Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - bluenun

I have had the car since 2006 when it had less than 9000 miles on the clock.

It now has 75000 miles and I do not remember ever having had the rear brake shoes replaced.

I have been reading the owners manual and Haynes manual but there is no mention of a warning light when the shoes get low only for when the brake fluid is low.

I understand the minimum recommended thickness of the shoe is 8mm.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - Galaxy

The rear brake shoes should be checked at every service and at every major service with the brake drums removed.

Assuming you've had the car serviced this should have been done.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - RobJP

You'll know when they get worn out, you'll hear it load and clear.

Rear brakes get very little wear in day-to-day driving. Most of the braking is done by the front brakes.

Best thing you can do, when it's next in for a service, is to ask the mechanic to inspect and report on the condition of the rears.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - bluenun

Thanks for the replies.

The car was serviced at Ford for the first 3 years, after that I changed the oil, oil filter every year. Spark plugs and air filter a couple of times.

I had it serviced 1 years ago before it went for it's M.O.T.

I can hear a bit of scraping sometimes which sounds like the rear brakes.

I will take the wheels off and attempt to remove the drums at the weekend and take a look at the shoes.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - John F

I will take the wheels off and attempt to remove the drums at the weekend and take a look at the shoes.

I hope you are strong, or have a long breaker bar. The torque for the hub-nut is around 175ftlb! That's why I'm just waiting for a serious sounding scraping noise (not just the one often heard after a few days parked after use on salty roads).

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - gordonbennet

The thing to check inside drums is the wheel cylinders (for leaks and free movement) and automatic adjustment operating correctly as well as checking for shoe delamination, in many ways rear brake shoe wear is a minor issue, and can usually be checked through a slot in the back plate, should have a rubber grommet covering it.

I'd be having kittens if i was driving round in a car this age that quite likely has never had the brake drums removed even once, drum brakes are the least troublesome but like all parts of the braking system shoudl not be neglected.

If the brake fluid has never been changed then there will be some of the grottiest filth imaginable in the rear wheel cylinders where clean fluid should be, that grot will have a water content and will corrode the pistons unless they are stainless and that rust will wear the cylinder bores and seals allowing fluid to pass, but the dust covers can be remarkably leak proof so you don't notice a leaker till it gets really bad.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - Wackyracer

I hope you are strong, or have a long breaker bar. The torque for the hub-nut is around 175ftlb!

You can undo the 4 bolts that hold the stub axle on and remove the drum and stub axle as one unit. It is a prefered method as it doesn't disturb the bearings and ABS sensor.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - bluenun

Thanks for the replies.

I will have a look and see if there is a viewing slot to where i cansee the thickmness of the remaining shoes.

If I do need to replace them, reading the Haynes manual as Wackyracer posted there are 4 bolts to undo rather than taking the hub nut off even thoughI do have a torque wrench and scaffold pole.

I have been watching some youtube videos that might help.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - Wackyracer

Have a look here www.focushacks.com/mod/replacing_rear_drum_brake_s...s

His photos are much better than the ones I took when I did the rear brakes on my sisters Focus.

Edit: I forgot to say, the rear most shoe has about half as much friction material thickness as the other even when new.

Edited by Wackyracer on 22/02/2017 at 21:36

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - bluenun

Thanks for the link and tip about the difference in friction material thickness.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - liammcl

Is it worth a quick spray round with brake cleaner, when the hub is off?
(a can is about £3)

I think mine make a slight noise when they have been stood for a few days, the noise clear s after a few braking attempts. I think? it's just surface rust.

and just to add, I agree with RobJP, you can hear them constantly when one is worn right down to nothing.. can't really miss it tbh. kinda a low grinding sound when braking

Cheers
Liam

Edited by liammcl on 23/02/2017 at 14:48

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - gordonbennet

Is it worth a quick spray round with brake cleaner, when the hub is off?
(a can is about £3)


Yes, brake cleaner is good to get the brakes er, clean.

But it does dry any lubricant out at the same time so don't forget to re-lubricate any moving parts as required with the correct brake grease, eg a gentle lube of the auto adjuster mechanism pivots or thread if a ratchet and pawl adjuster, but not where it grips the steel of the shoe on 106, and a dab (cotton bud dipped gently in the stuff does nicely) where the brakes pivot and touch the back plates and where the ends of the brake shoes back plates touch the slave cyl pistons and the other end where they pivot on the bracket, this helps to prevent squealing...which is often high speed vibration of brake material backing plates against calipers and drum back plates).

