Brakes and Tires
Brake Pads and Rotors
Chevy Venture
DIY Projects

How do you change drum brakes?

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Wiki User
March 30, 2009 9:49AM

Remove the tire, then on the inside of the drum, side closest to the center of the car, locate a rubber plug which is approximately one inch long and 1/2 inch wide. remove this plug with you finger nail(it should pry right off), then with a light and mirror notice you can see the brake tensioner inside this hole where the plug was. This tensioner will have teeth on it and a lever that holds it in place. The lever moves freely in one direction but not the other, which allows the tensioner to keep the correct amount of play or tension for the brake pads against the drum. Using a spoon or thin flat blade screw driver, you must push in on the tensioner so the part that touches the teeth is pulled up from the teeth. Then with another screw driver you can freely move the teeth in the direction which looses the grip of the pads on the drum. If you think about this logically(Spock) this is the direction back toward the lever tooth that holds the tensioner teeth in place. This is using in the down direction that loosens the pads, you will know as the drum will spin very easily if you did it right, and will get tighter if you do this wrong. Once the drum spins freely you can simply remove the drum by grabbing it and pulling it straight out and off the axle. At this point you see the brake hardware and should be able to figure this part out even with no experience. Just remember to notice the configuration layout before removal, or simply remove the other wheel drum and use it as a template, always do one wheel at a time then you can cross check.