Jeep Rear Drum Brake Service

 
What You will Need
Drum Brake Shoes
Drum Brake Hardware/Spring Kit
• Lug Nut Wrench
• 150 ft. lb. Torque Wrench
• 19mm Deep Socket
• Needle Nose Pliers
• Needle Nose Vice Grips
• Vice Grips
• Brake Spring Compressor Tool
• Flat Head Screwdriver
• Large C-Clamp or Bench Vice
• (1) 1/2" Nut
• Brake Spoon
• Brake Cleaner
• WD-40 or other Spray Lube
• Axle Grease
• Floor Jack
• Wheel Chocks


Where to Buy

You can find and purchase drum brake shoes, replacement hardware/spring kit, and all the other tools you need to service your Jeep TJ's rear brakes at Autozone, Kragen, Napa and Pepboys. If needed, most of these stores should be able to resurface your old brake drums if needed for a small fee.
Additional Notes
After removing my Jeep's rear drum brakes, I found that a couple parking brake strut springs were broken. Fortunately, I was able to find and purchase a drum brake spring hardware kit from Kragen Auto Parts that cost only $5.29. This kit came with all the springs, pins, clips, retainers and plugs you need to do a complete overhaul of your drum brakes. Due to its low cost, this kit is something you might want to consider getting before you start the servicing of your rear drum brakes.





Jeep TJ Wrangler Rear Drum Brake
Removal/Installation and Adjustment

After racking up over 120,000 miles on my Jeep, I felt that it was about time to service my rear drum brakes and replace the factory brake shoes. Fortunately, this is one of the cheapest maintenance jobs you can do on your Jeep but unlike servicing your front disc brakes, it is kind of a pain in the rear to do. Not that it's exactly complicated or difficult to do per se, but it does require a certain amount of brute strength and patience to deal with myriad of heavy springs you will have to remove and reinstall. As with anything you do on your Jeep, having the right tools can make all the difference.

If your Jeep's rear drum brakes are still in good condition and you're just need of adjusting them. Click on the link below to see instructions on how to do this:

> Rear Drum Brake Adjustment Instructions

Instructions
Jeep wheel removal 1. Park your Jeep on a level surface, chock the front wheel and then using a 19mm lug nut wrench or socket, loosen the lug nuts on your rear wheel. Place a floor jack underneath the differential of your rear axle and raise it high enough so that the tires are lifted off the ground a bit. Proceed to remove the lug nuts and the wheels off your Jeep and set them aside.
Jeep drum brake retaining clips 2. If this is the first time removing your Jeep's rear brake drums for service or replacement, you will need to first remove a couple of retaining clips securing it in place. These clips are attached to the wheel studs, look like brass washers and will require a small flathead screwdriver and/or needle nose pliers to remove. Once off, you can throw them away as the will not be reused.
Jeep rear drum brake Jeep rear drum brake assembly Jeep drum brake shoe spring
3. With the retaining clips off, you should be able to pull off your Jeep's brake drums with little effort. If it will not come off, check to make sure you do not have your parking brake engaged. 4. Lay some newspaper under your drum brake assembly and then liberally and thoroughly spray everything down with brake cleaner. DO NOT use compressed air to clean your brakes. 5. Starting with the driver side drum brake, use a pair of needle nose vice grips to clamp on, unhook and remove your Jeep's brake shoe spring.
Jeep rear drum brake adjuster lever Jeep rear drum brake adjuster lever spring Jeep rear drum brake adjuster lever cable
6. Using a pair of needle nose pliers, lift up and remove your Jeep's brake shoe adjuster lever spring. 7. Pull the adjuster lever downward and then unhook it from the adjuster lever pin attached to your Jeep's brake shoe.

