How to Replace Rear Drum Brake Pads and Shoes – Easy Steps

If you're like most car owners, you probably know that your car's brakes are what keep you safe when you're driving. And if something happens and your brakes need to be replaced, it's important to know how to do it properly.

In this blog post, we'll show you how to replace rear drum brake pads and shoes on your own car. We'll also give you some tips on what to look for when buying replacement brake parts.

So whether you're a beginner or a pro, read on for all the information you need to get the job done right.

What is a drum brake?


A drum brake is a braking system used with vehicles equipped with rear wheels. It consists of two brake shoes attached to each wheel hub.

A cable connects these shoes to a caliper mounted on the axle housing. A piston inside the caliper forces the shoes apart as it compresses the brake lining against the drum.

The drum brake is one of the most critical components of any vehicle because it provides the stopping power needed to slow down or stop the car.

In fact, your vehicle could be dangerous to drive without a good set of rear drum brakes. The drum brake is also an integral part of the suspension system.

What is a Drum Brake Pad?

A drum brake pad is a piece of material that fits into the groove of a rotating wheel or drum. It acts as friction between the drum and the tire, slowing down the wheel's rotation.

How to Replace Rear Drum Brake Pads and Shoes?

Required tools

There are several different types of tools you'll need to complete this job. Here's what you'll need:

1) Wheel lug wrench (or socket).

2) Screwdriver.

3) Wire brush.

4) Rubber gloves.

5) Safety glasses.

6) New brake shoes and brake pads.

7) Jack and jack stand.

Preparation for Brake Pad Replacement

You will first need to remove the wheel to replace the brake pads and shoes. To do this:

Using a wrench, loosen the lug nuts that fasten your tire to your car's axle.

Unscrew the lug nuts entirely and lift on each one as you turn them counterclockwise to free it from its respective lug nut socket.

Set aside all of these pieces for safekeeping in a place where they will not be damaged or lost (e.g., an empty box or paper bag).

Replacing Your Rear Drum Brake Pads and shoes.

Now that you have removed your wheel from your vehicle, it's time to tackle disassembling your brake drum:

First, remove any dust caps around their corresponding holes on either side of the backside of this component by prying them off with a flathead screwdriver (or whatever else works).

Remove the wheel from the axle by loosening its axle nut with an air impact wrench.

Remove the cotter pin from the brake shoe, then remove the brake shoe from the drum brake assembly by pulling it outwards and away from the corresponding side of the drum.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 to remove both shoes from both sides of your vehicle’s rear axle assembly, so you should have four pairs of new shoes/pads ready for installation.

With a flathead screwdriver or other thin yet rigid implement (like a putty knife), pop out any remaining old pads that didn’t come out when you pulled off their holders (aka “brake pad holders”).

You should see little metal clips around each end of these holders; just push them in with your screwdriver/putty knife until they pop out enough for you to grab them with pliers or fingers and pull them off entirely—then set aside these old bits so that they don’t get mixed up with your new parts.

Now carefully pull back on each side's holder until all four are removed simultaneously; note where exactly those clips were located so as not to lose track while installing new ones later.

Finishing Up

Once you've replaced the brake shoes and pads, you'll want to test them. To do this, take your car for a drive around town and ensure everything feels normal.

Before replacing the wheel cylinders, make sure there's enough brake fluid in each one by checking for an adequate amount of liquid when pressing on the pedal several times over several minutes (or taking it for another test drive).

Have a friend check your work before driving off again if possible; they might notice something you missed or have suggestions that could help you improve your next job.

Clean up all tools used during this project and put everything back where it belongs so that nobody gets hurt while trying to misuse equipment installed by others—you wouldn't want anyone else blaming you when they injure themselves.


Do I need to change the brake fluid?

No, but it's always good practice to change it anyway.

Is installing new brake pads and shoes safe without changing the brake fluid first?

Yes, as long as you're careful about ensuring the brake lines aren't too hot to touch.

Will my car run okay after I replace the brake pads and shoes? 

Your car will be fine if you follow our recommendations above. However, if you'd like to know what kind of wear-and-tear you're getting into, you can find out by looking at the condition of your current brake pads and shoes.

Are there any special instructions for using my new brake pads and shoes?

A: Not really, though we recommend following the manufacturer's directions for your specific vehicle.

How often should I change my brakes?

A: It depends on how much braking you do and how well-maintained your vehicle is. We suggest changing your brake pads every 12 months or when they show signs of wear.

What type of brake pads should I use?

A: The best choice would depend on the material of your existing pads, but most vehicles require either steel or aluminum. Steel pads are generally recommended for higher-performance cars, while aluminum pads are better suited for daily drivers.

Can I use different brake pads for the front and rear wheels?

A: Yes! Remember that some vehicles may require different pads depending on which side of the car you're working on.

Why does my car feel squirrely sometimes when I press down on the brake pedal?

A: This is usually caused by worn brake linings, which can cause the brake drums to rub against the rotors. Replacing your brake pads and shoes will fix this problem.

My car has a manual transmission. Does this mean I can only install drum brakes?

A: Not necessarily. If your vehicle has drum brakes, you can still install disc brakes. Remember that you'll need to remove the transmission pan from the engine bay and swap out the clutch plate assembly.

Where can I buy replacement brake pads and shoes?

A: You can get them at your local auto parts store. You can also find them in different online stores.


Now you know how to replace your rear drum brake pads and shoes. With the right tools, patience, and little elbow grease, repairing your brakes will be easy.

Rahat Hossain