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How to Replace Rear Brakes 1994-2002 Dodge Ram 1500

Created on: 2019-09-27

Watch this video to learn how to replace the rear drum brakes and hardware on your 94-02 Dodge Ram.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Wheel
    • Loosen the 21 mm lug nuts
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug nuts
    • Remove the wheel
  2. step 2 :Removing the Rear Drum Brakes
    • Remove the brake drum
    • Hammer or pry the drum if necessary
    • Loosen the shoe adjuster if necessary
    • Pry the upper rearward spring from the bar clip to remove it
    • Pry the upper forward spring from the pivot post to remove it
    • Remove the upper adjuster bar clip from the pivot post and shoe
    • Pry the adjuster blade spring to remove it
    • Remove the rearward shoe retaining spring clip from the pin by compressing and twisting the springed clip
    • Remove the adjuster pivot
    • Remove the forward shoe retaining spring clip in the same manner
    • Spread the upper shoes to remove the upper separator bar, and remove the shoes
    • Remove the forward shoe from the parking brake actuator
    • Remove the lower spring and adjuster screw
  3. step 3 :Servicing the Rear Brakes
    • Clean rust and debris from the backing plate, and all brake system moving parts
    • Apply brake grease to the adjuster screw threads and cap
    • Apply brake grease to the adjuster blade pivot
    • Apply brake grease to all shoe contact points on the backing plate
    • Clean rust and debris from the wheel hub surface
  4. step 4 :Installing the Rear Drum Brakes
    • Insert the parking brake actuator into the forward brake shoe
    • Set the forward brake shoe in position
    • Install the retaining spring clip by inserting the pin through the backing plate and shoe, then compressing and twisting the springed clip to secure it
    • Attach the adjuster pivot to the rearward shoe
    • Set the rearward shoe in posiotion
    • Secure the rearward shoe with the retaining spring clip
    • Insert the adjuster bar clip into the rearward shoe and attach it to the upper pivot post
    • Attach the adjuster blade to the adjuster pivot
    • Insert the spring between the adjuster pivot and the rearward shoe
    • Insert the separator bar between the shoes with the springed end towards the rear
    • Attach the spring to the forward shoe and attach the spring to the upper pivot post
    • Attach the spring to the rearward shoe and attach the spring to the adjuster bar clip
    • Attach the lower spring to the two shoes
    • Insert the adjuster screw between the two shoes with the wheel to the rear
    • Inspect and adjust the parts as necessary
    • Loosen the adjuster screw as necessary
    • Apply anti-seize to the wheel hub
    • Install the drum onto the wheel hub
  5. step 5 :Installing the Wheel
    • Slide the wheel onto the wheel studs
    • Install the lug nuts and tighten them by hand in a crossing pattern
    • Spin the wheel to check brake shoe contact, and set tension with the adjuster as necessary
    • Lower the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Torque the 21 mm lug nuts to 120 ft-lb

Tools needed

  • 21mm Socket


    Pry Bar

    Jack Stands

    19mm Socket

    Brake Spring Tool

    Brake Grease

    Wire Brush

    Floor Jack

    Brake Parts Cleaner

    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

    Pocket Screwdriver

Hey friends. It's Len here at 1A Auto. Today we're going to be working on our 1996 Dodge Ram 1500, and I'm going to be doing something super simple, a rear brake job. It can be super easy. I can do it. You can do it too. As always, if you need these or any other part, check us out at 1aauto.com. Thanks.

So here we are friends. It's time to go ahead and start loosening up these lug nuts. Once you have the vehicle partially supported off the ground, but the wheel still touching so it cannot spin, we're going to break free these lug nuts. To do that you're going to use the right size. It's either a 19 or a 21. This application is a 21 back here. It can go either way. Here we are. We have all five loosened. Now we'll just do the same to the other side of the vehicle, and we can continue.

Okay, so now it's time to take off these lug nuts. I'm going to use my airgun. If you're going to be using an airgun, odds are you probably didn't need to go ahead and use the ratchet to break them all free. I just kind of show that for people that don't have access to this. If you don't have access to an air gun, just continue with your ratchet and take off all your lug nuts.

