How to Remove Rear Drum Brakes on a Ford Ranger


The rear brakes on a Ford Ranger pickup consist of three main parts, the brake drum, the brake shoes and the wheel cylinder. The brake drum is attached to the rear axle and rotates along with the rear wheels and tires. A pair of brake shoes sits inside each brake drum, one facing forward and one facing rearward. The wheel cylinder is bolted to the brake backing plate and sits in between the two brake shoes. When the driver presses down on the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure is sent from the master cylinder to the wheel cylinder. A piston on each side of the wheel cylinder, presses the brake shoes against the brake drum, which in turn slows down the vehicle. The drum brakes must be disassembled to replace the rear axle or wheel bearings.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • Lug wrench
  • Brake-spring pliers
  • Brake-spring tool
  • Line wrench
  • Socket set

Removing Rear Brake Drums

  • Raise the vehicle using a floor jack.

  • Support with jack stands placed underneath the rear axle.

  • Unscrew all the lug nuts on both rear wheels and tires using a lug wrench.

  • Pull both wheels and tires off the lug studs.

  • Slide the brake drums off the wheels studs. If this is difficult try rocking the drum front to back until the drum frees itself.

Removing the Rear Brake Shoes

  • Pull the two actuating springs off the front brake shoe using brake-spring pliers.

  • Compress the mounting spring on the front brake shoe, using a brake-spring tool and rotate it a quarter turn to disengage it from the steel clip.

  • Pull the front brake shoe away from the backing plate.

  • Pull the actuating spring off the rear brake shoe, using a brake-spring pliers.

  • Compress the mounting spring on the rear brake shoe. As with the front brake shoe, use a brake spring tool to disengage the shoe from the clip.

  • Pull the rear brake shoe away from the brake backing plate and remove it from the vehicle.

Removing the Wheel Cylinders

  • Unscrew the brake-line fitting from the wheel cylinder using a line wrench. The brake-line fitting will be located on the inboard side of the brake backing plate. Loosen and disconnect it by turning it counterclockwise.

  • Unscrew the two mounting bolts that secure the wheel cylinder to the brake backing plate, using a socket.

  • Pull the wheel cylinder away from the brake backing plate.

Tips & Warnings

  • A small amount of brake fluid may seep out when you disconnect the brake line from the wheel cylinder, have a rag handy.
  • Always follow the instructions listed in the owner’s manual when lifting and lowering a vehicle. Failure to do so could result in injury or death.
  • Never use compressed air to clean brake parts. The material in brake linings may contain asbestos, which if inhaled could lead to respiratory disease.

Related Searches


  • "Chilton Ford: Ranger/Explorer/Mountaineer 1991-99 Repair Manual"; the Nichols/Chilton Editors; 2005
  • "Chilton Ford Ranger/Bronco II/Explorer 1983-91 Repair Manual"; Chilton Book Company; 1991
  • Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
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