Mirrored from: http://www.4x4xplor.com/drum-brakes.html
Jeep TJ Wrangler Rear Drum Brake
Removal/Installation and Adjustment
After racking up over 120,000 miles on my Jeep, I felt that it was about time to service my rear drum brakes and replace the factory brake shoes. Fortunately, this is one of the cheapest maintenance jobs you can do on your Jeep but unlike servicing your front disc brakes, it is kind of a pain in the rear to do. Not that it's exactly complicated or difficult to do per se, but it does require a certain amount of brute strength and patience to deal with myriad of heavy springs you will have to remove and reinstall. As with anything you do on your Jeep, having the right tools can make all the difference.
If your Jeep's rear drum brakes are still in good condition and you're just need of adjusting them. Click on the link below to see instructions on how to do this:
1. Park your Jeep on a level surface, chock the front wheel and then using a 19mm lug nut wrench or socket, loosen the lug nuts on your rear wheel. Place a floor jack underneath the differential of your rear axle and raise it high enough so that the tires are lifted off the ground a bit. Proceed to remove the lug nuts and the wheels off your Jeep and set them aside.
2. If this is the first time removing your Jeep's rear brake drums for service or replacement, you will need to first remove a couple of retaining clips securing it in place. These clips are attached to the wheel studs, look like brass washers and will require a small flathead screwdriver and/or needle nose pliers to remove. Once off, you can throw them away as the will not be reused.
3. With the retaining clips off, you should be able to pull off your Jeep's brake drums with little effort. If it will not come off, check to make sure you do not have your parking brake engaged.
4. Lay some newspaper under your drum brake assembly and then liberally and thoroughly spray everything down with brake cleaner. DO NOT use compressed air to clean your brakes.
5. Starting with the driver side drum brake, use a pair of needle nose vice grips to clamp on, unhook and remove your Jeep's brake shoe spring.
6. Using a pair of needle nose pliers, lift up and remove your Jeep's brake shoe adjuster lever spring.
7. Pull the adjuster lever downward and then unhook it from the adjuster lever pin attached to your Jeep's brake shoe.
8. Unhook the brake shoe adjuster cable from the adjuster lever and set it aside.
9. Using a pair of vice grips, clamp onto the brake shoe return spring attached to the forward facing brake shoe and then pull it off the anchor pin.
10. Rotate the return spring out and remove it from your Jeep's forward facing brake shoe.
11. Again, using a pair of vice grips, clamp onto the brake shoe return spring attached to the rear facing brake shoe and then pull it off the anchor pin.
12. Rotate the return spring out and remove both it and the adjuster lever cable guide from your Jeep's rear facing brake shoe.
13. Remove your Jeep's drum brake adjuster lever cable from the anchor pin.
14. Remove your Jeep's drum brake shoe guide plate from the anchor pin.
15. Your Jeep's drum brake adjuster screw is loosely held in by compression. Carefully spreading your Jeep's brake shoes apart will allow you to remove it with ease.
16. Again, carefully spread apart your Jeep's brake shoes enough to remove the parking brake strut and springs.
17. Reach behind your Jeep's drum brake backing plate and press on the hold down spring pin. Then, using a brake spring compressor tool, push on the brake shoe hold down spring retainer and give it a twist to release it from the pin. Remove the shoe and repeat the process on the opposite shoe.
18. Once the rear facing brake shoe is removed, flip it down and unhook the parking brake lever from it.
19. Remove the adjuster lever spring from the pin on your Jeep's rear facing brake shoe.
20. Take your new rear facing brake shoe and install the adjuster lever spring pin.
21. Place a 1/2" nut over the adjuster lever spring pin and press it into place using a large C-Clamp or bench vice.
22. Install your Jeep factory adjuster lever spring onto the new rear facing brake shoe pin.
23. Apply a dab of axle or multipurpose grease to the (6) contact surfaces of your Jeep's drum brake backing plate.
24. Install the hold down spring and retainers onto your new forward facing brake shoe. Then, reach behind your Jeep's drum brake backing plate and press on the hold down spring pin. Using a brake spring compressor tool, push on the brake shoe hold down spring retainer, feed the pin through the center of it and give it a twist to lock it onto the pin.
26. Make sure the new forward and rear facing brake shoes are properly seated into your Jeep's brake shoe caliper piston.
27. Reinstall your Jeep's drum brake shoe guide plate onto the anchor pin.
28. Attach your Jeep's adjuster lever cable back onto the anchor pin and leave dangling for now.
29. Install the shoe return spring onto the new rear facing brake shoe making sure that the adjuster cable guide is properly seated. Then, pull the spring and hook it back onto the anchor pin using a pair of vice grips.
30. Reinstall your Jeep's parking brake strut and springs onto your new brake shoes.
31. Install the shoe return spring onto the new forward facing brake shoe. Then, pull and hook it back onto the anchor pin using a pair of vice grips.
32. Thoroughly clean your Jeep's drum brake adjuster screw with brake cleaner and then apply some spray lube to the threads of it.
33. Remove and thoroughly clean your Jeep's adjuster screw pivot with brake cleaner, apply spray lube to it and then reinstall it.
34. Carefully spread your Jeep's new brake shoes apart just a bit and install the adjuster screw between them.
35. Route your Jeep's adjuster cable over the guide on the rear facing brake shoe.
36. Reinstall the adjuster cable back onto your Jeep's adjuster lever.
37. Reinstall your Jeep's adjuster lever onto the adjuster lever pin and then secure it in place by hooking the adjuster lever spring back on top of it.
38. Reinstall your Jeep's brake shoe spring using a pair of needle nose vice grips.
39. Reinstall the brake drum onto your Jeep's axle and repeat the whole process again on the passenger side.
Rear Drum Brake Adjustment
The rear drum brakes on a Jeep TJ have been designed with a self-adjusting mechanism. Typically, no adjustments are needed to the brakes unless you have just replaced the drums, shoes or have removed the shoes for other reasons.
Below are instructions on how to adjust your rear drum brakes using a brake spoon adjuster tool.
1. Place a floor jack underneath the differential of your rear axle and raise it high enough so that the tires are lifted off the ground a bit. Then, using a flat head screwdriver, remove the access hole rubber plug on your Jeep's drum brake backing plate.
2. Insert a brake spoon into the access hole so that it engages the teeth on the adjuster screw. Then, rotate the adjuster screw until there is a slight drag when you rotate your Jeep's wheel.
3. Using a small flat head screwdriver, push the adjuster lever away from the adjuster screw star wheel and back it off with the brake spoon until it no longer drags when you rotate your Jeep's wheel. Reinstall the access hole rubber plug and repeat process on the opposite drum brake.
4. Lower your Jeep back onto the ground and then complete the adjustment to your rear drum brakes by driving your Jeep forward and then come to a complete stop. Drive your Jeep in reverse and then come to a complete stop. Repeat this process 8-10 times to equalize the rear drum brake adjusters. It is important to come to a complete stop each time as a rolling stop will not activate the auto adjusters.
That's it, you've just completed your Jeep's rear brake service and adjustment. Be sure to take your brake shoe cores back to the part store you bought your new shoes from. You should receive a core deposit refund for them. Please email me with any questions you might have.