1998 Ford Escort Dragging Brake

I know everyone is busy with worries about the election, but hopefully you can help me help someone with an ailing blue oval.
I've got a 1998 Ford Escort LX with a dragging passenger side rear brake.
It's a drum brake. With the rear of the car in the air, I can easily spin the driver's side wheel, but the passenger side wheel requires two hands and significant effort to rotate.
I don't have a lot of knowledge in this area so I am hoping someone can help me diagnose what has gone wrong. I am trying to help an unemployed student friend get this car fixed as cheaply as possible. With my limited knowledge, my diagnosis is that the right rear brake cylinder needs to be replaced. Is replacing that likely to correct the problem? If not, what should I check and how?
Rodney
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first you need to remove the brake drum and see whats going on in there, its possible that it just needs cleaning and re-greasing, the handbrake lever which is connected to the rear brake shoe is probably siezed which means the brake isnt freeing off correctly when you let the handbrake off. you will need to remove the shoe to unsieze the lever, while you have the drum off check the brake cylinders for leekage, this will be evident under the rubber dust covers at each end of the cylinder. if you see brake fluid then replace. steve, oxford

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Had something similar happen to me some time ago, one of the hardware bits from the adjuster wore out. IIRC it was also the passenger(handbrake side) and it may have had something to do with the handbrake adjuster. The irony was that I had the brakes done professionally a year previously, they didn't bother to replace any of these parts though they did replace some seals and other miscellaneous bits and charged me top dollar to boot. You will have to remove the drum, if my diagnosis is correct the problem should be fairly obvious immediately, those hardware bits are fairly inexpensive. I am relying on my memory as this happened quite a while ago but the fix was fairly easy, the only hard part was prying the drum off! John Cairns
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