All right. Just get this off of here. We'll set this aside and we'll do the same to the other side of the vehicle. Okay, friends, now that we've got the wheel off, what we're going to do is try to get this brake drum off of here. A lot of times they'll be frozen on. Whether it's frozen onto the hub behind there or the shoes are adjusted out and there's a lip on the drum, that causes it so you can't go ahead and pull this off. If it's stuck to the hub, you can take your hammer and of course with some safety glasses on just give it a couple bonks right along here. Okay? If you're replacing the drum, you can hit it pretty much anywhere. I would just stay away from the lug studs obviously if you're not replacing the drum. And obviously you need to stay inside as close as you can because if you give it a bonk out here, you might warp your drum which is going to give you a brake pulsation.

You could also come from on the back side right along here and try to catch right on this lip. Give it a couple bonks once it starts come in this way. You're going to do the same thing on this side, bonk, bonk, bonk, bonk until it finally comes off, okay? This one seems like it's pretty loose. Just grab it. See if we can get it to come off. Inside the brake drum you're going to notice that more than likely there's going to be quite a bit of brake dust. You want to make sure you dispose of that properly. You don't pour it out on the ground or anything like that if you can avoid it. We'll dump this out.

Right here is where your adjustment is. Okay, it's a little star, star wheel type of thing. And this just spins. And as it spins, it either goes out or it goes in. If it goes out, it adjusts the shoes out and that'll make them stick up against the drum a little bit more. That's how you adjust them. If you want to de-adjust them and bring your shoes in so you can get your drum off, you would spin at the opposite direction. If you needed to do that to get your drum off in the first place, you just come around the back side. And right here, where I put a little yellow crayon, there's a little punch out. You could take like a hammer and a punch, knock that through, and then that will give you a clear view to where the adjustment is on the inside.

With that said, we're going to take a mental note of what all this looks like, where all these springs go because they have to go back where we got them from, right? So draw a picture or do whatever you need to do so you can remember how it goes, and then we're going to grab some tools and of course some safety glasses because we're dealing with spring. So we want to make sure that they don't come flying off at us. 1A Auto has this tool right here. You can get it at 1aauto.com. It's got a little hooky do there. What you do, I'll show you this end too. It's kind of hollowed out. So that's going to go over this spring just like this. You're going to use that hooky do to grab onto this, like that, and then just pop it right off.

So right here, this just grabs right onto the spring, and then it pulls it off. Should be able to get the spring out of here. If not, we can do it after we get this bar out of the way. Here it is. There's the spring that goes from right here over there. Set this up here, kind of the way that I took it off, just so I know. Do the same thing for this spring. Just bring it and twist it. There it is. There's that spring. The way these work is this hook just goes right in the hole, just like that, and you bring it up, up to 12 and then it's stuck in there pretty good. Once you go like this, it comes right out. Okay? That's up here. We can't lose it. Get this right here. This is a bar that goes down to this for your adjustment. Okay?

If you pull down on this, it should give you enough slack to be able to get the bar off the top up there. Take that right off. Set that up there as well. Okay, we're cruising right along. I'm going to grab a small pry bar, come right along here, get this spring out of here. I'm going to leave that on there for now. Just put that spring right up there. Take a small screwdriver, just kind of stick it in here. I'm just trying to get the spring to separate from the clip itself. So that hopefully I'll be able to get it to spin. It's my plan.

Here we are. Okay. So all this stuff right here should all be separate pieces. That spring comes off. This little clip right here should come off. This thing right here should come out of this bar right here. And we're going to have to clean it up and lube it because it's not supposed to be frozen like that. This needs to be able to move freely. Okay? There it goes. That's what that looks like. We'll get it nice and cleaned up, and this nice and cleaned up, get these separated and cleaned up as well so they flow. If you're getting new hardware, it's going to come with this outer piece, this spring. Sometimes the hardware will come with these, and they always come with a new pin which this is the pin. Comes right through the backside and that's what it looks like. I'll show you what I was doing.

So this pin comes through the backing plate through the shoe through that other bar and all that and then it comes through this. Goes through like that. Okay? You turn it and then when the spring pushes it back, you're supposed to catch right there. And I push like this, try to line up the slot with the blade on that thing, on the pin, and it should come right out. All right? There we go, kind of separated. These should all be separate pieces. Put all this aside. Do this side. Hopefully it'll be a little bit easier and want to play nice, but it's doubtful. It's an old truck. I mean it is what it is. That's why we do this. We love it. We live for the fight. Not much in life is easy.

