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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I tried to replace the drum brake pads on my 2005 Taurus today, and thought I had everything pretty much figured out. I did one side, got it all back together (except I hadn't put the drum cover back on) - then went and dis-assembled the other side. When I started putting that side back together, I realized that the retractor spring (the large spring across the bottom) was loose - on both of the tires that I'd worked on. At this point it seems like the spring is in the correct holes in both brakes pads - but there's an additional hole at the edge of the metal on both of the pads, that the spring could possibly go into. I've seen pictures of other people's brakes, but I couldn't see both ends of that spring.

So, is the spring supposed to be kind of loose? Doesn't seem right. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

I screwed the adjustor all the way back in, and then backed it out one turn - will this adjust automatically when I start using the brakes?

I've got pics of my passenger-side rear brake up at my flickr account - take a look and tell me if something is set up wrong somehow. You might have to look close to see the end of the retractor spring inside the hole at the left in Picture #2.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
 

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To your questions:
* the springs should be tight, with no looseness or wiggling at all
* yes, the adjustor will adjust the brakes once you start driving (using the "back up and stop" procedure; you'll actually hear the clicks as the adjustors do their thing). But, you'll want to do a pre-adjustment while the car is still up on jack stands. The video I've linked below discusses that.

Looking at your pictures, I didn't see the end of the rear spring which might mean it's not extended far enough, i.e., in the wrong hole. This may be the reason they're not tight.

I serviced the rear drum brakes on my '03 Taurus back in August and the video linked below was extremely helpful. In fact, I had it playing on a laptop which I had out in the garage with me. If you watch the video, note that one of the comments about the video says, "Around the 4:52 minute mark, the bottom spring is NOW in the correct oblong hole as the technician begins to place the other end of the spring in the front shoe". Watch closely and you'll see that even the guy making the video initially puts the springs in the wrong spot!

I think if you watch this video and compare it to your assembly you may find the problem. Good luck!

 

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Best service procedure for rear drum brakes on a Taurus is the rear disc upgrade...
 

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This video contains an error. If you notice at the beginning of the video the bottom brake spring,left side, that the spring is inserted in the oval like hole on the far left. This is where it should go. But on the reassembly portion of the video the dude puts it in the round hole just to the right of this hole. That is probably what you did thbus its too loose. I had the same problem. Also believe me you cant rely on the self adjusters to adjust your brakes after a brake job. You must adjust them manually other wise the self adjusters will be too loose and may become dissasembled as you drive. Mine did about 3 times before I wised up. they should be spread apart until there is a slight drag on the wheels. Thi should take care of your problem. GOOD LUCK! I just looked at your picture and sure enough its in the hole that the video says is correct but is wrong. It should go in the oblong shaped hole
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, thanks for the advice folks - I put the end of the spring in the farther hole, and it seems to have worked out. Part of the confusion, I guess, is that the hole you're supposed to put it in is on the very edge of the 'plate', right where it meets the pad - whereas in the video there's a nice separate oval-shaped hole. At this point I've just got to bleed the brakes and put the drums back on.
 

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Even though I have no clue how to do it, I would totally go for the rear disk upgrade procedure if it cost like $200. However, based on my estimates, the cost is like $400, if not more, while the return on investment seems of dubious value (the caliper, rotor, and pads already add up to about $150 for _each_ side, new of course. Plus, there is this ebrake cable, backing plate, brakets, and ton of other little parts to be bought).
 
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