Dodge Colt/Challenger/Conquest/Vista 1971-1989 Repair Guide

Brake Shoes

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Remove the lower pressed metal spring ...



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Fig. Fig. 2 ... and the large shoe return spring



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Fig. Fig. 3 After the tension is released, it should pull out of the mounting holes with ease



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Fig. Fig. 4 Release the hold-down springs on both sides ...



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Fig. Fig. 5 ... then remove the springs and washers



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Fig. Fig. 6 The hold-down spring pin should be removed from the rear of the backing plate



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Fig. Fig. 7 Separate the shoe assembly from the backing plate



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Fig. Fig. 8 Unhook the two shoes ...



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Fig. Fig. 9 ... then disconnect the parking brake cable



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Fig. Fig. 10 View of the rear drum brake components



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Fig. Fig. 11 If the wheel cylinder needs replacement, disconnect the brake line behind the cylinder



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Fig. Fig. 12 Some fluid will leak out of the line once separated



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Fig. Fig. 13 Remove the two mounting nuts or bolts ...



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Fig. Fig. 14 ... then from the front, remove the wheel cylinder



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Fig. Fig. 15 Attach a hose and clear bottle filled with brake fluid to the bleeder port

To Mid-1973 Models


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Fig. Fig. 16 Exploded view of the 1971-mid 73 rear brake shoe components

  1. Remove the brake drum.
  2.  
  3. Remove the lower return spring and the hold-down springs. (Push down on the hold-down spring seat and rotate it so the hold-down pin is freed).
  4.  
  5. Detach the upper return spring and remove the brake shoes. Attach the upper return spring between the brake shoes, and position the shoes over the wheel cylinder and to the backing plate. Install the hold-down springs and lower return spring. Refer to the beginning of this section for brake shoe adjustment.
  6.  

Rear Wheel Drive

From Mid-1973 Through 1980


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Fig. Fig. 17 Exploded view of the rear wheel drive mid 1973-80 rear brake shoe components

  1. Remove wheel and brake drum.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake shoe hold-down springs. Detach the strut-to-shoe spring and the upper return spring from the rear (trailing) brake shoe. Remove the brake shoes (both) as an assembly, with the lower return spring attached.
  4.  
  5. Pull the adjusting lever toward the center of the brake shoe while holding the adjusting latch down. Remove the adjuster from the shoe. Remove the strut and return springs.
  6.  
  7. The wheel cylinder can be removed at this time for service or replacement. The parking brake lever and strut may be removed, if necessary.
  8.  
  9. Clean the backing plate with a wire brush to remove dirt. Reinstall the parking brake lever and strut, if removed. Install the wheel cylinder, if removed.
  10.  
  11. Lubricate the contact surfaces on the backing plate, wheel cylinder piston ends, anchor plate shoe contact surfaces and the parking brake strut joints and contact surfaces.
  12.  
  13. Install the adjusting lever and latch spring assembly on the leading (front) shoe.
  14.  

The adjusting lever and latch spring are different for right and left.

  1. Install the brake shoes in position on the backing plate with the hold-down springs. Install the top shoe-to-shoe spring. Make sure the top web (metal) is in the slot of the wheel cylinder piston and the bottom web is against the anchor block of the backing plate with the lower return spring installed.
  2.  
  3. Set the amount of engagement of the adjusting lever with the strut by pulling the adjusting lever fully toward the center of the brake. Install the strut to shoe spring.
  4.  

The strut to shoe springs differ in color from the side-to-side; left-white and right-neutral color.

  1. Return the adjusting lever until it touches the shoe rim.
  2.  
  3. Install the brake drums. The lining to drum clearance is automatically adjusted by applying the brakes several times; however, if the wheel cylinders have been serviced the brake system will have to be bled before proper adjustment is possible.
  4.  
  5. Adjust the parking brake stroke. Road test the car.
  6.  

1981 and Later Rear Wheel Drive
  1. Raise the back of the car and support on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel. Make sure the front wheels are blocked securely, release the parking brake and remove the brake drum.
  4.  

