Need to replace them on my 91 F150. I have done disc brakes many times on numerous vehicles but have never had to mess with drums. Anyone have any good tips or a how-to that will help me with my first time?
Got a couple cans of break cleaner and wash everything down real good after you get the drum off but b4 you touch anything else. This will keep the dust under control. Only do one side at a time. Leave the other side completely assembled until you have the side you are working on completely back together. That way you have a refference in case you get into trouble, and you probably will if it's your first time. Don't get worried when you see that the shoes are two different sizes. They are suppossed to be. Remember, SHORT SHOE FORWARD. Good luck.
Get a Haynes manual. They have a pretty good write-up/photos of the drum brakes from that era of Ford. Heck, I used my truck Haynes manual to do the rear shoes/cylinders on my buddy's '88 Crown Vic. Like holland501 said, do one side at a time, and give yourself someplace to lay out the parts as you take them off--arrange them more or less as to where they go. Brake parts cleaner rocks. The springs can be a little tricky, but needlenose pliers help reinstall them.
Get yourself a brake tool from your local autoparts store. The brake tool comes in handy when you take off and replace the springs. Also when you get ready to put everything back together make sure the self adjuster is screwed all the way back in. The drums are designed to just fit over the new shoes. If the adjuster is not all the way in you cannot get the drums on.
New or used drums take them in and get aclean cut put on them to remove the grooves. keep an eye on them though as some guys will set the lathe to max and the next time you'll have to replace the drums.
You can't really set a lathe to max. You can only tell it to take 1/1000th's of inches off, and about 8/1000th's is all you can take off before the lathe cuts too deep and the drum catches on the bit.
Besides, if they guy's never done drum brakes before, how's he going to 'keep an eye on them'? He doesn't even know what to look for.
And if you do need drums, get them turned before you put them on the truck. Even brand new drums can get warped by the time they get to you. The get thrown around by shippers, stored wrong, etc.
Also, get a disc sander attachment for your drill and clean up the raised areas where the shoes sit before you grease them up. Try and grind down any notches there from old shoes. White lithium grease works best.
Other than that, take your time, and do like the other guys said and take one side apart at a time. Be careful to put the brakes back together - every detail is important. Also, the cable likes to slide off the guide while you're putting it back together. Make sure it's in place.
It would be best, tighten the adjuster untill you just hear the shoe start to drag as you turn the drum. Done it for over 20 years like my dad taught me and never had a problem. First application of brakes will be a little soft so take it easy. They will adjust in after a few brake applications. I normally just back up and pull forward 2 or 3 times and it works fine.
Yes, you have to re-adjust the brakes after you're done, or you will have no pedal.
With the rear wheel on, adjust the starwheel out until it lightly rubs the drum all the way around. You'll have to spin the wheel by hand to get a good feel for it. There should be a little more resistance when you're done. The starwheel can be adjusted through a hole in the bottom of the backing plate. It spins both ways; to adjust the shoes out, spin it the easy way.
When you re-assemble the brake, lube up the adjuster real good and screw it all the way in. That way, you won't have any problems getting the drums on over the new shoes.