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Brake Shoe Retaining Spring: A Guide on How to Remove Them When Changing Rear Brake Shoes

If your rear brake shoes are already worn-out, replace them immediately to ensure safety when driving. See to it that when you are changing your rear brake shoes, handle all parts carefully, especially the brake shoe retaining spring. Incorrect way of removing them might result to some serious injury. Make sure you got all the tools and materials needed.

Difficulty level:Moderate

Things you'll need:

  • Brake shoe removal tool
  • Brake spring tool
  • Rubber gloves
  • Lug nut wrench
  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Goggles or safety glasses
  • Wheel chocks or stone blocks

Step 1: Keep yourself comfortable by parking your car in a shady area. Make sure to have an easy access to your tools and materials. Keep an eye to your belongings as well.

Step 2: Wear your rubber gloves to protect you from dirt and unwanted injuries. Since you are going to deal with a spring, we recommend you to wear goggles or safety glasses, because the spring might jump and hit your eyes.

Step 3: Now that you are wearing your rubber gloves, place the wheel chocks or blocks in your vehicle's front wheels to prevent it from unnecessary rolling and/or moving. You don't necessarily need to buy wheel chocks just for this DIY. Remember that you can use an alternative like stone blocks.

Step 4: After ensuring that the wheel chocks or stone blocks are properly placed in the front wheels, it is now safe to release the emergency brake completely.

Step 5: Use your wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You must do this step before lifting up your vehicle using a jack and jack stands.

Step 6: Now, carefully use the jack to lift the rear end of your vehicle, then use jack stands for support. Make certain that the jacks are placed correctly and at the appropriate locations for safety. Use heavy-duty jack stands to avoid accidents due to some jack stand failures.

Step 7: You may now remove the tire.

Step 8: In order for you to see the components underneath the brake, you need to gently take away the drum-shaped covering.

Step 9: You need to check the components of your brake system for damage and wear. Take note that you need to change the brake shoes if the braking material is less than 0.125 inches thick already.

Step 10: Using your brake spring removal tool, carefully remove the spring. You will notice that the spring is very strong and it might be easy to remove. For this step, it is important that you are wearing your safety glasses or goggles because the spring might bounce and hit you.

Step 11: Use your brake shoe removal tool and insert it on the spring retainer clip.

Step 12: Gently press down and twist the brake shoe removal tool (counterclockwise) to remove the retainer and the pin.

Step 13: You also need to take away the rear brake shoes and hardware.

Step 14: Prior to the installation of the new brake shoes, you need to check the brake cylinder for leaks first.

Step 15: Now, carefully transfer the hardware to the replacement brake shoes.You may use the old hardware to install the new shoes if the hardware is still working properly.

Step 16: Carefully reconnect the brake shoe retaining spring.

Step 17: Remember to adjust the brakes before putting back the wheels again. Initial adjustments are necessary, even if most brakes are self-adjusting.

Step 18: Put back the brake drum on the brake system carefully.

Step 19: Reattach the wheels. You can now lower your car by removing the jack stands carefully.

Step 20: Make sure that the lug nuts were tightened completely.

Do not rush yourself doing this DIY job. Do one side at a time so you won't get confused. Remember that you are not supposed to loosen the lug nuts of your tire while it is up in the air, because you may knock it off the jack stands.

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