Ford Taurus/Sable 1996-1999 Repair Guide

Brake Drums



See Figures 1 and 2

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Fig. Fig. 1: If the brake shoes need to be backed off, remove the rubber plug to access the brake shoe adjusting screw

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Fig. Fig. 2: Brake drum mounting

Older brake pads or shoes may contain asbestos, which has been determined to be 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.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  5. Remove the brake drum.

If the drum will not come off, pry the rubber plug from the backing plate inspection hole. Remove the brake line-to-axle retention bracket. This will allow sufficient room to insert suitable brake tools through the inspection hole to disengage the adjusting lever and back off the adjusting screw.

  1. Inspect the drum for scoring and/or other wear. Machine or replace, as necessary.

To install:
  1. Measure the brake drum inside diameter using D81L-1103-A or equivalent brake adjustment gauge.
  3. Using the brake adjustment gauge, adjust the brake shoes to the same dimensions as the brake drum.
  5. Position the brake drum over the brake shoes on the axle hub.
  7. Install the wheel and tire assembly. Tighten the lug nuts to 85-104 ft. lbs. (115-141 Nm).
  9. Lower the vehicle.
  11. Pump the brake pedal several times to position the brake shoes and complete the adjustment.
  13. Road test the vehicle and check for proper brake system operation.


See Figures 3 and 4

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Fig. Fig. 3: A micrometer is needed to check the diameter and run-put of the brake drum

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Fig. Fig. 4: Typically the drum maximum diameter is stamped onto the drum ridge

Check that there are no cracks or chips in the braking surface. Excessive bluing indicates overheating and a replacement drum is needed. The drum can be machined to remove minor damage and to establish a rounded braking surface on a warped drum. Never exceed the maximum oversize of the drum when machining the braking surface.

The brake drum inside diameter and run-out can be measured using a brake drum micrometer. The drum should be measured every time a brake inspection is performed. Take the inside diameter readings at points 90° apart from each other on the drum to measure the run-out. The maximum inside diameter is stamped on the rim of the drum or on the inside above the lug nut stud holes and is also contained in the brake specifications chart at the end of this section.