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Discussion Starter #1
So i bought my 06 Used back in April 2008...and i'm thinking it needs new brakes on the rear...its really not sounding good at all....now i also have an 1996 Ranger with rear drums so i know how to do them and all....but on my 06 Focus..i took the wheel off and i tried getting the drum off so i could take a look inside and see if i needed new shoes or not.....but i cant seem to get the drum off...i have taped it with the hammer to try and loosen it up but it wont budge.....on my Ranger there is a hole in the back where i could use a screw driver to tighten and loosen the brakes..i found that same hole on the back side of the drums...is this hole used the same way?? which way do i need to try and turn the adjuster?? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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To remove the drum you must do one or two things. Either remove the big center retaining nut or remove the four bolts on the back side of the hub. The latter is the preferred way but either will work. The drums are not loose and don't just slide over the shoes like on a fixed axle pick-up truck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
ok thank you for your help Geezer....whats the best way to remove the nut in the center?? Which way do you suggest taking the drum off???If you ask me the easiest way is the 4 bolts on the back....but will that turn into a pain trying to put it back on?? Tell me what you would do if you were in my situation!! Thanks Again!!!!
 

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The big nut is the easiest if you have the correct tools. It's torqued to well over 200 ft. lbs so you need a cheater bar or air tools to remove it and a good torque wrench to put it back on. Loosen it with the parking brake firmly set or better yet with someone in the car pushing on the brake pedal. Depending on the wheels you have you may be able to get a socket thru the hole in the wheel hub and loosen the nut (don't remove it) while the tires are still on the ground and the parking brake is set. That nut you are removing also has a limited life and if I remember correctly it has to be replaced after three removals...so keep a record of that. The four bolts on the back have some clearance issues but are very doable and doesn't need any special tools.

Unless your really hard on brakes i doubt you need to replace your rear brake shoes. Ours lasted over 80K miles and still had lots of friction material on the shoes when we replaced them. There are several threads and a Ford Motor company service bulletin on this site on how to solve some of the noise issues associated with the rear brakes. Unfortunately its all too common of a problem but really doesn't mean they're not performing correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
how do you get the dust cover off to get to that center nut...on my truck it had a lip at the end of the dust cover..just had to get a screw driver and ply it off but i dont see how to get in between these dust covers..can someone help??
 

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Take a hammer and a really thin flat head screw driver and tap it in there on one of the edges. Doesn't matter where, but the dust covers are pretty flexible, so if you bend the side of the dust cover at all, just take a set of pliers and bend it back once you get it off. I removed the center hub nut on the front when changing the rear brake shoes. Once you get the hub nut off, the drum is still hard to get off, but plenty do-able. Work your way around the edges prying it with a crowbar, or a screwdriver if the crow bar is not available to you. I found the crowbar worked much better at prying it off. The brake shoes kinda hold the drum on, and keep it from sliding right off once you get the hub nut off. Make sure you have a torque wrench that reads to over 200 before taking off the hub nut. You don't want to under torque it. Too many risks involved there. If you have any other specific questions feel free to ask. I've done this twice now, so I am pretty knowledgeable on the subject.
 

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To take the cover off i used the tire iron in my trunk. Didn't damage the drum. I was also replacing the entire drum assembly with disk at the time.
 

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Ford didn't make them to be reused. If you can get it out with the thin screwdriver and reshape it you are ahead of the game. If not they about $8 dollars each.
 

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Thats weird......and a waste of money. I've taken my dust covers off like 3 times now and
put them back on with no problems. Its not like they are going to fall off either.
 

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There is a special tool for removing those wheel bearing caps, without deforming them. If you're intending to work on cars, buying this tool might be worth the cost. You might have to go to a tool dealer like Snap-On to find one...they don't cost very much. But then again....neither does a new bearing cap.
 

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I have the hub nut off and the drum is not budging at all from the outside even after hitting it plenty hard with the hammers and prying with screwdriver and crowbars around the outside edge.. so i decided to try the rear nuts and found it only releases the whole thing with the backing plate and i only want the outside cover of the drum off so i can replace a broken wheel stud. so i re tightened the rear four nuts and am still not making any headway fighting it off the shoes.. there are no holes in my drum cover. im thinking ill need to go rent a puller tool to see if that works in taking it off but am i missing something here or does anybody have any suggestions i could try before going that route? i worry if theres something else holding the drum or both rear four and front hub nuts have to be off then i could damage something with the puller tool? any help would be very much appreciated! thanks in advance.
 

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You try loosening/backing of the shoes via adjuster hole?
 

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You can't manually adjust the automatic adjuster while the drum is on, the drum has to come off. Once you have the center nut off (I just use an impact gun, comes right off) then put the wheel/tire back on, and tug on it to get the drum off, then just take the drum off the wheel. The bearing is probably not letting go, the're practically pressed on after a few years and thousands of miles.

Also, you will REALLY like the newer style auto-adjusters, when you put the drum back on, open the adjuster all the way up to get the drum back on, then just press your brake pedal to engage the auto-adjuster. Super, super easy. Way better than those stupid star adjusters.
 

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X2 to that, but most still think you have to still pre-adjust the shoes and not so at all.
 

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thank you for the replies.. yes i tried finding a rubber plug on the backing plate and found it on the side and not on the bottom.. inaccessible and nothing in there to adjust so i tried putting the wheel on and tugged with all my might and even tried kicking around the wheel rim hard as i can to pop it loose or something but it just doesn't even budge on both sides.. i even tried disconnecting the parking brake and making sure the shoes are completely loose. i think rockeye is right the hub is just stuck on there. i guess the only thing left to do now is to get the puller tool and see if thatll work out ha thanks for the advice you guys have some great ideas and theres a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum. ill update on how it goes
 

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That rubber plug is an inspection plug, no adjusting is possible.

Ok, now, this is just between us, and don't ever tell anyone that I told you to do this. Loosen up the center nut, I mean it should be really free, a few full turns from contact. Put the lug nuts on the same way, really really loose. Drive the car up and down the driveway a few times and see if it pops loose.

If that don't work, there's heat and gear pullers. Gear pullers work better then slide hammers, IMHO. Tension the puller pretty good then whack the sides and back of the drum with a rubber mallet or piece of 2x4, smack the bolt on the gear puller square with a hammer, repeat.
 

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ok i rented a hub puller from the parts store and finally got the drums off and one side had the bearings fall apart when i finally got it off.. thank you guys so much for your advice i probably should have went with the puller tool in the first place but those hubs were stuck on real good..now i only wanted to replace the wheel studs that broke on one side and was bent on the other side but i thought it would be easier to just replace the drums with newer ones and i picked up a pair at the local pull and pay yard and now i realize after releasing the self adjuster and putting the drums back on that the hubs are bigger/thicker than the old ones.. got the drums off a 2010 focus and now realize its not exactly the same as the ones i just pulled off my 07 focus. i left the shoes alone and just wanted to replace the outer drum covers with four OEM studs but now the center hub nut only goes so far and doesnt get all the threads onto the spindle.. i got it tight and it looks like it would probably work fine but i guess i needed to take the longer spindles that came with the drums. what do you guys think is it too dangerous to call it good with bigger hubs that measured longer than the ones i had on there originally? i can try posting pictures of the center nut onto the spindle holding the drums in place if im not describing it good enough ha i realize now i probably should have replaced the whole thing at the same time but let me know what you guys think and i really do appreciate the help and advice im getting on here thank you
 

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................................................ack, wrong
 
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