum is still stuck, hammer around the outer edge of the drum with a rubber mallet to break the rust adhesion at the hub and lug studs.

Remove the brake shoe-to-backing plate hold-down springs on each shoe using a hold-down spring tool.

Detach the upper and lower brake shoe connecting springs using a brake spring tool.

Lift the brake shoes off the backing plate and take off the adjusting screw by hand.

Unhook the parking brake cable from the toggle lever attached to one of the brake shoes using a pair of needle nose pliers.

Detach the toggle lever from the brake shoe by removing the retainer ring using a screwdriver and the needle nose pliers. Then remove the shoes from the brake assembly.

Installing the New Brake Shoes

Spray the backing plate and hub assembly with brake parts cleaner and wipe the assembly with a lint-free cloth.

Attach the toggle lever to the new brake shoe with the retainer ring using the needle nose pliers.

Hook the parking brake cable to the toggle lever on the brake shoe.

Wash your hands with water and soap and apply a dab of brake grease to the brake shoe-to-backing plate contact points.

Place the shoe with the toggle lever in position on the backing plate and install the corresponding shoe hold-down spring using the hold-down spring tool.

Place the other shoe and adjusting screw in position and install the shoe hold-down spring using the hold-down spring tool.

Attach the upper and lower brake shoe connecting springs using the brake spring tool.

Spray the inside of the brake drum with brake parts cleaner and wipe the drum clean with a lint-free cloth.

Install the brake drum and rotate the wheel assembly by hand. You should hear the new brake shoes slightly dragging against the drum. If not, rotate the star wheel on the adjusting screw to adjust the shoes.

Replace the brake shoes on the brake assembly of the opposite wheel starting with Step 7 of the previous section through Step 9 of this section.

Install the wheel/tire assemblies and screw the lug nuts in place using the lug wrench.

Lower the vehicle and finish tightening the lug nuts.

Test-drive your vehicle to make sure the brakes work properly.


Work on one brake assembly at a time to use the other assembly as a reference point during reassembly.

Make a note of the brake shoes' different sizes so that you install the new ones in their correct place during reassembly.

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