I am replacing mine. Even with the special tool for holding down and locating those slotted washers on the two holding springs, it was fiendishly difficult. Following Haynes all went (not well) until I get to the last part but one, which is fitting the top spring (behind the shoes). I am having great difficulty here. So much so that I have given up for the day, and would appreciate it if someone who’s done this will give a tip or two!
Hi Alan, I used a piece of 16g welding rod with the end bent into a small hook.
Put one end of the spring in place on one of the shoes and use the hooked wire to pull on the other end of the spring until it lines up with the slot in the other shoe, use a small flat screwdriver behind the shoe to lever the spring towards you and into the slot. As you are aware, the spring is quite strong so you may have to hold the wire with pliers to stop it slipping as you pull.
It was quite a few years ago but I think I got both return springs into position BEFORE I fitted the retaining pins, springs and slotted caps.
I hope this helps.
Many thanks Casso. The problem I had was the angle I was working at, with axle stands being used at their minimum (for safety). That made the job too high to get at lying down and too low to get at sitting up! However, with what can only be described as ‘fiddling’ I managed to get that rear spring in at both ends this morning, before I had read your helpful post. I could not get any welding rod today anyway (public holiday Australia). Because of the height I found adjusting the adjuster (as one does) very tedious. But wheel 1 is now reassembled. I have taken apart wheel 2 (much faster as it always is) and will continue tomorrow. One thing I would probably do if I had more time is make a tool that clips over the top of the shoes and screws forcing them apart for easier fitting of the adjuster.
Hi Alan, working at that height would definitely make that job so much harder. One side completed is good progress, and like you mentioned, I’m sure the other side will be a lot easier now you have seen how it goes together. If you fasten a 12" adjustable wrench to the flat metal part of the shoe where the friction material ends, it makes a great lever to ‘force them apart’ with ease, you really don’t need to make a special tool.
Something else I always do when changing brake shoes ( a bit late now ) is to cover the friction surface of the new shoes with a strip of masking tape. I find no matter how much I clean things my hands will still get dirty and greasy and the tape prevents the friction material becoming contaminated with oily fingerprints. You obviously have to remember to peel it off before you replace the drum !!
Thanks for keeping me company Casso! Well, after much clearing away of tools, cleaning them and cleaning the workshop floor, I have now shampooed the grease out of my hair and had a shower which means, yes I finished the job. The second wheel was of course much faster as you say, even the safety wire on the calliper carrier (for which I have pair of those special twirling pliers). That rear spring on the shoes went on much easier due to 1) some wooden wedges I made to ease the shoes away from the back plate to give me more room to get fingers behind, and 2) putting the spring in the hole that was difficult to see first, so making locating the spring in the second hole easier. I found placing holding down springs first to be best, requiring a screwdriver in the slot between the cooling plate and the hub back plate, to hold the pin. The most tedious part was moving the adjuster wheel very slowly (there’s no other way) until the rotor was solid (quite a long way a fraction of a revolution at a time), and then of course easing off. And I didn’t even forget to use copious quantities of brake cleaner on the inside of the new rotor to remove any protective anti-rust oil. It may not have been strictly essential but it feels good to have new rear rotors, brake shoes and brake pads!
EDIT: And just one more thing. To help avoid contaminating the friction material I was very careful not to touch it plus I repeatedly sprayed all components with brake cleaner