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2000 Ford Taurus: replacing..rear brakes..Upon inspection..the pads

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I have a 2000 Ford Taurus and I was in the process of replacing my rear brakes. I had a hard time getting the drum off, in fact used a mallet. Upon inspection, the pads are in good shape so I didn't replace them. I did damage the drum and have the replacement. The problem is that the drum doesn't fit back on. In my book it tells me I can adjust the brakes though an opening on the backside of the brake assembly. I do see the opening but there is nothing to adjust behind it? Is there another way to adjust the assembly smaller so I can get that drum on. It is the correct drum, I checked that.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Jerry replied 7 years ago.

Hi, since you have the drum off,you can loosen the adjustment from the front side. I am sending a picture and the instructions. It tells you to us a brake gage, sending a picture of one. You can do the adjustment without it,by loosening the adjustment so the drum slides on,remove the drum, open the adjuster until it has a slight drag when the drum is installed.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Where is the automatic adjusting lever and adjusting screw labeled on that exploded view of that drawing? I take it these brakes are automatic adjusting because while I was waiting I stepped on the brake pedal to see what the brakes would do, thinking they would expand and contract, but instead they expanded and didn't contract, because I didn't have the drum on? If it is labled #8, do I need a special tool for that?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok, found the adjusting screw. Loosened it up, now the leading braked shoe didn't contract? Which may be my main problem. Is there a way to get the leading shoe to contract manually. I just want to be able to get this back together to take it in to find the real problem with the brakes. Thanks again for your help.
Expert:  Jerry replied 7 years ago.

If the shoe didn't contract,make sure the shoe is in the slots on brake adjuster ,and that the wheel cyinder is not frozen, you should be able to push both pistons in equally.


Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Looks like the wheel cyclinder shaft is what is not letting it go back into place. Can I undo the brake line to relieve the pressure?
Expert:  Jerry replied 7 years ago.
If one piston won't retract , the problem is a frozen cylinder. You may be able to force it back by holding the rear shoe in place with a large screwdriver,and prying the front shoe in with another. But the cylinder should be replaced.
Jerry, Auto Mechanic
Category: Ford
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Experience: Mechanic with over 30 years experience with N.Y.P.D. fleet service division
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Got it back together, used a mallet and screwdriver to get piston back in. Thanks for all your help. Guess I know what to tell the brake guy now.
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