Check the shoes for contamination from brake fluid or axle grease. The minimum allowed lining thickness is 0.098 inches (2.5mm). This can be checked through the inspection plug on the back plate without removing the drum.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Raise and safely support the vehicle and remove the rear wheels.
- Remove the rear brake drum.
- Remove the spring retainers by holding the pin behind the back plate, push in on the retainer and turn it 1 / 4 turn.
- Remove the shoes from the back plate by pulling first 1 shoe, then the other against the upper spring and from it's wheel cylinder slot. Detach the parking brake cable from the brake lever. The entire shoe assembly should now be free of the vehicle.
- Carefully note the position of each spring, as spring shapes and positions have varied from vehicle to vehicle and year to year.
- Clamp the pushrod that holds the shoes apart at the top in a vise and begin removing the springs. Start with the lower return spring, adjusting wedge spring, upper return spring and then the tensioning spring and adjusting wedge.
- On most vehicles, the parking brake lever must be removed from the old shoes and reused. When new parts are purchased, don't forget the clip that holds the parking brake lever pin in place.
- Check the wheel cylinder for frozen pistons or leaks. If any defects are found, replace the wheel cylinder.
- Inspect the springs. If the springs are damaged or show signs of overheating they should be replaced. Indications of overheated springs are discoloration and distortion.
- Inspect the brake drum and recondition or replace as necessary.
- Clean the back plate and lubricate the shoe contact points with a suitable brake lubricant.
- With the push rod clamped in a vise, attach the front brake shoe and tensioning spring.
- Insert the adjusting wedge between the front shoe and pushrod so its lug is pointing toward the backing plate.
- Remove the parking brake lever from the old shoe and attach it onto the new rear brake shoe.
- Put the rear brake shoe and parking brake lever assembly onto the pushrod and hook up the spring.
- Connect the parking brake cable to the lever and place the whole assembly onto the backing plate.
- Install the hold-down springs.
- Install the upper and lower return springs.
- Install the adjusting wedge spring.
- Center the brake shoes on the backing plate, making sure the adjusting wedge is fully released (all the way up) before installing the drum.
- Install the drum and wheel assembly.
- Apply the brake pedal a few times to bring the brake shoe into adjustment.
- If the wheel cylinder was replaced, bleed the system.
- Road test the vehicle.
The drum brakes are self-adjusting and require a manual adjustment only after the brake shoes have been replaced, or when the length of the adjusting screw has been changed while performing some other service operation, as, for example, when taking off brake drums.
To adjust the brakes, perform the procedures that follow:Drum Installed
- Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jackstands.
- Remove the rubber plug from the adjusting slot. On some VW models you may have to knock out a tab in the drum to access the adjuster.
- Insert a brake adjusting spoon into the slot and engage the lowest possible tooth on the starwheel. Move the end of the brake spoon downward to move the starwheel upward and expand the adjusting screw. Repeat this operation until the brakes lock the wheels.
- Insert a small screwdriver or piece of firm wire (coat hanger wire) into the adjusting slot and push the automatic adjusting lever out and free of the starwheel on the adjusting screw and hold it there.
- Engage the topmost tooth possible on the starwheel with the brake adjusting spoon. Move the end of the adjusting spoon upward to move the adjusting screw starwheel downward and contact the adjusting screw. Back off the adjusting screw starwheel until the wheel spins freely with a minimum of drag. Keep track of the number of turns that the starwheel is backed off, or the number of strokes taken with the brake adjusting spoon.
- Repeat this operation for the other side. When backing off the brakes on the other side, the starwheel adjuster must be backed off the same number of turns to prevent side-to-side brake pull.
- Remove the jackstands and lower the vehicle.
- After the brakes are adjusted make several stops while backing the vehicle up, to equalize the brakes at both of the wheels. Road test the vehicle.
- Make sure that the shoe-to-contact pad areas are clean and properly lubricated.
- Using an inside caliper check the inside diameter of the drum. Measure across the diameter of the assembled brake shoes, at their widest point.
- Turn the adjusting screw so that the diameter of the shoes is 0.030 in. (0.76mm) less than the brake drum inner diameter.
- Install the drum.