How to Adjust Subaru Rear Drum Brakes


It is important to make sure the rear drum brakes on your Subaru are properly adjusted. The brakes are one of the most essential safety components on your Subaru; you need to make an effort to keep them in perfect working order at all times, as brake malfunction could potentially lead to a fatal situation. Remember to adjust brakes whenever you perform brake shoe installations. Work carefully, as improper adjustments can lead to complete brake failure. This task requires some knowledge of the braking system on your Subaru, and prior auto repair experience.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Rags
  • 2 jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Locate the labeled notched points on the frame in front of the rear tires towards the center of your Subaru. Put the jack below the first notched point and raise the jack until the notch sits on the jack.

  • Raise your Subaru with the jack until you can fit the jack stand under your Subaru. Put a rag on top of the jack stand and place the stand behind the jack. Lower your Subaru onto the stand and repeat the steps for the other side of your Subaru.

  • Remove the lug nuts on both rear tires with the lug wrench. Slide the wheels forward and off your Subaru.

  • Go under your Subaru and locate the slot on the backside of the drum. Look inside the slot for a pronged star-shaped wheel, which sits on top of the adjusting screw for the brake drum.

  • Rotate the brake drum and evaluate how loose it is. Ideally, it will have a slight amount of drag as it spins, so that it revolves fully after you spin it, but not so that it spins freely with no resistance. It should not have a hard drag which stops the wheel from rotating.

  • Rotate the star-shaped wheel that sits on top of the adjusting screw. Use the flathead screwdriver to adjust the wheel so that you have the right amount of drag as the brake drum spins. To tighten the drum so it has less drag, turn the wheel to the right. To increase the amount of drag by loosening the drum, turn the wheel to the left.

Related Searches


  • Jack Jones, Automotive Mechanic, Clark, MO
  • "Chilton's Subaru : Subaru Cars 1985-92 Repair Manual"; Dean Morgantini; 1992
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