Dos and Don'ts When Buying a Brake Shoe Return Spring
A worn out brake shoe return spring can be one of causes for your brakes to drag. It will cause wear on the other parts of the drum brake because these parts are all connected. It will also reduce your car's speed, and even worse, it can heat up and burn the brake lining. Prevent any of these from happening to your car, and follow this guide to find a good brake shoe return spring replacement.
- Search for a replacement that's applicable to the type of your vehicle. Some manufacturers specify the brand where a brake shoe return spring fits. You can also determine the length of your current springs and compare it to the one you want to purchase. Make sure that it fits inside the brake drum.
- Select the design of a brake shoe return spring that's exactly the same in your brake drum. There are a lot of designs available in the market, but to be safe, go with what looks similar.
- Find a spring that is made from stainless steel. This type of material is strong enough to maintain the right tension, and withstand corrosion.
- Choose a brake shoe return spring kit if you'll be replacing the parts of your brake shoe instead of buying them individually. This will definitely save your money and time. There's even a kit that offers both the brake shoe and the springs together. Just check the quantity of the kits because some vehicles will require two kits for a compete installation.
- DO NOT select a spring just because it's advertised that it can produce strong tension. It may result to dragging brakes because of its tightness.
- DO NOT attempt to replace your brake shoe return spring with any type spring other than a tension coil spring. This replacement involves the brakes in your car, and it is very critical.
Change Your Brake Shoe Return Spring to Avoid a Dragging Brake
Found at the rear wheel of most cars, a drum brake system is made up of different mechanical parts that work together as soon as you step on the brake pedal or engage the emergency brake. One of these parts is the brake shoe return spring that's connected to the upper portion of the brake shoe. If your return springs are already worn-out, then read this guide to know how to replace it properly.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Lug wrench
- Screwdriver set
- Penetrating oil
- Brake clean spray
- Brake shoe pliers
- Brake shoe retaining spring tool
- New brake shoe return springs
Step 1: Check your working area. Make sure that the car is on a level surface. Engage the emergency brake, and chock the front wheels.
Step 2: Loosen the lug nuts of the rear wheel on one side, but do not remove them.
Step 3: Raise the rear side of the car using the floor jack, and secure the vehicle by placing a jack stand underneath the car's solid frame. Place a jack stand on the opposite side as well. You can now remove the lug nuts and the wheel.
Step 4: Locate the retaining screws around the drum that connects it to the hub. If the screws are too hard and you're having difficulty removing them, then apply penetrating oil to loosen the screws. Remove the drum afterwards.
Step 5: Observe the position and condition of the parts. Use the brake clean spray to remove dirt that has accumulated. Let it stay for a few minutes.
Step 6: Detach the hold-down spring that holds the parking brake actuator located at the secondary shoe. Secure the hold-down pin using your finger, and use the brake shoe retaining spring tool to remove the spring.
Step 7: Take the brake shoe pliers, and locate the return springs. In most drum brakes, there are three return springs. Start removing the two springs at the top, and finish with the one at the bottom.
Step 8: Fit the new return springs you have, and place them in reverse order starting from the bottom. IMake sure you've installed all three return springs.
Step 9: Reattach the hold-down spring you have removed, and cover the parts using the drum. Make sure that you tighten the retaining screws.
Step 10: Put the wheel and the lug nuts back, remove the jack stands, and test drive your vehicle to check if the brake shoe return springs have been installed correctly.