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martyzs180, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 723
Experience:  Worked as a ford mechanic for 3 years, also specialise in all other makes and models
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2002 Ford Focus zx3. I wanted to replace brake shoes. I

Customer Question

2002 Ford Focus zx3. I wanted to replace brake shoes. I removed the drum assembly by loosening the 4 13 mm bolts from the backing plate. After replacing the shoes and springs, I put the spindle/hub/drum assembly back to the plate and tried to torque the 4 spindle bolts. However, it seems that the 2 mating surfaces (backing plate and spindle axle) are not flat anymore. I tried to clean them thoroughly with a wire brush removing rust (I live in Minnesota) and a material that covered the spindle axle stud. I put the drum back, however when I torqued the 4 bolts, the drum does not rotate freely again. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  martyzs180 replied 2 years ago.

Hi there and welcome to JA.COM, i will try to assist you with your problem, as the zx3 is very similar to the uk ford focus the procedure would be the same, first of all when replacing the brake shoes there is no need to remove the hub assembly, but as you did look carfully at the hole centres, the hub is shaped to fit on in one way only, also did you slacken off the brake shoe adjusters on both sides, if not this would stop the drum from being put on, please advise, kindest regards martin.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi. I did slacken off the shoes. The drum was rotating freely on the spindle. However, after I tightened the 4 bolts, the drum stopped rotating freely. I even removed the shoes, I put the drum/hub back and I tightened the 4 bolts. But again the drum doesn't rotate freely. So I think the drum touches the backing plate as it rotates. I removed rust from the mating surfaces (spindle axle stud and hub), but again I don't get free rotation. Any suggestions?
Expert:  martyzs180 replied 2 years ago.

Hi there, strange one this... short from removing the other side and examining the layout, the only other things would be the wheel bearing not seating properly or the external washer behind the hub nut missing, please check and advise, kindest regards martin.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Martin. I have removed the other side too (by loosening the 4 spindle bolts). I haven't touched the hub nut or the bearing and I have the same problem with the other wheel too. What I am concerned about is that in both sides, after I removed the spindle, I noticed a material falling off from the flat mating spindle surface. I removed this material completely with a wire brush (didn't come off easily), otherwise the mating surface would be completely uneven. Then I placed the spindle on the clean backing plate and then I realized that when I tightened the 4 bolts (even without shoes), the drum touches the plate as it rotates. So I am now concerned that might I have to replace the spindles, since the mating surfaces do not match well with the backing plate. And I have no idea what this material that I removed was. As I mentioned I live in a very salty environment and everything was rusty. Or maybe I am just doing something wrong. Is it possible for the spidle mating surface to have so much corrosion?
Expert:  martyzs180 replied 2 years ago.

Hi there, on the stub axle that you removed there should be a metal spacer that stops the drum/bearing from touching the brake back plate, also around the meatal back plate there is a groove that the brake drum fits in-between, please check these items, kind regards martin.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Martin,I have placed the spindle as it is supposed to be. Otherwise I wouldn't be able to tighten the 4 bolts, since the holes wouldn't align to insert the bolts. I am afraid that I need to replace the spindle, maybe the mating face is corroded, so the contact with the backing plate is not good. This means I will need to replace the drum (I bet it will be stuck). Unless if you think there is another reason for my problem. In case I need to replace the spindle, do I need to install a wheal seel (e.g Timken 100944)? Do I need a special tool for that? Thank you.
Expert:  martyzs180 replied 2 years ago.

Hi there, this is still very strange, i know this sounds daft, but the new brake shoes i take it are the same dimensions ie width and shape as the old shoes, it seems strange that the drums fitted ok before the new shoes were fitted, please check and advise, kindest regards martin.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As I explained in my previous messages, the problem is not with the shoes. If I completely remove shoes and put the drum/hub on and spin it (without any shoes on), it will not rotate freely as it will come in contact with the backing plate. I believe the problem is on the mating surface of the spindle, because I removed a ton of corroded material from the mating surface, after I removed it. So now the spindle is shorter and thus the drum touches the plate. I will order new spindles and continue wit that. Thank you.
Expert:  martyzs180 replied 2 years ago.

Hi there, ok i hope that solves the problem, please let me know if it works, kindest regards martin.