1996 Ford Contour 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 100000 miles
I have replaced my brake shoes and now with everything reassembled, I cannot get the drums back on. The adjuster is fully retracted, the springs appear to be properly installed and are not interfering with anything, the shoes aren't hanging up on the backing plate and the cylinder is compressed. There is about 1/16" to 1/8" overlap between the drum and shoe surfaces. The issue seems to be in the area of the adjuster as the shoes barely contact the cylider pistons. I have checked the adjuster repeatedly and it appears to be fully retracted. I have serviced my brakes previously and, while the fit has been tight, haven't had the problem to this degree. I have tried with the new and old shoes installed with the same issue.
Hi DIYerJ. Welcome to the forum. This is typically what happens when one of the parking brake cables is stuck partially applied. The clue is the frames of the shoes must contact the anchor pin on top AND there must be a little free play in the parking brake strut rod. If either of those are not true, the parking brake strut will hold the shoes out a little.
If a stuck parking brake cable is the cause, you might be able to get it to retract by flexing the outer casing or by using a pry bar to force back the lever the cable is attached to.
September, 19, 2010 AT 7:07 PM
Just to clarify, by anchor pins you mean the pins that hold the shoes to the backing plate, right? The shoe frames do not contact those, but the stop on the parking brake strut is fully against the shoe backing and there is some play in the strut/cable. How would I go about solving this? I have tried leveraging the spring on the cable and the PB strut to no resolution. If it weren't for the fact that I've tried with both old and new shoes, I would say it seems as though the notches in the shoe frame don't properly accomodate the the auto adjuster strut. If it will help in diagnosis, I'll try to get some snapshots up as soon as I can.
Thanks for your help!
September, 19, 2010 AT 7:23 PM
Nope. Those are the hold-down pins that look like nails. The anchor pin is the large stud at the top of the backing plate. Both brake shoe frames must contact that pin. If they do not, no free play in the parking brake strut rod means the cable is stuck or over-adjusted. If there is free play in the strut, look for grooves worn into the backing plate that the shoes are catching on.