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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was hearing a lot of squealing and hissing from the right rear side or the vehicle, and when I took it in, they found two badly worn brake shoes, two leaky wheel cylinders, and two leaky axle seals. They recommended a rear outer and inner axle seal, a new wheel cylinder, and shoes and a drum hardware kit for both sides. They also wanted to flush the system (understandable) and repack bearings (understandable).

I know that I won't be able to machine the drums myself, and I don't think I'll be able to repack the bearings, but how hard is fixing the brakes? I have little to no experience with this sort of this, but a dangerous amount of curiosity and knowledge (my service manual and you guys), and if I can save money by doing it myself (can't afford the labor right now, and I want to do it myself anyway), I'd rather do that.

Am I getting in over my head?
 

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You'll have to get the drums turned at a shop. Some auto parts shops have the machinery to turn your drums for you.

You can change the brake shoes and all the hardware. (Springs, clips, etc. Recommended to replace the hardware at the same time.)

You can replace the bearings, and both seals. And you can repack the bearings.

None of that is beyond a shade tree mechanic.
 

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If it's the inner axle seals leaking not so hard to fix. Outers require removing the axle bearing and holder from the shaft, involves something to hold it and a LOT of torque. Make sure you actually need a new outer seal- if it's leaking inside the drum from the end of the axle then it's likely a bad outer, if it's only running down the back of the backing plate then it's the inner. If only the inners are leaking you can smear grease on the bearing without removing it from the shaft well enough to last a good long while. If you have to remove the bearing anyway you will probably damage it, so plan on replacing it. jlemond is the only source for new retaining nuts if you can't re-work the staking on the old ones enough to re-use.
rockauto.com is a good source for parts, they also currently have a 5% discount code and closeout prices on a lot of the parts you need. I would just buy two new wheel cylinders rather rebuild kits- not much more & then you don't need a hone.
Get lots of brake cleaner & rags, extra brake fluid to bleed the brakes (make sure the motor is running when pumping the brakes) & take pictures before you tackle anything.
 

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There are all kinds of how-to's on YOUTUBE.COM

A number of rear brake jobs to view there. May not be your make/model, but the concepts are the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all, I appreciate the input.

I'll have to check the inside of the drum myself, I didn't think to look earlier when I went to the shop and they had everything off, even though they *say* I need to do both inner and outer.

I'm a big fan of RockAuto, they've helped me out in the past. Thanks for the tips on the other parts supplier as well.

I'll take plenty of pics, but I doubt I'll document my process here. Brake jobs seem pretty run-of-the-mill :) CV boots are next! I'll be back when it's time to do those, I've already found a wealth of information on them here.
 

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dr_worm said:
I was hearing a lot of squealing and hissing from the right rear side or the vehicle, and when I took it in, they found two badly worn brake shoes, two leaky wheel cylinders, and two leaky axle seals. They recommended a rear outer and inner axle seal, a new wheel cylinder, and shoes and a drum hardware kit for both sides. They also wanted to flush the system (understandable) and repack bearings (understandable).

I know that I won't be able to machine the drums myself, and I don't think I'll be able to repack the bearings, but how hard is fixing the brakes? I have little to no experience with this sort of this, but a dangerous amount of curiosity and knowledge (my service manual and you guys), and if I can save money by doing it myself (can't afford the labor right now, and I want to do it myself anyway), I'd rather do that.

Am I getting in over my head?
Its fairly easy, get a service manual. Some are available for download,but a Chiltons should be fine for brakes. If you need to resurface the drums,its fairly cheap. This is something that is common to do,you just sent it out to have it done,Im not sure how much it costs now. its been 10 years since I have done it,but I think I payed 10 dollars each when I had it done. The springs in the brakes can be tricky,and there is a special pair of pliers for getting them on. You can do it without them but many auto parts stores have tool loaner programs and they loan you a pair of brake spring pliers. Just read the service manual over several times,get the parts and the tools together and get a couple of cans of brake cleaner and make sure you have plenty of time. It will take a lot longer if you have never done it before.
 

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I did it based on you tube and this great forum. Give it a shot! \
Read a lot and have fun.

I bought new rotors, after 65 K miles, I decided to avoid any worries.

I'll be doing the front breaks, rotors, packing soon, I got the parts.
 

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dr_worm said:
I was hearing a lot of squealing and hissing from the right rear side or the vehicle, and when I took it in, they found two badly worn brake shoes, two leaky wheel cylinders, and two leaky axle seals. They recommended a rear outer and inner axle seal, a new wheel cylinder, and shoes and a drum hardware kit for both sides. They also wanted to flush the system (understandable) and repack bearings (understandable).

I know that I won't be able to machine the drums myself, and I don't think I'll be able to repack the bearings, but how hard is fixing the brakes? I have little to no experience with this sort of this, but a dangerous amount of curiosity and knowledge (my service manual and you guys), and if I can save money by doing it myself (can't afford the labor right now, and I want to do it myself anyway), I'd rather do that.

Am I getting in over my head?
The first time I did this I had little idea of what I was doing. The resurfacing of the rotors sounds scary,but its a routine service that you can have done and its reasonably cheap. Just takes a day or so turnaround time. (Sometimes its hours,and the actual job takes minutes,its just like dry cleaning,some shops can get it in that morning and out that night,others tell you a week) The nice thing is that many auto parts stores will lend you tools like brake spring pliers which,while not necessary,certainly can help on a set of drum brakes. You will just want to be careful,follow a good manuals instructions and test them at very slow speeds before you decide they are good to go. You will of course want to replace the shoes on the left side as well as the right when you do it. It will give you an opportunity to inspect that wheel and decide if there is further service needed there as well.
 
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