1997 Ford Taurus Change the Rear Brakes
The Ford Taurus' rear brakes use brake shoes, which primarily work with the parking brake. These shoes are installed within cylinders encased by the brake drums. The brake shoes are held and controlled by multiple springs and levers, making the rear brakes a complex assembly that requires precision when you need to change the shoes. Talking with your mechanic is highly recommended before changing them out.
 Tools Used
|Brake shoe retaining clips|
 Change the Rear Brakes
Accessing the Brake Shoes
- Apply the parking brake and block the car's front wheels.
- Raise the car's rear end and support it on jack stands.
- Remove the rear wheels with the lug wrench.
- Take off the brake drums by removing any retaining clips and slipping the drum off. You will not need to reinstall the clips later.
- Clean off the brake assembly with brake cleaner spray, using a drip pan to catch any residue.
Removing the Brake Shoes
- Depress and turn the retainers for the hold-down springs and pins to remove them from each shoe. This requires pliers or a special tool from the auto parts store.
- Slide the brake shoe assembly--including the shoes and springs--down so you can disengage the top ends of the shoes from the cylinder and tilt them to lift them past the retaining plate.
- Unhook the lower retracting spring from the front brake shoe to disconnect it. Spread the shoes apart at the bottom to remove the adjusting screw, the screw's retracting spring and the adjuster lever. Remove the front brake shoe.
- Pull the parking brake cable spring back with diagonal cutting pliers, grip the cable with the pliers without cutting it, unhook the cable from the parking brake lever and remove the rear brake shoe with the lever.
- Disconnect the parking brake lever from the rear shoe by spreading the retaining clip with a screwdriver and removing the clip and its spring washer.
Installing the Brake Shoes
- Connect the parking brake lever to the replacement rear brake shoe by inserting the lever's pivot pin into the back of the shoe and then through the lever. Connect a new washer and retaining clip onto the lever and crimp it closed with pliers.
- Install the parking brake cable within the lever and hook the lower retracting spring onto the new rear and front brake shoes. Slide the shoes down and onto the cylinder's retaining plate.
- Install the hold-down pin for the rear shoe with its spring and retainer, then insert the adjuster screw assembly into the notch on the rear shoe.
- Connect the adjuster lever onto the parking brake lever's pivot pin and install the front shoe with its hold-down pin, spring and retainer. Stretch and attach the adjuster screw's retaining spring to the adjuster lever using pliers.
- Connect the drum back onto the brake assembly and pull out the rubber plug from the backing plate.
- Turn the star wheel with the backing plate's hole using a thin screwdriver until the brake shoes drag against the drum. Turn it in the opposite direction just enough for the shoes to stop dragging. Reconnect the rubber plug.
- Reconnect the wheels and lower the car once you've changed the brake shoes on both sides.