This came right off. I'll just get that piece after. Get our pin out of there. Just check it. Same length as the other so we're not too worried about mixing those up. The spring although looks a little bit longer. So we need to pay attention to that. The reason for that would be because this spring is a little shorter because of this bracket right here. That takes up a little bit extra space. So this spring's a little bit longer because it doesn't have a bracket and all that stuff has to contend with. Set that up there.

Okay, so we just got those out. We're going to grab this shoe, just like this, pull it off to the side. Same thing with this one. You've got this little bar right here. Okay. It has a spring on it. You need to make sure that that spring stays on there. If it comes off, you just put it back on, but it needs to have a spring. We'll put it the exact way that it came out of the vehicle so we remember which way it goes. We're going to take off this whole unit, just like this. You've got your ebrake cable that comes down to here. Then this is where it's going to pivot. We'll just take that right off of there. There's our shoes. At this point you can just kind of crumple them up, that spring out of there. Try to remember which way that one goes. Use our adjuster. We're going to have to make sure this is all nice and freed up. And there's our shoes.

Now's a good time to make sure you don't have any fluid coming out of your wheel cylinder, right here. These things right here. You could try to pull it out if you want to. It just goes into a rubber boot. I don't really see the need to. If you see any fluid coming out there or on the other side, you need to replace your wheel cylinder. Now it's the perfect time to do that because the shoes are out of the way. Let's get this cleaned up.

So here we are friends. Quick product comparison for you. Over here we have our rear brakes out of our 1996 Dodge Ram 1500. We just took them off. It's very easy. Over here we have our brand new quality 1A Auto parts. We've got brand new shoes, super important. You want to make sure that they match up, meaning you've got the same mounting area right up along here, right, the rounded area. Get this spot right here right there and down here. That looks great. This a little bit.

As you can see, you've got all the same areas that I was just talking about. I'll hold one over the other, right along like this. We know we have the same exact length and the same diameter. If I could line them up perfectly, you'd be able to see that, but since I can't, I guess whatever. Anyway, same exact thing, brand new friction material, super important. It's not glazed like these ones. We're going to get much better braking.

So we got our shoes. Wow, that's a heavy-duty drum. We'll check out our drums now. You want to make sure you have the same amount of lug holes, all right? Each of these drums goes over some lug studs. We've got five, your center hole, five lugs, center hole, perfect. Just put it up on top of the other one. We'll check the diameter real quick. That's super heavy. Just like this. This is how you check your diameter. Just make sure that it's the same all the way around. That feels great.

Lastly, your braking surface in here, it's nice and clean. They did a great job with that. With that said, I don't see any reason why these wouldn't be quality parts to install into the vehicle so I'm going to go ahead and do it. As always, if you need these or any other part, you can check us out at 1aauto.com. Thanks.

Okay so now that we have this all apart, we have a clear view of our backing plate. It's kind of hard to see, but right here, right here, right there are where your shoe's going to ride on. That's where they rest up against your backing plate. So you need to make sure that's all clean. Couldn't hurt to try to get all in here, all up in here. If you can you get out the majority of this will probably be helpful, help get rid of any noise that might occur. Any of this rust that might fall into your drum is going to of course cause an issue. So do whatever you got to do to get it clean. We'll just say it's your prerogative on how clean you actually want to get it because it's your vehicle. Obviously the cleaner, the better.

Just use a little brush, use a little parts cleaner, pry bar, chisel, whatever you've got. Try to get some of this stuff off here. Okay friends, so we're going to get the rest of our hardware cleaned up. We'll get this all cleaned up along there where it's going to go through here and then of course through the shoe as well. We'll clean up this area, this area right here. This up here doesn't really matter so much. It's just pretty much where this is going to ride and where it rides up against the shoe.

This is your adjuster. This part needs to spin freely. So what I like to do is take it out, if not all the way, the majority of the way until I can see very clean threads and then I'll clean up all the threads that are dirty. This top part up here, that's actually supposed to be separate than this wheel. It's just, it's literally just frozen right on there. Oh, it's turning. Well, either way, we're going to get it off of there. We'll clean it up nice, put a good amount of lube in there. We'll also lubricate this up here and we can continue.

Okay, so we got everything cleaned up. We've got that threaded area awesome up in here where it goes into the cup. That's nice and clean. It does flow nice. This part right here just goes right in there, easy-peasy. I'm not going to screw it all the way together because we got to put a little bit of lube. Yeah, it's not new, I promise. I just cleaned it up real good. This right here, looks pretty decent as well. It's going to go right in there. Cool.

