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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Central Massachusetts
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    How to replace emergency brake shoes

    I was changing my rotors when I pulled off the driver's side rotor only to have the emergency brake shoes come with it (yes, I'd backed off the tension). Since they can't be serviced, replacement is the only option. I've benefitted from all the members who've taken time to post up good photos of "how-tos" and since I didn't see an emergency brake how-to in the knowledge base, I thought I'd photo what I did and post it up. This write up shows the driver's side of a 5.7 RT.

    Although this is a pretty simple process if you're mechanically inclined, I've got to mention that you're messing with your brakes, so if you don't feel confident with your skills, or don't have the right tools, please for safety sake take it to someone who does.

    In order to get to the emergency brake shoes, you first have to remove the caliper and rotor. There are great posts on the knowledge base by Junior and others for doing this, so I won't repeat those steps.

    The rear rotors have shoes for the emergency brake, inside the back side of the rotor. Here's what I had after I pulled the rotor. These shoes should be bonded to the metal backer plates - not loose. If you pull your rotor and these come with it, they are broken.




    To do the repair, you'll need:

    1. A brake shoe kit. Mine came from Napa and included all the hardware. Yours might look different if you got it elsewhere.

    2. A 32mm socket, preferably with an impact gun.

    3. A torx socket, size E14

    4. Pliers

    5. Small phillips head screwdriver


    In order to change the shoes, you have to remove the hub/bearing assembly. Start with the big nut on the axle.



    DO NOT try to remove this with an adjustable wrench. This is a jamb nut, which means its been pinched at the top so the threads bite, keeping it from backing out. It will fight you every step of the way. A 32mm socket seems to be the right fit, but a 1-1/4" will do in a pinch. Spray the threads with WD-40. You can use a socket wrench, but it'll be a workout. An impact gun is better if you have one.


    There are 4 bolts on the back of the hub that have to be loosened (not removed - remember that), before you can pull it off. They have a star shaped "torx" head, not a normal hex head, so you'll need an E14 socket for this.



    Accessing them is tough because suspension components make turning a socket wrench difficult. I used a giant extension like this, which puts the wrench back by the differential and out of the congenstion.



    Loosen all 4 a couple of turns, and pull the hub forward (it won't come off yet). The idea here is to keep tension on the hub, so the bolts stay in place as you unscrew them. They are not supposed to be removed. Once they're backed out all the way, you can pull the hub off the splined end of the half-shaft.

    With the hub off, remove the thin, loose seal behind it. All you need are fingers - no seal puller. Note that the tabs point out,so you reinstall it the right way.




    Now you can start on the shoes.


    Turn the star shaped gear on the adjuster until there are no threads showing anymore. That takes off the tension.




    Remove the adjuster spring next to the adjuster.




    Remove the adjuster and put it somewhere safe. There won't be a new one in your rebuild kit, and you need this. If you live north of the Mason-Dixon line like me, take a minute to clean off the rust with a wire wheel or brush, and grease the threads.




    Remove the clips and pins from the shoes, by pushing the clip in and sliding it over, so the pin can come out. The pin just pushes back through the thin metal dust shield. I did the top shoe first.




    Remove the shoes and the return spring.




    Remove the actuator lever and save this too. There's a little hook on the arm that grabs onto a slot - just wiggle it around and it'll come free. Again, clean and lube this if the little arm inside doesn't move.




    Now everthing is stripped down and ready for the install. If either the adjuster or actuator lever are damaged, or can't be made to move because of too mush rust, you need to replace them.

    There is no top and bottom specific shoe, but notice that the shoes have different ends, one square and one pointed. The pointed ends point toward the front on the driver's side.




    Start the installation with the lower shoe. Place the shoe on the dust shield (thin metal backer plate), slide a new pin though from the back and place a new clip over the pin. Using a pair of pliers push the clip in, grab the end of the pin, and turn it 90 degrees to lock it in place. This picture is looking down at the bottom shoe, showing the pin coming through before I put the clip on.



