Tip & How-To about 1987 BMW 5 Series

Removing rear rotors

On the rear wheels, the inside of the rotors act as a drum for the emergency brake shoes. You must loosen the emergency brake so that the shoes back away from the inside walls of the rotor. Loosen the emergency brake, left and right side, by loosening both nuts at the emergency brake handle. Further, the emergency brake's internal adjusting nuts are accessible through the lug holes in the hub. Then remove the rear rotors

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burning smell brakes


Most people do not remove the rear rotors and inspect the Emergency Brake shoes. These often peel off the metal backing on the shoe and jam inside the interior Drum of the rotor. Some people will hear a rusty grinding noise after pulling away from a stop.

These brakes have the old "star-wheel" adjusters and may need to be adjusted more loosely to remove the rotor. Its a bad system in my opinion; the drum always rusts and corrodes and the Ebrake shoes are banana peel thin. With corrosion, the drum acts like a grinder and chews up the brake shoes. Some other configurations use a mechanical link on the caliper to make the service brakes act in an Emergency. It will override a hydraulic failure, but you still need good pads on the caliper.

Mar 17, 2014 | 2000 Ford Expedition

1 Answer

1999 F250 4x2 - was stored for 3 months and when I tried to move it - the right rear wheel turns but the left rear wheel won't turn. Took off the brakes and caliper - still won't move. I can move it maybe 1/2 inch but clunks to a stop. Any ideas???


Hello, The rear rotor has 2 sets of brakes on it. The other thing is to look for slight movement in the driveshaft when it clunks. Depending on the rearend, some have to have both rear wheels off the ground to turn each side. And of course the trans in Neutral.

With the rear wheel you have an Emergency brake and a drum brake inside the center of the Rotor.
The rear of the brake backing plate has a rubber plug which is covering the Star-wheel adjustment for those drum brakes. You can try to loosen the Star-wheel to disengage the Emergency brake shoes. You can try pulling the brake cables toward the cab, to loosen the cables.

If this does not help, your Emergency brake shoe probably rusted off the brake mount and is jammed inside the drum. The linings fall off the metal like banana skins. I can tell you that if the Emergency brakes are a State safety requirement, you need to consider new rotors because the drum portion is usually trashed with rust.

I hope my Solution is very helpful to you.

Jun 11, 2011 | 1984 Ford F 250

2 Answers

emergency brake adjustment


There are 2 ways. It has rear drum in hat style brakes, meaning it has pads and rotors for basic brakes, but incorporated in the rotor is a drum with park brake shoes inside. Remove rear pads and rotors, check the condition of the park brake shoes. Tighten the star wheel adjuster while installing the rotor, keep repeating until rotor feels snug pushing on. Repeat other side reassemble. If still doesn't feel tight, there is an adjustment nut on the left rear side on the cable. The nut is where the 2 rear cables meet, it can be tightened. Do not tighten first, if you ever need park brake shoes later they will not allow the rotors to go back on.

