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Brake Shoe Replacement

Fatima Rangwala
This post will give you the right knowledge to go about carrying the brake shoe replacement job yourself. So, stick around to gain some insights that might save you some money and time. Learn more...
I suppose I don't need to explain in depth what is a brake shoe exactly, as you might already know about it. But let me brief you on it once again, referring to the same. Brake shoes are obviously one of the most the integral part of any braking system in an automobile.
When brakes are applied by a driver in order to bring a car to halt, it is the component called 'brake shoe' which is called into action first. In a car, it is found inside the drum brakes (disc brakes) with calipers inside. There will be times in the future when you will need to replace this component, in case you find the brakes a bit weak or your vehicle doesn't stop immediately.
Generally, most cars have disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear wheels. Thus, a car user has to ensure that all the component parts of the braking system like brake pads, brake shoes, drums, discs, function efficiently for the safety of you and your vehicle.

Why is it Necessary to Replace Brake Shoes?

In a car, it is the frictional linings on a brake shoe or pad that wears out very often and needs a replacing. Moreover, whenever you replace this component, make sure you replace the brakes in pairs (i.e., brake shoes and lining replacement on both front and rear wheels).

What is the Replacement Cost?

Well, be it the replacing cost of rear or the front brake shoes, if you are a pro and quite handy in doing all the car repairs yourself, you will just have to spend the money on the purchase of the components. Basic brake pad replacement cost is $343 to $404 per wheel.
Make sure you buy these pads in a pair, i.e., along with the calipers. Doing so, would enable the brake pads wear out uniformly, thereby saving uneven tire wear too. Ideally, the cost would be somewhere in between $15-$30 with the calipers.

Method for Brake Shoe Replacement

Required Materials

Well, under this category of required tools, the parts are easily available at any local auto parts store. Moreover, using tools isn't a big deal as they are easy to understand and get equipped with.
Firstly, you will need a C-clamp which bears down on the caliper assembly and pushes the spring right in. (Note: The resetting of the brake is done after the new brake pads replacement job is undertaken). Also, you will need a wrench, a lug wrench to loosen the caliper bolts.
Other common materials like brake spring tool, brake shoe removal tool, rubber mallet, assistant to pump brake pedal, 1 pint of brake fluid, etc would be needed in the replacement work. Also, common materials like dust mask, hand gloves, etc are obviously needed in the same breath. Another aspect to consider is the assembly of the car. Sometimes certain vehicles may require specific tools to replace the brakes, talk to your local mechanic for further assistance.


  • Starting off with the first lesson in learning how to replace brake pads, wear your goggles and gloves for protection.
  • Using a jack and a jack stand, lift your vehicle to a comfortable height.
  • Then remove the hubcap off the tire and unscrew the lug nuts using lug wrench from the tire. Remove the tire accordingly. Now remove the brake drum too.
  • If the brake drum doesn't come off easily, use a rubber mallet to strike the drum several times. This will loosen the rust and help the drum to slide out easily.
  • Now remove the brake shoes and using the brake spring tool also remove the springs. Get hold of the end of the spring which is connected to the brake shoe and pull it outwards until the shoes is detached completely. Repeat the procedure on the opposite brake shoe as well.
  • Now hold the rear end of the retainer pin and keep the removal tool on the spring retainer clip. Turn the tool counterclockwise to remove the pin and clip. Repeat the procedure for the opposite part.
  • Attach the brand new piece and place the shoe against the drum, the retainer pin and through the back of the brake shoe. Repeat the entire procedure to replace the car parts in the same way as you had unscrewed them.
  • Now, bleed the brakes by starting the vehicle using the assistant pump brake pedal 3 to 4 times and pressing the brake pedal to the floor.
  • To loosen the bleeder screw use a wrench so that the brake fluid flows through freely. Tighten the screws back and repeat the entire process 3-4 times until you feel the brake pedal tight while braking.
  • Last step in this process is replacing the tire and drum in the same way as the removal.
It goes without saying that brakes are one of the most vital components of a car which should not be overlooked or compromised when it comes to changing them.