Replacing Rear Drum Brake Covers and Part of Handbrake Cable
When I recently attempted to remove one of the rear drum brake covers on my Ford Focus (1.8 Reg 2000), I had to use to two broad chisels one on either side of the cover to slowly and carefully prise it off as there was no way I could remove it by hand. The brake shoes seemed to be up against the drum hence the difficulty in removing it without the aid of the chisels.
Now, I am unable to replace the cover as it will not fit over the brake shoes.
I was going to remove the brake drum cover off the other rear wheel, however, I noticed that after I had loosened just two out of the four nuts, which secure the drum brake cover to the brake backing plate, the drum brake shoes seemed to start pressing against the drum brake cover. So I stopped removing this brake drum cover as it appeared that if I had removed it, like the opposite wheel, I would not be able to replace it. Once I had retightened the nuts the brake shoes stopped pressing against the drum brake covers and the wheel spins easily.
So what do I need to do or what am I doing wrong?
Additionally the part of the hand brake cable which is inside one of the drum brake covers has snapped and I need to replace it. After the hand brake cable exits the brake backing plate it attaches to a connecter.
Can I replace just this part of the hand brake cable as it seems to me that is why the hand brake cable is in 2 parts. If so what is the best way to remove the brake cable from the connecter.
Also as the brake cable passes through the brake backing plate it passes through a rubber/plastic plug. How do I remove this?
Last edited by kesher; 09-04-08 at 20:07.
Firstly, I would not replace just one part of a handbrake cable, if one part has snapped, it is reasonable to assume another part will fail shortly. When you buy the new cable, you will see that you probably have to compress an expanded joint or remove a clip of some kind to remove the outer cable from the backing plate. As to getting the drum back on, first you will need to back off the self-adjuster. Also, check the inside of the drum and you will probably find a ridge. You can remove this with judicious use of a Dremmel or similar. Be aware though that if you don't take off an even amount around the circumference, you could well end up with an 'out-of-balance' vibration. Without wishing to offend, the problems you are facing are very common to any professional mechanic, who would 'fix' them as a matter of course. This leads me to believe you are inexperienced. Please be very careful when carrying out any further repairs to your braking system, and I would advise sitting down with a Haynes manual, or similar, until you have a firm grasp on what you are doing, and if necessary, seek professional assistance.
You're right I am inexperienced; but really want to do this myself as from my experience I don't trust mechanics (the one's who want paying): I've had enough of them. I don't rate the Haynes manual very much.
Originally Posted by Rolebama
As far as the brake cable is concerned, if possible, I am tempted to change just the part that has snapped as shown in this photo:
Just checked the workshop manual, and it is not clear. It just says to detach the clip, and pull the cable from the backing plate. It also says that you should make a note as to the siting of the clips under the car when you remove the old cable, as the new one has to go back the same way as the one you remove. When the cable has been detached from the backing plate, there should be enough slack to disconnect from the compensator. This will be easier if you take the cable guide off. (Metal bracket supporting both cables behind compensator). To adjust the handbrake when finished, pull the handbrake on and off a number of times to allow self-adjusters to settle. With handbrake off, remove the clip and slacken the cable at the handbrake lever. Pull the handbrake up 4 notches on the ratchet and tighten adjuster nut until resistance is felt. Operate the handbrake a few more times to settle the cable, and check adjustment. I would suggest adjusting the handbrake with wheels fitted, but off the ground, as it makes it easier to check operation.
With respect brakes=safety so if you do not know what you are doing I would advise you seek the assistance of a qualified professional............ otherwise you could be putting yourself and other road users at risk...........
Ask friends or family for a recommendation for a good garage............