Weird drum brake issue - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-08-2010
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Weird drum brake issue

Hey all, I own a 2000 Ranger XLT 4wd with drum brakes in the rear and disc up front. I am in the process of replacing the rear shoes (both sides) and drums (both sides). I am using the same hardware I had on there as it is not even a year old (replaced some broken springs 9 months ago). I am also re-using the wheel cylinders as I don't see any leakage.

My problem is that when I attempt to put the drum on the brake shoes are too expanded to allow the drum to fit smoothly over them. The other issue is that the entire brake assembly seems shifted towards the front of the vehicle. When I attempt to put the drum on it will not align with the studs.

I have the adjuster screwed all the way in and I have tried bleeding the wheel cylinders. The brake backing plate looks worn on the 6 pads (do they really help hold the shoes in place?). I had a friend come down and check my work, he rebuilt the assembly just like I had it and we still could not get it. I checked the adjusters, they are on the correct sides. I've basically tried everything.

I greatly appreciate any help as I am not much of a mechanic beyond brake jobs and such. I really don't want to have it towed to the brake shop, there has to be an answer. My last resort right now is to purchase new wheel cylinders and hardware and try it. I should mention also that I checked the part #'s and they check out for my truck.

Yes I know I am missing half a leaf spring as well. Replacements are being ordered.

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I don't know if this is wheel cylinder leakage or if it is from the lithium grease that may have gotten on it. I'm thinking it might be past leakage.

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After a bunch of prying on the drivers side something popped and the drum slide on. The hardware on this side seems to be locked in place on the brake backing plate. Although the drum readily goes on the wheel does not turn freely.

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Also, does anyone know why ORR (offroadrangers.com) has not come online in months?

Thanks for all the input!!

Ben

Last edited by Blades24; 03-08-2010 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 03-09-2010
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Bump.
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Old 03-09-2010
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so your prob is you cant get the drum on. check your e brake and check your adjuster on the e brake.
on mine i had the same prob i used a 5lb sledge hammer to get them on i dont suggest it but thats what i had to do
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Old 03-09-2010
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Recheck that the drums and shoes are in fact the right part. Those drums look small to me for some reason, might be the 9" drums. I would think you have the bigger 10" (IIRC) drums. Everything else looks good though.....

As for ORR, I asked and was told the owner of RPS has not had time to fix it yet.....guess there's not enough teen angst/drama on ORR to make it worth while...
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Old 03-09-2010
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Thanks guys. I called today and doubled check the part #'s, unfortunately they check out. I'm rebuilding it one piece at a time right now trying to get to the root cause. So far so good, two more pieces and the drum does currently fit. Adjuster is in, e-brake is off, cylinders are bled.

Does anyone know offhand RPS's owners name? I knew a bunch of people in my area on ORR and was a loyal follower for years.
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Old 03-09-2010
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Well I just found the problem. 9 months ago when I replaced a couple springs I bought the parts from Murray's/O'Reilly's. I replaced a couple springs and left the extras in the box. The other day when I pulled off my passenger side drum (the troublemaker) I noticed my shoe-to-shoe spring was busted. I also noticed just a minute ago that the problem started when I put that spring on. In comparing it to the drivers side, side-to-side spring, I found that the new spring that is causing issues is 1.5" too short.

So the error falls on the Auto parts store for giving me the wrong spring kit and myself for not having compared every single spring before putting them on the truck.
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Old 03-09-2010
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double post

Last edited by Blades24; 03-09-2010 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Delete
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Old 03-09-2010
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Well it turns out that wasn't it. I went to two different parts stores and all they had was the small shoe-to-shoe springs. I went to the dealer and they didn't have any in stock. I went ahead and bought a new spring kit, rebuilt the drivers side with little trouble. It is still hard to turn forward or backward but I think it will wear down once its driven.

I then rebuilt the passenger side and I am having the same issue. When you look at it it is pulling to the front of the vehicle. I can't figure out why I'm having an issue with this side, and why I had such an issue with the other side.

The left shoe fits perfect before I install the right shoe springs.

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Now both sides are on and fitting well, no shoe-to-shoe spring yet.

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This is as far on as the drum will go without great force. You can see its not lining up correctly.

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My only other thought is that the emergency brake is stuck some on this side. I have a good amount of slack in my E-brake line though. I'm going to look up stuck e-brake issues and give that a try tomorrow.