So before we go ahead and go too far here, grab a little bit of lubricant. You can use whatever you want. I'm just going to use a little bit of caliper lube here. Oops, got a blob of it. Right up on this threaded area. The reason for that it's going to help keep moisture out of there, help keep it from seizing up on us for the next time when we go to adjust the brakes. Get that up on there. I'm going to bring it so it's almost all the way bottomed out. We're putting on new shoes onto a new drum, so they really shouldn't be very much adjustment. Can put plenty of lube up inside this cup right here, so we can make sure that that doesn't get frozen on there again.

Give it a little shake. Awesome. That's great. That's the way it's going to go, right down in here right. Everything flows nice. Set this aside. Grab that other piece that we just did. Just going to put a little bit right there and some right on the backside of this. This is the area that rides up against the shoe so why not have a little bit there, right? A little extra lubricant. I'm just going to put this right through here, work it. I'll put the rest we have there.

Okay, so, wipe off my hands here real quick, get off the majority of this. Using the same caliper grease that we had, we're going to put up lubricant here, here, here. Same on the other side on the contact points, okay, right along there. We're going to go right up here where the shoe rides up against, right here where the shoe rides against. Can put a little bit on these if you wanted to. That's kind of your prerogative we'll call it. And we'll also put a little bit right on this. This is going to right on the back of this shoe on this side. Okay?

Before I add any lubricant over here though, I want to clean up this hub the best I can. We want a nice smooth bonding surface between the hub or the, I guess it's the axle hub we'll say and the rotor itself. Any types of bumps or garbage that you have inside there, debris, it could cause the drum to sit a little off-kilter which will cause a brake pulsation and it'll also cause your wheel to be a little off-kilter which will cause a tire shake as you're driving. So clean this up the best you can.

We have a couple different tools that you can use from 1A Auto. We offer a brush which is very handy. So you can get in between the stud and this hub area right here. Okay? Could you use this to do the whole thing? Yeah, sure. If you've got all day why not just hang out and do rear brakes? That's cool. Or you can go onto the site, get this bad boy right here. You hook this up to your air hose. We're going to clean this up nice. I'll show you exactly what I'm talking about just one second.

So here we go 1aauto.com. Let's give it a try. Safety glasses, hand protection, mouth closed. Okay. So we got the majority of it cleaned up. Let's continue on with our brush and just get right in between here the best we can. I mean it is what it is. As long as we're getting off the big parts of any debris, you're doing all right. If there's some kind of rust in there that isn't coming off, as long as it isn't really piling it up too much, I wouldn't say it's too much of an issue. But you could use something as simple as like, I don't know, maybe a screwdriver or something, something with a nice flat blade. Just kind of scrape it across there and see if you can chisel off any crud that might be on there.

It's looking pretty great. Awesome. Okay, so that looks about as good as I'm going to get it. Could you spend a little bit more time there? Sure you could. It's your prerogative. You do you boo boo. This looks good enough for me. Let's move along.

Okay, so here we go. We got this nice and cleaned down. Let's move on to lubricating the mating surfaces. I'm just going to go right here, right there. That's where the top of the shoe's going to hit up against. Okay. If you want to do a little bit in here, that's okay. Right here's one of the areas on the vacuum plate that the shoe's going to ride. Right along top of where the pin comes through it's another spot where it rides. Right here it's another spot.

You can kind of tell because there's a rubbed off area where the shoe's been on there for a while moving around. You don't have to put super lot. The last thing you want is any of this grease getting on the friction material, whether it's on your drum or on the shoe itself. We got all that. Last thing right along here. That's right where it's going to be hitting up against the backside of that shoe. That looks pretty great. I'd say we're clear to move ahead to the next step.

Something you'll notice when you're doing your shoes is you're going to notice one of them has much less friction material than the other, okay? When you take out all four, you're going to find two that look like this with a whole bunch of friction material, and then two that look like this with quite a bit less. You want one and one, one short, one long. Although the shoes overall length are the same exact shoe, the friction material is different. The one with the shorter amount of pad or meat we'll say, friction material, goes towards the front of the vehicle and the one with the majority or more is going to go towards the rear of the vehicle. I just want to make sure you knew that ahead of time and we can get started putting all this together.

