How to Change Rear Drum Brakes on a Ford Taurus


One of the most important safety features on your car is the braking system. As time goes on and the miles add up, you add to the amount of wear on your brakes. When the brakes wear down, this can lead to reduced performance or even complete failure. Therefore, it's important to keep your brakes well-maintained, whether it's as simple as replacing the brake shoes or a more complicated repair, such as replacing the brake drums.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Bricks or wood
  • 12 mm open-end wrench
  • Pliers
  • 3/4-inch lug wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Small sledgehammer
  • Brake cleaner
  • Drum brake spring tool
  • New brake shoes
  • New brake drums


  • Put the car in park and raise the rear with a jack. Wedge a brick or sturdy piece of wood in the front and back of the front tires to help prevent the car from rolling while it's jacked up.

  • Use the 12 mm open-end wrench and pliers to disconnect the parking brake cable at the adjuster.

  • Remove one of the tires from the car.

  • Take the drum off of the brake cylinder. You may need to use a small sledgehammer to knock it off.

  • Inspect the brake cylinder for the following: leaks, torn boots and heat discoloration on the springs. If any of these need to be replaced, replace them.

  • Use brake cleaner to spray the assembly and use a rag to wipe it off. Do not blow the dust off the brake assembly or touch it with your bare hands, as the dust might contain asbestos.

  • Remove the upper spring, brake adjuster lever, adjuster screw, front brake shoe hold-down spring, brake shoe and retracting spring, and the rear brake shoe hold-down spring.

  • Use the pliers to pull the cable out about a half-inch.

  • Take the rear brake shoe off the parking brake cable.

  • Remove the parking brake lever clip, then take the parking brake lever off the brake shoe.

  • Clean all the parts with brake cleaner, and replace the parts that need to be replaced due to wear.


  • Put the parking brake lever back on the brake shoe, then put the parking brake lever clip back on.

  • Reconnect the rear brake shoe and the parking brake cable.

  • Replace the rear brake shoe hold-down spring, brake shoe and retracting spring, front brake shoe-hold down spring, adjuster screw, the brake adjuster lever and the upper spring.

  • Put the new drum on the brake assembly.

  • Put the tire back on the car, making sure that you secure it properly.

  • Reconnect the parking brake cable.

  • Slowly lower the car back onto the ground.

  • Repeat this process for the brake on the other side.

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