Introduction

The steps in this guide outline the procedure to replace the brake shoes on all Focus models in the 2005-2007 generation, except for the ST model, which has rear disc brakes. These instructions also can be used to replace the brake drums, in addition to the shoes. Caution should be exercised when working with brake and suspension components, and proper safety goggles should be worn at all times.

Whenever working on your car's brakes and suspension, work on one side at a time. Keep the other side completely assembled so that you can reference it at any time.

Never drive a car if the brakes on one side only are changed, because the car will "pull" to one side.

Jack up the rear of the car and place it on jack stands. Remove the rear wheels and chock the front wheels. Never work underneath a car that is supported only by a jack. Open the hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir.
  • Jack up the rear of the car and place it on jack stands. Remove the rear wheels and chock the front wheels.

    • Never work underneath a car that is supported only by a jack.

  • Open the hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir.

  • Remove the cap from the brake fluid reservoir and set it aside.

    • Be careful when handling brake fluid. Avoid getting any on painted parts or skin.

  • Use a turkey baster to remove 2-3 ounces of brake fluid from the reservoir to prevent overflow when working on the brakes.

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Read before continuing (photo courtesy of katerha).
  • Read before continuing (photo courtesy of katerha).

  • There are two different methods for removing the brake drum on the Focus. One removes both the drum and the rear wheel bearing, and one removes just the drum.

  • If you are replacing the brake drums, then follow the appropriate directions for your replacement part: with or without the bearing installed. If you are not replacing the drums, keep in mind that the rear wheel hub bolt that holds the bearing in place must be torqued to 175 ft-lbs.

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This step is for removing the brake drum and the wheel bearing together. Use a mallet and a flat head screwdriver to make a small indentation along the edge of the wheel bearing dust cap. Pry the dust cap out of the brake drum with the flat head screwdriver.
  • This step is for removing the brake drum and the wheel bearing together.

  • Use a mallet and a flat head screwdriver to make a small indentation along the edge of the wheel bearing dust cap.

  • Pry the dust cap out of the brake drum with the flat head screwdriver.

  • Remove the 29 mm rear hub bolt nut from the brake drum. This will require either a breaker bar or an impact wrench.

    • This nut is torqued to 175 ft-lbs, and should not be removed more than four times. Use a permanent marker to make a mark on the nut each time it is removed.

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This step is for removing the brake drum without the rear wheel bearing.
  • This step is for removing the brake drum without the rear wheel bearing.

  • Use a socket wrench with a swivel adapter to remove the four 13 mm bolts from the back of the hub assembly.

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Pull the brake drum straight away from the hub assembly to remove it.
  • Pull the brake drum straight away from the hub assembly to remove it.

  • If the drum will not come off easily, make sure that the parking brake is not engaged.

  • If your Focus is equipped with ABS, you will need to disconnect the ABS connector before you can remove the brake drum.

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Use a flat head screwdriver to remove the two brake shoe retaining clips. Pull the small retaining pins out from the back side of the hub assembly.
  • Use a flat head screwdriver to remove the two brake shoe retaining clips.

  • Pull the small retaining pins out from the back side of the hub assembly.

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Pull the brake shoe assembly off the backing plate. Remove the two springs from the top and bottom of the brake shoes that hold the leading (front) and trailing (rear) shoes together. Remove the leading brake shoe.
  • Pull the brake shoe assembly off the backing plate.

  • Remove the two springs from the top and bottom of the brake shoes that hold the leading (front) and trailing (rear) shoes together.

  • Remove the leading brake shoe.

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Remove the emergency brake cable from the trailing brake shoe by feeding it through its hole in the trailing shoe. The cable only sits in the shoe in one orientation. Be sure to note how it is installed for reassembly.
  • Remove the emergency brake cable from the trailing brake shoe by feeding it through its hole in the trailing shoe.

  • The cable only sits in the shoe in one orientation. Be sure to note how it is installed for reassembly.

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Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the small spring that holds the trailing brake shoe to the metal spacer.
  • Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the small spring that holds the trailing brake shoe to the metal spacer.

  • Remove the trailing brake shoe from the spacer.

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Use an aerosol brake cleaner to clean all of the dirt and brake dust from the hub assembly.
  • Use an aerosol brake cleaner to clean all of the dirt and brake dust from the hub assembly.

  • Brake components contain asbestos, and should not be inhaled. It is recommended to wear a mask and gloves when cleaning brakes.

    • I was obviously not as smart as I tell you to be. Do as I say, not as I do.

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Apply a generous amount white lithium grease to the six rub points on the backing plate. Drum brakes are notoriously noisy, so don't be afraid to put plenty of grease on the backing plate.
  • Apply a generous amount white lithium grease to the six rub points on the backing plate.