The brake drum is retained by two small bolts.

  1. Disconnect the shoe-to-shoe spring and the strut-to-shoe spring. Disconnect the shoe return spring and remove the brake hold-down assemblies.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the parking brake cable from the parking brake lever and remove the rear brake shoe.
  4.  
  5. Remove the front brake shoe. Transfer the levers and adjusters to the new brake shoes using new U-shaped locks.
  6.  
  7. Prior to assembly, apply No. 2 brake grease to the contact area of the strut and parking brake lever and strut and adjusting lever. After cleaning the backing plate apply grease to the brake shoe contact points.
  8.  
  9. Connect the parking brake and install the brake shoes with the adjusters and hold-down assemblies. Install the return springs. The lining to drum clearance is automatically adjusted by applying the brakes several times after the drums have been installed. If the wheel cylinders have been rebuilt the brake system must be bled before correct adjustment is possible.
  10.  

1979-89 Front Wheel Drive Colt


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Fig. Fig. 18 Exploded view of the front wheel drive rear brake shoe components-except Vista

  1. Remove rear wheel and brake drum.
  2.  
  3. Remove the lower pressed metal spring clip, the shoe return spring (the large one piece spring between the two shoes), and the two shoe hold-down springs.
  4.  
  5. Remove the shoes and adjuster as an assembly. Disconnect the parking brake cable from the lever, remove the spring between the shoes and the lever from the rear (trailing) shoe. Disconnect the adjuster retaining spring and remove the adjuster, turn the star wheel in to the adjuster body after cleaning and lubricating the threads.
  6.  
  7. The wheel cylinder may be removed for service or replacement, if necessary.
  8.  
  9. Clean the backing plate. Install the wheel cylinder if it was removed. Lubricate all contact points on the backing plate, anchor plate, wheel cylinder to shoe contact and parking brake strut joints and contacts. Install the brake shoes after attaching the parking brake, lever and adjuster assemblies. Install the hold-down and return springs.
  10.  
  11. Pre-adjustment of the brake shoe can be made by turning the adjuster star wheel out until the drum will just slide on over the brake shoes. Before installing the drum make sure the parking brake is not adjusted too tightly, if it is-loosen, or the adjustment of the rear brakes will not be correct.
  12.  
  13. If the wheel cylinders were serviced, bleed the brake system. The brake shoes are then adjusted by pumping the brake pedal and applying and releasing the parking brake. Adjust the parking brake stroke. Road test the car.
  14.  

1985-89 Vista


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Fig. Fig. 19 Exploded view of the front wheel drive rear brake shoe components-Vista

  1. Raise and support the rear on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheels.
  4.  
  5. Remove the brake drums.
  6.  
  7. Remove the shoe-to-strut spring.
  8.  
  9. Remove the shoe-to-shoe spring.
  10.  
  11. Remove the shoe hold-down spring.
  12.  
  13. Remove the shoe retainer clip.
  14.  
  15. Remove the leading shoe.
  16.  
  17. Remove the brake cable from the lever.
  18.  
  19. Remove the trailing shoe.
  20.  
  21. Remove the brake cable snapring and remove the cable.
  22.  
  23. Inspect all parts for wear or damage. Heat damage is a problem common to brake systems. Sign of heat damage are bluing and cracking. It's a good idea, when replacing brake shoes, to replace all the brake hardware, i.e., springs and clips.
  24.  

Never replace shoes on one side only! Replace both sets of shoes at the same time.

  1. Assemble the parking brake and adjuster assemblies on the brake shoes. Install the brake shoes and hold-downs. Connect the return springs. Apply a small amount of lithium based grease to the contact pads of the backing plate before installing the shoes. When installing the shoe-to-shoe spring and shoe-to-strut spring, set the adjuster lever all the way back against the shoe. When everything is assembled, pump the pedal several times and adjust the brakes.
  2.  

 
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