How to Change the Brake Shoes on a Mazda 626

Written by shay mabry
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How to Change the Brake Shoes on a Mazda 626
Changing the brake shoes on a Mazda 626 can be done by the owner. (Car Brake image by Joelyn Pullano from

Mazda began production of the 626 in 1979. Over the years, the car has been restyled for a sportier look and has had many improvements for better performance. The vehicle uses a disc braking system in the front and drum brakes in the rear. The rear brakes only provide 30 to 40 per cent of a vehicle's stopping power. Since the rear brakes are not used as much, they do not have to be replaced as often. The Mazda 626 owner can change the rear brake shoes with some general knowledge about cars. Replacement brake shoes can be purchased from any local auto parts store.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • New brake shoes
  • Tire iron
  • Jack stands
  • Brake spring tool
  • Brake shoe removal tool
  • Brake parts cleaner

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  1. 1

    Loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels of your 626 with a tire iron.

  2. 2

    Raise the rear of the vehicle with a jack. Place a jack stand under each bumper weld at the rear of the vehicle. Lower the vehicle onto the jack stands.

  3. 3

    Remove the lug nuts and tires.

  4. 4

    Unscrew the spindle bolts that secure the drum to the wheel hub using a wrench an socket. Use a hammer to hit the outer part of the drum to loosen any rust and corrosion. Remove the drum.

  5. 5

    Pry the four springs from the brake shoes with a brake spring tool.

  6. 6

    Remove the brake shoes by holding the back of the retainer pin and then sliding the brake shoe removal tool over the top of the retainer clip. Press the tool in and turn it counterclockwise.

  7. 7

    Press the new brake shoes into place. Reinstall the retainer clip to secure the brake shoes in place. Replace the four springs onto the brake shoes.

  8. 8

    Replace the drum. Secure the spindle bolts onto the wheel hub with a wrench and socket.

  9. 9

    Spray the entire brake assembly with brake parts cleaner to remove any remaining grease after the new brake shoes have been installed.

  10. 10

    Repeat the steps on the opposite wheel.

  11. 11

    Place the wheels back onto the vehicle. Loosely place the lug nuts onto the wheel studs.

  12. 12

    Raise the vehicle slightly with the car jack and remove the jack stands from beneath the vehicle. Lower the vehicle to the ground.

  13. 13

    Pump the brakes several times to seat the brake shoes into place against the brake drum walls.

Tips and warnings

  • Slip the drum over the shoes and tighten its keeper bolt. Turn the bleeder nipple, which will open and allow fluid and air to bleed out. When only fluid begins to drain out, close the nipple and top off the fluid in the master cylinder.

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