1999 Ford Contour

Brakes problem
1999 Ford Contour 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 158000 miles


I'm having trouble getting the leading brake shoe in the passengers side (rear) to fit up against the backing plate. As soon as I engage the " adjusting" plate into the trailing brake shoe, the top of the leading shoe angles out so just enough to miss the wheel cylinder piston. The drum goes on fine in this position. If I can tweak the adjuster I can get the leading shoe to fit into its quadrant up against the backing plate but can't get the drum on without breaking the shoe. Any additional adjustment continues to send the leading shoe away from the backing plate.

Any suggestions? This is my third time replacing the rear brakes and I have never had this problem in the past.
November 20, 2008.

Removal (Contour & Mystique)
Raise and support vehicle. Remove wheel assembly, and remove drum retainers. To release brake strut and quadrant, remove plug in backing plate and insert screwdriver between brake strut and knurled quadrant. Push screwdriver forward to separate brake strut and knurled quadrant. Remove brake drum.
Remove brake shoe hold-down springs, pins, and brake shoe return springs. See Fig. 2 . Remove brake shoes and parking brake return spring. Disconnect brake strut and quadrant from brake shoe. Remove parking brake cable from cable anchor on trailing brake shoe.

Use high temperature grease to lubricate brake shoe contact pads. Connect parking brake cable to parking brake cable anchor on trailing brake shoe. Install trailing brake shoes on backing plate, and engage brake strut and quadrant. Install parking brake return spring,

****brake shoe hold-down spring pin, and brake shoe hold-down spring. ****

Position leading brake shoe, and install hold-down spring pin and hold-down spring. Install brake shoe return springs. Adjust brake shoes. See REAR BRAKE SHOES under ADJUSTMENTS. To complete installation, reverse removal procedure. Bleed brakes (if necessary). See BLEEDING BRAKE SYSTEM .

Dave H
Nov 20, 2008.
The adjuster on my car was a bit different. But I managed to understand the adjuster mechanics with the help your provided. IMO. This is a difficult drum brake adjuster. I needed a third hand to keep the shoes from moving back out away from the wheel cylinder.

Thanks for your help.

Dec 11, 2008.
Is there any possibility that the shoe backing is tweaked?
Cores cant be rebuilt forever.

Dec 11, 2008.