How to Remove Rear Brake Drums From a 1997 Ford Escort

Updated July 19, 2017

The 1997 Ford Escort was the start of the third generation for the domestic import and featured front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. To replace the rear brake shoes or perform any other rear brake repairs on the Escort, the rear drums need to be removed. The repairs that necessitate the removal of the drums will be much more complicated than the drum removal itself.

Park the Escort on a hard, flat surface that is safe for lifting and supporting the weight of the vehicle.

Place a wheel wedge or block of wood in front of one of the front tires. This will prevent the Escort from slipping forward when the rear axle is lifted.

Crack the lug nuts loose 1/4 turn counterclockwise on the rear tires using the lug nut wrench.

Lift the rear of the Escort with a vehicle jack. Place the anvil of the jack beneath the rocker panel or the rear frame rail. Place a jack stand under the frame or rocker panel, then slowly lower the vehicle so it's supported on the stand and not the jack. Repeat for the other side.

Finish removing the lug nuts and then the tires.

Spray the centre hub connection (where the centre of the drum covers the protruding hub) with penetrating oil and allow it to soak in for a few minutes.

Place the impact screwdriver with the #2 Phillips head bit into one of the drum retaining screws located on the hub face of the drum. Turn the impact screwdriver counterclockwise until it locks into reverse position.

Strike the head of the impact screwdriver with the hammer, until the retaining screw breaks free, then remove it. Repeat the same procedure for the other screw.

Pull the brake drum off of the shoes and hub. If the drum is stuck on, spray penetrating oil into the drum screw holes opposite the retaining screw holes on the hub face of the drum. Allow the oil to penetrate a couple of minutes.

Insert the retaining screws into the other holes and tighten them alternately with the screwdriver until the drum breaks free from the hub. Remove the drum then remove the retaining screws. Repeat for the other side.

Things You'll Need

  • Wheel wedge or block of wood
  • Lug nut wrench
  • Vehicle jack
  • Jack stand(s)
  • Penetrating oil
  • Impact screwdriver with #2 Phillips head bit
  • Hammer
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About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.