How to Replace the Rear Brake Shoes on a 2001 Toyota Corolla

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The rear drum brakes in your 2001 Toyota Corolla work by pressing a pair of brake shoes against the inside of a drum to produce friction and slow the car. Toyota recommends inspecting the shoes for wear every 15,000 miles. Unlike many cars, the 2001 Corolla doesn't require you to remove the wheel hub to work on the brakes, so you won't need a torque wrench for reassembly. Expect to spend about 20 minutes per wheel.

Things You'll Need

  • Lug wrench
  • Jack
  • Jack stand
  • Needle-nose or brake spring pliers
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Torque wrench
  • Loosen the lug nuts and raise the rear wheel off the ground with a jack. Support the vehicle with a jack stand. Remove the lug nuts and wheel. The lift point is on the rail along the bottom edge of the body panel ahead of the rear wheel. If you have two jack stands, lift the vehicle at the point directly between the rear tires to lift both wheels.

  • Pull the brake drum off the wheel hub. If it is stuck, there is an access hole covered by a rubber plug on the back of the brake assembly. Push a screwdriver in to push the lever inside. Pull and twist on the drum while holding the lever back.

  • Disconnect the upper spring with a pair of needle-nose or brake spring pliers. Each shoe is held down by a spring. Turn the pin on the front spring 90 degrees to remove the pin, retainer and spring. Disconnect the lower spring and remove the front shoe.

  • Remove the adjuster bar that pushes against both shoes. Lay it down carefully--installing it backwards or with an upside-down end will prevent the shoes from seating properly.

  • Disconnect the rear shoe's spring the same way as the front and remove the spring, retainer, pin and shoe. The parking brake lever is attached to the rear shoe--pry the C-clip off the pin that connects them and separate the lever from the shoe.

  • Transfer the adjusting lever to the replacement rear shoe. It is attached with a spring and has a tab that slides into a slot on the shoe. Attach the parking brake lever to the replacement shoe by sliding the pin through the hold in the shoe and pressing the C-clip into place.

  • Install the rear shoe, pin, spring and retainer. Make sure that the end of the pin seats itself in the groove of the retainer. Slide the adjuster bar into place and install the front shoe. Secure it with the pin, spring and retainer.

  • Install the upper and lower springs. Slide the drum into place and attach the wheel. Hand-tighten the lug nuts. Lower the wheel and finish tightening. Repeat on the other side.

Tips & Warnings

  • While changing the shoes, open them both but only work on one side at a time. This will prevent you from mixing up components and you will always have an assembled brake for reference while working on the other side.
  • Always change the shoes on both sides at the same time to prevent uneven braking.

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References

  • "MOTOR Imported Car Repar Manual Volume 1"; MOTOR Information Systems; 2002
  • Photo Credit Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from Fotolia.com
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