8. Unhook the brake shoe adjuster cable from the adjuster lever and set it aside.

Jeep rear drum brake shoe return spring Jeep rear drum brake shoe return spring Jeep rear drum brake shoe return spring
9. Using a pair of vice grips, clamp onto the brake shoe return spring attached to the forward facing brake shoe and then pull it off the anchor pin. 10. Rotate the return spring out and remove it from your Jeep's forward facing brake shoe. 11. Again, using a pair of vice grips, clamp onto the brake shoe return spring attached to the rear facing brake shoe and then pull it off the anchor pin.
Jeep rear drum brake shoe return spring Jeep rear drum brake adjuster lever cable Jeep rear drum brake shoe guide plate
12. Rotate the return spring out and remove both it and the adjuster lever cable guide from your Jeep's rear facing brake shoe. 13. Remove your Jeep's drum brake adjuster lever cable from the anchor pin. 14. Remove your Jeep's drum brake shoe guide plate from the anchor pin.
Jeep rear drum brake adjuster screw 15. Your Jeep's drum brake adjuster screw is loosely held in by compression. Carefully spreading your Jeep's brake shoes apart will allow you to remove it with ease.
Jeep rear drum parking brake strut and springs 16. Again, carefully spread apart your Jeep's brake shoes enough to remove the parking brake strut and springs.
Jeep rear drum brake hold down spring 17. Reach behind your Jeep's drum brake backing plate and press on the hold down spring pin. Then, using a brake spring compressor tool, push on the brake shoe hold down spring retainer and give it a twist to release it from the pin. Remove the shoe and repeat the process on the opposite shoe.
Jeep rear drum parking brake lever Jeep rear drum brake adjuster spring removal Jeep rear drum brake adjuster pin installation
18. Once the rear facing brake shoe is removed, flip it down and unhook the parking brake lever from it. 19. Remove the adjuster lever spring from the pin on your Jeep's rear facing brake shoe. 20. Take your new rear facing brake shoe and install the adjuster lever spring pin.
Jeep rear drum brake adjuster pin installation Jeep rear drum brake adjuster lever spring installation Jeep rear drum brake backing plate grease points
21. Place a 1/2" nut over the adjuster lever spring pin and press it into place using a large C-Clamp or bench vice. 22. Install your Jeep factory adjuster lever spring onto the new rear facing brake shoe pin. 23. Apply a dab of axle or multipurpose grease to the (6) contact surfaces of your Jeep's drum brake backing plate.
Jeep rear drum brake hold down spring installation 24. Install the hold down spring and retainers onto your new forward facing brake shoe. Then, reach behind your Jeep's drum brake backing plate and press on the hold down spring pin. Using a brake spring compressor tool, push on the brake shoe hold down spring retainer, feed the pin through the center of it and give it a twist to lock it onto the pin.
Jeep rear drum parking brake lever installation Jeep rear drum brake piston Jeep rear drum brake shoe guide plate
25. Hook your Jeep's parking brake lever into the new rear facing brake shoe and then secure the shoe onto the backing plate using the factory hold down spring and pin. 26. Make sure the new forward and rear facing brake shoes are properly seated into your Jeep's brake shoe caliper piston. 27. Reinstall your Jeep's drum brake shoe guide plate onto the anchor pin.
Jeep rear drum brake adjuster cable installation Jeep rear drum brake shoe return spring installation Jeep rear drum parking brake strut and spring installation
28. Attach your Jeep's adjuster lever cable back onto the anchor pin and leave dangling for now. 29. Install the shoe return spring onto the new rear facing brake shoe making sure that the adjuster cable guide is properly seated. Then, pull the spring and hook it back onto the anchor pin using a pair of vice grips. 30. Reinstall your Jeep's parking brake strut and springs onto your new brake shoes.
Jeep rear drum brake shoe return spring installation Jeep rear drum brake adjuster screw lube Jeep rear drum brake adjuster screw lube
31. Install the shoe return spring onto the new forward facing brake shoe. Then, pull and hook it back onto the anchor pin using a pair of vice grips. 32. Thoroughly clean your Jeep's drum brake adjuster screw with brake cleaner and then apply some spray lube to the threads of it. 33. Remove and thoroughly clean your Jeep's adjuster screw pivot with brake cleaner, apply spray lube to it and then reinstall it.
Jeep rear drum brake adjuster screw installation Jeep rear drum brake adjuster lever cable routing Jeep rear drum brake adjuster lever and cable installation
34. Carefully spread your Jeep's new brake shoes apart just a bit and install the adjuster screw between them. 35. Route your Jeep's adjuster cable over the guide on the rear facing brake shoe. 36. Reinstall the adjuster cable back onto your Jeep's adjuster lever.
Jeep rear drum brake adjuster lever spring Jeep rear drum brake shoe spring Jeep rear brake drum
37. Reinstall your Jeep's adjuster lever onto the adjuster lever pin and then secure it in place by hooking the adjuster lever spring back on top of it. 38. Reinstall your Jeep's brake shoe spring using a pair of needle nose vice grips. 39. Reinstall the brake drum onto your Jeep's axle and repeat the whole process again on the passenger side.
40. Reinstall your wheels on your wheels, lower your Jeep back onto the ground and tighten your lug nuts to 95 ft. lbs. of torque. Then, continue to the Rear Drum Brake Adjustment instructions below.
Rear Drum Brake Adjustment
The rear drum brakes on a Jeep TJ have been designed with a self-adjusting mechanism. Typically, no adjustments are needed to the brakes unless you have just replaced the drums, shoes or have removed the shoes for other reasons.

Below are instructions on how to adjust your rear drum brakes using a brake spoon adjuster tool.
Jeep rear drum brake access hole on backing plate Jeep rear drum brake adjustment with brake spoon Jeep rear drum brake adjustment with brake spoon and screwdriver
1. Place a floor jack underneath the differential of your rear axle and raise it high enough so that the tires are lifted off the ground a bit. Then, using a flat head screwdriver, remove the access hole rubber plug on your Jeep's drum brake backing plate. 2. Insert a brake spoon into the access hole so that it engages the teeth on the adjuster screw. Then, rotate the adjuster screw until there is a slight drag when you rotate your Jeep's wheel. 3. Using a small flat head screwdriver, push the adjuster lever away from the adjuster screw star wheel and back it off with the brake spoon until it no longer drags when you rotate your Jeep's wheel. Reinstall the access hole rubber plug and repeat process on the opposite drum brake.
4. Lower your Jeep back onto the ground and then complete the adjustment to your rear drum brakes by driving your Jeep forward and then come to a complete stop. Drive your Jeep in reverse and then come to a complete stop. Repeat this process 8-10 times to equalize the rear drum brake adjusters. It is important to come to a complete stop each time as a rolling stop will not activate the auto adjusters.

5. Verify that your break pedal should have a nice firm feel about it . Also, your parking break lever shouldn't need to be pulled up as far to engage properly anymore.

That's it, you've just completed your Jeep's rear brake service and adjustment. Be sure to take your brake shoe cores back to the part store you bought your new shoes from. You should receive a core deposit refund for them. Please email me with any questions you might have.

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