How to Remove the Drum Brakes From a 1998 Ford F150

Many vehicles are still manufactured with drum brakes on the rear axle and disc brakes on the front wheels. This is acceptable because the majority of the vehicle's braking is handled by the front wheels. You can remove the drum brakes from the rear of a Ford F150 yourself.


  1. Place blocks on the front side of the front wheels, while the truck is parked on a solid level surface. Do not engage the emergency brake.
  2. Loosen all rear lug nuts one-half turn, but do not remove them.
  3. Slide the jack under the center of the rear differential and raise the rear of the vehicle. Insert two jack stands under the frame near each rear wheel. Remove the rear lug nuts and the two rear wheels.
  4. Remove the brake drum by pulling it off the rear axle. This may require that a brake adjuster spoon or large screwdriver be inserted into the elongated slot on the bottom of the brake backing plate to turn the star wheel adjuster loose.
  5. Snap two pictures, one for each wheel's brake, because they are not symmetric. The forward shoe on many brakes have a different length brake pad on top.
  6. Remove the brake shoe return spring located over the star wheel adjuster at the bottom of the backing plate, using the handle of the brake pliers or a large screwdriver. Remove the star wheel adjuster.
  7. Remove the springs and spring linkage rods from the top shoe stud located at the top of the brake backing plate.
  8. Push and twist the shoe retaining spring washer to unlock it, from holding the shoes to the backing plate. To remove the washer from the nail pin protruding from the backing plate use the brake tool or a pliers.
  9. Remove the brake shoe washer guide located on the top shoe pin. The brake shoe washer guide looks like a flat propeller
  10. Unsnap the snap ring that holds the emergency brake cable and assembly to the brake shoe, using snap ring pliers. Remove the brake shoes from the brake assembly and replace if necessary.
  11. Brush clean and inventory all of the removed brake parts to prepare for reassembly.
  12. Repeat the same brake shoe procedure for the other wheel.