Ford Taurus/Sable 1986-1995 Repair Information




See Figure 1

The rear drum brakes on your Taurus/Sable are self-adjusting. The only adjustment necessary should be an initial one after new brake shoes have been installed or some type of service work has been done on the rear brake system.

After any brake service, obtain a firm brake pedal before moving the car. Adjusted brakes must not drag. The wheel must turn freely. Be sure the parking brake cables are not too tightly adjusted.

A special brake shoe gauge is necessary for making an accurate adjustment after installing new brake shoes. The special gauge measures both the drum diameter and the brake shoe setting.

Since no adjustment is necessary except when service is performed on the rear brakes, this procedure begins with the car safely supported by jackstands and the rear drums removed.

  1. Apply a small amount of Disc Brake Caliper Slide Grease D7AZ-19590-A or equivalent, to the points where the shoes contact the rear brake backing plate. Do NOT get grease on the linings!
  3. Determine the inside diameter of the drum braking surface using Brake Adjustment Gauge D81L-1103-A or equivalent.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Using the correct tool to determine the inside diameter of the drum braking surface

  1. Adjust the brake shoes and linings diameter to fit the gauge. Align the brake shoes and linings vertically so that the flats on the bottom of the brake shoes and linings are about 0.05 in. (1.5mm) above the bottom of the brake shoe abutment plate BEFORE setting the gauge diameter. Hold the automatic brake shoe adjusting lever out of engagement while rotating the adjusting screw. Make sure the screw rotates freely. Lubricate if necessary.
  3. Rotate the brake adjustment gauge around the brake shoes and linings to be sure of the proper setting.
  5. Install the brake drum, as outlined later in this section.
  7. Install the tire and wheel assembly. Install the wheel cover and nut covers, if applicable.
  9. Finish the adjustment by pressing the brake pedal down several times with a minimum of 25 lbs. (111 N) of force.
  11. After adjustment, check the brake operation by making several stops from various forward speeds.


Front disc brakes require no adjustment. Hydraulic pressure maintains the proper pad-to-disc contact at all times.

On vehicles equipped with rear disc brakes, the main difference is that the rear caliper houses the emergency brake actuator. The rear disc brakes are self-adjusting. Hydraulic pressure maintains the proper pad-to-disc contact at all times.


  1. Insert a slender sharp pointed rod through the carpet and sound deadener to dash panel metal.
  3. Measure the distance to the center top of the brake pedal pad.
  5. If the position of the pedal is not within specification, check the pedal for worn bushings, missing bushings and loose retaining bolts.
  7. Repair defective components as required. Proper specification should be minimum 6.34 in. (161mm) pedal free height to maximum 7.09 in. (180mm) and maximum 2.34 in. (59.4mm) pedal travel.
  9. If the measurement is still not within specification, check the brake pedal booster for proper adjustment.