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How to Replace Drum Brakes on the 1997 F-150

by Jamie Ratliff

The drum brakes on the 1997 Ford F-150 stop the rear wheels by pushing the brake shoes against the wheel hub. Drum brakes may last longer than disc brakes but they also may be more difficult to maintain and replace. If the rear drum brakes are weak, or fail, the stopping power of the vehicle is severely affected. Replacing the drum brakes involves multiple springs and other small parts, so the novice mechanic should allow for more than an hour of work for each side.

Block the front wheels with wheel blocks. Loosen the lug nuts with a lug wrench. Raise the rear end of the vehicle with a jack and secure it with jack stands. Remove the wheels and set aside.

Remove the brake drum by pulling it away from the vehicle. Tap around the lug studs with a rubber hammer is necessary to loosen the drum. Spray the brake assembly with brake cleaner before removing any parts.

Remove the secondary retracting spring with a screwdriver. Remove the primary spring and set aside. Disengage and remove the brake shoe adjustment lever on the bottom of the brake assembly using your hands.

Remove the brake shoe adjustment spring and assembly with your fingers. Use your fingers and remove the top brake shoe adjustment cable from the anchor pin. Remove the guide plate, pin, and parking brake link spring with your fingers. Remove the front brake shoe hold down spring assembly using a screwdriver. Remove the rear brake shoe hold down spring assembly. Remove the brake shoes and set aside.

Lubricate the brake shoe contact points on the drum with high temperature brake grease. Install the new brake shoe and secure it with the front and rear hold down assemblies. Install the guide plate, pin, and parking brake link spring with your fingers.

Install the brake shoe adjustment cable and secure it to the anchor pin using your fingers. Install the primary and secondary retracting spring with your fingers and a screwdriver if necessary.

Install the brake drum by sliding it over the brake shoes. Tap it lightly with a rubber hammer if necessary to secure it.

Install the wheel and secure the lug nuts with a lug wrench. Remove the jack stands and lower the vehicle with a jack. Tighten the lug nuts securely with a lug wrench.

Tip

  • Take multiple digital pictures of the brake assembly during the process to make sure the new brake shoes are installed correctly.

Warning

  • Always use jack stands when working under a vehicle.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Jamie Ratliff has been writing since 2002, primarily in the information technology and small-business fields. He has written for "Victoria Business Magazine," a regional magazine with special focus on local small-business news and tips.

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