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How to replace drum brakes on automobiles.

Updated on May 27, 2011

How to replace drum brakes on automobile

The process of replacing drum brakes on an automobile is not that hard.

Most autos today have disk brakes which are by the most part very easy to replace.

But this advise is on replacing the old style drum brake assembly.

First of all make sure the auto is in park and the emergency brake is applied on.

Next place chocks in front and behind front tires.

Next get a floor jack to jack one side of the rear auto tire off the ground.

Now you will place a jack stand under the rear axle,for added safety.

Next step,take your lug wrench and loosen the lug nuts on the tire rim.

Now you will remove the tire and rim as if you were changing the tire.

Next,you will have to release the parking brake or you will not get the brake drum off the axle.

You will now place both hands on the drum and pull outward,sometimes wiggling the drum back and forth to get it free of the axle.

Now you will see two brake pads coated in black carbon dust.These are the items you want to replace.

You will also want to check the brake drum for deep gouges made by running brakes down to the metal.

If the drum is gouged,you need to have it turned by a lathe or just replace it.

You can either buy a special wrench at the auto parts store or you can sometimes use a pair of plies to remove the brake pads.

First of all you will see two little locks protruding through the pads which you must turn,so they can fit through the pad and release it from pad assembly.

Now you must pull the two retaining springs which hold the pad on the pad assembly.

By pull I mean to force the spring out of the pad retaining holes.

Now this should clear the way for you to remove the brake pads and start the process in reverse to install the new brake pads.

Before you install the new brake pads check the pad assembly for brake fluid leaks.

If you have a break fluid leak,you can either install a new brake compression assembly or have a mechanic do it for you.

Assuming the brake compressor is in good shape,you will place the new pads on the brake pad assembly and then turn the little locks that protrude through the brake pad to lock.

Now you will have to pull the spring assembly forward and attach them in the brake pad holes.

This will keep the pads in place and you can now install the drum assembly back in place.

You will now place the rim over the lugs and tighten the lug nuts down.

You will now do the same process on the other real tire assembly.

After you are finished with the brake process,you need to adjust the new brakes.

You do this by turning the star nut with a brake adjusting tool.

The star nut is located through a slot in the drum assembly.It is usually hidden from the eye by a rubber cover.

You will pry the rubber cover out and using a flash light you can see the star nut inside the drum.

The star nut is connected to a threaded rod assembly which puts more pressure on the brake pad or releases the pressure.

You need to turn the tire as you make adjustments to the star nut and when the tire gets hard to turn you will back the star nut off a little until it lets you turn the tire easily.

On some vehicles all you need to do is back the auto up and apply the brakes,which will automatically set the brake assembly without a hand adjustment.

This is how to replace drum brakes on an automobile.

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