Any ideas?
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Old 03-09-2010
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is there a lip on the drum.
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Old 03-09-2010
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Yes, it is grooved to accept the lip of the brake backing plate.
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Old 03-09-2010
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your prob getting hung on that lip. like i said before i had to beat my drums on
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Old 03-09-2010
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Yes if I beat it on it will eventually clear the lip but at that point the wheel is locked in place. I let the truck get up to about 3500 rpms and it still never turned the drum.
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Old 03-09-2010
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no the lip is what is hold u up once the drum is on it should turn alittle enough to move. and by the time you drive down the street it will be easy to turn

also try moving the break pads alittle see if it wont line up and more
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Old 03-09-2010
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this is why i said **** drum brakes and got an explorer axle i have none of the damn problems i had b4. i had to replace the shoes 3 times one summer.
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Old 03-10-2010
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My guess is that the rear p-brake cables are rusted inside their housings, especially on the passenger side. Either that or you got some out of spec aftermarket shoes.

No offense but you should never hammer on cast iron drums hard enough to leave marks. If necessary, a few taps with a soft-faced hammer should be enough. If it isn't, find out what's wrong.

You also need to do something about the broken/missing spring leaf before the main leaf fractures and collapses.
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Old 03-10-2010
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That sucks Downey.

Hey Bob I was kind of hoping that you would see this thread. I've compared the shoes in every way possible, they are identical, but I still don't know about the aftermarket springs. I agree about the hammering. I knew better, and I have an OEM set of leaf springs (4 leaves) on order. They should be here within a couple days.

Essentially I will need to break the cables loose from their housing? How is this best done? Thanks for all the help everyone.

Ben
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Old 03-10-2010
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if you have the money go do the disc brakes swap you will be so much happier
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Old 03-10-2010
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you might have to just cut the e-cable to relieve the tension or pressure. then once the drum is on, you might have to replace the e-cables.
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Old 03-10-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades24 View Post
Essentially I will need to break the cables loose from their housing? How is this best done? Thanks for all the help everyone.

Ben
First, get a helper and pull the front cable under the driver side of the truck to see if the rear inner cables will move back and forth within their housings. If they both will, then you need to look elsewhere for the problem. If one or both are stuck, you could try penetrating oil and see if you can work them free. Ultimately, you might need a new set of cables.
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Old 03-10-2010
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Ok, thanks Bob. I should have some time to inspect them tomorrow if this rain holds off.
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Old 03-11-2010
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Alright well I started digging into it today and am beginning to think this is the problem. I applied and released the e-brake numerous times. The last time I released It I held the lever open and pumped the e-brake pedal. I took the brake assembly apart on the passenger side (the worse side of the two) and took the e-brake cable off of the plate that attaches to the rear shoe. I then measured the length of spring/cable that I had available, 3.75" available. I then applied and released the e-brake again and re-measured. I only got 3.5" available now and I cannot pull it back out to 3.75" for the life of me. Here are some pictures, the tension on the spring is pretty easy to see as it wants to curl.

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I don't know if I should have applied the e-brake after disconnecting it from the shoe plate. What say ye? Is it sticking? I did not notice any movement of e-brake plate when the e-brake cable was pulled from the drivers side of the truck. When I pulled on the cable immediately entering the drum it shifted some.
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Old 03-11-2010
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Replace the cable. I think I've had to do at least two on my old 01 in 8 yrs of owning it up here in NE. My brakes used to hang up after releasing the e brake.

That cable should be free in the housing, new cables you can EASILY push in and out....be sure to anti seize or lube as much of the cable as you can before installing to prevent/put off future rust.
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Old 03-11-2010
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Right on. So we are pretty positive that its stuck right? I've still not been able to get 3.75" out of it again. I tried some Liquid Wrench but I obviously can only hit what I can see. Anything I should know before replacing the e-brake? Other than lube.
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Old 03-11-2010
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At a total of $60 for new cables I really don't want to replace this. I understand that it needs to be replaced though. The brakes won't work properly if the e-brake is not connected? Its an automatic, I've used the parking brake once or twice in 5 years.
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Old 03-11-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blades24 View Post
At a total of $60 for new cables I really don't want to replace this. I understand that it needs to be replaced though. The brakes won't work properly if the e-brake is not connected? Its an automatic, I've used the parking brake once or twice in 5 years.
Brakes will work fine w/o the e brake, but you probably will not pass state inspections. I've tried to relube old cables, but no dice. Are you ordering the right and left side? You don't need the front cable. IIRC you can get both sides from rockauto pretty cheap...
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