How to Change Drum Brakes

By learning how to change drum brakes, people can continue to enjoy the advantages and benefits that these parts can bring to their vehicles. These parts are highly efficient, inexpensive and very easy to maintain. With the right knowledge and materials, anyone can easily learn this simple but very useful skill.

Materials Needed

For people who wish to learn how to change drum brakes, they need to have several important materials and tools. Without these, this task is very difficult to accomplish. The materials include a car lift, white lithium grease and new brake shoes. For safety purposes, it is best to wear a dust mask and latex gloves. Additional tools needed for this job include a car lift, pliers and hammer. Of course, do not fail to bring in a pry bar, screwdriver, brake retainer tool, wrenches, jack and brake spring pliers.


The very first step for this task is the removal of drum brakes. Check the vehicle if it is a rear-wheel drive or a front-wheel drive. Search for the master cylinder and then remove its content. Drain the brake fluid down until only half of it is left. Get a new brake fluid and then replace the drained content.

Get the tires off the vehicle. For one that has a rear-wheel drive, look for the round clip somewhere at the wheel studs. After finding it, simply remove it together with the drum brakes. Be careful in doing this step as excessive force can destroy them. On the other hand, a vehicle with a front-wheel drive is a different thing. Take off the bearing cap together with the wheel bearings. After this, use only enough force and pressure to remove the drum brakes. Lubricate them. If they do not loosen up, simply adjust the screws.

When the drum brakes are off, check if there is a parking brake cable. If there is, take it off. After that, remove the springs that hold the brake shoes in place. Do the same thing to all the other materials and parts that are attached to these parts.

After removing the drum brakes, it is now time to install the replacement. Align the backing plate and brake shoes in position. Use the screws to do this. Furthermore, put the self-adjustment spring as well. Connect the drum brakes, return springs and new brake drums. Screw the tires back in place. Test the vehicle if the newly installed parts are functioning properly.

Additional Tips and Information

Be safe when taking the vehicle out for a test drive. Do not proceed with this job if the right materials are unavailable. Every single step in the process must be done properly and carefully.