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Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes


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computerinfoseeker23
User

Mar 25, 2012, 2:28 PM

Post #1 of 11 (11928 views)
Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

On my 2003 Toyota Echo, I have rotors on the front, and drums on the back for braking. I learned how to change the front disc pads on my car a long time ago, and I can do that quite easily and safely myself. Here is my question. I have 113,000 miles on the Toyota Echo. I have read that your back brakes only contribute to 25% of the car's stopping power. The other 75% is done by the front brakes due to the front end being heavier with things like the engine and transmission/transaxle located there.

My question is with the mileage I have on the echo, should I replace the drum shoes on the rear? I have never done drum shoes before. Is this something I could possibly learn to do myself, or should I take the car to a professional? I have always heard that the brake shoes with drums are a lot harder to do than the brake pads with rotors. Any comments or suggestions sincerely appreciated. Thanks!

**********Signature************
Cars = 2005 Nissan Altima (4 cylinder)
2003 Toyota Echo (4 cylinder)
1998 Honda Accord (6 cylinder)
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Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 25, 2012, 2:40 PM

Post #2 of 11 (11919 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

True - in a hard stop the fronts are doing the lion's share of the work. Drum style can last a loooong time but if they are ready to do I strongly suggest you get all the right info and make all the right adjustments that you don't need to do for front disc brakes.

They are very important as they can and will change the feel for the brakes in general. Trouble is new shoes can no longer be arced for the diameter of a worn or cut drum so I strongly suggest getting all new and the hardware that if a part breaks ruins the job.

If you take this on please know or have help available. When in any doubt do one side at a time so you can reference the other side while intact but remember they are asymmetrically opposite like your hands are left and right kind of thing.

All doable with some tools and know how and if in doubt, send it out,

T



computerinfoseeker23
User

Mar 25, 2012, 3:30 PM

Post #3 of 11 (11901 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

Ok Tom, thanks a lot. Another question? How would I know if the brake shoes are worn down enough to warrant doing this? You said the rear can last a long time. If I remove a back tire, will I be able to tell by looking and/or feeling or must you also pull the drum off to inspect? There is a mobile repair shop guy where I live. It is pretty neat because this guy comes to you rather than you driving to him. He replaced a serpentine belt for me last year. I could have him do the job and ask him to let me watch as he does one so I can see things being done firsthand. That was how I learned how to do my front disc brakes. What do you think?

The car has 113,000 miles on it and the rear brakes have never been done.

**********Signature************
Cars = 2005 Nissan Altima (4 cylinder)
2003 Toyota Echo (4 cylinder)
1998 Honda Accord (6 cylinder)
**********Line****************


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 25, 2012, 3:57 PM

Post #4 of 11 (11892 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

I don't have exact specs on how thick but know that it will be the thinnest spot that counts. Done so many I never measure but just see by eye that they are ready.

Drum must be removed to inspect fully. This may have a hold-down screw that may give you a good fight to remove drum. An impact driver for screws may be needed - can't say but don't strip those things out trying with inferior tools.

There may be a ridge where shoes have worn the drum leaving a ridge making them hard to remove even when free from the hub itself. Turn drum by hand while trying to remove it can help or back off adjuster to make clearance.

Hard to describe but you can knock off that ridge if there or take a good drum to a shop and get just that removed.

In general drum brakes are pretty basic. Brake dust inside can mess them up but do NOT blow that out with air! Clean what you can with disposable towels or rags (clean) and never breath the dust if you have to walk away do so.

Again, if unsure get help. They were pretty much the only style brake front and rear for ages so nothing new there. Hey - everything seems easy if you do enough of it and first times can take forever but don't rush any job as that's a sure waste if not dangerous. That's why earlier I suggested you have some experienced help if you get the least bit confused or worried about your work,

Tom


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator
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Mar 25, 2012, 4:26 PM

Post #5 of 11 (11886 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

ask and you shall receive
Print
When servicing drum brakes, only dissemble and assemble one side at a time, leaving the remaining side intact for reference.
Inspection

  1. Clean the drum.
  2. Inspect the drum for scoring, cracks, grooves and out-of-roundness. Replace the drum or have it "turned" at a machine or brake specialist shop, as required. Light scoring may be removed by dressing the drum with fine emery cloth.
  3. Measure the inside diameter of the drum. A tool called an "H-gauge caliper" is used. See the Brake Specifications chart for your vehicle.




Fig. Using an H-gauge caliper, measure the inside diameter of the brake drum


Fig. The drum specification is usually stamped inside the drum
Removal & Installation

  1. Loosen the rear wheel lug nuts slightly. Release the parking brake.
  2. Block the front wheels, raise the rear of the car, and safely support it with jackstands.




Fig. The brake drum is around the outside of the brake shoes
  1. Remove the lug nuts and the wheel.
  2. One way to remove the drum is to tap the drum lightly with a mallet to free the drum if resistance is felt. Sometimes brake drums are stubborn. If the drum is difficult to remove, perform the following:
    1. Insert the end of a bent wire (a coat hanger will do nicely) through the hole in the brake drum and hold the automatic adjusting lever away from the adjuster.
    2. Reduce the brake shoe adjustment by turning the adjuster bolt with a brake adjuster tool. The drum should now be loose enough to remove without much effort.


