Ford Full-Size Cars 1968-1988 Repair Guide

Brake Drum


Brake pads may contain asbestos, which has been determined to be a cancer causing agent. Never clean the brake surfaces with compressed air! Avoid inhaling any dust from any brake surface! When cleaning brake surfaces, use a commercially available brake cleaning fluid.


See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  5. Remove the drum retaining nuts, if equipped, and remove the brake drum.

If the drum will not come off, pry the rubber plug from the backing plate. Insert a narrow rod through the hole in the backing plate and disengage the adjusting lever from the adjusting screw. While holding the adjustment lever away from the screw, back off the adjusting screw with a brake adjusting tool. Be careful not damage the notches in the adjusting screw or the self-adjusting mechanism will not function properly.

  1. Inspect the brake drum for scoring and wear. Replace or machine as necessary. If machining, observe the maximum diameter specification.

To install:
  1. If a new drum is being installed, remove the protective coating from the drum using brake cleaner. Sand the drum lightly and wipe with a cloth soaked in denatured alcohol.
  3. Adjust the brake shoes according to the procedure in this Section.
  5. Install the brake drum and the wheel and tire assembly.
  7. Lower the vehicle.

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Fig. Fig. 1: An exploded view of 2 rear drum assemblies

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Fig. Fig. 2: Backing off the adjuster

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Fig. Fig. 3: A rear brake drum assembly

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Fig. Fig. 4: To help free a drum, place a finger over 2 studs and push


Clean all grease, brake fluid and other contaminants from the brake drum using brake cleaner. Visually check the drum for scoring, cracks or other damage.

Measure the diameter of the drum using a suitable micrometer. Measure the diameter at various points around the circumference of the drum and at the bottom of the deepest groove, to determine if the drum can be machined or must be replaced.

If the braking surface diameter is worn in excess of the maximum diameter, the drum must be replaced.