Go right in here with this, get a little hooky do there. It's going to go through this slot. Just like that. Hang it up here. Put the wheel cylinder. So that goes right over the shoe just like that. Okay? This one here, that looks pretty good.

So now that we got the shoe up on here, we're going to take our pin, our spring, our little topper, we're going to go through the backing plate, right through the hole, okay, see it. Now we're going to bring it through the hole in the shoe, right there, bring it around. I like to put these so the blade's facing straight up and down. That actually kind of holds the spring on there for me so I can regroup, grab my tool, I'm going to come over to this side and put my piece right inside this tool, just like that. I have the slot facing straight up and down as well. See if I can get it in there. Goes in kind of deep on this particular tool. It's okay. Just push it in there. Slot straight up and down.

We have the pin straight up and down. We should be able to line this up fairly easily. Let's give it our, just give it a try here. Just got to push that pin so it goes over. Okay, I don't know if you can see down through my slot and my tool. I can see the pin coming through. Once it's through, just give this a little twist, just like that. Now you need to pay attention right inside here. This needs to make a cross. Your slot's going this way and your pin's going this way. Okay? Our pin was straight up and down. We brought our slot from being straight up and down, like that essentially. Now it's holding it in.

I'll show you on this one just in case, pin straight up and down. This goes over. Push, twist it so it's side to side, and then let the spring do its job and it holds it in nice and tight. Now that can't come apart. When we took it off, we pushed in, gave it a twist, lined up the slot with the pin, and slid right off.

Make sure you have your wheel cylinder still in there. If it isn't, now's the time to go ahead and straighten it out, just like that. Cool. All right, let's move along to the next shoe here. Got it right there. This, this just goes right in here just like that. We've got it nice and lubricated. This needs to be able to function just like this. Is it going to go that far? Now in all honesty it's really probably going to go about this far. But, as long as it moves freely, that's what we're looking for. Okay, friends? This up on here. Give the wheel cylinder a little push, just to try to get it so the shoe can go in there. There we go.

I'm going to grab my other pin, go through my backing plate, just like I did before. There it is. Line it up with the hole in this. See if I can see it, which I can't. There it is. Okay. What's our trick? Put it straight up and down. I'll grab my other spring and a little cap, okay? This one's the shorter one. We remember it was shorter because we have all this extra stuff. We've got this little ebrake over here, we've got the adapter. This side over here we had nothing. So use the longer spring on this side and the shorter spring on the rearward side. Bring this over. I have my pin straight up and down. That's the trick to these. You get the pin straight up and down. You put your cap on there straight up and down. Generally speaking it makes it fairly easy to line things up.

Of course, nothing is really easy on camera we'll say. There it is. It's going through. I can see it. Give this a little spin. Make sure that we're making a cross there. You need to double check. If it's not a perfect cross, if it's kind of like this, it's not set in there right. It needs to be a perfect cross.

Grab our bar, just going to go from right here all the way up to there. Goes right up and over. There we go. Doesn't seem like it wants to reach. Just give your shoe a bonk. More likely it's just kind of sitting up on something. There we are. This is looking pretty good. This little piece right here, this goes under through there. Come on man, right in there. This hook comes up and over the outside and then the lower hook goes through the slot. I'll take it out and I'll show you real quickly what I'm talking about.

Here's the hook and there's the slot. The hook goes up along the outside right there and the slot has a hook in this right here that it connects with, okay? So you can start with whichever one you want. It's probably easier to start with the bottom hook, and then just take the upper one, bring it up and over, just like that, okay?

Take our little spring, get whatever crud that is off of there. Now this is going to go right up along here, and then the bottom side is just going to slide in on the shoe, just like that. Push that. Awesome. Give it a little try. Beautiful. It's functioning just like it should. The spring pushes it back up. Love it. All right. This right here, the area with the spring goes towards the rear of the vehicle. And in here, right up against this shoe. The bar itself kind of has like a little fork and the shoe's going to go right inside that fork. The spring's going to make it so it can't go all the way in. Of course, once the shoes are compressed, it'll be kind of squished down, but when they're not compressed, they won't be able to go anywhere.

We're going to take this side, get right in here, just like that, okay? You need to make sure your shoe's still inside the wheel cylinder on both sides. As we're moving things around it's very possible for things to come out. Things happen. Take this spring, this is going to go right up onto here. Push that in there. 1A Auto has this awesome tool. We used this side already to remove it. We're going to use this side to install. 1aauto.com.

