How to Replace the Brake Shoe on a 1989 Ford Probe

The 1989 Ford Probe uses a drum braking system in the rear of the vehicle. A drum braking system uses brake shoes, rather than brake pads. Although rear brake shoes do not have to be replaced as often as front brake pads, they still wear out eventually. With some experience with auto repair, a Ford Probe owner can replace the brake shoes. Replacement brake shoes can be purchased from an auto parts store.

Tools Used: Blocks, Lug wrench, Floor jack, Jack stands, Impact screwdriver, Philips head bit, Hammer, Screwdriver, Needle nose pliers, Brake parts cleaner, Rag, Silicone lubricant

Replace Brake Shoe

Park the vehicle on flat ground. Place blocks in front of the front tires to prevent the vehicle from rolling. Loosen the lug nuts on the rear wheels using a lug wrench.

Raise the rear of the vehicle using a floor jack. Place jack stands beneath the vehicle for support. Remove the lug nuts and tires from the vehicle.

Remove the two retaining screws from the drum using a impact screwdriver with a Philips head bit. Strike the top of the screwdriver with hammer to loosen the threads of the screws, then back the screws out of the drum.

Remove the drum. If the drum does not pull of easily, strike the sides of the hub with a hammer to loosen it.

Locate the brake shoe adjuster and cam. The brake shoe adjuster is just below the wheel cylinder and under the top shoe return spring. The cam is located on the left side of the adjuster. Press in on the cam with a screwdriver to release the tension on the adjuster. Using needle nose pliers, remove the upper and lower brake shoe return springs.

Remove the hold-down spring on the left brake shoe by pressing on the clip with the needle nose pliers and holding the head of the hold-down pin with a finger on your other hand. Turn the clip so that the notch in the clip and the tip of the pin matches up. Remove the left brake shoe. Slide the brake shoe adjuster out from the left to remove it.

Remove the hold-down spring from the right shoe. Remove the retaining clip that holds the actuating lever to the shoe, this will allow you to remove the brake shoe. Do not remove the parking brake cable from the actuating lever.

Clean the inside of the backing plate with brake parts cleaner and a rag. Allow the backing plate to dry. Locate the six shoe contact points on the backing plate. The contact points are oval shaped and located near the outside edge of the backing plate. Clean the contact points with a light grade sandpaper and apply a coat of silicone based lubricant to the contact points.

Install the new brake shoes and hardware, beginning with the right shoe. Attach the shoe to the actuating lever by squeezing the clip with the needle nose pliers. Replace the hold-down spring and pin to hold the right shoe in place. Install the lower return spring.

Clean the brake shoe adjuster with brake parts cleaner and a rag. Install the adjuster in the same position it was removed. It will sit on the hub axle until the left shoe holds it in place. Attach the lower return spring to the left shoe and move the shoe into place. You may have to manipulate the backing plate to secure the adjuster. Replace the hold-down spring and pin on the left shoe. Replace the upper retaining spring.

Manipulate the cam of the adjuster with a screwdriver to get the drum to fit snug. Replace the retaining screws. Repeat the steps to the opposite wheel. Place the wheels onto the vehicle. Loosely place the lug nuts on the wheel studs.

Raise the rear of the vehicle slightly with the floor jack and remove the jack stands. Tighten the lug nuts onto the wheel studs using a lug wrench.

Tips & Warnings

After brake shoe installation, pump the brake petal several times to seat the brakes.

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