Jan 28, 2011 | 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe

2 Answers

how to remove brake rotors on a 1996 ford explorer


How to replace the rear brake pads on a 1995 through 2001 Ford Explorer The system utilizes a drum-in-hat type rear brake rotor. The integral drum allows the use of a drum-and-shoe type parking brake system. All other components are similar to their front disc brake components Remove the two bolts on either side of the brake hose with the rubber boots. Do not remove the four bolts where the axle ties in. The two bolts to be removed require a 10mm socket/wrench. Loosen the pads from the caliper Rotor Removal In order to take the rotors off (replace with new or have them machined), it is best to loosen the emergency brake shoes. To do this, behind the rotors, in the back there is a rubber plug, remove that and you can use a screw driver to engage the teeth of the adjusting screw, turn it clockwise to loosen, usually 10-20 teeth. Usually this means turn it downward. After this, it may still be difficult to get the rotors off without tapping them. Use a rubber mallet and hit them from behind. Before really whacking the rotor, make sure you have loosened the adjusting screw enough. It may take heavy swings of the rubber hammer to do this. It will eventually break loose. Parking Brake You might want to check the parking brake while you are here. To remove:
  • Remove the rear disc brake rotor.
  • Remove the outboard return spring.
  • Remove the adjusting screw spring.
  • Remove the rear brake shoe hold-down spring and pin.
  • Remove the brake shoe adjusting screw and nut.
  • Remove the front brake shoe hold-down spring and pin.
  • Remove both parking brake shoes and the inboard return spring.
  • Check the parking brake lever for excessive wear and replace as necessary.
To install:
  • Position the front parking brake shoe to the backing plate and install the hold-down pin and spring.
  • Install the rear parking brake shoe with the inboard return spring.
  • Position the brake shoe adjuster screw and nut on the shoes and install the rear shoe hold-down pin and spring.
  • Install the brake shoe adjuster spring.
  • Install the outboard return spring.
  • Adjust the parking brake shoes and install the rotor, caliper and wheel.
  • Lower the vehicle and tighten the wheel lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
ADJUSTMENT
  • Measure the inside of the drum portion of the rear brake rotor
  • Remove the rear disc brake rotor.
  • Using Brake Adjustment Gauge D81L-1103-A or equivalent, measure the inside diameter of the drum portion of the rear disc brake rotor.
  • Subtract 0.020 in. (0.508mm) from the first measurement, adjust the brake shoes to that size
  • Adjust the parking brake adjuster screw until the outside diameter of the parking brake shoes measures 0.020 in. (0.508mm) less than the drum measurement.
  • Install the rear disc brake rotor.
Reassembly Reassembly is easy. Put new or machined rotors back on by sliding them over the lugs (they should slide on easily.) Loosen bleeder valve (having a catch bottle handy is good). Push calipers in slowly (using a c-clamp or large channel lock pliers), close bleeder valve. Put on pads. Lubricate metal clips with small amount of anti-seize. Re-adjust the emergency brake by turning the opposite direction from loosening. Refill the brake master cylinder

Aug 09, 2010 | 1996 Ford Explorer

3 Answers

rear brakes on 2005 F150


You can't remove the rotors because the emergency brake is tight on the inside of the rotors. Make sure it's not engaged when you are working on the rear brakes. Block the front tires for saftey. Then you have to remove the rear calipers from the mounting brackets, there are two bolts that hold the calipers on. Make sure you hang the calipers securily with some wire so you don't damage the rubber brake line hose. Then you need to adjust the emergency parking brake shoes in order to remove the rotors. Theres a rubber plug on the backside of the rear hubs, once you look at the back of the hub you'll see the plug. It's on the top. Once you take out the plug, you need to use a screw driver to turn the star spindel. You need to turn the star spindel counter-clockwise in order to give yourself enough clearance to remove the rotors. The beauty of this design is that ford incorporated a drum and caliper system together, but it's difficult to take off the rotors if the emergency brake shoes are to tight. The inside of the rotors acts as the drums for the emergency brake system. I've done this and it's not that hard, but, I did have to replace the emergency brake shoes because they were worn out and the shoes fell off the metal backing plates when I finally got the rotors to come off. They only glued these shoes onto the backing plates, they don't rivet them so take your time getting the rotors off or you can damage the emergency brake shoes, but if you do they are cheap at napa. My service guide says to install the new rotors, use a couple of lug nuts to hold it on, then adjust the star spindal for the emergency brake all the way clockwise until you can't turn it anymore, then you must back it off 8 clicks counter-clockwise. Make sure the emergency brake is not engaged when you are doing this, the 8 clicks backwards compensates for when you do engage the parking brake because the shoes expands outwards. This adjustment sets the emergency brakes so they work properly. Once the emergency brake is properly set you can't remove the rear rotors, which is what your initial problem is. Then install the rubber plug back in the hole, put on the new pads and calipers and you're good to go.

Jun 25, 2008 | 2005 Ford F-150

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