I'm just going to bring this. It should slide right on there. There it is. That looks pretty awesome. Get this one. Just goes right inside the hole, however you can get it in. Bring it around. It's going to go right up onto this hook. Same tool. Get up on there, still in the wheel cylinder. Yep, looks great. Here we go. Bonk, bonk. Okay?

Got our adjuster. We remember the wheel went to the rear. In case you happen to forget, this right here, that's how it adjusts. So when you step out on the brake, if your shoes go out too far, this is going to move, bonk like that, it's going to go ... It's going to keep turning this out until it can't move anymore. Once this stops being able to move, this won't adjust anymore. Once the shoes continue to wear and this moves to the right point that it can get another click, it's going to adjust to another click. Okay? So this is the adjuster.

We got these two pieces right here. Let's get them installed. Going to use your cutters for this. We're not going to be cutting anything. Let's see. See if we can do it a sneaky way. I'm going to try to do it without the cutter. So I'm just going to try to grab the shoes. I'm going to try to bring them in so I can get that in there. Awesome.

We'll take our adjuster, go just like this. Now we're going to need to do is be very careful. I don't want you to pinch yourself. We're going to try to pull this shoe this way and this shoe this way and get this in here. If you're worried about pinching yourself, could use something like a pry bar, usually maybe a longer pry bar would help. But usually a pry bar will do it.

Get it in on one side of the shoe. Now I'm going to take my pry bar, being careful for any pinch points that you might get yourself into. Just slide that in there. Give it a bonk. Make sure that it's sitting right in the grooves and there's no way that it can fall out. That looks really great.

Okay. Just going to get our shoe down here. Make sure it's set in where it needs to go, right along that. This comes right down there. The springs are all along. Just double-check those wheel cylinders. If the wheel cylinder piston came off and it's not up against the shoe anymore, when you step on your brake, it's going to push out that piston, there's going to be nothing there to hold it so it's just going to keep forcing until fluid eventually comes out and it's going to destroy your brand-new brake shoes. So you need to make sure that those are right inside the shoe like they're supposed to be.

Make sure all of your springs are in and they look good, which they do. If for some reason yours look like they were a little bit bent out too far and you're worried that maybe they might come apart, just take some pliers, give it a nice little squeeze. There's no way that this is going to come up over that. This one I don't think it's going to come up over it either. And those look good down there. So that's how you hang your ebrake shoes.

Now I'll get this. We'll put on a little bit of copper Never-Seez on here and then we'll get our brand new drum. We'll slide it on and we'll try to adjust it up. Okay. So right along here, just where the adjuster is on the other side, usually this is already kind of punched out. Sometimes you'll find them where they aren't. Where this is a '96, it's pretty surprising that this isn't gone already but it's not. I don't know how anybody was adjusting it. So I would just take an ear chisel, a little chisel bit on it. Can get something like this right at 1aauto.com as well. Just take it straight in. We're going to go right along the bottom edge of that, just drive that right through. If you come over here, can see it right under there. Okay? It's going to pop it off there.

There it is. So as you could tell, it was already ready to come out. Just on there by the teensiest bit of metal. God knows why it isn't out of there yet. The only thing I could think of is you'd want to get a rubber plug that goes on the back of these. You can get those at any hardware store. Also, you could also use RTV if you don't have access to that. Pretty much just anything that's going to fill it in so you don't get any water or debris in there. So now that we can see where the adjuster is we can move along.

Okay. So now we're going to use a little bit of copper Never-Seez. Just go around where the brake drum's going to sit. That looks pretty decent. We'll grab our drum and we can continue. All right. Let's get our drum up on here. Looks like it's pretty snug. Now check our adjuster. See if we can de-adjust it just a teeny bit before. Apparently it made its way out a little bit. Grab ... Actually we'll just made our hole in the back. We should be able to go right through here and do it.

Okay. So now something to pay attention to is just when you're adjusting this with the drum on, I have it off right now so you can see. When you take your bar and you go right up against your star, you're going to pull down, okay? I'll begin star, pull down, pull away, star, pull down, star, pull down, just like this. Okay. As you do that it's going to expand out the shoes and that's going to bring them out towards where the drum is.

