Handbrake shoes renewal

(Alan4d) #1

Hi all

My handbrake is virtually useless despite adjusting the cable and I have accidentally left it on several times which does not help matters! I feel that more than just adjustment is required. So I’m about to fit replacement shoes. I recall that when removing the drums some years ago to inspect the mechanism, I found one of those star wheel adjustment screws (18 on fiche L03) was seized so I am obtaining a couple of replacements before starting the job. After looking at Haynes and the workshop manual it looks like quite a tricky job needing three hands and quite a strong hand! Can any kind person who has done this job offer any tips?

(Casso) #2

Hi Alan, I had to change the handbrake shoes on my old Sovereign a few years back when it failed the MOT test. I found the friction material was virtually unworn but had come away from the shoes completely on both sides.
It’s a similar job to changing any normal brake shoes if you have ever done that before. I took a photo of each side for reference just in case I forgot how it went back together. With the new shoes in position and the return springs dangling from the top shoe I used a cable tie looped through the bottom hook of the spring to pull it into position on the bottom shoe with a pair of pliers,
I think the biggest problem I had was getting the adjustment just right, mainly because the hub is stiff to turn and you can’t access the adjuster with the wheel in place.
I also had a hard time finding the replacements at the time, the first two sets that arrived were not the right ones but very similar so I suggest you source them before you start.
Hope this is some help,

(Alan4d) #3

Thanks very much Casso. How did you do the adjustment in the end?

(Alan4d) #4

Hello all readers

Still preparing for this and specifically trying to identify the tools I will need for the shoe spring removal and refitting. My Jaguar workshop manual states Girling 64947090 and if I could find an illustration of that I would search for a similar one. But I can’t find what that is actually like. Anyone done this job?

(Casso) #5

Hi Alan, First I backed off the adjustment on the handbrake cable so it was quite slack. Then I used a screwdriver through the hole in the drum to wind the adjusters until the hub was locked solid then backed them off until I could turn the hub. It took two test drives until I was happy the shoes were not binding, on the first test I could hear a Chh chh chh noise as the shoes rubbed slightly. Once I was happy the shoes were close enough to the drum without rubbing I adjusted the cable so there was three clicks on the lever before the handbrake was on solid.
You don’t need any ‘special tools’ to do the job. I used a pair of pliers to twist and press the retaining springs and slotted washers, and an adjustable wrench to simply lever each shoe from it’s seat so the return springs became slack enough to unfasten from each shoe.
Make certain you have the correct shoes by comparing them carefully to the old ones. The first two sets I obtained looked virtually identical but on one set the lining was so thick the disc/drum would not go back on, and on the other set the slots for the springs were in the wrong place.
I think the Girling tool you mentioned is only a fancy gadget for pressing and twisting the retaining springs,
maybe usefull if you were working on drum brakes everyday but pliers do the job just as well.

(Alan4d) #6

Again thanks Casso. I am surprised no-one else has chipped in. Surely every man and his dog have done this job! These further details are great but can you expand a bit on an adjustable wrench to remove springs. That looks the trickiest part. BTW I have already ordered a brake tool kit which has one of those twisting tools (a sort of socket on a stalk)!

(PeterCrespin) #7

Since in theory the shoes should last forever*, it isn’t that surprising few have chipped in. I’ve only ever had to do it once on half a dozen X300/X308 and two XJ40s.

Depending on mileage and how much abuse of using/forgetting the handbrake when moving, there may be a recess or track worn in the hub. This can catch the shoes and being ‘springy’ make it very hard to lever the hub off. I’d back off the shoe adjustment until it stops turning Hand rhaf’s well after the drum becomes free to turn.

*If applied/released when the car is stationery, there should never be much rubbing movement, hence no wear.


(Casso) #8

Hi Alan, The adjustable wrench is used solely as a lever. Fasten the jaws snugly on to the top shoe at one end and use it to raise the shoe out of its seat and lower it down so the spring goes slack. Do the same to the bottom shoe and once both shoes are out of the seats the return spring will be slack enough to remove from the holes in the shoes.
When refitting the new shoes fit the return spring to the top shoe only and when both shoes are in position on their seats use a strong cable tie or piece of wire to pull the spring into position on the bottom shoe.

Make a mental note of which way the adjusters turn to open or close the shoes, I might be mistaken but I think it’s a different direction for each side.

(Alan4d) #9

Thanks chaps! Peter, I am fitting new rotors so that should take care of any uneven wear in that department. Casso, thanks for extra info. Now awaiting all spares and some tools and will report back. I seem to remember that when I had the rotor off previously I had a long session of trial and error (mostly error) safety wiring the caliper carrier. I have the right tool but not the right muscles (at 78!)

(PeterCrespin) #10

Fitting new rotors sorts out existing wear but doesn’t help get the old ones off if you don’t losen the adjustment enough. You’ll be fine I’m sure

(Alan4d) #11

Now awaiting supplies for the job and will report further. Haynes (IMHO disappointing these days in many respects) has a very good blow by blow pictorial account on pages 9.12 - 9.13.

Also, have ordered some .032" safety wire to use instead of the gauge higher I had previously been using which was really tough to twist (even with the right safety wire pliers). This for the caliper to hub carrier bolts.

(Alan4d) #12

Many apologies. Started two threads on this topic. See ‘Handbrake shoes’ for the latest. Job done.