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Suspension 2nd Gen Dodge Ram Suspension Problems and Questions


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  #1  
Old 10-16-2010, 06:16 PM
Jon89 Jon89 is offline
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Default Rear Brakes on 1999 Ram 5.9 V8

Found this forum today, and this is my first post.

My 1999 Ram shortbed has just under 59,000 miles. I replaced my factory front brake pads back in June. It was an easy job since I've done disc brake pad replacements before on other vehicles. Did not have to turn my rotors.

Now, my rear brakes are beginning to occasionally make noise so I know it's time to replace the factory brake shoes. I've never done a replacement on drum brakes before. I know that the drum has to come off the axle and the new shoes are held in by some sort of spring mechanism.

How do I get the drum off?

How do the spring mechanisms for the shoes come off and go back on?

Are new brake liners needed along with new brake shoes? If so, how are they installed?

What special tools do I need, if any?

Since I've never done a set of drum brakes before, all advice and guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks for your assistance....
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:11 PM
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You may just need to clean out the brake dust trapped in the drums. The drums will slide off the hub one you remove the wheel but you may need to bang on it a bit to loosen the rust. If you have a rust ridge built up on the inside of the drum, you'll need a brake spoon to turn in the adjusters. You'll need a couple of brake spring tools and a brake spoon to do the job right. Getting drum brakes right can be tricky the first time you do a set and there's more ways to do it wrong than there is to do it right. You may be better off having them done by a professional.
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:45 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I hear you loud and clear about drum brakes being tricky to get right. That's why I posted here before attempting to work on them.

So I can use my rubber mallet to bang the drums loose? Are the shoes installed inside the drum and therefore come off when I remove it, or do the shoes remain on the axle when I remove the drum?

I want to remove the drums to look for the brake dust build-up that you mentioned, but I don't want to screw anything up while doing so.

And what about the wheel cylinders that drum brakes supposedly use? Could my problem be that one or both locked up somehow?

Thanks again for your feedback. I know disc brakes, but not drum brakes....
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:48 PM
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The shoes will remain attached to the backing plate. You may need a regular hammer instead of a rubber mallet though. Remove the drums, dump out the dust and check the linings on the shoes. If they're good, replave the drums and drive the truck to see if the noise goes away.
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Old 10-16-2010, 10:26 PM
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Thanks. If I get time tomorrow, I'll take a stab at it.
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Old 10-17-2010, 12:50 PM
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Okay, I jacked up the right rear wheel this morning and went after that drum first. No problem breaking the rust with a couple of blows from my hammer. I can wiggle the drum around, and graphite-looking brake dust spills out into my catch basin from behind the drum, but no matter how much I pull and tug with my hands, the drum will not come off (I'm 6-foot-7 and 265 pounds). The drum will wiggle loose around its entire circumference, but it will not allow me to pull it off the lug nut studs.

So I decided to put the right rear wheel back on the truck and go after the left rear drum to see if it will come off. Exact same thing happens - I can wiggle the drum, brake dust falls out behind it, but it will not come off.

Emergency brake is released (off) and the transmission is in Park. What could be going on here? Are the brake shoes engaged tightly against the drums for some reason and therefore holding them on? If they are, I am concerned that if I use brute strength and tools to wedge the drums off, I may not be able to get them back on. If that happens, my truck is stuck in my driveway....
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Old 10-17-2010, 01:13 PM
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Check your lugs...there may be a retaining clip over one or more on each wheel holding the drum in place.
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:07 PM
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Each rear wheel had a couple of retaining clips on the studs. Noticed them immediately after removing the wheel. First thing I did was break them off with needlenose pliers. So those clips were out of the way before I started attempting to get the drums off.

Any other ideas, guys?
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Old 10-17-2010, 03:38 PM
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You have a rust ridge built up around the inside edge of the drum. You need to back off the brake adjuster to take off the drum.
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Old 10-17-2010, 05:55 PM
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Yes you will need to back off the brake adjuster to give yourself more clearance due to the rust ridge . At that point you can try to clean up the rust ridge once you get the drum off or take them and get them turned .
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