    Make sure the shoe is on the raised center portion of the dust shield, not the lower, outer portion of the dust shield.

    Reinstall the actuator, with the word "up" which is stamped on the front of it, facing forward. Just slip the hook into that slot on the arm, and then fit the noth on the bottom of the actuator into the notch on the shoe.




    Install the upper shoe the same way you did the lower shoe. Push the end of the shoe into the notch on the top of the actuator.




    Install a new return sring between the shoes. The easiest way to do this is hook the bottom of the spring into the bottom shoe, then put the top hook over a small phillips head screwdriver, put the tip of the screwdriver into the hole where the spring should end up and raise the screwdriver which will stretch the spring and let it slide down and into the hole where the hook needs to be.




    Now carefully spread the shoes a little and reinstall the adjuster with the star shaped gear at the top. Push the shoes back together, so the notches in the shoes engage the notches on the adjuster.




    Install a new adjuster spring.



    Now you need to adjust the shoes so they're close enough to the inside of the rotor's hub to engage it when you step on the e-brake pedal. There's a few ways you can do this.

    1. The service manual says to use a giant caliper-looking tool to measure the inside diameter of the hub abd transfer that to the outside diamter of the shoes. I don't have that tool, and don't know anybody who does.

    2. If you look on the rear of the dust shield, you'll see a little rubber plug beside the star sprocket on the adjuster. You can pull that plug out, and use a small flat head screwdriver to turn the sprocket. Put the rotor on first, and turn the sprocket as far as you can, and them back it off a couple of turns.

    3. With the rotor off, turn the sprocket to spread the shoes wide enough that the rotor won't fit on, and then back the tension off a turn at a time until you get to a size where the rotor will just slip over it.

    That's it. Now you can reinstall the hub/rotor and the rest of your brakes. Fairly easy to do if you've got the right tools, and you've got the caliper and rotor off anyway. I paid about $40 for a brake shoe kit at Napa (both sides, and had to eat the core charge because my shoes were broken. If they weren't, it would have been about $30. That's not even a hour of shop labor at the dealership, so you can save a bunch doing this yourself.

    Hope this helps somebody else out. If anybody has suggestions on the process, post them up and I'll make the edits. If the admins feel this is good enough for the KB, by all means move it there.
    Last edited by DrgnWagn; 08-10-2008 at 10:35 AM.
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    Thanks mrtrojan thanked for this post



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    SOLID write-up! Love it.

    Beans to you for this one.

    - Click above for my HEMI Registry page -

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Saint John, New Brunswick
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    Great job, I need to do this in the next month or so.
    Mods so far (in order): Color matched strut covers, fuse panel and washer bottle lid. Shaved rear emblems, Silverstar Ultras, Mobile1 syn. Removed air silencer, AFE stage 2, Sirius Radio, Energy 6.5 doors, Energy 10" sub, R1 drilled/slotted rotors and Quasi quiet pads .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Lawrenceburg, KY
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    Nice this needs to be in the how to section.
    *2007 Magnum R/T
    *1966 Charger 383

    MoPar or NoCar!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Nice write up, but it's disgusting to see what places like Massachusetts does to all the metal parts. I swear those brake parts look like they're about 30 years old. lol.

    There are definitely some benefits to dry climates like Arizona.
    2006 Dodge Magnum R/T - SC Flashpaq, Volant exhaust, 22x9 Challenger SRT8 wheels, 265/35/22, 14.1@98MPH
    2000 Jeep Wrangler
    1966 Dodge Monaco 500


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    nice write up. i never remove the hubs but that would make things a lot more accessible and slightly more time consuming.

    also, anti-sieze paste is better to lubricate the adjuster threads and actuator levers. it won't melt and liquify like grease will. a thin coat of anti-sieze paste on the backing plate where the shoes contact and at the adjuster and actuator contact points will prevent squeak noise when park brake applied and released.

    just remember if you remove the hubs, replace the axle nuts. they are not reuseable. axle nut P/N 06506263AA $10.40 cdn. (torque to 157 ft/lbs)
    Izzy pics

    ensure brain is in gear before engaging mouth.