Don't forget to lube the handbrake cable too while you have the chance.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - bluenun

Thanks for the replies.

There was no noise at all driving the car today so it could be as you mentioned the build up of rust where the car was sitting for a few days.

If I do take a look I will get some brake cleaner and a tube of copper slip.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - liammcl

That is a very good point from Gordon Bennet about regreasing the moving bits, I'd forgotten abouth that , tbh.

I greased everything :) lol ...maybe way too much?
(you don't want to get any on the outside contact bits)
i103.photobucket.com/albums/m147/liammcl_2006/MOT%...g


Worse case, you can buy the whole lot assembled, ready to go in
i103.photobucket.com/albums/m147/liammcl_2006/MOT%...g

all shiny and new..
s103.photobucket.com/user/liammcl_2006/media/MOT%2...1

Good luck
Liam

Edited by liammcl on 23/02/2017 at 20:42

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - gordonbennet

Looking good there Liam, though for future i suggest you buy a tub of proper red brake grease, this grease will not affect rubber seals so can be used to lube pistons too as well as sliders etc and won't affect dust or fluid seals, a pint tub is barely any more expensive than a couple of sachets via the usual auction site, and will last you many years of brake work.

I'd forgotten how that neat little adjuster works on 106, thats not what i was thinking when i suggested not to grease the tensioned spring fitting on the shoe.

Must be a completely different car, does this (no doubt hopeless) description of rear shoe adjuster ring any bells with our posters? i can't rmember which car this design was on now.

The simplest ever adjuster but one thats really hard to transfer from old shoes to new, it consisted of a really strong spring and washer affair that would slide up a cut groove in the shoe as the shoe wears, this washer/spring affair had no method of locking or ratchet it fitted over a post in the back plate, and it was pure friction that kept it in adjustment, sounds crude and it was but it worked.

But you had to remember to ask for new shoes with the adjuster already fitted or you would have hells own job, split finger nails, blisters where the mole's slipped and gripped your finger pads instead, ouch, anyone with earshot shocked at the colourful vocabulary they learned that day.

They learned quite a few words the first time i replaced parking brake shoes on a W124 Merc without buying the correct tool (£12ish) to release the horeshoe clips, similar injuries result from not doing so, frustrating job without the tool.

Edited by gordonbennet on 23/02/2017 at 21:19

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - Wackyracer

I'd forgotten how that neat little adjuster works on 106, thats not what i was thinking when i suggested not to grease the tensioned spring fitting on the shoe.

Are you thinking of the earlier version where a spring was attached to the bottom of the shoe and to a metal wedge at the top? From what I can remember there were 3 different types of adjuster arrangements on these Bendix drums fitted to the AX, 106 and Saxo.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - gordonbennet

Are you thinking of the earlier version where a spring was attached to the bottom of the shoe and to a metal wedge at the top? From what I can remember there were 3 different types of adjuster arrangements on these Bendix drums fitted to the AX, 106 and Saxo.

Trying to rattle whats left of me brain Wacky and getting nowhere fast, if you imagine a short groove, well more like an elongated hole in the brake shoe, and a spring as stiff as a valve spring approx 2 coils tight against the shoe with a washer at teh top of the spring, another washer between spring and shoe (though thinking again teh spring would be its own washer as waer wasn't an issue) and another washer the other side of the shoe, an a hollow barrell clamping them together, when fitted to the drum this barrel slid over a post sticking out of the back plate, when you applied the brakes obviously the shoes pushed out but the spring/washer fitting would hold the shoe close against the drum.

Thats a clear as i can describe it, but for life of me i can't think what car it went on, 306?, probably French but could have been anything european, as i said it worked very simply but very well too, no mechanism to wear or seize, once you pressed the brake pedal or applied the handbrake bingo fully adjusted, just a nightmare if you ended up with new shoes without the sprung assembly already fitted.

ps sorry about the typos, for some reason while i'm typing the text has gone super small and i can barely read it with me glasses, i'll end up like traitiional Sherlocks yet with a blinking great magnifier.

