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I changed the front pads and rotors about 2 weeks ago and since then the car didn't really brake the same. It felt mushy. So today when I was changing the oil, I bled the brakes. That helped the peadle to get a little stiffer, but the brakes still don't feel right. So my service manager said that the rear brakes prolly need to be adjusted. So I racked the car back up and you can take the rear wheels and spin them freely, very eaisly. I know they are not supposed to spin that easy. So I took the dust cover off and came to take the drum off, but I didn't have a socket large enough to fit on that nut. Then I came here and did some searching and found out that the rear brakes are self adjusting. How exactly do you get them to "self adjust"?? I tried pulling the ebrake a bunch of times, driving in reverse, pulling the ebrake while driving, so forth and so on and they still feel the same. Is there an adjustment screw behind the drums?? What size is that bolt to get them off? Any help would be appreicated. Thanks.
 

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Clicky Clicky To how to adjust the ebrake if that's what your asking.

But as far as adjusting the rear brakes, I've done a few to where you drive about 15 - 20 mph or so and press the regular brakes down. Do this a couple of times and it should set your brakes. I personally don't know if there's an adjustment on the back of the Hub or not.....Hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I'm trying to adjust the rear brakes themselves, not the Ebrake. Like if you do a brake job on the front, and don't change the rear shoes, your supposed to adjust them out to comensate for the thickness of the new front pads.
 

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Sorry i meant drive 15 - 20 MPH in reverse a couple of times
 

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The following sometimes seems to works for me...

Park the car and turn it off
Raise the e-brake handle as high as possible
Pump the brake pedal until its locks

In terms of the spongy brake feel, changing your pads will not normally stiffen the brake pedal. This seems to be a common misconception. Rather it is the brake line (hoses) expanding under pressure that helps cause a spongy brake feel, especially under warm weather. Upgrade to braided lines to stiffen the brake pedal b/c the hoses do not expand as much. Bleeding the line with the stock hoses will offer temporary stiffness or variant stiffness...

In any case, this seems to be a common problem
 

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Help.... I took off the drum to replace the bearing and now the drum won't go back in. How do I adjust to breaks to slip the drum back in
 

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Easier to do than describe.

You've got a ratcheting adjuster on a bar between the brake shoes, that needs to be released & set to a minimum instead of where it's currently adjusted to for more room to put the drum back on.
 

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Easier to do than describe.

You've got a ratcheting adjuster on a bar between the brake shoes, that needs to be released & set to a minimum instead of where it's currently adjusted to for more room to put the drum back on.
Sounds right. I just went thru this minutes ago and had the same problem. I ended up sticking a flat blade screw driver between the two ratcheting surfaces, one on a round nub and the other on the adjusting bar. I think when I pryed them apart, the shoes went to their most closed position so I could get the drum back on. Seems like there is no way to do that same action with the drum on, so how do you adjust the shoes IN to let you pull off a tight drum?
 

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Really can't, you just work at getting it off. Not bad though unless really deep grooving in drum edge.
 

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Rally can't, you just work at getting it off. Not bad though unless really deep grooving in drum edge.
I think by the "really deep grooving in drum edge", you mean the ridge that results from the shoes wearing into the drum surface that it contacts. But if that ridge is high enough, to have to pull and yank and twist and jerk and spin and put that much lateral stress on the assembly (that's not really designed to take), just seems so primitive. So I pose my question again to the 1,000's of members on this thread: IS THERE NO WAY TO RETRACT THE REAR BRAKE SHOES BEFORE TAKING THE DRUM OFF??? I just can believe that there isn't.
 

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I never found a way either. Once that ratchet clicks off, the shoes are out and you can't get in there to retract the adjuster unless the drum is off. I pulled mine over the shoes like the others. Eventually I converted it to rotors because I was sick and tired of it.

Toby
 

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How much of a job is it to convert to rotors? Any write-up's on FF that you know of? Tempted to do that just to avoid the stupidity of the stock set-up. Love the car for what it is, but these rear brakes are an embarrassment to Henry Ford unless me, you and apparently several hundred other owners are missing something here.
 

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The information on rotor conversion is all scattered here and it requires a devoted amount of research to collect it all. There's really not a how-to to speak of. It is an involved project, and since I got my parts from salvage, I don't know what any of the numbers are. Your Ford dealer could price out the whole setup for you, but that will be expensive. The last year for rear disc brakes was 2007, so you have a couple of years till the parts are obsolete.

Toby
 

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'Once that ratchet clicks off, the shoes are out and you can't get in there to retract the adjuster unless the drum is off.'

And there you have it....................................
 

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Dunno if later models can pull axle stub off still attached to drum but if yes then do it that way. Preloosen the lug nuts a bit so can remove easy later. Use a baby sledge and short piece of 2X4 and whack on inside of tire side to side to remove drum once back axle bolts are loose. If you try to remove just the drum by itself much of the time you will end up with a scrapped drum from hitting on it.
 
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