  • Drum brakes are notoriously noisy, so don't be afraid to put plenty of grease on the backing plate.

  • Do not get any grease on the brake shoe material. If you do, clean it off with the aerosol brake cleaner.

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Reassemble the brake shoe assembly with your new brake shoes and hardware. If you don't remember where the different springs attach, refer to the brakes on the opposite side of the car or the pictures earlier in this guide.
  • Reassemble the brake shoe assembly with your new brake shoes and hardware.

  • If you don't remember where the different springs attach, refer to the brakes on the opposite side of the car or the pictures earlier in this guide.

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Attach the emergency brake cable to the trailing shoe by feeding it through its hole in the trailing shoe. The cable only fits in one orientation. Be patient and keep working at it until it is seated correctly.
  • Attach the emergency brake cable to the trailing shoe by feeding it through its hole in the trailing shoe.

  • The cable only fits in one orientation. Be patient and keep working at it until it is seated correctly.

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Use your hands to compress the pistons of the brake cylinder. Install the brake shoe assembly, being sure that the tops of the shoes are seated correctly on the pistons. Spread the brake shoes far enough apart that the bottoms of the shoes sit on either side of the adjuster.
  • Use your hands to compress the pistons of the brake cylinder.

  • Install the brake shoe assembly, being sure that the tops of the shoes are seated correctly on the pistons.

  • Spread the brake shoes far enough apart that the bottoms of the shoes sit on either side of the adjuster.

    • You may want to enlist the help of a second person to do this.

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Reinstall the retainers by first sliding the pins through the back of the hub assembly, and then into the clips.
  • Reinstall the retainers by first sliding the pins through the back of the hub assembly, and then into the clips.

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Place the brake drum back on the hub. Use a rubber mallet to knock the brake drum into place over the shoes.
  • Place the brake drum back on the hub.

  • Use a rubber mallet to knock the brake drum into place over the shoes.

    • If you don't have any sort of soft mallet, place a rag over the drum to protect it before knocking it into place.

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If you removed the wheel bearing with the brake drum, reinstall the rear hub nut. Torque this nut to 175 ft-lbs. Failure to properly tighten this nut could lead to premature wheel bearing failure. Reinstall the wheel bearing dust cap.
  • If you removed the wheel bearing with the brake drum, reinstall the rear hub nut.

    • Torque this nut to 175 ft-lbs. Failure to properly tighten this nut could lead to premature wheel bearing failure.

  • Reinstall the wheel bearing dust cap.

  • If you removed the brake drum by itself, reinstall the four retaining bolts on the back of the hub assembly.

    • Torque each bolt to 49 ft-lbs.

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Reinstall the rear wheel and lug nuts. Torque each lug nut to 94 ft-lbs.
  • Reinstall the rear wheel and lug nuts.

    • Torque each lug nut to 94 ft-lbs.

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Place the cap back on the brake fluid reservoir. Turn the key to the "on" position. Press the brake pedal a few times; it should go to the floor once, and then become firm.
  • Place the cap back on the brake fluid reservoir.

  • Turn the key to the "on" position. Press the brake pedal a few times; it should go to the floor once, and then become firm.

  • If needed, remove the reservoir cap and add brake fluid until the level is between the "max" and "min" lines.

  • Close the hood and lower the car back to the ground.

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Conclusion

Go for a drive and enjoy your new-found stopping power!

10 other people completed this guide.

David Hodson

Member since: 04/13/2010

123,598 Reputation

138 Guides authored

5 Comments

This guide should also tell you if you are installing a new drum to remove the abs sensor ring from the old drum and put it on the new one. I threw my old drum away without knowing that and now my abs light is on.

Samuel Sedlak - Reply

And a little confusing because you mention removing the drum by removing the hub, but you show the spindle of the rear hub in place in all the pictures that follow the removing of the drum!

mdare35 - Reply

Here another how to that shows hub removed in case anyone else is as easily confused as me!

http://www.focushacks.com/mod/replacing_...

mdare35 - Reply

Is there any adjustment of the shoes?

If after four king nut removals, would Loc-tite red be adequate? Use Loc-tite blue within the four-time tightening limit?

I'm personally not sure grease is a good idea. Dust, grease/oil and don't mix well; they usually stick, more, shortly after. I don't know if this is accepted now or not. The intent is recognized, but I think the heat should also make it run very shortly.

You can easily sop up fluid from the master cylinder (m/c) with a paper towel; it's usually very little needed.

The instruction may want to add to add fluid to the m/c after pressing the brake pedal and setting the shoes.

I've never heard of drum brakes being "noisey".

Looks similar to 2008 also.

Lou Fazio - Reply

Great write-up. Complete, good pictures, all the needed information for an experienced person, minimal b/s. It's very helpful before starting the job. Thanks

Lou Fazio - Reply

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