Edited by gordonbennet on 23/02/2017 at 22:06

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - bathtub tom

That sounds like the system fitted to older Fiats GB.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - gordonbennet

That sounds like the system fitted to older Fiats GB.

Haven't done a lot with Fiat's for many years, have worked on 124 127 and Regatta (had a Regatta Diesel which was a surprisingly good motor), can't think of anything more recent than those, but reckon you could be on the money there BT, well remembered.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - Wackyracer

That sounds like the system fitted to older Fiats GB.

Haven't done a lot with Fiat's for many years, have worked on 124 127 and Regatta (had a Regatta Diesel which was a surprisingly good motor), can't think of anything more recent than those, but reckon you could be on the money there BT, well remembered.

I just had a look, very interesting set up.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - liammcl

thanks Gordon,

this was way back...3 years ago !
...when I was just starting to have a tinker ! ...time flies !

I did indeed get the proper red grease after that
.. I have a little tin of it for this years tinkering before the mot.

tbh, back then ,
I used penetrating oil, to free up the seized caliper pins,
...which it did !
BUT it ate away the dust shields ! ..they just fell apart !
thought that was going to be an mot fail...but it went thru without them, no probs !

lol.... I bet the air was blue ! back then. :)

Cheers
Liam






Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - Wackyracer

I forgot to ask Liam, what was the brake test results after you had finished it?

and BTW you have the hub nut dust caps missing on your car I noticed in the welding thread.

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - liammcl

The back brakes passed with no problems, WackyRacer
..I don't know what the reading were, tbh.
(I swapped the wheel cylinders too, and bled the brakes)

Yup, guilty as charged :)
I punched a hole in the old ones to get them off,
and promised myself, that I would get some new ones,
if the car passed its MOT....

then freed the calipers and pistons on the front,
and greased them
changed the brake pads, and pins (£15) and swapped one disc (£9)
and swapped the driveshaft ! (£30)
...all that to get thru the mot !

I do wonder, if the last MOT it had,
before I bought it, was a dodgy one !

Next up ,
it may be front suspension springs need replacing, £30
then the back axle, £80
welding needs doing £20

I may just get a scrapper, and swap the bits over, and then sell the scrapper for what I paid for it... cheap motoring :D


That timimg belt botchit I did, is getting to near 50,000 miles..
so I am expecting that to go *twang* at any minute.

Also the camshaft seal is leaking...very slightly
I'll prob do that when the head is off..swapping a valve.

Roll on summer, when it is warm and dry,
to let the tinkering commence.
.....at least it keeps me out of mischief ;)

I don't really what other car I would want, tbh
as the 106 is pretty perfect for what I want...

I don't think I could afford one which needs to go into a garage for repairs, tbh

All the best,
and as always, thanks to your good self Wacky, Gordon, and all at HJ,
for all the help over the years.
Cheers
Liam

Edited by liammcl on 23/02/2017 at 23:17

Ford Focus 1.6 2003 auto - How to know when your rear break shoes get low? - edlithgow

"Is it worth a quick spray round with brake cleaner, when the hub is off?
(a can is about £3)


Yes, brake cleaner is good to get the brakes er, clean."

Never really seen the point of "brake cleaner".

I have some, but it doesn't seem to be particularly useful for cleaning brakes. I suppose if you want to remove old grease it might have some use, but I prefer to use rags/paper towel and solvent to physically remove that. Brake cleaner just tends to spread it around.. It flash-dries too quickly to be very effective at removal.

Brakes are usually dusty and they may be contaminated with brake fluid, if you've had a leak. Both these contaminants can be removed with a miracle product called water, which you can buy if you really want to, but the free stuff works too.

Its superior because it isn't very volatile, is good at wetting and washing away dust, and because its a good diluent for brake fluid, which mixes with it readily. It leaves the grease alone, so re-greasing becomes optional. Also its available in huge quantities.

I put a bowl under the brakes and pour or spray water over them. The dust-blackened water goes in the bowl, which I then tip directly down a street grating.

If I had very contaminated brake shoes I might try taking them off and boiling them. (Don't try boiling brake cleaner). For light contamination you can pour hot water (optionally with washing up liquid added) over the intact brakes.

Water could theoretically promote corrosion but it dries off very quickly so that doesn't seem to be an issue. If it were I would spray on some alcohol to remove the water.

Edited by edlithgow on 25/02/2017 at 01:19

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car