      Fig. Access the shoe adjustment through this hole in the backing plate


      Fig. Insert a bent wire or brake tool through the hole in the drum and hold the adjuster lever away from the lever

  3. Another way to remove the brake drum is to insert a bolt in each of the two holes in the drum.
    1. Tighten the bolts down, a popping sound should be heard, this is the drum separating from the backing plate.
    2. Pull the drum from the backing plate.


      Fig. Insert two bolts and tighten them down till a popping noise is heard


      Fig. Lift the drum off using two hands, they can be heavy



To install:
  1. Clean the drum and inspect it as detailed in this Section.
  2. Hold the brake drum so that the hole on the drum is aligned with the large hole on the axle carrier and install the drum.
  3. If the adjuster was loosened to remove the drum, turn the adjuster bolt to adjust the length to the shortest possible amount.
  4. Install the rear wheels, tighten the lug nuts and lower the vehicle.
  5. Retighten the lug nuts and pump the brake pedal before moving the vehicle.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2. Remove the wheels.
  3. Remove the brake drum from the axle hub.


To install:
  1. Install the brake drum.
  2. Install the rear wheels, tighten the wheel lug nuts.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2. Remove the wheels.
  3. Remove the brake drum from the axle hub.


To install:
  1. Install the brake drum.
  2. Install the rear wheels, tighten the wheel lug nuts.


    Fig. Rear drum brakes-Corolla


    Fig. Rear drum brakes-Celica


    Fig. Rear drum brakes-Echo

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Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Mar 25, 2012, 4:51 PM

Post #6 of 11 (11878 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

Nick - If that doesn't do it nothing will! Crazy how easy this seems when you do them all the timeCrazy

Tom


nickwarner
Veteran / Moderator
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Mar 25, 2012, 5:44 PM

Post #7 of 11 (11871 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

Its easy for us. Had to search to find the right pics to describe it to someone else. If he was in my area I'd say just bring it by and I'll show you(provided you bring me a case of beer) but alas, this must suffice. This was the procedure I copied from autozone.com for free, so it may help to set up a username there to view tech guides.


computerinfoseeker23
User

Mar 25, 2012, 7:43 PM

Post #8 of 11 (11854 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

Hey, thanks Tom and Nick. Much helpful, useful information. I really appreciate this forum. Thanks for the autozone tip also Nick. I will go there tomorrow and set up a user name. I have another question for you guys. My mother's Nissan Altima has 4 disc brakes. Why don't all manufacturers do this? Why the rotors on the front and drums on the rear in some cars? Is there a reason for this?

**********Signature************
Cars = 2005 Nissan Altima (4 cylinder)
2003 Toyota Echo (4 cylinder)
1998 Honda Accord (6 cylinder)
**********Line****************


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

Mar 26, 2012, 3:04 AM

Post #9 of 11 (11843 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In


Quote
Why the rotors on the front and drums on the rear in some cars? Is there a reason for this?


Cost................... Only done where it's needed and paid for.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We offer help in answering questions, clarifying things or giving advice but we are not a substitute for an on-site inspection by a professional.



Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 26, 2012, 8:13 AM

Post #10 of 11 (11834 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

Rotors and Drums?: My take is parking brakes are better or easier to do with drums in the rear. Rear brakes do in fact not do most of the work in hard stops but dammit they worked just fine for ages and lasted! They do have the propensity to lock up and skid more than disc brakes but I'm an old phart that would and have said that if you can't drive than don't!

Whatever vehicle you still need items to operate as intended and things will need attention from time to time. Pay attention as you are as driving a car on public roads is not a RIGHT but rather a privilege. Not much choice where I live if I want even groceries - true,

Tom

Happy to be retired and will delete auto sign off - "still waiting for Godot" thing that nobody understands? BTW that was the #1 Broadway show in the 1970's and we all forgot!


Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Mar 26, 2012, 8:40 AM

Post #11 of 11 (11832 views)
Re: Front Disc Brakes and Rear Drum Brakes Sign In

Just a comment from first post on this thread:

Can I do this myself? Of course you can as all of regular techs here did with cars stuff. I own a home thank God and did almost all work here alone but learned that some professionals even at the increased cost for odd repair are totally worth it!

I don't need to be a pro at some or many one time things so pay the pro for exact right work. I/we here do the same thing frequently and expect these guys to advise such.

Think. I don't want to burn my home down for being stupid to save a buck nor advise on car things that could cause an accident or worse, people hurt or killed so walking on egg shells with suggestions always with this. Older training but collegiate level in physics of this crap the principles still apply.

Said over and over that when in doubt get some help and expensive is part of life but don't let a few bucks get in the way of things being done properly. It is far from cheap to have stuff and knowledge to do this trade!

Said enough I think for this............

Tom Greenleaf






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