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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The front brakes seem to be the only thing stopping the car. The rears don't seem to work hardly at all. The hardware/shoes/drums have all been replaced but with the car off, the rear jacked up and the brake peddle to the floor I can still turn the rear wheels by hand. If I try the emergency brake it does the same thing. I can feel a little resistance but not much. Not what I would expect.

This is all confusing. The emergency brake is mechanical so it would have thought It would have acted different. The adjuster was not froze up at least one one side that checked.

shouldn't I be able to lock up the brake with the emergency brake?
 

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The front brakes seem to be the only thing stopping the car. The rears don't seem to work hardly at all. The hardware/shoes/drums have all been replaced but with the car off, the rear jacked up and the brake peddle to the floor I can still turn the rear wheels by hand. If I try the emergency brake it does the same thing. I can feel a little resistance but not much. Not what I would expect.

This is all confusing. The emergency brake is mechanical so it would have thought It would have acted different. The adjuster was not froze up at least one one side that checked.

shouldn't I be able to lock up the brake with the emergency brake?
So you replace the shoes and adjusters, did you release the adjuster at the parking brake lever before installing the new hardware? There is a nut onto a screw that allows for adjust me as the shoes start to wear so you get more bite when you pull the e brake. It mainly adjust the cable. It is right next to the e brake handle under the boot. How many clicks do you get from your e brake handle before it gets hard? Or does it never get hard given you are saying you can still moving the rear wheels?

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Being that the parts are supposedly new in the rear brakes obviously the shoes aren't barely making any contact with the drums. As Jcbarr25 said they probably weren't ever adjusted correctly and the self adjusters have a little lever that needs to make contact with the star wheel on the adjuster itself. Take it back to the mechanic and make him adjust them correctly. It's very dangerous to drive with no rear brakes especially in the rain.
 

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As Jcbarr25 said they probably weren't ever adjusted correctly and the self adjusters have a little lever that needs to make contact with the star wheel on the adjuster itself.
Ford Focus drum brakes do not have a star wheel. They use a cam mechanism self adjuster link. The cam mechanism almost always seizes up.
 

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Though it's technically not called a "star" adjuster it still self adjusts in a similar manner and the "toothed wheel" still has to make contact with the flat metal lever to work. If the hardware wasn't installed correctly then it might never adjust. Both wheels doing it hints to me that someone put the hardware in wrong. However, I guess it's also possible that both adjusters are seized.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is my daughters car so I don't drive it that often. I did more driving with it last night.
I have a angled driveway and the emergency brake will not hold it. Not even close
If backing out of the driveway it takes a lot of peddle effort to stop. I'm not sure if this is because of the front/back stopping bias. driving forward on a regular road braking seems seems fine.
I checked the booster too. I have no MC leaks.
It sure feels like it low on stopping power which would make sense with little to no back brakes.
 

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This is my daughters car so I don't drive it that often. I did more driving with it last night.
I have a angled driveway and the emergency brake will not hold it. Not even close
If backing out of the driveway it takes a lot of peddle effort to stop. I'm not sure if this is because of the front/back stopping bias. driving forward on a regular road braking seems seems fine.
I checked the booster too. I have no MC leaks.
It sure feels like it low on stopping power which would make sense with little to no back brakes.
Inspect the nut near the e brake that i mention. It is a long bolt so you will not miss it once you remove the boot. Two push tabs in each side on the front and and one retaining tab towards the back. I would adjust that nut to the point that if you pull on the e brake you get 6 clicks and u cannot physically pull the e brake upwards anymore.

It is a simple adjustment

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This is my daughters car so I don't drive it that often. I did more driving with it last night.
I have a angled driveway and the emergency brake will not hold it. Not even close
If backing out of the driveway it takes a lot of peddle effort to stop. I'm not sure if this is because of the front/back stopping bias. driving forward on a regular road braking seems seems fine.
I checked the booster too. I have no MC leaks.
It sure feels like it low on stopping power which would make sense with little to no back brakes.
Also, what color is your brake fluid?

I had a similar situation where I changed the rear drums and my pedal would go almost to the floor before stopping. I went thru a bunch of checks and flushing the brake fluid, etc ... At the end, i had a brake fluid leak at one of the calipers seals. The only reason I saw it was cuz i decided to change the front pads to see if that helped. The cut was so small and the leak was barely dripping any fluid. One thing that I did notice, the brake fluid was dark even after the new flush

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Getting the brakes to work normally comes before adjusting the e-brake.
To the OP: TAKE THIS CAR TO THE MECHANIC. It's dangerous to drive and it seems beyond your capability. If you paid someone to do the work then take it back to them to fix it. If it needs new adjusters in each drum then that's all you should have to pay him since he didn't do the job completely or right when he had it.
 

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I remember reading that you have to drive the car in reverse and use the brakes, then the adjustment cam will rotate out to expand the brake shoes. That's what I did when I had did my last rear brake job and it adjusted up after about 15 times for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
UPDATE.
So after reading through the comments and archives, I got a new set of shoes to go with the new drums I had already purchased. I took them all apart again. One adjuster was fine and the other was pretty stuck. I cleaned both nice and shinny with the wire wheel and used anti-seize on sliding surface. . I also got into the emergency brake adjusting nut under the boot handle. I loosened it and made sure the springs were all the way back.as one was and one was not. I'm lucky I noticed one of the shoes hooks into the adjuster cam. Following a tip from the archives I made sure the drums were adjusted for a tight fit.

