2003 Ford Focus Replace Rear Brakes
The rear brakes on the Ford Focus are drum brakes with shoes that work with the parking brake as well as the rear wheels. These types of brakes are assembled onto the drum assembly using multiple springs and levers. This makes replacing brake shoes more difficult than replacing front brake pads.
Replace Rear Brakes
Accessing the Brake Shoes
- Block the front wheels, release the parking brake and put the car into first gear. Raise the car's rear end, support it on axle stands or jack stands and remove the front wheels.
- Disconnect the ABS wiring connector if one is present.
- Disconnect the rear drum and brake assembly by unscrewing the four bolts at the rear of the hub assembly with a wrench.
- Clean the entire assembly with brake cleaner, letting the residue drip into a drain pan, and wait for the assembly to dry. Take note of how the brake shoes and springs are installed as you do this.
Removing Old Shoes
- Depress the ends of the hold-down springs on the brake shoes with pliers so you can withdraw the springs from the pins. Remove the pins from the back of the plate.
- Disconnect the shoes' top ends from the wheel cylinder; install an elastic band or wire over the cylinders/pistons to keep them from ejecting. Pull the shoes' bottom end off the bottom anchor.
- Pull back the parking brake cable spring from the operating lever at the back of the rear shoe and unhook the cable end from the lever with pliers. You can now remove the brake shoes.
- Unhook the lower return spring from the shoes by moving the bottom ends of the shoes together, then pull the front shoe from the strut and brake shoe adjuster and unhook the upper spring. Take note of the holes the springs are in.
- Disengage the adjustment strut by pulling it to remove it from the rear shoe. Remove the strut support spring.
Installing New Shoes
- Clean the backing plate with the brake cleaner and apply a small amount of high-temperature brake grease to the brake shoe contact points and the sliding components of the brake shoe adjuster.
- Assemble the new brake shoes by connecting the strut support spring and adjustment strut to the rear shoe, connecting the leading shoe to the strut and brake shoe adjuster and connecting the return springs.
- Install the shoes by connecting the parking brake cable to the rear shoe, inserting the shoes' bottom end on the bottom anchor and then connecting the top ends to the cylinder. Set the eccentric cam to its lowest position before connecting it to the rear shoe.
- Re-connect the shoes' hold-down pins and springs.
- Install the brake drum back on the cylinder, tightening the bolts to 49 foot-pounds.
- Replace the wheels and lower the car once you've changed the brakes on both sides.
- Press the brake pedal several times to set the shoes at their normal operating position.