You have the drum on there. You're going to have your wheel on as well. You're going to try to spin the wheel and you want to have just the teensiest bit of friction, okay? You don't want very much drag at all. Like if you have to take your wheel and grab on to it, really pull it, it's over adjusted. If you grab your wheel and you go like this and it goes ... And it's under adjusted. Obviously it's not going to keep spinning like that because it's a four-wheel drive, it's got a rear differential, but something to that effect where it just keeps spinning and you don't hear any friction at all.

What you want is to hear just the teensiest bit of friction, like a ... But that's it. Because what happens is if you over tighten it, this is going to be, your shoe's going to be hitting directly against your drum the whole time. It's going to heat up. Everything inside is going to heat up. It's going to get super hot in here like a furnace. You're going to mess up your wheel cylinder, you're going to mess up your springs. You're going to mess up your shoes and drums. It's just going to be really bad. So you want to make sure that you don't have your brakes over adjusted. I would say it's probably better to have them a little bit under adjusted then over adjusted. So if you think that it might be a little bit too tight, just go ahead and de-adjust them a little bit.

So to adjust, to continue, take your bar, grab it and bring your bar down. Okay? That's adjusted out. You get a little bit overdone. You hit that star, you pull your bar up. And that's going to de-adjust. When you pull your bar up while it's against the star that de-adjusts. Okay. Now that we have all this like this, we'll just grab our drum, get it up on here. There we go. We'll do the same to the other side of the vehicle. We'll get the wheels on and then we can adjust the brake.

Okay. So now we're going to get the wheel up on here. It's going to go right up onto this. When you lift it, it's going to be fairly heavy as you know. I mean it's your wheel. So you're just going to wheel it up against your leg. As you get it up to your leg, you're going to lift with your leg muscles and ab muscles, a little bit with your arms. Just bring it up, put it right up on there. Okay? Don't grab it like this, try to lift it with your back. I don't want anybody hurting their back. This isn't a tough man competition, a tough person competition. Start all these lug nuts on.

All right. We're going to bottom these out and then we'll torque them down to manufacturer specifications. Okay. So let's just get these all bottomed out real quick. I'm going to in star pattern. Perfect. Now we're going to go behind the wheel and we're going to adjust this wheel or brake. Okay, so here's our hole on our backing plate. Just give our wheel a spin. This spins pretty good. I can hear minor drag. And that's with the wheel or with the adjuster fully closed in. Okay?

We have a new drum, two new shoes, so everything's brand new in here. The odds that you're going to need to adjust this out, any, it's pretty unlikely. But I'll show you what happens if you do. Just give this a few cranks here. You try to turn it, it gets even harder to turn now. Okay? And you can imagine the type of friction that this will be creating as you're driving down the road. It's going to heat up. The meat on the shoe is going to expand even more, which will in turn create more friction and more heat. So it's just going to be really bad if you left it tight like this where you can barely turn it.

All right, you need it to be to the point that there's barely any drag. Like you just want to barely hear it touching. Of course, with being brand new shoes and brand new drums, you're still going to hear quite a bit of noise because the shoes haven't burnished in properly. But as you can see when I press and I stop pushing, it continues going a little bit. That's pretty good. I would say that that's just about right right there. Now you just want to make sure you get a cover for this or you can use something as simple as a little bit of RTV and just fill in the hole, okay? But like I said, pretty much any hardware or auto parts store more likely we'll just have a little kit with rubber boots, pop them in there, or some RTV, and that's just going to help keep the debris and moisture out of there. So there you go. Do the same thing to the other side of the vehicle. Down the road you go. Just make sure you torque up the wheels.

So here we are friends. It's time to torque down our wheel. We've got our torque wrench set to 120 foot-pounds, 21 millimeter socket, and our lug nuts. We're going to go in a star pattern. It's very important never to go around in a circle. Go around in a circle your wheel could tighten up kind of awkward or tilted a little bit. You might think that it's tight. The torque wrench might even go click. Drive down the road, bonk, next thing you know your lug nuts are all coming loose and falling off. Wheel's maybe going down the road. I don't want anything bad to happen, so we're going to go in a star pattern, 120 foot-pounds.

Perfect. If you want to, go around again. It doesn't cost you anything. It's a small price to pay for safety. There we are friends. Down the road you go.

Thanks for watching. Visit 1aauto.com, your place for DIY auto repairs, for great parts, great service, and more content.

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How to Replace Rear Brakes 2001-05 BMW 325Xi

Learn what steps are needed to remove the old rear brakes and prepare and install new ones with this how-to video

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