The base model Ford Focus is equipped with rear drum brakes that provide about 20 per cent of the braking force developed by the system. Over time, the brake shoes will wear, and this will cause a decrease in the rear brake functions like parking brake and brake pedal height. Replacing the rear shoes, and adjusting them properly, will restore parking brake function and brake pedal height. The average home mechanic can complete this repair in an afternoon, but no speciality tools are required.
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Things you need
- Wheel chocks
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Socket set
- Screwdriver set
- Needle-nose pliers
- Drain pan
- Brake-parts cleaner
- Torque wrench
Block the front wheels with wheel chocks to prevent the car from rolling while the rear wheels are off. Raise the rear of the vehicle, using the floor jack, and place jack stands under the rear subframe. Lower the car onto the stands and roll the jack from under the Focus. Remove the lug nuts that attach the rear wheels to the axle and slide the rear wheels off the car.
Pry the dust cap, located in the centre of the drum, out of the drum using a screwdriver. Remove the 32mm axle nut using a socket and ratchet. Slide the drum off the axle and lay it aside. Place a drain pan under the brake system. Clean the brake system with brake-parts cleaner to prevent creating dust that can be harmful if inhaled.
Remove the clips that attach the brake shoes to the backing plate by depressing them with a screwdriver as you slide them off the hold-down pins. Pull back the spring on the parking brake cable and slide the cable from the parking brake lever that is attached to the rearmost shoe. Pull the brake shoes from the backing plate.
Squeeze the bottoms of the shoes together and remove the lower return spring. Remove the two return springs that attach the shoes to the adjuster mechanism and separate the shoes from the adjuster. Lubricate the sliding points on the backing plate.
Assemble the adjuster mechanism on the shoes and reinstall the return springs. Set the adjuster cam to its lowest setting. Position the assembly onto the backing plate and reattach the parking brake cable to the rearmost shoe. Install the retaining clips to attach the brake shoes to the backing plate.
Slide the brake drum onto the axle, and install the axle nut to 173ft-lbs., using a torque wrench. Reinstall the rear wheels and lower the car from the stands. Test drive to verify that the brake system functions properly.
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