One of the stupid spindle nuts came apart on me while torq-ing it down. That was small ordeal. In case the next poor bastard has to deal with this the Nut is really 4 skinny nuts spot welded together and placed in a cage housing. The cage makes you go to the 30mm size. Without the cage you use the 29mm. I had the grind my socket down flush to grip the last nut and spin it out. The replacement Dorman nut ($35 for the pair) is a one piece design that incorporated the washer and nut in one. F-you ford that BS nut design:)

Anyway I drove around bunch doing forward and reverse stop tests hoping to get the adjust tight up more. Then worked on the Emergency brake until I was around the 5-7 clicks. I can now get the car to hold on my sloped driveway and close to being able to fully lock-up the tires at least one of them up while driving.
 

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One adjuster was fine and the other was pretty stuck. I cleaned both nice and shinny with the wire wheel and used anti-seize on sliding surface. . I also got into the emergency brake adjusting nut under the boot handle. I loosened it and made sure the springs were all the way back.as one was and one was not. I'm lucky I noticed one of the shoes hooks into the adjuster cam. Following a tip from the archives I made sure the drums were adjusted for a tight fit.
These are what made all the difference - the adjusters are key. Glad you got it sorted out.

Paul
 

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UPDATE.
So after reading through the comments and archives, I got a new set of shoes to go with the new drums I had already purchased. I took them all apart again. One adjuster was fine and the other was pretty stuck. I cleaned both nice and shinny with the wire wheel and used anti-seize on sliding surface. . I also got into the emergency brake adjusting nut under the boot handle. I loosened it and made sure the springs were all the way back.as one was and one was not. I'm lucky I noticed one of the shoes hooks into the adjuster cam. Following a tip from the archives I made sure the drums were adjusted for a tight fit.

One of the stupid spindle nuts came apart on me while torq-ing it down. That was small ordeal. In case the next poor bastard has to deal with this the Nut is really 4 skinny nuts spot welded together and placed in a cage housing. The cage makes you go to the 30mm size. Without the cage you use the 29mm. I had the grind my socket down flush to grip the last nut and spin it out. The replacement Dorman nut ($35 for the pair) is a one piece design that incorporated the washer and nut in one. F-you ford that BS nut design:)

Anyway I drove around bunch doing forward and reverse stop tests hoping to get the adjust tight up more. Then worked on the Emergency brake until I was around the 5-7 clicks. I can now get the car to hold on my sloped driveway and close to being able to fully lock-up the tires at least one of them up while driving.
Glad as well you got it worked out

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There is likely a wealth of f-cked up in this thread if talking rear drum brakes. You for one assemble the brake as loose as you can to be able to get the drum back on easy, the 'adjusters' there work nothing like the star wheel ones of old and you get NOTHING by reversing or going forward. They do not adjust up in small increments at all, they adjust pretty much all at once and with the first several times you push the pedal down (most of THAT is simply to push the wheel cylinder pistons back out, the actual adjust move can take place in one push of the pedal when your slack closes up), the car does not have to even move to do it. If right the car has them 95% adjusted before you even move it one inch. The last 5% will settle in as you drive as the brake parts settle into position. The adjuster teeth are very small and I commonly use an Xacto knife to clean them out as they slip very easy when dirty and rust filled. They go back bone dry as any lube at the quadrant then tends to fill the teeth grooves with dirt and then quickly the adjuster quits working. All you need is very clean parts and the spring that goes on the quadrant to swing it correctly, IIRC you CAN put it on wrong and adjuster issues then, I usually custom set the hook airspace where the shoe hooks to the adjuster to activate it a bit faster by taking up operating clearance too. I use a paperclip as the setting gauge there to do it. It increases the efficiency of the self-adjust. You must as well have the thinner shoe on the back where it goes.

If there is one thing that happens, it's that the backs both lock up when done, if anything they lock TOO easy. That can be the PSRVs up front on the brake lines at M/C going bad. They regulate the pressure going to back brakes to make it drop off past a certain point to not lock up so easy. Watch the rear wheel cylinders, they tend to go bad on these very quickly and then leaking fluid on shoes makes them lock up with no moderation at all.

All this assumes both the '05 and earlier ones are close to the same, if not then you can kick me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well the drama is not over. The driver side is dragging. I thought the E-brake might be too tight so i loosed it up at the handle as much as I could. I pull the cable into the drum. It still drags but not as bad. The other side rolls fine.
I'm sure pulling drum off will be fun.
 

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That's what trying to preadjust them before letting the adjuster do its' thing gets you. Why you leave them loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I didn't put them on that tight. I just took out the slack. I'm guessing the E-brake is still sticking. IDK still hate Ford.
 

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As I said make sure the brakes are in proper adjustment first and THEN adjust the e-brake. It's not the car's fault and since this is something that's rarely complained about on here it's also not Ford's fault or else this site would be flooded with people asking about it. The rear drum brakes aren't some exotic design. This lies with the person trying to fix something that they aren't qualified to fix. Maybe sell the car and go buy someone else's brand to complain about when simple maintenance is beyond you.
 

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They may not be an exotic design but if you go in and preadjust the brake BEFORE letting them pull up to where they want to you ARE messing up there. The adjustment pulls up all at once instead of the many small bits they do on the older star wheel design. If you adjusted closer than what the auto adjust does then you went too far to drag. Why you don't adjust at all, leave them super loose to get drum on easy. Before car even moved, start it to get booster vacuumed and pump brake pedal 3-4 times until it tightens up and done.

You think you didn't adjust that tight but the drum tends to drag both sides of the assembly out of plane at pulling it and why they are hard to get off. When they go out of plane they get much wider in effect.

Adjust e-brake LAST like said. ONLY when the rest is right.
 
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