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    Fultonville NY (Upstate)
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    I just did mine for the 2nd time, this design sucks. I never removed the bearing; but I coated the hell out of the adjuster.

    It is just my car or does the ebrake just suck on the LX? Even from the time it was new I had to jam the it to the floor to get it to hold the car on an incline, and forget about even thinking about actually using it to stop the car in a emergency situation. I have these adjusted right to the max before they will rub, and both are engaging.
    2013 Honda Accord EX - 2.4L/6-Speed Manual

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    Fountain Valley, CA
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    Great write-up!
    How do I.... EVERYTHING!
    SoCalLX - Where Southern California Car Culture Meets Modern Mopar Muscle

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Ft. Riley, KS
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    knowledge base
    "Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself."
    "Of all bad men religious bad men are the worst."
    - C.S. Lewis

  10. #10
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    I used it today! Thanks again.

  11. #11
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    awesome write up, beans to you my friend!!!...have just over 42K on the clock...getting ready for my first break job so I'll have to keep this one on hand in case my e-brakes are worn thin or if I pull em off by accidental Herculean strength! ha ha


    I also have to agree that the ebrake set up on these cars blows @ss! My drive way is at an incline so I have to use e-brake every time I park. I feel like I'm putting my foot through the floor sometimes.
    DODGE MAGNUM...its NOT your mammy's station wagon!!!!!

    2006 Magnum R/T, Borla Catback, True Cool Oil cooler, 170 tstat. Superchips, Volant CAI.
    Guages and piller pods coming soon!! (still working on getting them hooked up)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Thanks for the great write-up! The same exact thing happened to my wife's car last week. She was backing out of the garage and the car made a crunch noise and wouldn't move backwards or forwards. She thought she ran over my bike, lol.

    In my case, my the shank of my torx bit was too fat and thus I could not seperate the hub from dust shield. But I perserved and was able to change the shoes without removing the hub.

    Thanks again!
    Midnight Blue RT RWD; Ordered 10/2004, built on 10/23/2004, arrived 11/16/2004. Yes my signature is WAY old!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Tulsa, OK
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    Yes, great write up indeed, So If I install new pads and set the clearance to the Hat/Drum at Min. I still won't lose the "have to push the E-brake all the way through the floor" to get it to hold feeling? I took my Charger back to the dealer within 2 weeks of pick-up and they said it was set to specs. I thought that the Hat/shoes set-up was supposed to be the best E-Brake systems on Rear disc set-ups but these suck! I don't suppose there is any adjustment to the tension of the cable to get a better feel?

    On another note the lack of the ability to lock up the rear wheels with the E-brake can come in handy when dealing with Road Ragers.....
    Daytona # 1988 2 3/4 Tunable Exhaust, Remote 996XT GPS enabled scanner, SRT Wheels/Legmaker modded, BC Coilovers , Demon Eyes Front/Rear, Silverstars, V-1 Hardwired, RK Sport Hood. PaddleShifters 09'MYGIG WANTED: BY GM FOR BRAND LOYALTY ABANDONMENT AND CAUSING BANKRUPTCY When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Father did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by karfreek View Post
    It is just my car or does the ebrake just suck on the LX? Even from the time it was new I had to jam the it to the floor to get it to hold the car on an incline, and forget about even thinking about actually using it to stop the car in a emergency situation. I have these adjusted right to the max before they will rub, and both are engaging.
    Nope, same here, and all the mag owners i know here in Sweden have the same issues aswell. I have had to adjust my E-brake 2 times now.

  15. #15
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    Feb 2005
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    That looks just like doing a drum brake job on my old '66 Pontiac GTO, except in minature. Disc brakes are so much easier to work on. And I could tell you were not from down south because of all the rust on the brake hardware. We don't get so much of that unless you live on the beach in the salt air.
    2012 Dodge Challenger SRT8

    Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death! - Patrick Henry

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