I just saved hundreds of dollars doing the work myself. I am extatic
about that. My car needed new brakes front and back and so I replaced
the brakes front and back all by myself. The parts store had the
ceramic, dustless higher quality brake pads for $15 more. I purchased
them. The rear shoes only had one selection by Raybestos.
Replacing the front brake pads worked like a charm. There is a diagram
showing all the areas that needed to be cleaned and greased. I
remembered to use a metal clothes hanger. The hanger is taken apart in
order to string the caliper up so that the rubber brake hose won't
break apart because it's too heavy for it to hold.
NOTE: Watch out. Do not let any sharp metalic object get into contact
with the rubber brake lines! Just a small tear can become a large
catastrophe some time down the road in the event of a car accident do
to a sudden loss of break pressure. (Ruptured brake line). I took
note of that right away.
The rear drums were a real challenge. Considering that I've never had
to replace brake shoes before I would have to say that I did an pretty
excellent job for a novice.
There are 4 springs totall including 1 C-Clip. The C-clip isn't really
a C-clip. It just looks similar to one. Dime sized, it's crimped on
tight attaching a brake shoe to the mechanical parking brake cable.
This was a real pain to deal with. I hate the fact that any car
manufacturer would think that utilizing such a clip would have been
acceptable, much less servicable.
All 4 springs are a serious pain in the @ss to remove and replace.
Thank god I purchased this univeral type tool used for working with
Word of advice. DO NOT let that tool for removing the springs get into
contact with the brake shoe surface. The surface material is actually
more delicate than one would think and so the metal tool can easily
damage the brake shoe by chipping away at it. Do not let any metalic
object press up against the brake linings. It chips away at it.
Unless of course if it's the old brakes that you are going to throw
On the first rear brake drum while in the middle of the job, honest to
god my left thumb gave up on me. The muscle in my arm the works that
thumb cramped up and I had to take a short break for it to return back
Putting the adjuster springs back on it helped to kneel down with head
and body underneath the wheel well. Just like kneeling in the prayer
position. With the univeral tool, hook the end of the spring and pull
it towards you all the same time guiding it into the hole where it's
supposed to hook up to on the other brake shoe.
On one brake drum there are two of the short springs that hold the
shoes onto the assembly directly --- what a pain!!! You have to
depress the short stiff yellow springs at the same time turn the pin
into the locking or unlocking position! Sh*t, it's not like I have six
hands. But it would have certainly helped if I did. The Universal
tool had a device for that at one of it's handle ends. Not much help.
What a BAD BAD design to use such a set up to hold the shoes in place.
Overall I'm proud that I was able to overcome such a difficult task.
This brake job is definately not for beginners. It's not for people
who aren't very mechanically inclined. Such a job takes a mechanic
with the right personality. If you get irritated easily and have
little patience. Please, by all means - just take your car to the
garage to have someone else work on it. Spare yourself the pain and
misery of defeat.
On the other hand, if you are someone that has the time and the
motivation, patience and the mechanical dexterity and are up for a
challenge -- this job may very well be for you.
Watch out though for those of you who live on the rust belt. I can
easily see how the rotors and drums can get siezed/rusted in place from
the road salts.
Another thing to consider is using a mask and gloves. That way ya'all
don't inhale the brake dust and get it all over your hands.
This was a one person job. The problem is doing a complete brake fluid
flush is a two person job. You need to have someone step on the brake
while someone works the fluid release valve on each of the four
cylinders - one after the other. The brake fluid should always be
completely replaced each time the brakes are serviced.
This is because the brake fluid can be contaminated with water and/or
acid. The water is BAD for the brakes if you live where it freezes or
where it gets seriously hot. The acid and other contaminants eat away
at your brake system and can damage your ABS.
Water in the system can also cause your brake fluid to boil over when
you are using your brakes heavily in hilly and/or trafficky conditions.
Resulting in brake fade.
Whaterver ya'all choose to do. Good luck. I'm just happy that I saved
so much money doing the work myself. It's highway robbery what the
garages are charging...