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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am having a heck of a time removing a rear drum on my son's car.
I got the other one off after adjusting the brake adjuster but I can't seem to get the one on the passenger side to loosen up the drum.

I have a brake adjuster tool but I am not able to get the adjuster to turn.
With the tool inserted into the slot (on the passenger side rear), does the adjuster thumbwheel loosen (making the brake shoes to compress to allow drum removal) by turning the top of the thumb wheel in towards the gas tank or out towards the outside of the car?

Also, in the strange case that this adjuster is frozen, are there any other tips to getting this brake drum off?

thanks
 

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Not sure what way the adjuster turns, but if the drum budges but won't come off then it's the shoes holding it. If it won't rock at all then its sealed to the hub. Can try knocking it loose with a hammer. I have had to use an air hammer before.
 

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I just did the brakes on my 2000 SE and if I recall the adjuster needs to be spun down to loosen (top of wheel moves toward car). Make sure there aren't any remaining spring clips on the lug bolts holding the drum on. I just used a couple screwdrivers and it was very hard to keep the adjuster lever pressed while attempting to spin the adjuster wheel. Knowing that I was replacing everything including wheel cylinders I had to just use force to get the drums off. The shoes had wore so far into the drums that just getting them started was the hard part. Persistance with a hammer tapping the rim of the drum outward and then using 2 or 3 large screwdrivers to wedge against the backing plate finally got them off. I would recommend replacing all the springs and hardware as they are very cheap and easy to replace since you have it all apart for the new shoes anyway. I had one wheel cylinder that was stuck which is why I replaced them too.
 

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just beat the hell out of it. seriously. all that build up makes that drum hard to get off. it took me and another guy half an hour to get off one drum. just kept prying and hitting it with a hammer. another one of ford's great designs of drums on a car like that.
 

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Self adjuster pushes down on the star wheel on the outside to tighten adjuster.
Top of star wheel goes toward the car to loosen no matter which side.
I've ground the heads off the shoe retainer "nails" to get the drum out further to access the adjuster.
You're gonna need a hardware kit anyway to do it right and new nails are part of a complete kit. Some drum kits have 2 separate kits, brake hardware and self adjuster kit. Kits are L & R side dependant due to the adjuster.
I always put new hardware in, so it's done once for a long time.
 

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2001 Brake Drums

What were the engineers thinking??? Getting the drums off my 2001 Taurus is a real pain in the neck, so much so that I gave up in frustration and actually paid Pep Boys to do my rear brake job!! This is the first time in 40 years I have paid anyone to do anywork on my brakes. Although I really should not complain as I hardly ever pay for pads,shoes using the LT warranty features on these items!!! The access hole for backing off the adjuster is located in the very worst spot that anyone could come up with!!!!

I am seriously considering converting the rear drums to discs as I plan on keeping this vehicle 'til the bitter end!!!
 

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To avoid this problem, pull the drums every year and using a tool of your choice grind off the outer inner edge of the drums, ie slight bezel them. Now they will almost fall off when you go to remove them. Forget the star wheel, your wheel cylinders maybe stuck extended. The logical maintenance for drum brakes is to keep pulling them off and check all the components. Stuck drums are often the result of stuck wheel cylinders, quite common past 5 yrs of usage.
 
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