Ford Ranger Drum Brakes

This week, I replaced the shoes, springs, and wheel cylinders on both sides of my truck. The left side gave me the most trouble, and I ended up having to replace the drum, and soon the brake line too. By comparison, the right side was a cake walk, but I found the parking brake isn't engaging on that side.

So, if you're keeping track: That's 2 sets of drum brakes finished, 2 new issues to fix, and the front brakes left to do.

Table of Contents
Three Jaw Puller
Left side first: I could not get the drum off the hub. The face of the hub had rusted itself to the backside of the drum. I tried loosing the adjustment all the way, PB blaster, a 2-lb hammer, and a small propane torch. I ended up using my biggest puller to pry it off, but the drum didn't break free uniformly, and I bent the drum.

I wish I had thought to get a picture with the pullers sticking out from the drum. I just didn't think about posting any of this till after everything was back together.


Below on the left is the drum finally off the hub after a few hours of work. On the right is the finished product after several more hours of work.
Ford Ranger Left Drum Assembly New Ranger Drum Replaced

(Right side shown) Only the bottom, adjuster spring is missing from this picture. It was a real bear to get it on, and I ended up having to disregard everything I found on the internet or the repair manual.

The easiest way I found to get the last spring on was to let the adjuster cable lay free of the guide and then force it back over the guide after the spring was on. After the spring is on, you can kind of grab the adjuster lever with locking pliers and hold the the adjuster and the cable up with a lot less effort than it takes to hold that spring.

Diagram of assembly found at:

Ranger new Brake Shoes Installed

The break line:
I made the rookie mistake of not using line wrenches to loosen the brake line from the wheel cylinder on the left side, and so I rounded the nut over while trying to take it off. As depressing as that is, the only advice I could find was to not round that nut over or "you will hate life."

On the advice from the guy at AutoZone, I cut the line and brought in a piece so I could match it and the wheel cylinder to a small section I could patch in with compression fittings. However, I learned that on the '90 Ranger, Ford used a large, 7/16 brake fitting on a small 3/16 brake line, and no one carries that combination. So my next step is to learn to flare my own brake lines.

It probably turned out better in the end. Using compression fittings is pretty heavily debated online, and I'm probably not enough of a cowboy to not replace the whole line anyway.

Cut Brake Line on Ranger Rear Left

Ford Ranger Parking Cable Lastly, this is a picture of the parking brake adjustment. The left brake holds just fine, but the brakes won't tighten with the parking brake at all on the right side. This adjustment is tightened all the way, so I"m going to first try replacing it. Hopefully, I don't need to rebuild the right side drum brake to replace the cable. (Honestly, I'm consider just carrying wheel chocks around with me.)

Description of the original issue is still at Ford Ranger Diagnosis
Feel free to send me any comments, suggestions, or questions through my Contact Page.
Share this page: f     P     G+     t
Copyright 2014 by Joseph Bobek, all rights reserved.